Norwegian accordion phenomenon Kalle Moberg, known from Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit, continues his sonic journeys with some of the most innovative improvisers on this planet.
«Wordless Voices» was recorded live at the No Idea Festival in Austin, Texas in February 2020, days before we all went into isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Moberg met with two experienced improvisers – microtonal violist maestro Mat Maneri and fellow Norwegian, double bass player Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. «Wordless Voices» capture two distinct sets: a Friday night trio performance in a roadside church-turned-event-space, the Ana Lark Center, and an intimate Saturday afternoon duo concert with Maneri inside a corrugated metal quonset hut on Austin’s East Side, the Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery.
The first three short pieces are from the Saturday set. Maneri and Moberg dived into deep microtonal territories and sketched fluent voice-like and bird-like, highly nuanced, imaginative and poetic conversations. Maneri and Moberg sound as if they have been playing together for many years, developed a profound affinity and share a similar timbral intelligence even though Maneri is a generation older than Moberg and this was the only second time they played on stage together. The atmosphere of these pieces is thoughtful, introspective and quite vulnerable and melancholic, and only on the third piece «Furtive Song» it suddenly becomes heated.
The last, 29-minute fourth piece «Trialogue» is from the Friday set when Maneri Moberg and Håker Flaten played together. The addition of Håker Flaten introduces a necessary, urgent tension and powerful, steadfast pulse to Maneri and Moberg’s fascinating process of intertwining and disentangling the myriad territories of microtonality, allowing both Maneri and Moberg to dare and soar even higher than on their duo set. The profound musical personalities of Maneri, Moberg and Håker Flaten as well as their generous openness enable this extended and intense free-improvisation to embrace a seemingly endless spectrum of kaleidoscopic colors and forms and gravitate inro an ecstatic, cathartic climax.
Moberg met two of the most experienced musicians in the European free-improvised music scene – violinist Philipp Wachsmann and percussionist Paul Lytton at the Blow Out festival in Oslo in 2018. The 27-minute «The Punk And The Gaffers» documents their first-ever meeting on stage. And it was an anarchist, intense and exciting set, expressing the idiosyncratic languages and unique personalities of this ad-hoc trio. You get the feeling that with this trio anything can happen, any time, as it often happened during this short set when Wadschmann, Moberg and Lytton shifted instantly from child-like and folky melodic themes to the most abstract improvisation and then to a wild and muscular freak-out, but ends in an emotional coda.
Mat Maneri (viola), Kalle Moberg (acc), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (b), Philipp Wachsmann (vio), Paul Lytton (perc)