Reviews that mention Fermata Ark

May 23, 2021

Spencer Grady/Fermata Ark/Mark Wastell

Thus: Excerpts from a Smaller Work
Confront core 15

Gelber Flieder

Ölbaumgewächse

Creative Sources CS 626 CD

Working with electronic processing plus post-creation mixing and mastering is a skill now added to the trick bag of improvisers. With these considerations come new resolutions to emphasize the live feel over the programming or vice versa. These trios offer an opposite decision to the equation which makes each CD compelling.

Ölbaumgewächse or olive tree reproduces a brief live concert by Gelber Flieder or the Yellow lilac band. Despite the verdant references there’s nothing particularly rustic about the Paris performance except when the three harmonize vocally on a simple ditty at the top. Other than that, action involves extruding squeaks, slurs and synthesized sounds. Featured are German alto saxophoneist Luise Volkmann, who has worked with the likes of Eve Riser, Portuguese violist João Camões, who has recorded with Jean-Marc Foussat and French electronics/objects improviser Yves Arques of Ensemble Maât. Mostly off centre and bracketed with whooshing oscillations, the acoustic instruments maintain the exposition with long-lined reed trills and sliding fiddle sweeps that become more staccato as Volkmann’s strategy accelerates to vocalized smears. Eventually the violist introduce banjo-like pizzicato twanging and the saxophonist tongue slaps that join Arques’ cuckoo-clock-like echoes and door-stopper-like vibrations in double counterpoint, reaching a climax of stretched tones that criss-cross while intersecting. Finally as the programmed undertow becomes terser, sul ponticello string lines and whistling reed glissandi predominate until individual timbres unite and dissolve. MORE