GROSSE ABFAHRT – Erstes Luftschiff Zu Kalifornien

(Creative Sources)

Somehow dedicated to John A. Morrell, visionary builder of a potentially revolutionary airship whose dramatic technical failure is narrated in the CD leaflet, this work gathers an octet of improvisers consisting of Serge Baghdassarians, Boris Baltschun, Chris Brown, Tom Djll, Matt Ingalls, Tim Perkis, Gino Robair and John Shiurba; the instrumentation comprises electronics, piano, trumpet, clarinet, analog synthesizer and guitar. After an initial period in which microscopic high frequencies literally struggle to be heard, the music begins to shape up and combine its different elements through various settings, not totally devoid of moments of quasi-silence. Frictional proximities between trumpet and clarinet are complemented by apprehensive touches from the piano innards; side-to-side analog waveforms and hyper-acute emissions create a background over which the guitar is manipulated like a percussive tool, almost losing all its stringed instrument features until a weak reminiscence of vibration advise us that the “spirit of the axe” still has a pulse. The dynamics brought in action by the players often inhabit the “ppp” neighbourhood, forcing our attention to appreciate the exquisite finesse that these strained synchronies involuntarily generate, the “lowercase factor” still in evidence during various segments of almost imperceptible “pneumo-electrology”. The final movement reveals the large part of the missing links, fusing the instrumental voices in a marginalization of the unnecessary aspects of technique, nearing the whole to a more recognizable collective exchange, though ever deprived of any chance of typical interplay. A difficult, stimulating record that gradually uncovers fibres of grimy beauty.


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