Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bezdroża - improvised music at Alchemia (18.10)

Before the summer the "Muzykoterapia" series ended but there's new hope for experimental, avant-guarde, improvised and interdisciplinar music art in Krakow. "Bezdroża" project (quite a poetic word that looses its charm in litteral translation - "Roadlessness") aims to create a platform of communication, a gathering space for performers, composers, improvisers and (definitely not least) the audience.

Free Improvisation is a kind of music that one can try to describe in so many theoretical ways and yet it lives by the extremities and any theory whatsoever will fail to describe it. It's not about technique but it hardly can be played without posessing some sort of technique. Anything is possible, acceptable (traditional aesthetics are suspended) but it doesn't mean everything works. Everything is apparent, chaos mimics structure, structure mimics chaos. It's a performance that loves a strong personality yet hates any kind of musical egoism or showmanship. It can take any shape, like water, but needs some kind of support, a form to be filled to achieve that. It can be extremely emotional or intellectual or somehow neither - pure zen emptyiness. It can be intimate, minimalistic and fragile, can be violent and expansive. Finally it's a natural phenomenon that only happens once, is a kind of art totally immersed in the moment and space, and whatever (genius or mediocre) result came out - it's never to be achieved again, lost forever in the memory. 

Free improv lives and dies by all those contraddictions - its strenghts and weaknesses being the same thing. All the possibilites, no recipes. It's like a leap of faith into an abyss.
Now many say free improv is like sort of a Fight Club - and the first rule is that it makes no sense to talk about it and equally no sense to record it. Now's not the time to debate that but there's one thing for sure - there's every reason to experience this music live. To live it.

For those moments of revelatory surprises (now where did this sound come from?).
For those moments of true magic, when suddenly everything clicks. When out of magmatic cloud of baritone noises and basson whispers emerge a clear harmony that is completely surreal, total, transcendental, like a walk inbetween the stars, with no gravity. Or quite the opposite - when the music is dark and heavy and dense and the low drones have all the gravity power of a black hole (the swiss trio plays the first half of their set without once touching the bass's strings or hitting the drum - rather using the bass(es) and the snare drum as a resonating tables with metal plates, plastic sticks, bowed, scraped, tickled to create a myriad of oniric, possible nightmar-ish sounds). Or when the human voice becomes one with electronic noises and it's like an alien speech. Soul in the machine.
Or maybe just to feel slightly superior knowing one have witnessed something unique. Cause Free Improv doesn't always work, in fact it rarely does, but when IT happens (no matter how transiently), it's like nothing else in the world. And it makes the waiting worhtwile. My recommendation - BE THERE.

ps. For those who live in Krakow - there's another chance to BE THERE.  
NØRSTEBØ/MYHR/JÄRMYR trio is playing in Piec'ART tognight. Mockunas/Mazur/Strid in Alchemia tomorrow.
ps2. My greatest respect and gratitude for all the musicians who participated and people involved in making this possible. Can't wait for the next edition of the series.

1st set: Radioactive duo + Tomek Chołoniewski (Poland):
Paulina Owczarek - baritone saxophone
Wiktor Krzak - bassoon
Tomek Chołoniewski - drums, percussion

2nd set: (Switzerland)
Rudolph Loubatiere - drums, percussion
Louis Schild - bass, percussion
Raphael Ortis - bass, percussion

3rd set: Dokuro (USA)
Agnes Szelag  - voice, electronics
The Norman Conquest - electronics

Alchemia. Krakow. 18.10.2011


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