Music that is not like music. This is the stated idea that drives Jacob Pro. Or is it made up of unintelligible words? After all, apart from the phantom, what should the music consist of so that it did not sound like music? Every attempt at execution thrives on the paradox that every observation must be extinguished again at once—as if it were a forbidden step into a reality that should rather remain in the realm of possibilities.
In Pierre Boulez Salle, the experience seems so ethereal that one would like to use the metaphor of the other world. But of course the Danish guitarist’s music happens here and now, with fixed tones and specific colours. However, the first freely improvised watch in the duet with Japanese percussionist Midori Takada is immersed in a festive twilight from another world from which this music does not want to wake up: it turns away from nothing more than development or ideas.
With her instruments, an electric guitar made almost unrecognizable due to influential instruments, and an arsenal of drums, gongs and marimba, she is looking for a way back to pure sound. In constant prophecy, her beating heart steadily returns to a kind of prenatal state.
In the semicircle of the billiards cycle
70-year-old Midori Takada takes the lead. The sounds of clouds, hovering and gyroscopes match the vocals of their singing bowl. It sets small motifs against the repetitive marimba patterns, which never seem jarring even in the most jarring of periods due to their enormous stretch. And as she set out as a samurai warrior with a sword hammer across the half-circle of the cymbal cycle distributed in the hall, she was allowed to do it all on her own.
After a life as a classical musician, which also led her to the RIAS Symphony Orchestra, today’s DSO, she has sought breakout in world music and has thrown herself into the minimalist music of Terry Riley and Steve Reich. Her album Re-release Through the Looking-Glass (1983) brought her late fame as a pioneer in the surroundings.
Jacob Brow was also another person once upon a time. As a trained jazz musician, he played with Paul Motian and Tomasz Stanko before leaving any instant prowess behind. He could now be called the quietest guitarist in the world if the activist tapping of keys and buttons had not called into question the zen-like calmness of his playing.
After the break, there was more movement and internal communication, not only due to the expansion of the lineup to the quartet with cellist Anya Lechner and trumpeter Arv Henriksen, but also because of the compositional islands in the improvisation. At Takada Place, percussionist Marilyn Mazur surveys her Hanging Gardens for her bronze treasures. She even creates moments of jazz grooves on a drum set designed to be played standing up. Only Jakob Bro remains in the background.
With semi-pressure valves
The most melodic present is Henriksen, not because the trumpet would give him an advantage in terms of loudness. Under his approach, the three instruments of different sizes, with which he plays sometimes and sometimes without a mouthpiece, turn more into flutes. The toy with a half-press fuse gives everything a brilliant matte shine.
He has studied Japanese shakuhachi for years, and in the localization of syllables one thinks of Turkish-Persian. But this is not about imitation, but about an acoustic panel in which the Henriksen air horn is electronically expanded, sometimes electronically expanded into two sounds, and sometimes combined with a Lechner cello.
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There is still something consistent sticking to this music, which, however, does indeed show recognizable transitions in gentle bulge and ebb. In its internal and external openness, it can expand indefinitely, constantly changing.
Music That Doesn’t Like Music: You certainly can no longer say that about this quartet (which should actually include trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg). Because the threshold of the semi-natural world of sound, which arises with an unconscious nature similar to the wind or the singing of birds, is much exceeded here.
What it shares with it the most is that one likes to stay in its temperate climate for a while. Until you tire of your mild springtime, I hope sometime a storm will come, thunder and lightning rage, the earth opens up in the pouring rain and dragons climb to the surface. Gregory Dutzauer