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Monday, April 24, 2023

Marco Von Orelli & Sheldon Suter - Draw From The Source (ezz-thetics, 2023)

By Stef Gijssels

Fans of creative sound exploration will love this album. The artists are Marco von Orelli on trumpet, cornet, prepared slide trumpet, little bells, and Sheldon Suter on drums, cymbals, prepared zithers, gong and singing bowls. The range of instruments already gives an indication of all the possible variations the music may offer. We know von Orelli and Sheldon Suter from their work with "Big Bold Back Bone" ("In Search Of The Emerging Species" and "Emerge"), and they play in various ensembles, notably on the Ezz-Thetics/HatHut label. 

The album reflects a journey from Basel in the north of Switzerland to Ticino in the south. It's a journey of wonder, of quiet and subdued impressions, a journey of external perspectives and inner transformation. The first six tracks are categorised under "Basel" and the last six under "Ticino". 

Sometimes the instruments are used with clear tones, as they are originally intended, but more often extended techniques are used that conjure up stranger and more perplexing sonic experiences. It is a journey into the unknown, and it is this prospect, this adventure that makes it fascinating. Their approach is not cheap - in the sense that noise is being created for the sake of noise being created - but well-balanced, disciplined and meaningful. I'm sure that the use of the terms "extended techniques" or "sonic exploration" are triggers for some readers to stay away from the material, yet I think they should think twice with this album. Despite its explorative nature, it is still relatively welcoming and gentle. 

The major mystery of the album is its art work, which does not look like Switzerland at all. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp.

Watch the great promo video for this album.