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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Review: QMajor, “Ethereal Electronic”


On Friday, April 26, Shreveport’s Artspace was treated to a performance by last year’s Critical Mass performing arts winner, QMajor The Violinist, in a performance dubbed “Ethereal Electronic.”

The theme worked well to showcase QMajor’s range, his inspired, innovative playing and capacity for crossover. The ambient tracks were punctuated by hip-hop beats and riffs from QMajor on the violin, showcasing his excellent command of the instrument.

The young musician is a veteran, having learned and performed from an early age.

In between songs, he spoke about his love for collaboration — evident in his weekly Wednesday creative meetups with fellow Shreveport artists — and his desire to venture into film scoring.

All of his dreams are likely attainable.

Through a dozen or so songs, QMajor showed his versatility in his instrument’s musical utility and capacity to blend and conquer musical styles.

Beyond his potential to entertain and dazzle audiences of all tastes — whether classical, electronic or hip-hop — Q has the chops and presence to perform as a solo headliner or collaborate with any kind of band or artist (visual, dance, etc.). This performance was beautifully layered, moving at moments and even “mesmerizing,” I overheard one audience member mutter, thinking aloud.

QMajor was joined by Critical Mass fellowship recipient Michael Patronis, who accompanied the musician on various instruments. Save for Patronis’ atonal saxophone in one particularly drawn-out riff that confused and turned off many listeners, the two worked together well, merging an ambient sonic backdrop with QMajor’s violin performance.

The stage presentation was bare. QMajor’s show would have benefited from the addition of visual elements — lights and moving images, for example — to enhance his performance. Given that this performance had nearly a year of planning, it was slightly disappointing that no stage production was present.

It’s not that he needs any gimmicks. QMajor’s violin is the star player. But one can’t help but envision how much bigger his performance could get. He’s yet to push himself artistically in terms of stage presentation and ought to consider, beyond the compositions, the possibilities of what a QMajor concert could look like.

Although mostly satisfying, the song selection could’ve used some shifts in mood, while some elements of the performance needed polish. Or perhaps, to immediately contradict myself, the entire concert would have benefited from something less tame. Maybe QMajor should get wilder.

Adding the dissonant saxophone earned a lot of attention — and subsequent chatter — from the crowd. The use of discordant sound felt unresolved and timid and seemed to demand, but draw no benefit from, careful contemplation. If Q wants to experiment with atonal melodies, it might serve him better to present deliberate dissonance, leaning into that choice wholeheartedly, maybe by turning a song or two into a noise-rock offering.

The subtlety of that choice clashed with the overall performance. It was a distraction from QMajor’s otherwise excellent work. However, QMajor sat briefly behind the piano, delighting the audience.

And though the show was entirely instrumental, the artist has experience as a vocalist/rapper. Seeing him showcase his full range of talent would be fantastic because many of us can’t get enough of his playing and are greedy for more from QMajor.


The Forum News