«Monuments» documents the collaboration of the German-Danish experimental trio Dell Lillinger Westergard (DLW, featuring vibes player Christopher Dell, drummer Christian Lillinger and double bass player Jonas Westergaard) with American master violist Mat Maneri, after several previous sessions before this recording. The inquisitive approach of DLW was always obsessed with expanding and refining its subtle but complex grammar and language as well as its sonic palette, as a collective unit and as individual musicians and free improvisers and collaborated and recorded during the last decade with sax hero John Tchicai, electronics player Johannes Brecht and pianists Bob Degen, and upcoming projects with pianists Tamara Stefanovich and Søren Kjærgaard.
The 2015 session with Maneri, released on Dell’s label edition niehler werft (and can be purchased on its website on vinyl, CD and download options), enables DLW to investigate Maneri’s microtonal concepts and to integrate these concepts within DLW’s innovative structural approach of DLW in a way that would expand its harmonic tonal space. Maneri, on his side, complements perfectly DLW’s precise and nuanced, communal and balanced dynamics, especially between the different and contrasting instrument groupings and timbres.
«Monuments» is divided into seven thoughtful «Monument» pieces and brief and urgent «Void» miniatures, focusing on intuitive, sound-oriented ideas and simple rhythmic patterns, all credited to the four musicians. Maneri often sounds like a subversive voice within the cerebral and quite patient dynamics and rhythmic patterns of DLW, provoking and opening the interplay into restless, unchartered territories, often quite abstract and kaleidoscopic ones. The dynamics become freer and freer and «Monument 16» offers the most lyrical aspects of this collaboration while «Monument 20» takes the interplay into spontaneous territories, with evocative sonic imagination and poetic articulation. Dell sees this release as part of a retroactive series of recordings that provide insight into the role and significance of his collaborations as well as the procedures and strategies that have been crucial to his work.
Christopher Dell (vib), Christian Lillinger (dr), Jonas Westergaard (dr), Mat Maneri (viola)