This newest launch from the prolific Diatribe label options the music of Ian Wilson and represents the composer’s third album with the label following Double Trio (2009) and Stations (2014). This file is constructed round woodwind devices and features a stellar solid of first-class performers with whom Wilson has labored through the years. Musically, it’s a unusual mixture of genres from jazz to soundscape, a variety which displays the composer’s openness to influences from a number of sources in addition to his engagement with modern political points.
The stand-out piece on the file is the final quantity Nox, an atmospheric sultry jazz piece written for the Irish jazz-folk ensemble Yurodny. It opens with an oddly catchy riff in a 13-meter (3+3+2+3+2 over 8) on the double bass, piano and drums which lay down a stable basis. Over this the opposite devices construct up an in depth texture of pizzicati, glissandi, tremolandi, trills, chords and different particulars, forming an interesting backdrop for 2 excellent solos from Mihály Borbély on the tárogató (a Hungarian clarinet-type instrument) and Tom Arthurs on the trumpet. The creative scoring contains components for the cimbalom that, together with the tárogató, create an environment that remembers each the folks music of Japanese Europe and the jazz of Tomasz Stańko. The spotlight of the piece, nonetheless, is the ending when the haze lifts and the ensemble comes collectively on a brief spiky pizzicato motive that propels it to a blistering conclusion over the staggering meter. This piece will make it onto many a jazz fan’s playlist and a full album of such materials can be an interesting prospect.
Additionally exhibiting the identical stage of inventiveness – although with extra economical means – is MotherFUNK! for baritone saxophone and Boss RC-300 loopstation, a piece which regardless of its dodgy title is a rigorous exploration of Wilson’s concept of ‘evolutionary looping’. In distinction to the traditional use of looping strategies that have a tendency to easily construct up a texture by including successive layers, on this piece every layer is consistently being assorted and the feel thickens and thins as materials drops out solely to seem once more reworked at a later stage. The recording is a stay efficiency by Ties Mellema, a long-time collaborator of Wilson’s whose intense vitality and focus comes throughout abundantly on the recording.
Each of those works will probably be very accessible to most listeners with their clear melodic and rhythmic content material. The remainder of the items on the album are extra bold in what they got down to obtain each conceptually and of their exploration of latest sounds.
Orator at a political rally
The opening work, Denier, units up a dialogue between a solo flautist and a quartet of strings (2 violins, 2 cellos) that’s meant to replicate the dynamics of a political rally by which an orator whips up the group with ‘musical verbiage’. Geared up with this idea, one can think about the respective roles that the flautist and string quartet are meant to characterize however what may initially have appeared like an attention-grabbing concept quickly seems to be fairly one-dimensional. The fabric is intentionally banal – aimless empty passagework on the flute versus glissandi or pointillistic pizzicato textures within the quartet for instance. There may be additionally little real dialectical interaction between the solo flute and the strings as they not often play on the identical time and their materials is saved separate for many of the piece.
In keeping with the composer, The vacancy of the ever-increasing universe can’t evaluate to the void the place your coronary heart ought to be is meant to replicate the ‘precise vacancy of sure political guarantees and wishes in music of meager melodic and harmonic means’. The piece is a barren panorama populated by a mix of acquainted prolonged strategies (percussive tapping on varied devices, whispery sounds from alto flute and bass clarinet, and many others.) which alternate/overlap with long-held pitches on the bass clarinet and interludes from a mangled music field. A few of these timbral mixtures are enticing however the materials is mostly fairly featureless and its cease/begin character implies that it by no means manages to tug itself into something greater than a succession of brittle textures.
If modern music may very well be mentioned to have its deprived areas, then the solo woodwind style can be prime of the record. Only a few works on this class can actually be mentioned to have attracted the eye of listeners past the specialised curiosity of performers and composers. Wilson’s contribution to the style, Wild is the Wind for bass clarinet, is a deconstruction of the Nina Simone music of the identical time, and people acquainted with the music will be capable to pick just a few melodic contours right here and there. Nevertheless the ‘deconstruction’ may be very ponderous certainly and the piece appears extra involved with exhausting each doable enjoying method on the instrument than creating attention-grabbing materials. No less than partly, this is able to appear to be a symptom of the composer’s generosity in writing music tailor-made to a selected performer that’s most likely very attention-grabbing to play however makes for tedious listening.
The longest work on the album can also be essentially the most bold when it comes to its political message, coping with what’s undoubtedly the best risk of our time – the local weather change and the biodiversity disaster. On this work, titled Species Counterpoint, Wilson recorded a number of soundscapes from the west of Eire and used them as a sonic canvas for 2 baritone saxophones, one enjoying a notated half and the opposite improvising. In keeping with Wilson, the music is meant to evoke ‘concepts of battle, alarm and the desire to outlive’. The character soundtrack is superbly recorded and there’s some attention-grabbing dialogue between the pure sounds and the 2 baritone saxophones, even when a lot of the piece appears like two free jazz fans let unfastened on a nature reserve.
After listening via the album, there’s the sense that the extra summary and conceptual the concept behind a bit, the much less attention-grabbing it finally seems to be. Alternatively, one has to admire the dangers Wilson is prepared to take and a sure unevenness is an inevitable product of this strategy. When he does hit the mark, the outcomes are extraordinarily good, however a bit extra curatorial consideration – probably from the file label – might need resulted in a fair stronger file.
Wild is the Wind by Ian Wilson is launched on Diatribe. To buy a restricted version six-panel digipack CD, go to: https://shop.diatribe.ie/album/wild-is-the-wind
Click on on the picture beneath to hear.