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På skive


«Live At 5th Spontaneous Music Festival»
«Live At 5th Spontaneous Music Festival»
«Live At 5th Spontaneous Music Festival»

The Polish Spontaneous Music Festival and its Live Series’ albums document cross-European free improvised meetings, primarily by Polish and Portuguese musicians. The ninth album of this series includes two sets – the Spontaneous Ensemble led by Portuguese, Berlin-based cellist Guilherme Rodrigues with fellow Portuguese guitarist Marcelo Dos Reis and Polish electronics player Anna Jędrzejewska, drummer Wojtek Kurek, pianist Witold Oleszak, guitarist Paweł Doskocz, bass clarinetist Michał Giżycki and violinist Ostap Mańko (violin); and a trio set formed of Rodrigues, Dos Reis and Jędrzejewska, now switching to the piano. The two sets were recorded during the 5th Spontaneous Music Festival at Dragon Social Club in Poznań, Poland in October 2021.

The only instruction that was given to the Spontaneous Ensemble by Rodrigues was to listen to each other intensely. The 34-minute octet piece develops patiently and allows the eight improvising musicians to navigate between different, shape-shifting courses – chamber and minimalist, intimate and contemplative, or more thorny, fiery and intense. These powerful changes highlight a spectrum of moods and sounds and contrast the acoustic instruments’ palettes  – cello, piano, bass clarinet, violin and drum – with the electronics and the electric guitars’ palettes. Still, throughout its many changes, it sounds as if Rodrigues with his wise and concise interventions kept a loose but coherent narrative. The two trio pieces, with dos Reis on acoustic guitar, Jędrzejewska often playing inside the piano with the piano strings and Rodrigues’ extended bowing techniques, are sparse but poetic, sensual and mysterious. These pieces cement a rare and deep affinity between these gifted improvisers who performed as a trio for the first time. Would love to hear more of this ad-hoc trio and its beautiful music.

The second day of the 5th Spontaneous Music Festival featured another ad-hoc ensemble, a quartet of Polish alto sax player Paulina Owczarek, and French drummer Peter Orins, who recorded before (You Never Know, Circum Disc, 2021) and toured together, with German trombonist Matthias Müller and pianist Oleszak, who played together in other ad-hoc ensembles organized by the festival in previous years, but Orins and Oleszak never played together before. It was the first time that these four musicians played together as a quartet. But these experienced improvisers did not need much time before establishing their dense, urgent and powerful rhythmic dynamics that suddenly alternated with inquisitive and intriguing sonic searches, all stressing the highly personal approaches, languages and extended techniques of these four musicians. The appreciative audience demanded much more after this short set.

Dos Reis and Oleszak join the German, Berlin-based duo Superimpose – Müller and drummer Christian Marien, who were celebrating their 15th anniversary as a duo, on the final night of the 5th Spontaneous Music Festival at Dragon Social Club. Superimpose play alone for about 21 minutes before being augmented by Dos Reis and Oleszak, suggesting the minimalist, but methodical abstract breaths of Müller with Marien’s precise beating of a bass drum, creating a mysterious, ethereal and resonating storm. Dos Reis and Oleszak integrate into this fragile dynamics almost imperceptibly, enriching the sonic palette with their own, inventive and delicate, exotic percussive-resonant sounds. This ad-hoc quartet plays in such an organic flow as if they were playing together for years.

Eyal Hareuveni

Guilherme Rodrigues (c), Marcelo Dos Reis (g), Anna Jędrzejewska (elec, p), Wojtek Kurek (dr), Witold Oleszak (p), Paweł Doskocz (el.g), Michał Giżycki (bcl), Ostap Mańko (vio), Matthias Müller (tb), Paulina Owczarek (as), Peter Orins (dr, perc), Christian Marien (dr)

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