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På skive

BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA / JOANNA MATTREY | BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA / SUSANA SANTOS SILVA

«Like Thoughts Coming»
RELATIVE PITCH, RPRDL006
«Bagra»
RELATIVE PITCH, RPRDL007

Berlin-based violinist Biliana Voutchkova continues her DUOS2022 series with American violist Joanna Mattrey and Portuguese, Stockholm-based trumpeter Susana Santos Silva. Both meetings were recorded at Kanitz Studio in Berlin in May 2022.

Voutchkova and Matrey first met when Mattrey visited Berlin and the two recorded Like Thoughts Coming and did a live concert. Voutchkova says that the recording session felt like a «meditation where thoughts are coming and going freely. I noticed the constantly changing flow of our improvisations, waves of different sound worlds coming and going, but somehow staying in a constant, peaceful environment». She added field recordings that were captured just a few weeks earlier in the garden of a close friend where she spent a quiet slow afternoon, that, surprisingly make perfect sense in this natural and peaceful flow of fragmented melodies, sounds and ideas.

Obviously, both Voutchkova and Matrey employ an array of experimental, extended bowing techniques, and often let the violin and viola act like independent and vivid yet quite fragile entities that breathe, moan and sing together, but in the most organic manner possible as both blend seamlessly their sonic palette. And just like in a deep meditation state of mind, Voutchkova and Matrey are totally engaged in the art of moment and play their beautiful sounds with no attachment. The cover art is by the Bulgarian visual artist Boryana Pandova, a photographic diptych from the series «Just a minute», 2021.

Voutchkova says that her duo recording with Santos Silva, Bagra, was done in one breath and in a state of mind of completely circulating synergy, deep understanding and liberation. The two extended pieces were the first ones Voutchkova and Santos Silva played, and were captured without any editing. Both Voutchkova and Santos Silva didn’t want any associative words relating to the album, so they embraced the idea of naming the pieces. «Bagra» and «Geraldina», from a long list of female names which Voutchkova suggested.

Voutchkova expands her sonic palette with her voice, piano, percussion and objects, while Santos Silva does the same with objects. Voutchkova and Santos Silva immediately established a  highly organic and intimate interplay, stressing subtle and resonant dynamics that lead to haunting, enigmatic textures, full of imaginative and suggestive events and loose stories that constantly shift between extreme closeness and wide openness. The cover art by the British photographer Nicholas Hughes «Aspects of Cosmological Indifference (Verse II) #18» (2012/2013) captures beautifully the ethereal with the abstract and the earthly layers within the two epic pieces.

Eyal Hareuveni

Joanna Mattrey (viola), Biliana Voutchkova (vio, field recordings, v, p, perc, objects), Susana Santos Silva (tp, objects) 

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