Wednesday, 28 September 2011

the workshop series @ cafe oto 09/26/2011

word + photos: gian paolo galasi

As the Vortex Jazz Club, also Cafe Oto offers a monthly residency for regular encounters. Tonight's the time for some of Eddie Prévost's weekly workshop participants, with three different sets of improvised music.

Hyelim Kim (taegum), Carole Finer (cumbus/objects) and Benedict Taylor (viola) set started with firm and controlled gestures, circularly feedbacked by the players in order to create a gentle, not utterly conducted, climax. 

Carole Finer is an historical member of the Scratch Orchestra large collective, created in 1969 by Cornelius Cardew initially to perform his The Great Learning. Actively involved as a teacher in Camberwell art school, tonight she didn't use her 5-string banjo in an idiomatic way - deeply rooted and involved in bluegrass music as she also is - but as a generator of fluttering, quivering and throbbing particles using the body and the strings of her instrument frictioning it with the help of marbles and other small objects. 

Seymour Wright (alto saxophone), Vasco Alves (AM/FM keyboards) and Tom Soloveitzik (tenor saxophone) offered an intense set made of silences, resonances, sudden breaks, spanning through granular frequencies up to squeaking and prolonged horn lines.

With the lights completely turned off, Tom Soloveitzik showed his achievements in digging the techniques he's also teaching, as a matter of control over the body, the gestures, the sound itself. While waiting for a forthcoming release with Soloveitzik, cellist Kevin Davis and Turkish improviser, sound designer and composer Korhan Erel, tonight we appreciated a trio that have developed a language in which various elements are combined together in a refined, though aptly rough, interaction.

In the end, Jennifer Allum (violin), Philip Somervell (piano) and John Lely (objects) made the most intimate set tonight, exploiting the strings of their real instruments in order to interact with the objects on a equal level. Probably the most close to Prevost statements as quoted on the flyers prepared for the event, since differently from Kim/Finer/Taylor set - that in the end, assuming that we're talking mostly about nuances, let people feel what aleatoric can be dealing with sound - seemed to be more structured, as a passage through different devices and combinations of levels and elements, creating a scanning of space, time, silence, timbres, noises, textures. More than a flux, a real environmental soundscape of 'found sounds'.

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