«Muto Infinitas» is an extended composition of American, Berlin-based composer-violist Catherine Lamb for a duo of a double bass and quarter-tone bass flute, played by Australian, Berlin-based bass player Jon Heilbron and flutist Rebecca Lane. Lamb investigates in her compositions the interaction of tone, summations of shapes and shadows, phenomenological expansions, the architecture of the liminal (i.e. states in between outside/inside), and the long introduction form.
«Muto Infinitas» was developed between 2016 and 2018 and Lamb uses it to explore the delicate and shared timbral qualities of the double bass and the quarter-tone flute, and to create an elusive harmonically and melodically texture. Eventually, this elusive, minimalist texture yields a gentle melody that blooms organically, as a natural conclusion of the very long and almost static introduction. The long, sustained and microtonal vibrations, as well as the sudden stops and subtle and slow shifts, unfold patiently the ambiguous perceptual space between harmony and melody and consonance and dissonance. This methodical process also investigates how the bowing and breathing timbres of the double bass and the quarter-tone flute intertwine and merge into a fragile sonic entity, with minimal tension and dramatic narrative.
Lamb and Lane have been working on this unmetered composition for five years, first with double bass player Mike Majkowski, and since 2017 with Heilborn. Lane and Heilborn, who worked later with Lamb on another composition of hers, «Prisma Interius VII & VIII» (Sacred Realism, 2020), still consider «Muto Infinitas» a work-in-progress. This close and long relationship between the Lamb and the Kand and Heilborn over the years helped to shape its current interpretation of it.
This 58-minute composition demands deep listening. The exquisite performance of Lane and Heilborn and the deep-toned vibrations have a strong dream-like, hypnotic effect, out of time and into a space possessed by the fragile, resonating microtones. Every listening offers more and more nuances in this unique, immersive listening experience.
Rebecca Lane (quarter-tone bass fl), Jon Heilbron (b)