Peter Orins – vrtn & vbrtn (Circum-disc, 2021) ***
Peter Orins’ solo venture on the drums is hard to pin down. On both tracks of the cd he uses the drums as a means to resonate other audio sources. Especially on the first track, 'vrtn,' Orins uses the drum solely to resonate materials like wood, metal and glass. What makes 'vrtn' more intriguing (and less of “drum solo” cd at least for the listener) is that after the initial sources, the musician treats his sounds electronically (you can find the technical details here).
This way his sounds tend to give the feeling that it’s not just one person who is producing them but more. There is a certain feeling of avant-garde experimentalism that left me wandering if this was Orins’ intention.
The first track lasts just over half an hour, while the second, 'vbrtn,' clocks on nineteen minutes. On 'vbrtn,' he focuses more on the timbre and audio manipulation of his drum set. Three floor toms and three cymbals plus three woodsticks comprise what it could be called a small symphony of the drums. Again you have the feeling that there are more people involved than just one.
I wrote the word symphony because the recording of 'vbrtn' slowly builds up towards a climax that never materializes. Instead the focus moves to construct a piece that is really cinematic.
On both tracks I had the feeling that there are a lot of ideas involved, a lot of thinking and that both tracks are a part of a process that will be more fruitful in the future.
You can listen and read more here:
Peter Orins & Paulina Owczarek –You never know (Circum-disc, 2021) *****
Sometimes things are just that simple. This duo of Peter Orins on the drum set and Paulina Owczarek on alto saxophone is one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time. Too bad I listened to this recording after I submitted my best of for 2021 list. It should be in there.
Both artists know each other for a while now and that’s totally transparent on You never know. Their interaction is amazing; it is like you are listening to one person playing two instruments at the same time. Quite simplistic, I know, but that’s the truth and there’s no reason to put it in another way.
The two main pieces of the cd, 'How people behave' and 'Three rules that live,' clock around eighteen minutes and they could stand on their own as digital tracks (a current trend but not my cup of tea) for any listener to get to listen to them for the first time. They master their instruments and are willing and able to travel the distance between free improvisation and free jazz (even high energy at some points) quite easily.
Orins seems in total command of his drum set, a master on small gestures, moves, noises. But not like a solo artist. He plays in unison, they play in unison. Owczarek’s alto has the capacity of playing any melody she decides, gargling and blowing out. Amazing stuff indeed. Sometimes, totally unexpectedly, they climaxed, allowing raw energy to pour out from the speakers. At other instances the explored the microcosm of their instruments in detail.
If you are into sax-drums duos, or any other label we tend to give to capitulate in front of a great work of art that defies all labels, well, you know. Buy it.
I'm a huge Peter Orins fan, especially of his project TOC, which I highly recommend to everyone. Can't wait to hear these.
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