Sunday, December 16, 2012
Two interpretations of a Duplant score by this trio, using various electronics, each 20 minutes long. The first evinces an enjoyable mixture of low-key and jittery, the sounds soft but active and prickly. That tension between calmness and nervousness is what carries the piece, the hums not quite serene, the rough, glitchy noises sometimes sounding very much like CD defects, in fact. Hard to describe overall, really, except that there's an uneasy eeriness to much of it that's very effective. The second realization is fuller and describes a very different character, perhaps a bit closer to a Luc Ferrari kind of feel, somehow more naturalistic. Not sure about the scores, not sure how much was recorded remote from one another (I suspect all of it) but if the score is in the nature of those done by, say, Michael Pisaro and others in the Wandelweiser enclave I think it might be a piece of evidence that such sets of instructions are very conducive to this kind of long-range collaboration. Kind of wondering about the thoughts of those involved, pro and con, on the differences between direct and indirect communication re: the realization of such scores.
In any case, yet another fine document courtesy M. Duplant.
A quintet date with Carvalhais (bass, electronics), Emile Parisien (soprano saxophone), Gabriel Pinto (piano, organ, synthesizer), Dominique Pifarély (violin) and Mário Costa (drums). I should say right off that the music is well outside of my range of the last couple of decades at least but, still, it's quite well done and, even to these jaded ears, worms its way in and sits with surprising comfort. There's something of a classic ECM feel, especially with the soprano tracing catchy unison lines with piano and bass, but also hints of Anthony Davis' Episteme ensemble (the opening to "Capsule" bears more than a passing resemblance to Davis' "A Walk in the Valley") and, in Pifarély's violin, a welcome tinge of Leroy Jenkins. As well, Carvalhais' playing strikes me as owing a good bit to Dave Holland--his intro on "Simulacrum" almost sounding like an outtake from a Circle session--and Pinto occasionally recalls Paul Bley.
This can be problematic for me, needless to say, but on the other hand, the influences are well-chosen and the group manages to, to some degree, transcend them, creating work that somehow stands on it own without teetering. It may not be my current cuppa, but I can easily imagine it being greatly enjoyed by both fans of the earlier music and nascent ears looking for an attractive and intelligently played alternative to more humdrum attempts at maintaining the genre.