Sunday, May 31, 2009

In a Quiet Way

Eivind Nordset Lønning/Espen Reinertsen + R2D3 + Sabbaticus Rex @ The Compound Gallery, Oakland, CA
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eivind Nordset Lønning: trumpet
Espen Reinertsen: alto saxophone, flute

Ron Heglin: trombone, voice
Tom Nunn: electro-acoustic percussion
Doug Carroll: cello

Sabbaticus Rex:
Cornelius Boots: shakuhachi, throat singing
Karen Stackpole: gongs, percussion

"We play pretty quiet, the best spot is probably right in front," Norway's Eivind Nordset Lønning cautioned the small audience gathered within the alternative space at Oakland's Compound Gallery. The trumpet and alto saxophone pair then proceeded to send a near continuous stream of air through their instruments for more than half an hour. Working within a soundscape of breath, air, sub-harmonics and wide swatches of shifting timbral materials within a fragile, almost transparent existence Lønning and Reinertsen blured their sound into a singular brush stroke. Late in the set the two locked into eerie rhythmic unison with a series of short, ghostly tones. The percussive world of flute pads and unscrewed trumpet valves opening up an incredible study of micro-sound within the musical sensibilities of these improvisers.

R2D3 followed this set with a decidedly more amplified expression of amplified combs (used to play invented percussion instruments), cello and trombone. The ear-driven improvisations added volume to the middle set before giving way to the dreamy, droning bowed gong with shakuhachi music of Sabbaticus Rex. Giving the evening itself a large contour of stillness giving way to noise and returning to a meditative solace.

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