venerdì 21 dicembre 2012

Review of Buess/Feiler/Hodgkinson by Ensemble Phoenix Basel


Italian Translation

I do not know if it happens to you. Sometimes it happens to me to be so taken by the music and by my almost obsessive desire to listen to everything that sometimes I find myself disgusted at the same time and eager to hear something new, something completely different and fresh. Sometimes all that I would like to hear is noise which I could imagine the music, a space, a time.I think that it happens because sometimes I feel that music takes up a huge cultural space, a map and a almost infinite semiotic region where is so easy to get lost and so I want to turn over any noise that is not understood at first as music, that is fresh and complicated and free both from the aesthetic intention then from the aesthetic invention. Obviously this is a pure stylistic utopia of mine, but also reality may reserve its beautiful surprises. Like this disc from Ensemble Phonix Basel, creative group up to 25 musicians based in Basel, Switzerland dedicated to the contemporary repertoire and devoted to the music of three composers: Alex Buess (also stationed in Switzerland), Tim Hodgkinson (former member of the art rock band Henry Cow and associates of Fred Frith and Chris Cutler) and Dror Feiler.

A noise which is not initially designed as music? The CD opens with "Biomechanical Version" of "Paralaxe A", written in 2002 for Ensemble and magnetic star by Alex Buess. A piece characterized by highly dynamic and sound intensity: the drums are "massive", the horns musical’s attacks are strong and intense, dense sound masses moving continuously combined with traces of electronic music that seems to refer more to rock maximalist and techno forms, all while staying clear arrays contemporary compositions, a piece not recommended for those seeking a quiet relaxing evening but with great effect.Quieter (so to speak) is the piece "Repulsion" by Tim Hodgkinson on clarinet, electric guitar, trombone and drums. There'sn’t the power of Buess’s music but we shall feel the deep and rich musical experience of the English composer, creating an almost filigree sound, with blurred colors, with left hanging implication.
"Restitutio in Pristinum" by Dror Feiler is for amplified violin, electric guitar, sopranino saxophone, trombone and drums, sounds like a cross between the two previous pieces: blocked sound energy are opposed to the main theme in a clean and balanced way, without trespassing and overlapping one part over another.Exit the CD another piece of Buess, written nearly a decade before "Parallax" A ", entitled" Maxwell's Demon "for trumpet, trombone, electric bass, three batteries and live electronics, recorded live at the Gare du Nord, characterized by open and wide structure.
What shall I say more? Three composers, Buess, Hodgkinson and Feiler with different ideas and point of views and an Ensemble able to give a shape and a sound to their musical ideas. A nice cd where discipline of interpreting, the freedom of improvisation, the ideas of the composers, the power of musicians come and blend together, creating a dense sound, strong, like the wind that sweeps away the clouds in a spring day in March. The hell with those who say that music is dead.

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