Swiss musicians Marco Von Orelli (trumpet, slide trumpet) and Sheldon Suter (prepared drums) and by their Portuguese partners, Luis Lopes (electric guitar) and Travassos (electronics) release a new chapter in their project Big Bold Back Bone, all players embracing a unique electro-acoustic improvisation through transformation of their instruments.
Shipping Weight: 16.00 units
Quantity in Basket: 1
Log In to use our Wish List
Catalog ID: SHH032LP
Squidco Product Code: 24972
Recorded at Studio Namouche, in Lisob, Portugal, on November 30th 2015, by Joaquim Monte.
Marco von Orelli-trumpet, slide trumpet
Sheldon Suter-prepared drums
Luis Lopes-electric guitar, objects
Highlight an artist name or instrument above
and click here to Search
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
sample the album:
"Depuration. This may be the best term to describe the type of approach conducted by the Swiss musicians Marco Von Orelli and Sheldon Suter and by their Portuguese partners, Luis Lopes and Travassos in the new opus of the project Big Bold Back Bone. If this one was previously characterized by the folding of multiple directions, from a chamber improvisation with a vague jazz flavor to rock distillations, or at least distillations of the electric parasites of that music genre, now what we find is the fruit of a decisive focus on the materials, of a depuration, in consequence, and that because there was a process of formal and stylistic resolution. We recognize the premises of a certain EAI (electro-acoustic improvisation) heiress of the pioneering band AMM and taken in the direction of the reductionist, near-silence tendency, meaning that the melodic phrasing and the rhythmic plane (already broken and not linear) are substituted by a minucious textural and timbric work.
No conventional uses of acoustic instruments, the trumpet and the drumkit, remain in "In Search of the Emerging Species", and if the music follows some of the formulas chosen for the guitar and the electronic devices in experimental domains, they're both at the service of a collective, with the produced sounds mixing with all the others and, in that way, almost disappearing. It's just one, and very long, the piece here played ("Immerge"), with an extremely slow development, suspensive even, sometimes with a cliff opening in the flow of events, not to solve what is behind, not to give it conclusion, but allowing the choice of another heading in the forest of little and exotic sounds being build. A beautiful record to listen to microscopically, dropping all the tasks of everyday life."-Shhpuma
"How does one come to appreciate, let alone enjoy, a new genre of music? Despite the cries that ring out from some musical essentialists, it is my belief that the enjoyment of new, as yet un-grappled-with types of expression can be developed. As many of the writers and perusers of this site will tell you, a love of free jazz didn't just spring out of the soil one happy day - it took considerable time and effort, an investment of interest and a willingness to occasionally put oneself at the mercy of tones, timbres and textures that were often downright ugly. But soon, the effort paid off; familiarity helped round the edges, so to speak, and the oblique, forbidding architecture that makes up so much of free jazz began to slope and curl its way into shapes that could arrest us, captivate us, leave us foaming at the mouth in anticipation of more. The critical viewpoint played its role as well. While much of free jazz is seemingly senseless on first listen, the astute observations of many a free jazz critic were instrumental in giving us a foothold, so to speak - by fixing a grid atop the swirling chaos, we suddenly had some coordinates with which to find our place. The development of enjoyment doesn't just move in one direction, either; doubtlessly, some of our readership started with the strong stuff, imbibing Sun Ra, Coleman, or late-period Coltrane before eventually working their way back through the '60s and '50s to arrive, like battle-hardened generals returning to the scene of the first fight, at the earliest jazz recordings of the '30s and '40s. And, once again, enjoyment didn't just spring up. After a diet of fiery, intense free improvisation, the bouncing sounds of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra are like another planet, with all of the dread and uncertainty that that implies.
The reason I make this preamble is that I, personally, have not yet found a good entry-point into electro-acoustic improvisation (often simply called EAI). While I've been exposed to a fair number of the genre's respresentative recordings, there has been nothing to grab me and give me that "aha!" moment - that split second when everything falls into place and the sounds begin, little by little, to open up and make themselves known. Big Bold Back Bone's debut on Clean Feed, In Search of the Emerging Species, while not explicitly an EAI record, has enough stylistic overlap with the genre to have been a cause for concern for me - would I have anything meaningful to say about it? Would it just be wind in my ear? In any case, I decided that the path to enjoyment had to start somewhere, and it may as well start here.
A quartet, Big Bold Back Bone features Marco von Orelli on trumpet and slide trumpet, Sheldon Suter on prepared drums, Luis Lopes on electric guitar and other objects, and Travassos on electronics. One thing to note when going into this recording, however, is that Big Bold Back Bone approach their instruments in the same way that I once heard Derek Bailey approached his guitar - as an alien artifact, a found object without context or connotation, a tool with which one could experiment freely. As such, the focus here is not on making "music" in the traditional sense of the word, but on exploring the sounds that can be constructed when a certain group of people come together at a certain time, in a certain room, with certain instruments and objects at their disposal. As the title suggests, In Search of the Exploring Species is an investigation of possibilities, a circuitous trek, rather than a direct route to some predetermined destination.
At an unbroken 43 minutes, it might be feared that the sole piece here, "Immerge," is a slog to get through, but that's not true at all. If anything, because of the lightness (volume-wise) of the textures and the relative lack of structured movement, it seems to speed by. It opens with a tentative series of knocks from Suter's kit, some hard-to-pinpoint rubbery scrapes, von Orelli's metallic gurgles, and the softly roiling static of Lopes's electric guitar. Meanwhile, Travassos provides some high-pitched tones that, due to their relative faintness, fall somewhere between bird-song and the whine of drills. From this initial setting, deviations seem to occur in imperceptible waves - notably, von Orelli treats his trumpet as an open canvas of sorts, extracting all manner of timbres from its body: hollow sussurations, watery burbles, dry crackles. At some point, Suter moves from the more forceful pops and taps of the opening to cymbal-work that casts an uneasy shadow over the entire piece, and Travassos follows suit with cavernous electronics that open up the bottom and threaten to submerge everything. Lopes is ever-subtle, preferring to use his guitar as a textural device - from staticky drones to unsteady scrapes, he's continuously in service of the overall tone of the piece. In fact, one of my abiding impressions of "Immerge" is that no single player seems to dominate the proceedings; in the spirit of the best free improvisation, the individual sounds bleed into each other, mixing and melding in ways that help to elevate the whole. Interestingly, the final ten minutes of the track find some of the musicians getting close to something that might be called "traditional music-making." Lopes produces open notes that ring out with astounding clarity after the muffled drones of the preceding half-hour, and von Orelli emits a series of, well, trumpet-like tones. Suter engages in glacial, abstract percussion-work, and Travassos murmurs quietly in the background, a constant presence that never makes itself unduly felt.
By the time "Immerge" comes to a close, I feel that I have gotten ever closer to understanding the world of electro-acoustic improvisation - if I'm not yet putting every release from the Erstwhile label in my Discogs shopping cart, I'm at least considering the possibility. At a brisk 43 minutes, and with a variety of textures and sounds to keep your ears busy, In Search of the Exploring Species is a better place than any to get started on a new journey of musical enjoyment. And as a selfish addendum - feel free to post recommendations for more of this type of music in the comments below!"-Derek Stone, Free Jazz CollectiveAlso available on CD.
Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective
• Show Bio for Marco von Orelli
"Marco von Orelli was born and raised in Basel, Switzerland. He completed his musical studies at the University of Music and Theatre Winterthur Zürich (HMT) and the University of Music Basel, where he majored in trumpet and improvisation. Additional study programmes: Jazz, New Music (Neue Musik) and free improvised music. Furthermore he took study trips to Den Haag (NL) in 1997 and two years later to Vienna (A). Since 1997 Marco von Orelli occupies himself with composition. He has given Solo concerts (e.g. for the 20-year anniversary of the cultural magazine "Programmzeitung", for the "Global Landmarks Illumination Initiative" in Bern or for Basel's celebrations for being a part of Switzerland for 500 years in 2001).
Marco von Orelli has enjoyed success on stage with the street scene musical by Kurt Weill under the direction of André Bellmont, Werner Düggelin and Heinz Spoerli, as well as with acts such as the George Gruntz Workshop Big Band or with various orchestras like the basel sinfonietta, the Swiss Improvisers Orchestra, TOMMY MEIER - ROOT DOWN, musique brute or Marco von Orelli 5. He is playing in different styles and has been seen giving concerts at such established events as the Jazzfestival Willisau (CH), Jazz à Mulhouse - météo (F) or music unlimited 22 in Wels (A). In 2002 Marco von Orelli toured with the swiss Circus Monti (Music composed by Ben Jeger) and from January 2003 right to the end of 2004 he acted as live musician for the Theatre Puravida in Basel. Marco von Orelli is also known for his collaborations with artists like Flavia Ghisalberti (Butoh-Dancer), Sheldon Suter, Daniel Ott, Jan Schlegel, Christoph Baumann, Co Streiff, Frances Marie Uitti, Johan van Kreij, Béatrice Götz (miR Company), Peter Schärli, Tommy Meier, Omri Ziegele, Michel Wintsch, Christian Weber, Irène Schweizer, Paul Hubweber, Luìs Lopes, Marc Unternährer, Isa Wiss, Luca Sisera, Travassos, Carles Peris, Alex Huber, Frantz Loriot and many more!"-Marco von Orelli Website (http://marcovonorelli.ch/about/biography/)
^ Hide Bio for Marco von Orelli
• Show Bio for Sheldon Suter
Drummer Sheldon Suter, born on 22/2/1971 in Locarno, TI, Switzerland, is a member of Musique Brute, Big Bold Back Bone, Marco von Orelli 6, Jurg Wickihalder Orchestra.-Squidco 10/11/2017
^ Hide Bio for Sheldon Suter
• Show Bio for Luis Lopes
"Averse to any linearity, the idiosyncratic Luís Lopes, a musician connected to Jazz, improvised and experimental music, has been building his career, a simple and singular story, characterised by a unique voice, free of corsets, formal ties or constraints and mannerisms regarding strict stilistical implications. He is an unfollower... experiments himself through paradoxes. Invokes teachings by following standards of subversion to any possibility of pre-established idea. Eminent self-subversion... Introspective timeless trance.
Running Multi-international groups, especially his Humanization 4tet (with Portuguese Rodrigo Amado and Texan's Aaron and Stefan Gonzalez), Lisbon Berlin Trio (with Germans Christian Lillinger, Robert Landfermann), and his "Noise" or "Love Song(s)" Solos, plus his highly recommended records he is growing as an international artist, playing at important Festivals and venues not just in Portugal but in Europe and U.S.
Coming from a rock/punk and blues background, while studying at local classic and rock schools, he began studying Jazz at Hot Club Portugal School and then was finalist at Escola de Jazz do Barreiro/Lisbon. Then did studies with Saxophonist Joe Giardullo who opened for him the doors of modern jazz harmony complexity through the George Russell's "Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization", plunging Lopes into the world of improvised and experimental music, without disregard for his fascination with distorion and guitar feedbacks, expressed in different incursions into noise music, while also canalizes energys towards projects where he can develop his composing abilities.
In more recent times, Lopes has played and / or recorded with different artists connected to jazz and improvised music, such as Noel Akchoté, Christian Lillinger, Robert Landfermann, Marco Von Orelly, Marc Unternahrer, Adam Lane, Igal Foni, Floros Floridis, Joe Giardulo, Harvey Sorgen, Benjamin Duboc, Phill Niblock, Ernesto Rodrigues, Paulo Curado, Sei Miguel, Rodrigo Amado, Hernâni Faustino, Gabriel Ferrandini, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Miguel Mira, Aaron Gonzalez, Stefan Gonzalez, Dennis Gonzalez, Elliot Levin, Alfred Hart, Daniel Levin, Reuben Radding, Daniel Carter, Jeb Bishop, Josh Abrams, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Samuel Blaser, Boris Hauf, Evan Parker, Olivier Benoit, Fred Lomberg-holm, Valentin Ceccaldi, Gonçalo Almeida, among many others."-Luis Lopes Website (http://www.luislopes.pt/?page_id=972)
^ Hide Bio for Luis Lopes
• Show Bio for Travassos
"Travassos is a graphic designer based in Lisbon. Tags: Aveiro University, Culturgest, Clean Feed, Competetive Design Network Internacional, Barcelona Centro de Diseño, Jazz, Rescaldo festival, Shhpuma, responsive, responsible, art direction, print design, web design, WordPress, clean, illustration, experimental, institucional, cover artwork, white, dark, colorful, hard working, fast working, fluently English/French/Spanish..."-Travassos Website (http://travassos.info/sample-page)
^ Hide Bio for Travassos
Big Bold Back Bone (von Orelli / Lopes / Travassos)
In Search Of The Emerging Species [VINYL]