K'Ampokol Che K'Aay cs453

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two days after recording Proletariat, the Lisbon String Trio was joined by Blaise Siwula to record K'Ampokol Che K'Aay (also live): The title is Mayan, and indicates the "song" of a particular tree or shrub in the same large biological "order" as coffee. I don't know its significance (although it seems to be translated generically as "wood" in some sources), but such a title would seem to invoke Siwula's Mérida Encuentro series. (The second volume, Songs of Deception, was discussed here in July 2016.)

Like most Creative Sources releases, K'Ampokol Che K'Aay doesn't have a textual discussion included, but Siwula adds a few remarks on his site(s): He suggests that it consists of "sounds from nature in a dance of light" & "natural twists of wind." Although not mentioned by Siwula, such naturism is allied to classical technique, such that one might even speak of a Romantic sweep, of a series of tone poems. The tapestry includes emergent traditional gestures, both European & American, and once again a bit of traffic as well. Indeed, one wonders (as in a recent entry) whether some of the gestures, both from clarinet & strings, derive from the basic mechanics of the instruments themselves: This is undeniably true, but the conjuring of idiom per se also seems to arise from instrumental configuration, sometimes without intent.

That said, the playing is highly virtuosic throughout, with the musicians showing plenty of "straight" technique behind their more experimental timbral explorations: Indeed, the Lisbon String Trio tends more toward traditional string virtuosity than many of Rodrigues's ensembles. (Of course, one might also think of the title, translated as "wood music," as indicating their instruments.) Beyond that, Siwula's description of his first Creative Sources album - the duo Waterscapes, recorded in New York in 2016 with guitarist Jorge Nuno - seems apt as well, noting as it does a "constant shift from foreground to background." The tapestry metaphor seems particularly worthwhile here, as K'Ampokol Che K'Aay does not exhibit a particular moment of coming together (in consciousness or otherwise), or much of the "gallop" noted in the previous entry: It maintains a "chamber music" feel, with ideas weaving in & out quickly, and with the different tracks marking new starting points.

The first track starts very quietly - thus invoking a bit of my usual fear that such music will be quieter than my own environment - but emerges strongly by the two minute mark, and yields a piece in which so much occurs that it seems almost symphonic on its own. (It's amazing how much happens in this one fifteen minute track.) This seems to be something of a characteristic of Siwula - who was first mentioned in this space back in September 2014 - as his trio album Tesla Coils also opens with its longest track, a forceful introduction & interrogation of what's to follow, almost a summary in reverse. Although Siwula plays saxophones on Tesla Coils, and the album is otherwise electronic (including the guitar), there's a familiarity that emerges from his approach, and indeed a similar density & speed. (The fineness of the resulting cloth is obviously something I appreciate.)

The result is surprisingly sophisticated when it comes to relating Siwula's brand of Americanism with that coming out of Lisbon these days. Even the slower moments retain a sense of drama & tension, amid constantly shifting harmonies & foreground-background motions - perhaps "meandering" in the terms of the previous entry, and in this case (at least per Siwula) evoking wind. K'Ampokol Che K'Aay does leave one listening to the environment in its wake - a sometimes-awesome "awareness" effect of some of these albums - but it's not really environmental (or traditional) music: This is music music, about tones & intervals & rhythms & timbres & tempos, etc. (It's informed by serialism.) And so ultimately it's also about human mediation & relation per se. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

“K’ampokol Che K’aay” was released in June, 2017. Interesting experimental jazz album was recorded by clarinetist Blaise Siwula and “Lisbon String Trio” – it’s Miguel Mira (cello), Alvaro Rosso (contrabass) and Ernesto Rodrigues (viola). These four experienced and talented musicians create original sound, like brave and innovative musical experiments. Their music is full of unique ways of playing, fascinating and stunning experiments, innovative musical decisions and always have bright musical language. Because of contrasts and different music styles, the improvisations are very dynamic and expressive, have many sudden and unpredictable stylistic waves. “Lisbon String Trio” music is somewhere between avant-garde jazz, experimental music and academic avant-garde. Basic elements of absolutely different music styles are gently combined and fused together in one place. All three musicians have unique and interesting playing style, use wide range of different expressions, styles, moods, characters and create passionate and expressive sound. Blaise Siwula is a famous avant-garde jazz clarinetist. His playing manner is evocative, innovative and especially expressive – improviser express many different moods, senses, feelings and create emotional, active and dynamic sound.

Album compositions are based on synthesis of academic avant-garde, experimental music and various experimental and modern jazz styles. Free structure and form, especially expressive and fascinating improvisations, spontaneous solos, bright and solid musical language create the basement of these improvisations. These compositions are based on avant-garde jazz which basic elements are marvelously fused together with academic music. The avant-garde jazz sound and main elements mostly are heard in clarinetist Blaise Siwula improvisations. Clarinetist improvisations have variable, dynamic and constantly changing sound – from very active, sharp, aggressive and expressive solos to soft, peaceful and silent improvisations. The wide range of musical expressions, moods and characters are heard in his improvisations. He express different feelings and moods by using many different playing techniques – extended and original ways of playing are effectively and inventively combined with traditional playing techniques. Glissando, colorful and wild fast arpeggios, powerful blow outs, dynamic rhythmic, expressive and memorable melodies and spontaneous improvising – all these elements are masterfully mixed together in Blaise Siwula improvisations. It also gently and organically fit together with string instruments. Cello, contrabass and viola melodies have gorgeous and colorful sound. Vibrant pizzicato, repetitive rhythms and melodic elements, sudden glissando, arpeggio, staccato, portato and other very well-known string playing techniques are combined with innovative ways of playing, musical experiments and spontaneous improvising. Each musician is improvising different from the others – unique playing manner, modern and expressive musical language, original sound and synthesis between opposite music styles gently get together in one place. Strings melodies and free improvisations are always between experimental jazz, free improvisation and academic music. All these absolutely different elements are effectively combined in one place. Clarinet melodies create and keep solid and intense melodic basic and also make more interesting rhythmic basic in some episodes. For the most of the time, viola and cello melodies are very bright, dramatic and passionate. Contrabass create and keep natural, organic, interesting and strong rhythmical and harmonic basement of the compositions. There also are some episodes there all three strings melodies gorgeously illustrate the clarinet improvisations and create colorful and effective background. Each compositions has interesting and modern sound which is created by putting together absolutely different moods, characters, expressions, playing techniques and other musical language elements. All these elements are mixed in one place and create fascinating and marvelous sound. (Avant Scena)

 

Two days after recording Proletariat, the Lisbon String Trio was joined by Blaise Siwula to record K'Ampokol Che K'Aay (also live): The title is Mayan, and indicates the "song" of a particular tree or shrub in the same large biological "order" as coffee. I don't know its significance (although it seems to be translated generically as "wood" in some sources), but such a title would seem to invoke Siwula's Mérida Encuentro series. (The second volume, Songs of Deception, was discussed here in July 2016.) Like most Creative Sources releases, K'Ampokol Che K'Aay doesn't have a textual discussion included, but Siwula adds a few remarks on his site(s): He suggests that it consists of "sounds from nature in a dance of light" & "natural twists of wind." Although not mentioned by Siwula, such naturism is allied to classical technique, such that one might even speak of a Romantic sweep, of a series of tone poems. The tapestry includes emergent traditional gestures, both European & American, and once again a bit of traffic as well. Indeed, one wonders (as in a recent entry) whether some of the gestures, both from clarinet & strings, derive from the basic mechanics of the instruments themselves: This is undeniably true, but the conjuring of idiom per se also seems to arise from instrumental configuration, sometimes without intent. That said, the playing is highly virtuosic throughout, with the musicians showing plenty of "straight" technique behind their more experimental timbral explorations: Indeed, the Lisbon String Trio tends more toward traditional string virtuosity than many of Rodrigues's ensembles. (Of course, one might also think of the title, translated as "wood music," as indicating their instruments.) Beyond that, Siwula's description of his first Creative Sources album — the duo Waterscapes, recorded in New York in 2016 with guitarist Jorge Nuno — seems apt as well, noting as it does a "constant shift from foreground to background." The tapestry metaphor seems particularly worthwhile here, as K'Ampokol Che K'Aay does not exhibit a particular moment of coming together (in consciousness or otherwise), or much of the "gallop" noted in the previous entry: It maintains a "chamber music" feel, with ideas weaving in & out quickly, and with the different tracks marking new starting points. The first track starts very quietly — thus invoking a bit of my usual fear that such music will be quieter than my own environment — but emerges strongly by the two minute mark, and yields a piece in which so much occurs that it seems almost symphonic on its own. (It's amazing how much happens in this one fifteen minute track.) This seems to be something of a characteristic of Siwula — who was first mentioned in this space back in September 2014 — as his trio album Tesla Coils also opens with its longest track, a forceful introduction & interrogation of what's to follow, almost a summary in reverse. Although Siwula plays saxophones on Tesla Coils, and the album is otherwise electronic (including the guitar), there's a familiarity that emerges from his approach, and indeed a similar density & speed. (The fineness of the resulting cloth is obviously something I appreciate.) The result is surprisingly sophisticated when it comes to relating Siwula's brand of Americanism with that coming out of Lisbon these days. Even the slower moments retain a sense of drama & tension, amid constantly shifting harmonies & foreground-background motions — perhaps "meandering" in the terms of the previous entry, and in this case (at least per Siwula) evoking wind. K'Ampokol Che K'Aay does leave one listening to the environment in its wake — a sometimes-awesome "awareness" effect of some of these albums — but it's not really environmental (or traditional) music: This is music music, about tones & intervals & rhythms & timbres & tempos, etc. (It's informed by serialism.) And so ultimately it's also about human mediation & relation per se. 26 July 2017. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

 

American clarinetist Blaise Siwula is in somewhat the same situation on K’ampokol Che K’aay (Creative Sources CS 453 CD creativesourcesrec.com), Except in this case the Lisbon String Trio consists of violist Ernesto Rodrigues, cellist Miguel Mira and bassist Alvaro Rosso. Recorded at a Lisbon concert, the music on the disc – titled for a Mayan coffee-like shrub – gets steadily more salient as the program evolves and each player becomes more comfortable with the others’ skills. Initially, either strident or wispy, Siwula’s clarinet parts evolve to sinewy mid-range, with a woody overlay, as flutter-tongued elaborations become expressive storytelling. When the string trio isn’t involved with mid-range harmonies, each takes on a particular role. Rosso’s rugged program includes applying ground bass plucks to the tracks; Mira’s repetitive counterpoint challenges the narrative; and Rodrigues’ staccatissimo thrusts decorate the fluid interface with pumps and jumps. The four reach a climax midway through the third untitled improvisation when a section of high and low pitches dissolves into individual showcases. From that point on, despite ragged string sweeps, spiky textures, and slap-tonguing and modulated shrilling from the clarinetist, the polyphonic program touches on the pastoral, but includes enough sudden and unexpected pitch and tone switches that, symbolically, the hardscrabble work that underlies any bucolic scene ia sonically obvious as well. Ken Waxman (The Whole Note)

 

"K'ampokol Che K'aay", led by the father without the son, is a masterpiece of this kind of free improvised chamber music. The addition of Blaise Siwula enriches the music and add a necessary spark of creativity ad freshness to make it really outstanding. "K'ampokol Che K'aay I" last 15 minutes and is one of the highlights. Again associations
with contemporary chamber music are in the right place, but perhaps more important is the general mood, or better to say changing moods of the piece, combined with incredible mutual understanding of the members of the quartet. Amazing stuff!!!

The second "K'ampokol Che K'aay II" is shorter and more peaceful, but icludes micro-explosions i the second half. Finger picking bass lines are extra-terrestrial. "K'ampokol Che K'aay III" continues the same æsthetics, but expands it and enriches to novel "fake sounds" and
percussion effects. I dig also the closing "K'ampokol Che K'aay V", the most open track, with fragmented motifs, and plenty of pauses and silent moments. Fascinating, fresh and absorbing music!!! Maciej Lewenstein