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På skive


«Tri dela»

The European electro-acoustic Šalter Ensemble operates on the border between free improvisation and composition, focusing on collective processes as a central part of its practice. The ensemble was initiated in 2017 by Swiss accordionist Jonas Kocher in collaboration with the Slovenian label Zavod Sploh Ljubljana and Izlog Festival Zagreb in Croatia. It features musicians from the Swiss music scene, the Slovenian music scene and, in the 2023 edition, augmented with musicians of the Austrian-Styrian music scene. Its artistic directors in its new incarnation are Kocher, fellow Swiss electronics player Gaudenz Badrutt (who has worked extensively with Kocher), Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik and Slovenian double bass-electronics player Tomaž Grom.

Tri Dela (three works in Slovenian) is the second album of the ensemble, following Štiri Dela (Sploh/Bruit Editions) and it was recorded live at Le Singe in Biel/Bienne Switzerland in May 2024 and at Philarmonic Hall in Ljubljana in November 2023. The ensemble acts as a sonic lab that experiments with a wide range of backgrounds and generations. The opening piece, Grom’s «My Wish Is Your Command» is an urgent, restless and dramatic piece that exhausts the sonic possibilities of the ensemble. Kocher and Badrutt’s «Interstices Interferences» is completely different and sketches a quiet, delicate and almost dream-like, ethereal texture, that patiently gains more volume and where every nuance counts and has an immense effect on the course of the music. Harnik’s «Sum II» is another slow-cooking piece that begins with an almost silent, minimalist and sparse soundscape but morphs into a mysterious, cathartic free improvisation led by the spontaneous, ecstatic and poetic train of thoughts of Slovenian vocal artist Irena Z. Tomažin.

GLINT brings together Harnik, on prepared piano, Serbian, Hague-based harpist Milana Zarić and British electronics player Richard Barrett (the partner of Zarić). The live performance of this ad-hoc free improvising trio was also its first-ever, even though these three improvisers have worked together in various formations for some years. The performance was recorded at the free music forum concert series at Celeste in Vienna, as part of the Wien Modern festival in November 2023.

The sonic palettes of the piano and the harp are expanded through preparations and a great diversity of playing modes, and the electronics through sound materials based on struck and plucked strings. This trio reaches an unpredictable sonic landscape that involves many surprising overlaps, to the point where it often sounds like an otherworldly single hybrid instrument. It is surreal and capricious, but often flows in a dream-like state of mind, and in a highly imaginative and poetic manner. This gem of free improvisation is offered in a pay-as-you-wish, like all the releases of the Scottish net label scatterArchive.

Eyal Hareuveni

Gaudenz Badrutt (electronics), Estelle Beiner (violin), Ilia Belorukov (saxophone), Tomaž Grom (double bass, electronics), Elisabeth Harnik (piano, prepared piano, objects), Josef Klammer, (augmented percussion), Jonas Kocher (accordion), Samo Kutin (hurdy gurdy), Alfred Lang (trumpet), Irena Z. Tomažin (voice), Špela Trošt (production, external eye), Richard Barrett (electronics), Milana Zarić (harp)