The duo of Bulgarian, Berlin-based violinist Biliana Voutchkova, known for her duo with clarinet player Michael Thieke and as a member of Berlin’s Splitter Orchestra, and Armenian, Los Angeles-based pianist Vardan Ovsepian was released only in digital version, with little information as just the titles of the nine improvised pieces. The website of Voutchkova reveals that she has performed with Ovespian at Los Angeles’ Blue Whale club on August, 2017, while touring United States.
Still, the title of this album, «The Archaic Present», captures the essence of this intimate meeting. The brief improvisations rely on past memories, old musical legacies and ancient folk song motifs but radiate a totally contemporary, explorative approach. These two resourceful improvisers employ their own distinct techniques, often extended bowing techniques and playing inside the piano on its strings, and their highly personal languages.
Both Voutchkova and Ovespian sound as enjoying this kind of chamber adventure, weaving improvised, urgent motifs into spontaneous, emotional compositions. Both structure this series of improvisations as a coherent program that covers different moods and dynamics, ranging from the sensual «World Within a World», the tensed «Remnants of Times Past», the mysterious «Internal Dislocation» or the exotic «The Hidden Face of the Journey». They conclude with the most playful and varied piece, «Beneath the Layers», that cements the deep emphatic interplay that Voutchkova and Ovespian have established.
Biliana Voutchkova (vio, v), Vardan Ovsepian (p)