petak, 5. travnja 2013.

Thomas Buckner, Edyta Fil, Ilia Belorukov, Alexey Lapin, Juho Laitinen - Bewitched Concert (2011)

Avangardno-klasičarski atomi u kolajderu free jazz improvizacije.


The second step Intonema took was the album Bewitched Concert by international quintet Thomas Buckner (USA), Edyta Fil (Poland), Ilia Belorukov, Alexey Lapin (both Russia) and Juho Laitinen (Finland). This is a record of a concert that took place at the Experimental Sound Gallery on November 6th, 2009. Spontaneously arising cast nothing negotiating played music rather reminiscent of academic music with some adds of free improvisation elements and acoustic drone.

“It may feel strange but everything that played and sung on this album is very natural for instruments and voice – despite cello solo in Epilogue (performed with extravagant technique of string over-pressing which reminds Pierre Henri’s classical Variations for a Door and a Sigh) and Buckner’s shaman roaring. It makes a deceptive impression that this music can be easily notated by conventional way and if having a great desire – even can be performed according to that notation. Perhaps, only Deep Listening founded by Buckner’s compatriot (and probably a friend) Pauline Oliveros, sounds comparatively similar. Ilia Belorukov describes the concert atmosphere as “academic” and quite calm though, the performance form reminds the first movement of Witold Lutosławski’s Second symphony Hésitant – when you listen to it you can’t trace that it invisibly involves you into a vortex of very fast music in which all sound events – like granules in the computer music - merge in one unique timbre.” (Dmitry Ukhov, from CD booklet)

Edyta Fil: flute

Ilia Belorukov: alto saxophone, objects

Alexey Lapin: upright piano

Juho Laitinen: cello, voice

"Bewitched Concert was recorded by an international quintet at the Experimental Sound Gallery on November 6th, 2009. The original concept was to record the concert in two sets—the first featuring a flute solo by Edyta Fil, and the second, a group improvisation with Fil, pianist Alexey Lapin and saxophonist Ilia Belorukov. Plans changed when singer Thomas Buckner and cellist Juho Laitinen appeared at the venue. They were invited to join in and took part in the second set.
Buckner sat at the back of the hall for "Part I: Epilogue," but his rich baritone carries through. The power in his voice is resolute as he forges a kinship with the instruments and adds a pertinent dimension to the improvisation, particularly when he sings alongside a convoluted saxophone. The music has an initially spare and ethereal air cast in tandem by Fila and Belorukov, a floating amalgam of linearity that is punctuated by strings before the piano actually gets down to interspersing some notes. But the atmosphere is soon transformed as the improvisations become organic and surge captivatingly with the final lure coming from the classical embrace of the cello.
The other improvisations rack up some interesting group interplay. Bruckner is the anchor on the first, singing in a stark corridor framed by fragmentary group interplay. Belorukov and Fil break out to bring their free-lowing innovations into sharper focus, with Lapin and Latinen lending structure.
The empathy in the band and the ability of the members to extrapolate ideas, even with the last-minute inclusion of Buckner and Laitinen, sustains interest all the way."(Jerry D'Souza, All About Jazz)

"If you want to know what happened on november 6, 2009 at the Experimental Sound Gallery in Saint Petersburg, Russia, listen to this one. An international ensemble of improvisors was on stage for an unique improvised concert. Let me introduce them. Ilia Belorukov (alto sax, objects) is a musician from Saint-Petersburg. Operating in the fields of free improvisation, noise and electroacoustic music. He is also owner of the new Intonema label that released this concert. Alexey Lapin (upright piano), a pianist, composer and sound engineer is also from Saint-Petersburg. He has some work released on Leo and Red Toucan. Edyta Fil (flute) is from Warsaw. Here and in Strasbourg she studied flue and chamber ensemble. Although educated in classical music she is also into improvised music. The same for Juho Laitinen (cello, voice) from Finland. He is a cellist, specialized in 20th century composed music, mainstream and avant garde jazz, fado, improviser, composer, writer and teacher. In fact we are talking of two different smaller collaborations, that decided impulsively to play together for this occasion. This was done from a right intuition, as this led to some very satisfying improvisations. The classical trained voice of veteran Buckner is patching the way in most improvisations. The gradually unfolding improvisations are dominated by modern classical esthetics, which is often the case when Buckner is part of the game"(Dolf Mulder, Vital Weekly)

"Bewitched Concert (INTONEMA 002) is a record of improvised music made in Saint Petersburg in late 2009: the quintet is an international one, comprising the American singer Thomas Buckner, the Polish flautist Edyta Fil, the Finnish cellist Juho Laitinen, and two Russian players Ilia Belorukov (saxophone) and Alexey Lapin (piano). Many, if not all, of these players have an academic background, and the music does indeed feel (as sleeve notes indicate) a bit more like classical avant-garde atonality than free improv. Every movement is slightly awkward and stiff, and each note has a precision and clarity that you wouldn’t always get from any European improviser who has tended to follow the free-jazz route to arrive where he is today. If that sounds like a criticism, it’s not intended as this music is actually extremely absorbing and beautiful; and the tension between improvised music generation and classical intonation and note-production keeps the performance on a knife-edge throughout. For the opening track, oddly called ‘Epilogue’, they sustain that tension for over 20 minutes through resonant string scrapes, eerie flute trills, unexpected piano notes hanging glacially in the air like icicles. Best effect of all: the near-operatic voice of Buckner making wordless and guttural plaints, which when joined by singing voice of Laitinen will make you feel you’re an intruder in a land of ghosts. Hence the title, I expect; the set does have quite a supernatural aura. Brilliant cover design which suggests an inescapable haunted forest; open the gatefold to reveal cutout shape of a man lost in the middle of it."(Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector)

"Ilia Belorukov's Intonema released at the same time with Wozzek also Bewitched Concert, a 40 minutes improvisation reminiscent of contemporary music by a 'spontaneous' and international quintet composed by singer Thomas Buckner, flutist and composer Edyta Fil, pianist, composer and sound engineer Alexey Lapin, cellist Juho Laitinen and Belorukov himself on alto saxophone and objects.
While Dmitry Ukhov in the liner notes mentions Pauline Oliveros and her Deep Listening music, and also Witold Lutoslawski's Hesitant second symphony, we can take note of a work perfectly balanced between contemporary music and improvisation, in which the backgrounds of every musician are perfectly recognizable. It's not that common today listening to young performers (Thomas Buckner is the only one to have more than 40 years of career on his shoulders), coming from different backgrounds even if with a slight balance on contemporary music, still using as means of expressions devices related to recognizable , while stirred, idioms and looking for a coherent structure. So the record - as the other two in this article - can be also taken as an important clue in order to avoid for free improvisation the risk of involution as, apart from single musicians, happened to sound art at least in the last ten years." (Gian Paolo Galasi, london_resonance)

"Strangely, I’ve listened to the CD twice in a row and it just won’t grasp my attention. Soundwise, it doesn’t impose. What’s going on? Is it that the music flows so naturally that it flows by unnoticed? Or that nothing remarkable actually happens?" (François Couture, Monsieur Delire)

"This is a really bewitched concert. Five musicians meet under one roof to present to you aboriginal sound rituals.They call forth dangerous demons who take you away into perilous labyrinths. A listener goes backstage on Earth's mechanics just like a young man in Dostoevsky's 'The dream of a ridiculous man' cruising over his own dream and stumbling across essential arches.
One of the best improv records this year."
(Nicholay Syrov, Dumpster Diving Blog)

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