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Thursday, May 9, 2024

Desarbres Ensemble - Live at 6nd Spontaneous Music Festival, 2022 (Spontaneous Live Series, 2024)

By Stef Gijssels

"Desarbres Ensemble" is a wonderful quintet consisting of Tom Chant on soprano saxophone, Carina Khorkhordina on trumpet, Michał J. Biel on baritone saxophone, Mateusz Rybicki on tenor saxophone and Àlex Reviriego on bowed double bass. The composition is from the pen of Ferran Fages, the Spanish guitarist, composer and sound artist. 

Interestingly enough, his lengthy composition has a very similar concept as the recent "Anemone" by Earth Tongues, with a repetitive alteration between horns collectively circling around a tonal center, followed by long moments of silence. This wave-like structure creates a level of tension and calm at the same time. The monotonous horns stretch their tones with minute shifts and changes, creating kaleidoscopic and multiphonic miniatures that arise and dissolve into the silence of the surroundings, accentuated by the occasional smartphone tone and coughing from the audience. 

The whole performance, over fourty minutes long, has a kind of solemn ceremonial quality, one of deep collective participation in some ancient ritual, in which every movement, every sound has its meaning and place, taking us further into the essence of our being and our surroundings, an impression even made stronger by the long moments of silence that make us meditate, reflect and wait with even more anticipation for the next movement, the next iteration of the hypnotic wave that will overwhelm us. 

The quiet tension of the entire piece is exceptional, as is the control by the musicians of both their instruments and their collective voice. 

A wonderful listening experience. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp.