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«VOSTOK: Remote Islands»

Vostok is the chamber, free improvising trio of Dutch clarinetist Fie Schouten, who initiated this trio, pianist and keyboard player Guus Janssen (of ICP Orchestra) with French cellist Vincent Courtois, augmented on a few pieces by Italian baritone sax player Giuseppe Doronzo. The trio recorded its sophomore album at Orgelpark in Amsterdam in March 2023. The trio released before Live at ZomerJazzFietsTour 22 (Self Released, 2022) with French clarinetist Louis Sclavis.

Remote Islands was inspired by German writer and graphic designer Judith Schalansky’s book Atlas of Remote Islands: 50 Islands I Never Set Foot In And Never Will (Penguin, 2010), documenting isolated, secluded, and uninhabited or sparsely populated pockets of land that are far away in every sense-from the mainland, from people, from airports, and holiday brochures with cartographic drawings and compelling stories. Vostok is an uninhabited coral island in the central Pacific Ocean, with no harbor or anchorage.

The spontaneous, chamber music echoes Schalansky’s writing and evokes her enigmatic stories about these pristine and untouched islands, their inhabited and unique features, and the stories that have shaped stunning lore. The trio collaborated in this project with Dutch music journalist and painter Henning Bolte who did live-drawing during the trio’s performances and the cover artwork, and stresses a deep listening and truly collaborative-conversational dynamics. The twelve pieces explore the mysterious sonic territories of these unknown islands, and tell enchanting and nuanced stories, with a great sense of drama and imagination, beauty and elegance.

There is no need to leave your home but simply join this fantastic journey in and around the islands’ labyrinthian stories, images and memories.

Eyal Hareuveni

Fie Schouten (bass clarinet, clarinet in A, basset horn), Vincent Courtois (violoncello), Guus Janssen (piano, organ, harmonium, harpsichord), Giuseppe Doronzo (baritone saxophone)