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På skive



Violaine Gestalder is a French soprano sax player-vocal artist-educator. Furtive is her first solo album where she interprets compositions by French composer Fabien Cali, American clarinetist Carol Robinson and French harpist Hélène Breschand. These compositions ask about the musician’s relationship with oneself as an improviser communicating with his breaths and informed by dance, plastic and visual arts, or as a performer enriched by music written by others; with space, silence and sound; and with dreams and imagination. Sound serves as a means for personal growth and a singular, vivid expression that may be born from such kind of relationship. Gestalder offers three highly personal, joyful and poetic answers to these questions in this brilliant album, between December 2023 and February 2024. The cover artwork by Colombian visual artist Carolina Fonseca intensifies this spirit.

The opening composition, Fabien Cali’s «Kintsugi» (2018), refers to the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by highlighting its cracks with gold. This poetic piece, first performed by Gestalder and Michel Doneda at the Festival Le Bruit de la Musiqu, is based on a score comprised of autonomous fragments reconstructed and magnified in a mixture of written and improvised gestures that radiate the performer’s «gold», and Gestalder shines throughout it.

Carol Robinson’s «Le fond de l’air II» (Deep in the Air II) (2023) belongs to a cycle of compositions called The Weather Pieces that attempt to offer an almost psychological reflection – fascination, terror, tranquility, or even nostalgia, on the meteorological phenomena that surround us. This piece can be played by a flute or soprano sax, with electronics that envelope it very gently and suggest a sense of suspended time, lush with fluctuating timbres and phantom melodies. The ethereal sax drone, Gestalder’s tender voice and subtle electronics create an elusive, layered reality where the inner thoughts of Gestalder correspond with the outside reality in an expression that is captivating as it is ephemeral.

Hélène Breschand’s six-part suit «Ces voix qui me traversent» (These voices that pass through me) (2023) was composed for an improviser who can adapt and construct it as work-in-progress where the performer creates imaginative sonic cartography, a territory that we constantly survey, using it, renewing it, or eroding it. This composition was written like a palimpsest, allowing Gestalder to evoke a rich and poetic spectrum of gestures, slowly transformed through time and with fearless experimentation with extended breathing techniques.

Eyal Hareuveni

Violaine Gestalder (Soprano Saxophone, voice, effects)