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Canadian, Montréal-based clarinetist Lori Freedman organized the international ensemble BeingFive of Berlin-based, experienced and gifted free improvisers, featuring German trumpeter-electronics player Axel Dörner (who played before with Freedman in the Ig Henneman Sextet), American accordionist-electronics player Andrea Parkins and double bass player Christopher Williams, and Greek percussionist Yorgos Dimitriadis, who adds electronics microphones to his arsenal. BeingFive first performed in Berlin in October 2019 and continues to perform sporadically.

Freedman directs BeingFive as a sound lab for new forms of composition and improvisation, motivated by a search to know the nature of being and, by extension, what it means to be together. The ensemble’s music could be made of practically nothing, with no prearranged ideas or forms, or morph into a social organism that could uncover both its organizing principles and, perhaps, its limits.

These five musicians have developed highly personal languages, played contemporary music, jazz and free improvised music and all are experienced with their own extended techniques and sound art, but never played together in such a format. BeingFive’s music alternates constantly between brief segments of sparse and lyrical, chamber music, with fleeting rhythmic patterns, and likewise segments chaotic, electro-acoustic storms, with different levels of intensity but always in search of kaleidoscopic textures and abstract sounds. Somehow, by the second piece, these elusive and unpredictable but very focused modes of individual and collective improvisations, all employing an impressive array of extended breathing, bowing and percussive techniques, begins to make sense. The ensemble develops its own provocative sound, often an otherworldly one and at times one that blurs the sonic distinction between the acoustic instruments and the electronics, or between all instruments.

Eyal Hareuveni

Yorgos Dimitriadis (perc, elec), Axel Dörner (tp, elec), Lori Freedman (cl, bcl), Andrea Parkins (acc, amplified objects, elec), Christopher Williams (b)

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