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Monday, October 3, 2022

Three from Amanda Irarrázabal

By Keitth Prosk

Amanda Irarrázabal is a Chilean contrabassist, vocalist, improviser, composer previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City and currently back in Santiago. Some recurring collaborations include guitarist Ramiro Molina in Cátodo Dúo and other groups, guitarist/turntablist Otomo Yoshihide in I Nm I Nente and other groups, and synthesizer player Cecilia López and cellist Cecilia Quinteros in LA CORPORACIÓN . Beyond these three 2022 string duo records, Irarrázabal also appears on trumpeter Jacob Wick’s Standards with drummer Gibrán Andrade, cellist Mabe Fratti, and guitarist Federico Sánchez so far this year at the time of writing.

Irarrázabal / Baldwin - Grips (Tripticks Tapes, 2022)

Grips documents the freely-played first meeting of double bass duo Irarrázabal and Nat Baldwin in a concise continuous 28’ set.

To conjure a magnetism from similar registers, the two basses differentiate themselves in offset spacing - moment-to-moment counterpoint and staggered transitions between themes - and comparable but complementary textures. A knocked pulse accompanies especially audible breath. A bowed propeller plane doppler whirr pairs with a serpentine line like buzzing flies. Melancholy arco melodies whinny next to a dancing satyr fluting. Chiming preparations, breath and voice, and the whole vessel, not just the strings, sound at some time. Each player appears particularly mindful of the position of the other in order to maintain these crosscutting relationships and continuously excite their environment.

Amanda Irarrázabal and Miriam Den Boer Salmón - Fauces (577 Records, 2022)

The 45’ Fauces features Irarrázabal with violinist Miriam Den Boer Salmón across ten improvisations.

With polar registers, they can stay close in space. And they use the range for dynamic swings, bass squeegee climbing towards violin and coarse, hairy violin sawing appearing to punch above the weight of the instrument. Quick-hitting vignettes less than two or three minutes, some juxtaposing extremes in volume and speed, maintain momentum and each track appears to focus on a set of textural material. Breathy gossamer breezes together from the bowed bridge. Birdsong, chirping, and divebombing gliss. Whirling violin rustica intertwining with grandfather clock harmonics and pianesque resonance from palmed bass. And tapped bass body and skipping bowing or uke-like violin strums and domino-toppling walking lines showcase the percussive possibilities of string bodies.

gabby fluke-mogul, Amanda Irarrázabal - Rayas (self-released, 2022)

Rayas documents another freely-played first meeting, with violinist gabby fluke-mogul, on the four-track, 43’ Rayas.

Similar in spirit to these other duos, the two move together through textural material. And similar to the other violin duo, bass inexplicably reaches squeakier frequencies to meet the shriller violin. But these heavy, personal, extended techniques lean noisier, and the friction, saw, hair, and scream of strings abstracts traditional relationships like rhythm and melody for a more nebulous interpersonal resonance. Another distinction of this set is the voice, and Irarrázabal extends their vocal practice (e.g. CAUDAL ) to complement the ecstatic outpourings of fluke-mogul, each transposing the energy heard through the hands and instruments to the voice sometimes so seamlessly ululations can become confused for strings’ kettle whistles and the whole system of instrument and instrumentalist appear as one.


Richard said...

I have Fauces, and it's excellent. I;'m looking to pick up the one with gabby fluke-mogul soon. I've been seriously enjoying everything gum has been on, especially the solo album Love Songs.