(FMR)

Throughout a meritorious career across the diversified scenes of improvisation, Udo Schindler has proven himself to be an indefatigable seeker of top rank duets. In this particular case, he dialogues with an equally distinguished colleague: Ove Volquartz, also a musicologist, has to his credit collaborations with — among others — Cecil Taylor, Roscoe Mitchell, Peter Kowald, Barre Phillips. On this set of live recordings from 2018, both men performed on bass and double bass clarinet, Schindler’s additional use of the piccolo being the lone variance.

One can play this CD a hundred times, and still not get to the bottom of the whys and wherefores behind the fulfillment obtained from contrapuntal (and vibrational) twists and turns. A note inside the cover — specifying “all compositions by…” — is indicative of what can be enjoyed. A high percentage of improvisational craftsmanship is sustained by structural consistency. The firm intelligibility of the melodic schemes — however dissonant they may be — made us suppose of previously rehearsed sections. While we’re not sure of this having really occurred, a concept of mercurial tactility is anyhow laid down from the beginning.

To dwell solely on the rewards connected to the search for timbral near-perfection, a parallel dimension of this analysis must be entered. The total control of every emission is well within Volquartz and Schindler’s reach; it could not be otherwise, given the inestimable wealth of experience acquired in decades of instrumental training and human networking. Shattering the grain of the tone to the point of seizing its micro-particles; merging the upper partials to generate tiny earthquakes in the ear membranes; inducing in the listener a mental void via low pitches revealing their constituents little by little. This, and much more, is featured in Tales About Exploding Trees And Other Absurdities. Complemented by rare modesty, if the rest were not enough.

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