Martin O. brings unique and comedic sound to Civic Centre

Golden Star Staff

Martin O. is described as a vocal virtuoso, and a nimble, amusing, and enthralling storyteller.

Some Golden and area residents may have seen Martin O. perform before, and he returns to the Civic Centre on November 16 for Live Kicks.

“Martin O. is quite theatrical,” Kicking Horse Culture executive director Bill Usher said.

One review mentioned that Martin O. is a combination of Bobby McFerrin and Robin Williams coexisting in the same body, and it is said that Martin O. is the “most delightful Swiss export since milk chocolate.”

“He’s very funny on stage. He’s just him, and you can see in the poster he has this instrument he invented himself,” Usher said.

As a one-man choir, Martin O. combines his voice with his instruments, and is sometimes referred to as a “voice dancer.”

His show is called Dancing Voice and takes viewers on a trip through familiar and foreign worlds of sound and sound effects. The musical journey shift effortlessly from Europe to India and America.

“A lot of people are familiar with guitar and looping guitars, and he’s gone 100 steps past that,” Usher said. “He’s doing all kinds of things with his voice, creating atmospheres, creating sounds, and singing songs, and there’s a really comedic element to it the whole time.”

Much of Martin O.’s show is improvised, and covers everything from Swiss yodeling to love ballads, and impish pop music.

“It’s funny,” Usher said. “We saw him perform two years ago now, and he had like 300 of us just cracking up and having just a wonderful time.”

His music also blends original songs with classic tunes that are covered in unique ways. His unique looping device helps him weave many strands of vocals and sound effects into a sound that has to be heard to be believed.

The award-winning artist started out in an a cappella group, but has been performing solo for more than a decade, and has played around the world.

“He tours Europe and the far east, and he’s touring, playing to 3,000-seat theatres over there. He’s a big star,” Usher said.

Bringing his Swiss background to the stage, Usher thinks that a lot of people will really enjoy the style of Martin O.

“There’s a lot of people in Golden that have Swiss ancestry. He’s doing it in perfect English, and he will go into Swiss to accentuate some of this stuff,” Usher said.

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