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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Udo Schindler & Ingrid Schmoliner - Blaublatt (Creative Sources, 2016) ****½

Schindler, Udo / Ingrid Schmoliner: Blaublatt (Creative Sources)

By Stef

Free improvisation is the art of close listening. It is the art of intense concentration on the part of the musicians to hear what the other one is doing, understand intentions, sentiments, pauses, room to interact, time to take a step back, time to challenge, time to encourage and expand on new ideas. The basic condition is that you, as the musician, have to know your own instrument inside out to be able to keep all these things in mind while performing. It requires openness of mind and the ability to decide.

The interaction between German clarinettist Udo Schindler and Austrian pianist Ingrid Schmoliner is exceptional in this respect. Schmoliner often sets the tone on these nine pieces that were taken from a live concert in April 2014 at the 44th Salon für Klang+Kunst in Krailling, Munich. 

Both Schmoliner and Schindler are true acoustic sound sculptors. The former uses all kinds of materials to prepare her piano, with changing percussive or scraping effects as a result, but she is as comfortable in playing the keys unaltered, and still managing to surprise us. The latter is her true companion in this. His clarinet multiphonics vibrate, oscillate and create deep murmuring sounds, sometimes accompanied by Schmoliners undulating voice, sometimes resulting in amazing effects as on the fifth track, "Münda-ichsagedir", when the clarinet manages some animal-like deep howl, amazingly enough immediately followed by a similar bending tone on a piano string.

Their pallet is broad, and single notes, silence, lyrical phrases, hammered keys, yodeling, dampened sounds, sustained notes, and well, yes, even chords on the piano. Despite all the avant-garde, and their willingness to go even beyond what that crowd expects, there is a kind of return to primitive folklore and deeper foundation of being that is brought to the surface, that is presented here, with beauty.


Anonymous said...

Comparison to other recent Schindler albums?