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På skive

BRAD HENKEL | ULHER / GENETTI / LEONARDSON

«Croon»
NEITHER/NOR, N/N 021
«horizontal shift»
AMALGAM

American, Berlin-based experimental trumpeter Brad Henkel’s primary focus is on improvisation, using a broad color palette of pitched and unpitched sounds. He creates music that is rooted in modern jazz, contemporary classical, and reductionist Echtzeitmusik traditions. Croon is his debut solo album, recorded at Blackbird Music Studio in Berlin in December 2021, and presents his explorative and idiosyncratic language as well as his unique take on the trumpet and inventiveness as an improviser.

The eight pieces are an eclectic and often even eccentric collection of acoustic trumpet textures, but a few pieces sound as borrowing the syntax and timbres of electronic and noise music. Obviously, Henkel has cultivated over the years by refining an array of extended techniques and personal approaches to the instrument. His imaginative sonic vision allows him to transform the trumpet into an instrument that makes sounds that express breathing and not only a musical instrument to make sounds with breathing, using the observation of the great, late Japanese trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. But Henkel also plays free-associative, lyrical melodies as in the title piece, stressing his jazz background, producing a series of meditative multiphonics in the drone «Chant» and investing a twisted folk song in «Mope».

German, Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher shares a similar sonic vision of Henkel, and like him, she focuses on expanding the sonic possibilities of the trumpet with extended techniques and preparations that allow her to produce multiphonics and a grainy, textured sound, whether holding objects in front of the horn’s bell or feeding radio noise into trumpet mutes. horizontal shift presents Ulher in a trio with American, Chicago-based vocal artist Carol Genetti and sound artist Eric Leonardson (playing here a self-built, bowed springboard, objects and electronics), recorded live in February 2018 at Elastic Arts in Chicago. Ulher, Genetti and Leonardson have known each other since the late 1990s, but this was the first performance and recording as a trio.

These experienced improvisers brought their highly personal and distinct sonic palette to this intriguing electroacoustic meeting, all characterized by microtonal and textural characteristics of sound. Ulher extended the sonic palette of the trumpet with soft breaths, grainy clicks and multiphonics that matched Genetti’s abstract, wordless vocals with Leonardson’s atmospheric, resonating sounds. With every listening to the three subtle and vulnerable textures, you may explore more nuances in the sound-oriented dynamics of this trio, including delicate microtones and mysterious multiphonics.

Eyal Hareuveni

Brad Henkel (tp), Birgit Ulher (tp, radio, speaker, objects), Carol Genetti (v, objects), Eric Leonardson (springboard, objects, elec)

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