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Friday, November 20, 2015

Irina-Kalina Goudeva - Triptych #6: Recomenzar El Infinito (CD/DVD, Kadima collective, 2015) ***½

The classically-trained Bulgarian, Copenhagen-based, double bass player Irina-Kalina Goudeva has developed an eclectic aesthetics has led her to experiment with crossovers between Barouque music, contemporary music, avant-garde, jazz, free improvisation, and electronics, often involving other media as dance, reciting poetry, and visual installations. Her triptych release - the sixth in this series of the Jerusalem-based label of Kadima Collective, after previous ones by other innovative double bass players as Mark Dresser, Joëlle Léandre, Tetsu Saitoh and Barre Phillips - offers an insightful overview of her art.

The disc feature seven compositions by modern European composers - Ejnar Kanding, Edith Canat de Chizy, Pierre Jodlowski, Line Tjørnehøj, Mogens Christensen, Jexper Holmen and Bo Jæger - written especially for Goudeva, for her playing the double bass solo or with electronics, solo voice and for her Arild Trio with guitarist George Vassilev and drummer Christophe Fellay. The enclosed booklet offers a thorough description of each composition. Each of these intriguing compositions suggest different sonic textures but all sound as demanding as the intense physical power needed to play the double bass. Still, all are balanced with a moving, delicate simplicity, as if the musician, Goudeva, is dancing with her instrument, tempting it, seducing it and being charmed by its sounds.

“Vola”, for double bass and electronics by Pierre Jodlowski, follows the myth of Icarus and weaves an arresting parallel logic of the transformation of sounds. Noises that suggest sounds of flying bird evolve into sparse notes and light rhythmical patterns, exploring the full sonority of the double bass and extending its palette with clever usage of electronics. The 18-minutes “Echoes from Fragments” for solo double bass by Mogens Christensen, enables Goudeva to demonstrates her rich-genre blind language and her commanding technique, including her unique extended bowing techniques, producing a multifaceted, nuanced texture. She sings with great emotion the poem of Pablo Neruda “En ti la tierra” to the music of Jexper Holmen.

The DVD is divided to compositions that are presented with  animation and motion graphics, created by Casper Øbro, most notably the poem cycle “Landscapes” by Bo Jæger to texts of Danish poet Morten Søndergård, and to compositions that show Goudeva playing live. The latter compositions explore Goudeva unique, highly evocative and sensual holistic approach to performance art.  The theatrical, choreographed “Menada”, after the mythological story about a snake that turned into the goddess Menada, for voice and double bass, written by Bulgarian composer Julia Tsenova for Goudeva, is the most remarkable one. It is a-one-woman show that integrates voice, dance, playing the double bass with visual effects. This compositions show Goudeva dressed with a tight body cloth, entranced in a kind of shamanic ecstatic and sensual ritual with her double bass, as a love object, exploring the instrument timbral spectrum. Her body becomes the sound, celebrating her profound spiritual-sensual connection with the double bass, almost reaching an emotional climax. The trailer to her multimedia theater composition, “Oración Del Fuego” (The fire Prayer), continues this ecstatic vein, but in a much more restrained manner. This composition also relates to the mythological story of Menada, but this time to the times when the goddess renounces her powers and experiencing forms of terrestrial life. Her technical virtuoso playing is highlighted when she leads a string orchestra, playing Astor Piazzolla “Kicho”, written originally for the double bass.

Goudve is a one of a kind performance artist. Her art deserve more attention.