Contradictions cs602









“Contradictions: Duets for Contrabass and Contra-Alto Clarinets” is out now by Creative Source Records”. Album was recorded by two great musicians – it’s Jason Alder (Leblanc paperclip contrabass clarinet, Selmer rosewood contrabass and contra-alto clarinets) and Piotr Michalowski (Leblanc paperclip contrabass clarinet, Selmer rosewood contra-alto clarinet). Two musicians have their own style, unique sound and original playing manner. All the music is based on academic avant-garde, the newest tendencies of modern classical and contemporary academical music, the tunes of experimental musicand electronics, as well as free improvisation. The music is moving, bright and passionate – two woodwinds players are experimenting in all fields of musical language. They don’t hesitate to experiment on bright and extended playign techniques, integrate traditional and experimental ways of playing and explore the new zone of sound. The musicians are getting out of the zone of traditional sound – they put the listener to the unusual, interesting, awakening and impressive sound. Both clarinetists have a marvelous playing technique – fantastic virtuosity, suggestive and inspiring playing manner, expressive and driving sound are joined together. They gently fit together as a duo and manage to make fresh, innovative and sparkling sound.

“Contradictions: Duets for Contrabass and Contra-Alto Clarinets” is filled with interesting timbres and expressive melodies. Musicians are dedicated to extract new timbres, original sounds and strange tunes. The music is evocative, fresh and light – it has a difficult pattern, original and rich musical language and contrasting sounds. Contemporary academical, experimental and modern classical music meets here. It’s influenzed by academic avant-garde and the newest tendencies of it. The compositions mostly have synthesized form – it’s highly related to free improvisation. The musicians are balancing between free improvisation and arranged pieces – their music is swinging from strict and very well arranged pieces to abstract, colorful, sparkling and impressive free improvisations. Musicians manage to find the balance between the newest innovations and tradition, academic avant-garde and avant-garde jazz – that’s the reason why these compositions is a nice and organic synthesis between contemporary academical music, experimental jazz and free improvisation. The musical pattern is constructed from dozens of elements. It’s especially rich and enchanting – the melody line is solid and bright, has polyphonic structure and is accompagnied by huge amount of special effects, ornamental facture, abbreviations, strange timbres and expressions. The musicians don’t hesitate to improvise absolutely abstractly and spontaneously – contrasting compounds are joined together. Each compound has its own character, mood and specific playing technique. Repetitive, minimalistic, meditative, solid, lyrical, contemplative, dreamy, harsh, ambient, rough pieces are created by using serialism, puantilism, some tunes of dodecaphony. The tunes related to concrete, spectral and sonoristic music make a huge influenze to these compositions. The musicians are playing with huge spectre of timbres and sounds – they’re dedicated to extract weird, crazy, ambient, frantic and original timbres. That’s how colorful and enchanting instrumental section is created – experimental, organic, provocative, radical and wild ideas go along together with exotic, rare, eclectic and traditional ways of playing, special effects and strange timbres. The rhythmic section is wide and dynamic – it’s changing all the time. From sient, depressed or gloomy the melody jumps on sparkling, powerful and radiant culminations accompagnied by dizzy passages, gorgeous ornamental structures, special effects and repetitive sequences. Both musicians are the masters of their art – they’re demonstrating their own, original and fresh point of view, wide musical knownledge and impressive virtuosity. Their playing manner is inspiring, vivid, expressive and suggestive. Together they get on ambitious adventures, explore the new fields of sound, expand the technical abilities of their instruments and create universal, impressive and innovative sound. Avant Scena


The activity of reedists and teachers Jason Alder and Piotr Michalowski is dense with remarkable events and collaborations. Joining forces for this album, they juxtaposed the contiguous traits of contrabass and contra-alto clarinets, choosing five models (rigorously listed in the track titles) through which their creative spirits exhale. The resulting nine improvisations were intrinsically ready to be recorded after a preparatory cycle of live performances. The correspondence between reeds mainly operating in the lower registers (with occasional exceptions) leaves no space for romantic fantasies or graceful airiness. The cavities and conduits resonate deeply and menacingly, at times summoning forth ancestral memories via droning overlays that inevitably call to mind the voice of the didgeridoo. Melodic cues may appear in atonal contexts, although attempts to introduce some sort of transient thematicity do exist. However, the bulk of the interchange is a mixture of intertwined dissonant phrasing and held tones. When the latter are adjacent, our membranes sympathetically respond, even by literally quaking; the superimposed frequencies of a pair of large clarinets possess surprising power. During segments where the instruments punctuate the action more percussively amidst short jarring spurts, we can hear the players emitting vocal discharges, the energy imploded within their bodies until that moment finally released. Overall, this technically impeccable recording conveys troubled quietness and controlled perturbation. It’s not a relaxing listen, but the seriousness of the performers warrants our ultimate appreciation of the whole. Quality headphones are recommended for a better absorption of the infinitesimal details and, if speakers are your choice, exploit loudness for a healthy reverberation of the music from the room’s proactive corners. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)