The Keith Tippett Octet – The Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon

(Discus) The case of Keith Tippett is rather remarkable, in that one seldom finds a musician (mujician, we should say) whose reputation is at the same time grounded on numberless artistic correlations and distinguished by incomparable compositional manners. Aside from a promptly admitted writer’s admiration, perhaps the best compliment we can throw is that whatever type of ensemble he writes for and whoever the performers are, the result is always unquestionably Tippett. Tight arrangements sounding modern but with an eye to the past; right doses of nimble soloism; stirring openings to contemplative vistas (just check “The Dance Of The Intangible … Continue reading The Keith Tippett Octet – The Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon

Bryn Harrison – Receiving the Approaching Memory

(Another Timbre) The accuracy of each gesture in Receiving The Approaching Memory is directly proportional to the feeling of unclouded poetry conveyed by Bryn Harrison’s music, released by Another Timbre for the second time after 2013’s Vessels. This reviewer has been exclusively focusing on the album for days, an unequivocal sign of gratitude for the disclosure of an unpretentious masterpiece. In terms of sheer imagery, the comparison is that of a blackbird singing in front of the placid waters of a lake, the latter somehow mirroring those sounds in a wonderful connection between the bird’s jargon and the environmental reverberations. … Continue reading Bryn Harrison – Receiving the Approaching Memory

Illogical Harmonies – Volume

(Another Timbre) The exercise of listening to the concurrent unfolding of unbroken pitches is perfect to create a mental sphere where, given the right conditions, nobody can touch you. The ears embrace a dilation containing numerous micro-components; the brain places the sounds exactly where they are meant to be according to a unique aural holography. One hears a pulsation behind the nape of the neck for a few seconds; gradually, another coalition of upper partials shifts the position of the acoustic phenomenon towards a higher point, twenty inches over the forehead. It’s like recognizing diverse tonalities of light without actually … Continue reading Illogical Harmonies – Volume

Christoph Erb / Frantz Loriot – Sceneries

(Creative Sources) Any improvising duo can drown in the slimy waters of run-of-the-mill jugglery lacking a real purpose. Several albums — including renowned ones — have proven that this format looks ideal for hypnotizing over-trusting audiences with a bunch of technical exercises dispatched for creativity during endless invocations to the Mother of all Vacuities. But wait; there’s also something called “commitment”. Saxophonist Christoph Erb (here doubling on tenor and soprano) and violist Frantz Loriot possess great experience both as participants in variously shaped collaborations and instigators of ensembles. Still, a record like Sceneries is rare to hear nowadays. Its five … Continue reading Christoph Erb / Frantz Loriot – Sceneries

Angharad Davies & Tisha Mukarji – Ffansïon | Fancies

(Another Timbre) In spite of knowing each other since 2005, violinist Angharad Davies and pianist Tisha Mukarji don’t meet often; even more infrequently they commit their perlustration of echoing locations to tape, this being only the second time after 2007’s Endspace. In both cases, good old Simon Reynell — the man who has turned a considerable number of British crucifixes into witnesses of significant improvisational events — brought his recording gear to capture essential traces of their unstudied dialogue. In this particular instance the outcome reflects a sui generis seductiveness dressed in austere clothes. In addition to five main segments … Continue reading Angharad Davies & Tisha Mukarji – Ffansïon | Fancies

Guilherme Rodrigues / David Area / Guillermo Torres / Tomas Gris – Aleph

(Creative Sources) It was, I believe, 2003 when my fraternization with Creative Sources began, and with it the experience of previously unheard-of combinations of ineffable sonorities and unique talents in disparate improvisational milieus. Cellist and composer Guilherme Rodrigues — the son of label honcho Ernesto — was 15 at that time, this writer well remembering his smiles of gladness in front of such a young kid fully immersed in unusual environments, yet expressing his voice like a veteran. Quite often the early albums from the Portuguese imprint featured ensembles that, exactly as this quartet, were proposing valuable methods to snatch … Continue reading Guilherme Rodrigues / David Area / Guillermo Torres / Tomas Gris – Aleph

Variable Geometry Orchestra – Quasar

(Creative Sources) The Variable Geometry Orchestra — 46 instrumentalists for this release — is just one among the innumerable projects engendered by the hyperactivity of Creative Sources boss Ernesto Rodrigues. In a respectable large improvising ensemble, the role of the conductor (Rodrigues himself in this case) is essential to make such a massive accumulation of instrumental nuances wander along genre-dissolving borders. If individualities are practically forgotten in the name of so-called “collective vibe”, a potential risk exists on the listener’s side to get knocked senseless by a jumble of spontaneous spurts that may not necessarily imply genuine art. Luckily this … Continue reading Variable Geometry Orchestra – Quasar