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Saturday, October 28, 2023

Triio – Magnetic Dreaming (Elastic Recording, 2023)

By Guido Montegrandi

Triio is Alex Fournier's 11-years old project and in this incarnation is composed by Bea Labikova - soprano sax, alto sax, flute, Naomi McCarroll-Butler - bass clarinet, clarinet, Tom Fleming – guitar, Michael Davidson – vibraphone, Stefan Hegerat - drums/percussion and Fournier - double bass/composition.

The notes inform us that “Magnetic Dreaming is a single composition featuring vastly different terrains and atmospheres, all strung together with a dream logic influenced form.”

Recorded during the Six-ish Plateaus session, (which was released by Triio in 2022) The composition is split in six different tracks flowing one into the other with titles like - 'Prelude: Seven Hundred Steps Descending to the Gates of Magnetic Sleep' - or - 'Atop the Onyx Tower or Plumbing the Sentiment Field' that evoke a dreamlike landscape.

The Prelude has a suspended and sparse quality that flows into a robust sax piece which in turn is evolving into a bowed section giving rise to a reeds and vibraphone interplay over a drum ostinato… just like the evoked dream logic, music seems to follow free associations, catching glimpses and chasing them until something else rise above the horizon.

Describing the Triio project on his site Alex Fournier says: ”contrasting intricate written sections with open ended improvisation, the music allows for total freedom of expression while still maintaining a distinct direction from piece to piece, with the goal of continuously creating a living score that is always open to the moment”.

Remarkably belonging to the same recording session, Magnetic Dreaming displays even better than Six-his Plateaus the interrelation between written parts and improvised sections. Its length and its fragmented evolving structure allow the musicians to cooperate in creating an expansive picture where each of them finds a proper space and a right time.

A special mention for my favourite piece: 'What Cycle or Identity, in Lie Group or Walking' with a bass and drum ostinato intro on which the reeds develop a mesmerizing melody further counterpointed by vibraphone and guitar.

One last thing, if you want to go deeper into Mr. Fournier's points of view, here you can find a 2022 interview in which he talks among other things about the recording session that originated this record.

You can listen, buy and download this record on Bandcamp.