The Berlin-based international AoA Impro Group features German vocal artist Almut Kühne, Greek reeds player Floros Floridis and French horn player Elena Kakaliagou, Italian double bass player Antonio Borghini, and Norwegian drummer Dag Magnus Narvesen. All of them are experienced free improvisers but Live at Pariser Platz documents their first live performance (and recording) together as a quintet, at the Akademie der Künste, located in Pariser Platz in Berlin in October 2020. AoA Impro Group was created in order to play at the founding meeting of the «Alliance of the European Academies» in Berlin.
True to the spirit of free improvisation, as well as the meeting of the Alliance of the European Academies, music AoA Impro Group builds bridges between seemingly distant musical heritages and legacies, beyond national and geographical borders, and seeks solidarity and collective creativity. The 38-minute, four-part free improvised piece highlights the strong individual voices of this group. Floridis introduces the first part with gentle, playful and melodic playing on the soprano sax, soon joined by Kakaliagou who expands its contemplative, chamber spirit. When Kühne begins to sing, accompanied by arco playing of Borghini and subtle percussive touches of Narvesen, the chamber spirit extends to an operatic one. When all five musicians play together it shifts again into a surrealist and dreamy but still lyrical and poetic one.
The following parts are shorter, flirt with free jazz, and highlight the inventive, idiosyncratic voices of the five musicians, especially the stream of songs of consciousness of Kühne. I hope that the AoA Impro Group will continue to develop its creative dynamics beyond this ad-hoc performance.
Almut Kühne (v), Elena Kakaliagou (frh), Antonio Borghini (b), Dag Magnus Narvesen (dr), Floros Floridis (ss, bcl)