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På skive


«Music Of Inevitable Sounds»

Dutch bass player-composer Luc Ex (ex of The Ex, aka Luc Klassen) is annoyed by many inescapable sounds. Obviously, he knows that not only times are changing, but also the sounds and noises that surround us in our daily lives. His new project, «Music Of Inevitable Sounds», attempts to make sense – musical sense – with our world that is brimming with these sounds and noises. The new album investigates this liminal zone where sound, noise and music overlap or merge.

Ex created work for a medium-sized ensemble that is based on specific environmental sounds and noises, featuring long-time comrades like pianist Veryan Weston (4Walls), reeds player Yedo Gibson and guitarist Mika Szafrowski (Naked Wolf) and trombonist Joost Buis (who collaborated with The Ex). Each piece springs from a specific sound like ventilators, concrete mixers, people talking loudly into their phones, building sites, or cars in the background. These elements are layered into detailed pieces that blend compositional strategies of contemporary music, sound art and soundpainting, urban soundscapes and free-improvisation, all performed by acoustic instruments, and clearly nodding to the innovative works of iconoclast composers like John Cage, Harry Partch or Luigi Russolo. «Music Of Inevitable Sounds» was recorded at Teatro San Leonardo in Bologna and at Korzo in Den Haag in  2018.

«March Of The Ventilators» is based on the omnipresence of humming ventilators and distills these disturbing sounds into a minimalist, industrial soundscape. «Ode To The Machine» changes the atmosphere and translates the sounds of various car assembly factories to a witty, dadaist and poetic texture. «Bouwput ô Bouwput» plays with sounds and noises of a typical building site and transforms the continuous noise of hammers, saws, drills into a mysterious sound-poem by vocalist Han Buhrs. «Loud Speaking People» reflects Ex’ annoyance of the phenomenon of people who ‘play’ loudly with their mobile phone conversations in public spaces, but channels it into playful and rhythmic jazz improvisation that demands not to be part of these conversations.

The chamber, dramatic «Obtrusive» relates to the inevitable sounds of religion – churches or mosques – and uses the manipulated sounds of Austrian church bells to punctuate – suddenly and obtrusively – the delicate melody. «63 Bill. Tonnes Of Concrete» incorporates the sounds of a generic concrete mixer from a never-ending construction into a repetitive, industrial improvisation that imitates cleverly the unstoppable grind. «City Shakes» is based on the audible impressions that towns produce, from the quiet mornings, through the busy traffic jams on the way to work, the mid-day hustle and bustle, and, again, the quiet evenings, and turns these sonic, daily events into a suite, that shifts between moods and dynamics. The last «Drive Yourself Fitter» is impressed by a car trip and transposes the restless sounds of the engine and the drive itself into a tense, intense and dramatic journey.

The inevitable sounds did change. Ex turned the daily soundtrack into an arresting work of music.

Eyal Hareuveni

Joost Buis (tb), Saartje van Camp (c), Luc Ex (ac.bg), Renato Ferierra (bass-s, ts), Pepe Garcia (perc), Yedo Gibson (reeds), Nora Mulder (p), Mika Szafrowski (g), Veryan Weston (p, key station), Nina Hitz (c), Vladislav Psaruk (tb)

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