giovedì 26 marzo 2015

Review of The Light and Other Things di David Tronzo, Noah Kaplan and Giacomo Merega, Underwolf Records 2012

Underwolf Records reissues digitally this work dated 2008, debut album for the bassist Giacomo Merega, effectively assisted by guitarist David Tronzo and saxophonist Noah Kaplan. This record needed several long listenings by myself, for several reasons. First I had never heard any of the musicians involved, discovering how the guitarist David Tronzo has an impressive long and trans-gender curriculum having played all kind of music and collaborating with musicians such as David Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels, Wayne Horvitz, David Sanborn and The Lounge Lizards. Just as I didn’t know the italian bassist Giacomo Merega, key man of this project, and Noah Kaplan, both students at the time with Joe Maneri to NEC and Boston Microtonal Society.
The Light and Other Things has a duration of about one hour with the song titles mentioning and directly inspired by many paintings of the same name by Paul Klee, who act as figurative references.
It 'a record of improvised music, not easy listening, where everything seems hard to stand on a thin and sometimes disturbing tension created between the three musicians involved who exchange roles and priorities: it doesn’t seem to emerge a leader flaked by the others, but the final sound that emerges seems to be the result of a very close interaction between the musicians themselves. Although it sure does not sound like a record of ambient music I found pleasant immerse myself into listening to their music accepting the game to avoid a direct and intentional listening leaving me rather soothed and guided by their instruments: the absence of a rhythm instrument in this trio gives from the beginning a somewhat “alienating effect” that continues even when you realize how each of the musicians contribute to add rhythmic elements from time to time by forcing the limits of their instrument and working on textures of sounds to the limits of microtonality.

Really interesting work, for music gourmets. We hope for a sequel.

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