12 décembre 2017

End of year wishes : my best musical moments in 2017

Playing / singing with dedicated players - improvisers is far more fun and deep than to write about music. 
So, before giving track of my best recorded works' listenings of the year 2017 (albums, CD's, DL's), I would love to quote my most surprising / unexpected improvising experiences on stage during the past 12 months with some dedicated players.
Although I value deeply the contributions of my musical mates and one evening partners, there are occurrences and moments when and where one is feeling that a new door or new can is opened. Wow ! 
Of course, very well appreciated performances doesn't always mean that you will learn something and that you get the feeling that you never experienced something new, unpredictable, very fresh.

Without order of proeminence : 
1/ the Fasano sextet 13th may. Matthias Boss/ Jean Demey/ Bruno Gussoni/ Guy-Frank Pellerin/ Dan Thompson/ J-M Van Schouwburg.
In mid-may, I was invited again at Clockstop festival in Fasano (Brindisi Puglia) by Marcello Magliocchi and I had the pleasure to sing (again) with very nice chaps after having experienced an early april North Italian tour with Marcello Magliocchi - percussion, Matthias Boss - violin, Guy-Frank Pellerin - saxophone, Bruno Gussoni - flutes and Angelo Contini. That went fine and the pinnacle came while I convened on stage Bruno Gussoni, bassist Jean Demey (my dear pal with whom I have performed dozens of gigs), Guy Frank Pellerin, Matthias Boss and guitarist Daniel Thompson. It happened a great moment and an amazing feeling of knowing when exactly we had to play and be silent one by one and all together. The great mutual listening was palpable and the audience not well informed acknowledged the feeling of something different and deeper. We heard in their warm reaction that they understood what happened : once and rarely. 

2/ Atelier Grammofon Hannover with Günter Christmann & Elke Schipper 25 november. 
Günter Christmann, the trombone and cello explorer, is one of the dozen great improvisers who actually showed up as the finest historical instigators of the sharpest directions - processes in free improvisation from the early seventies until now. Elke Schipper, his partner in life counts among the finest vocal improvisers being also an original sound poet, having met some of the greats around 1970 in Wuppertal like Peter Kowald and Paul Lovens before even Günter played with them. At my surprise, they invited me for a solo voice performance in Hannover at Jörg Hufschmidt's Atelier Grammofon. After the voice set deeply applauded by the audience members, we shared the stage in three duos and one trio who went very fine. The silence worked around our own sounds and the motions blossomed like signs    for further sighs and forward playings. Both voices of each gender are made to share and smile afterwards.
Günter is the instant player by excellence focusing on the moment, shifting sounds and knotting short duration like a minute action-painting canvas with a permanent attention to all details. 
Above all, speaking with and listening Günter 's comments on his music practice, his graphic arts, musical life and his organisation work made me aware / gave me a glimpse about the real choices / decisions one free improvisor has to deal with for his own creative evolution. Also the conversations with Elke. I had already exchanged views and conversations with some great initial creators (Bailey, Parker, Van Hove, Lytton, Wachsmann, Turner) and many other great players. Few gave me such sincerity and real conviction of his uncompromising attitude towards what to play, with whom and what is the more important stuff in this business, with such amazing dedication. Fascinating for a Christmann fan who collected all his recorded works since the mid seventies. It happened that GC 's trombone music which made me go with the voice.

3/ The Aachen trio. 10 december at Prozitron gallery  Paul Hubweber/ Benedict Taylor / J-M Van Schouwburg
I met viola player Benedict Taylor in the Shoreditch Church in may 2012. I was singing with Casserley and Wachsmann and he performed with Alex Ward and Dan Thompson who organized the gig. Bened gave me his solo cd Transit Check, a great trove fr my ears. We played some gigs later with Dan Thompson and Tom Jackson and recorded with them and Casserley in september 2015. Bened spoke about to play together as a duo because of the evident link between bowing microtonally the viola frequencies and chirping the male voice. Our first duo happened on the 18th december 2015 in Brussels. So as he spoke again about working together I fixed a Klinker Club gig with Matt Scott in an odd movie workplace in Bethnal Green on 17 november, crossing the Channel fr this only date. We did a kind of vocal/viola earthy zig-zag chase maddening the audience exposing the potential of the duo. Although quite impressive as regards to the energy, I had the clear feeling that we have to improve in more varied pulses and timings. We went deeper duetting again on the 9th december in Brussels' Sterput with a great glimpse to the potential for a trio with my mate Jean Demey. Jean understood what instantaneously on his double bass Aldegonde. My friend Pierre Michel Zaleski a nice voice artist, to sit-in. In order to offer more to my British guest, I had approached the great trombone improvisor Paul Hubweber for an eventual gig in Aachen at three hours of train to my home. Firstly, because Paul is a great player and one of the very few people to whom I could ask a duo gig without any recorded evidence and the hope of a positive answer. We both didn't expect that such ad-hoc meeting went to be our concert of the year. After the quite interesting duos, viola - voice , trombone - viola and voice - trombone, proposed by Paul, a smart and astute strategist in free improvisation, we made an astounding unexpected trio perfomance on the second set. Paul played the softest subdued sounds available on the trombone on the border of silence with a stunning sense of dynamics and expressive strength in a similar way he did with our duo during the first set. Very intriguing. Paul had placed Benedict in between us on stage and this made surely build the confident relationship throughout. All this allowed me to sing with relaxation and this slow pace which helps a singer to control breath, sounds and all the details of the voice's expressive means. The air, the white voice, the glissando, the crescendo/ decrescendo, the colours and textures, the lips and cheeks noises in a quite minute fashion. The voice and the trombone melded together in an unknown place. I am an european improvising trombone freak since decades but I couldn't even imagine what it happened. My own singing came out of the listening of both Rutherford's and Christmann's trombones, so the ring was ringed this night. This seems the real festival paid work gig when one has the feeling that the verbs merit, deserve, earn, worth it, claim have a similar and unique meaning : having done the best and most significant music following our past experience. Such kind of epiphany happens once in a while on the good years but not with such evidence on a very first spot. Unrecorded but printed in our minds. Thank you again, maestro !! 
PS : We hope to travel our voice/viola duo project and our trio with Jean Demey.

4/ The Sterput duo 30 june with dancer Sofia Kakouri. Sofia and I crossed our lives inside my voice workshop during some years and we shared a bit the stage since 2013. She is also blowing a pocket trumpet and sings while dancing. We rehearsed the performance in her squat's studio and she lectured me about moving my body. The performance was marvelous, we behave mainly communicating on unexpected levels including gestures in the stairs, with the toilet's door latch, chairs' contorsions and floor crawling, looking each other in the eyes or ignoring each other. At the end, she blasted. The responsible of the place was very much moved. What else can be said. We look for more.
Of course the pair of Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp @ L'Archiduc in Brussels on the 18th may with the help of Jean-Louis and Sound In Motion team Koen Vandenhoudt & Christel Kumpen. My job was to invite and to fix the concert and looking after the musicians.

Now this is the YEAR 2017 LIST of the deepest amazing recordings. I heard great things but I will quote only the ones who bring me/us the water to the mill, actually. And acoustic !

Firstly, the two Kimmig/ Studer/ Zimmerlin string trio on Hat Art : Im Hellen and on Leo : Raw with John Butcher. The trio Im Hellen sounds complex with a special recording approach. Think about Xenakis improvised. Issued on the contemporary classical branch of Hat Art.
My affinity to viola : Nicola Guazzaloca and Szilard Mezei : the Lucca and Bologna concerts on Amirani records.  Physical 
And Benedict Taylor : Pugilism and Purposelessness on his own Subverten Imprint.
Stratum Elke Schipper & Günter Christmann edition explico 21 : the unique voice work with the greatest dynamics from trombone & cello 
Steve Noble & Yoni Silver Home on Aural Terrains 2017  : the other side of Steve 's percussion
Sonata Erronea  Gunda Gottschalk Dusica Cajlan-Wissel acheulian handaxe aha1701 
Paul Rutherford Sabu Toyozumi The Conscience NoBusiness records NBCD 99 : the best for an European Trombone Freak
Sceneries Christoph Erb & Frantz Loriot Creative Sources CS 356 CD
Among the Ernesto Rodrigues' recorded galaxy : 
Gravity : String Theory Creative Sources CS 301 CD

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Bonne lecture Good read ! don't hesitate to post commentaries and suggestions or interesting news to this......