The Acrylic Rib is a pan-European trio featuring prolific Catalan sax player Albert Cirera, British double bass player Olie Brice and British, Geneva-based drummer-percussionist-visual artist Nicolas Field (who recorded before with Cirera, Live at Dragon, FMR, 2019). The trio recorded its debut album live in Field’s hometown at AMR Geneva in November 2021.
As Far As November is a fiery, urgent and highly intense performance that blows everything up in the air with a big bang, volcanic-spiritual free jazz energy from the first notes. It rests only in the last ones adapts a more sparse and contemplative tone, but is totally invested in the art of the moment. On the two extended pieces – the dense «A Zipper hidden in the Arm» and the aptly-titled and more open «By the time you finish reading this it will be over», Cirera, on soprano and tenor saxes, shouts-wails-moans as if he is possessed by a higher power while Brice and Field expand his raw and boundless power and keep pushing the commotion further and deeper into the unknown. This trio plays in such tight and synchronized powerful dynamics and radiates a sense of being sucked toward the interior of its circular hole of energy: extreme timbres, dense textures, and frenetic pulse. A masterful, explosive performance, a fleeting shining, an atom that contains all the possibilities.
Theme & Variations documents the first encounter of the mysterious Catalan sound artist MuMu (credited with field recording and compositions) and Cirera (focusing on the soprano sax), in Copenhagen, during the lockdown, in May 2020. This recording was part of Cirera’s final master project at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen.
The album is released in a limited edition of 20 discs plus a download option. There are 11 variations on brief, playful and melodic sax motifs, sometimes multiplied and flowing back and forth between the right and left channels, and muted breaths. These minimalist sax articulations are embraced by industrial noise, natural or processed urban sounds and manipulations of Cirera’s sax. These variations accumulate into a portrait of an obsessive and lonely sax player and sound artist in a foreign city.
Albert Cirera (ss, ts), Olie Brice (b), Nicolas Field (dr, perc), MuMu (field recordings)