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På skive



«Griff» is the debut album of the free-improvising trio of Viennese pianist Ingrid Schmoliner and the Berlin-based, Danish double bass player Adam Pultz Melbye and Mexican vibes player Emilio Gordoa. All three musicians are sonic searchers, seeking to liberate their instruments and expand and experiment with their sonic pallets with an extensive array of extended techniques, playing inside the prepared piano and attaching objects to its string, bowing techniques and preparations of the bass strings or employing percussive objects. «Griff» was recorded in April 2019 in Moers, Germany, while Goroda was artist-in-residence at Moers Festival.

The poetic liner notes of Andrew Choate capture beautifully the adventurous spirit of «Griff»: «…The sound makes it real. / When it goes from real – outside the body – back into the body, via earhair and fleshcushions, more realness./ Undulate with me, but preferably against me. Reverberate like flesh. / Piano to double bass to vibraphone: which itch, what scratch? / Reverberant bell skin. / Tin rattle pitched to dent. / A new bell, a new skin…»

«Griff» begins with «But Still» the emphasizes the austere and methodical interplay of this trio. Pultz Melbye deep, resonating double bass introduces the ritualist, slow tone of this piece, soon echoed by the precise hammering of the piano keys by Schmoliner the vibes by Gordoa. The focus is on the sound themselves, how they extend each other’s and converge into a nuanced, tangible and elastic entity, that in its turn keeps expanding. Schnoliner deepens this vein on the following «From Real», with an even more sparse but still ritualist atmosphere, with precise contributions of Gordoa and Pultz Melbye that stress the many resonant aspects of this piece.

The last two pieces are totally different. «Bell Skin» is an urgent and restless whirlwind of repetitive gestures that sound as aimed to knock out the listener from solid ground. The interplay is still methodical but much more tense and dramatic, seeking dramatic collisions but not cathartic climaxes. The focus is still on creating a highly reverberating continuum where the sounds of the prepared piano, the prepared double bass and the vibes merge into one, massive yet elusive entity.  Gordoa opens «Moss Rock» with the sounds of rattling objects, soon answered by Pultz Melbye bowing work and Schmoliner playing inside the piano. This piece also offers again the restless side of the sonic searchers but from a different angle and with a strong focus on its pulse, one that keeps enriching the sonic palette of Schmoliner, Pultz Melbye and Gordoa.

Eyal Hareuveni

Ingrid Schmoliner (p), Emilio Gordoa (vib, objects), Adam Pultz Melbye (b) 

Griff – Live at Alte Mitte 2019 (excerpt) from Adam Pultz Melbye on Vimeo.

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