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Gardin, Per / Vasco Trilla: Singularity (Creative Sources)

Swedish saxophonist Per Gärdin on alto and soprano, and Spanish percussionist Vasco Trilla performing primarily on timpani & gongs, along with clock chimes, metronomes and a drum set, recording in the studio between 2020 & 2021 in both Stockholm and Barcelona, the two favoring spacious environments for their improvisations as they expand and dissipate energy in perceptive ways.

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Per Gardin-alto saxophone, soprano saxophone

Vasco Trilla-timpani, gongs, clock chimes, metronomes, drum set

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UPC: 5609063407051

Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs705
Squidco Product Code: 30685

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in Stockholm, Sweden, and Barcelona, Spain, between September, 2020, and March, 2021, by the artists.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"If we are talking about musical combinations that arouse curiosity in advance, then that of the Swedish saxophonist Per Gärdin and the Spanish percussionist Vasco Trilla is definitely one. The two musicians have their own way of playing, but are also very adept at playing together with musicians from different backgrounds. This is of course no guarantee, so the question is justified whether the collaboration of these two improvisers also leads to a satisfactory result. After listening to Singularity , the answer to that question is a convincing 'yes'.

Gärdin was initially a self-taught musician, but later went on to study not only saxophone, but also musicology, ethnology, philosophy and the history of ideas. Already in the late 1970s, Gärdin was experimenting with electronics in the electronic music studio in the Swedish capital, where a Buchla synthesizer was combined with wind instruments. In recent years, the electronic component has emerged in Gärdin's collaborations with Lars Bröndum. Gärdin's latest release Distant Calls / No Questions , on which he forms a duo with the German bass clarinetist Rainer Weber, is an acoustic affair.

From Barcelona comes the very prolific drummer and percussionist Vasco Trilla. The Catalan's series of collaborations is almost endless, where his wealth of ideas and his versatile playing stand out. He always manages to surprise with new finds and new angles. A fine example of this is his latest solo album Unmoved Mover . Trilla then uses a setup consisting of a gong and a timpani. That sounds quite limited, but both instruments are played with, among other things, mallets, drumsticks, iron bars and objects. The timpani also serves as a surface for objects placed on it, played and set in motion, so that the deep timpani resonates with it.

Also on Singularity Trilla is not just a drummer. He also plays in his duo with the Swedish saxophonist timpani and gongs, but also chimes, metronomes and yes, also a drum set. Gärdin can be heard - unsurprisingly - on alto and soprano saxophones. However, it is about the combination, and it is indeed surprising. It is not music of obligatory questions and ready-made answers, it is music that explores, probes and leaves something to the imagination. For example, opener 'Enthymeme I' is a quest for high sounds, played with restraint by both, with a good sense of timbre, where the sounds are allowed to rub and squeak.

Gärdin blows his saxes with some reserve, as if it takes some effort to produce the sounds. As a result, the onsets are somewhat diffused and the tone balances on the verge of overblowing. That's the area where it gets exciting. It is especially well expressed in 'Apodeixis', an almost stationary piece of music in which experimentation is sought and regularly leads. Trilla keeps his playing sober, he often taps one or more gongs sparingly and also provides an ambient-like background. Gradually we hear a few familiar Gärdin tunes, where his tone stands out, which is rough but also indicates mastery.

The central piece on the album is the title track, a piece of more than fifteen minutes in which the suggestion is sometimes created that electrical amplification or electronics are used. However, they are all acoustic sounds. Gärdin experiments with timbres, vibrato and blowing techniques. He does so without any effect or ego tripping. From the way the Swede plays, there is a genuine curiosity about how the sound emerges from his sax and how that sound interacts with Trilla's percussion. He shows himself to be a sparring partner who clearly takes up his own space. That too is not done with much bravado; it is purely the sounds that have to do the work. These sometimes provide a fairly full sound, but at times also provide peace of mind, when Trilla works a bit more modest and sparingly.Of course there are some patterns to recognize, but the two never stay stuck in a pattern for too long; adventure beckons and the unpredictable road is preferred over what has already been.

In 'Pistis I' the saxophonist flies with fast runs on his alto over an unusual percussion surface, which is very active and consists of various percussive elements. Trilla does not leave his unusual set-up alone for a second and makes banging sounds as well as rubbing and rattling sounds. Gärdin's soprano sounds are countered by Trilla playing on a glockenspiel in 'Dynamis', which leaves a little more breathing room than most of the other pieces on the album. The same goes for 'Entekhnos', on which Trilla plays a melodic motif on small gongs, while Gärdin lets his alto sax cry softly and adds a little oriental touch to the music. Gradually the piece gets a bit grimmer, Trilla's playing takes on some venomous traits and the sax playing gets a bit rougher again, without the music sounding really robust.

'Antistrophos' experiments with high sounds and creates tension. The music scrapes and scrapes. That music shifts towards free jazz in 'Pistis II', for which Trilla sits behind his drum kit and stirs his toms, snare, and cymbals at high tempo. Gärdin's playing, as can be heard on more of his albums, has something unperturbed, which means that he knows how to adapt perfectly to his musical companion at the time without doing violence to his own sound and way of playing. 'Enthymeme II' concludes the album modest but exciting.

With Singularity, Gärdin and Trilla make an album in which their sound research can take many forms, while at the same time the duo ensures that the album as a whole radiates coherence. Two European improvisers find each other and in each other's company hardly seem to have to make concessions in order to achieve a satisfactory result. It is by no means predictable, it is often exciting. The musical beauty is in the research and the astute execution."-Gert Derkx, Opduvel (translated by Google)

Get additional information at Opduvel

Artist Biographies

"Per Gardin, b. 1956, soprano and alto saxophones in mainly improvisational settings. Originally selftaught, later studied saxophone and music theory for Lennart Jansson, and Musicology, Ethnology, Philosophy and History of Ideas at Stockholm University.

Collaborations in improvised music at EMS, the electronic music studio in Stockholm 1979-1982. Worked in different studio sessions in duo/trio/quartet settings in the mid to late 80s. From the 90s and onwards mostly small temporary groups and solo saxophone improvisations and recordings. 2009-2010 a member of Total Vibration (including among others Markus Breuss and Tsukiko Amakawa), a group based in Spain concentrating on playing Don Cherry-compositions."

-All About Jazz (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Barcelona, Vasco Trilla started playing drums at the age of nineteen. His first influences were progressive rock and metal, but gradually he developed an interest in a variety of different genres such as jazz, Indian music, African music, klezmer, free improvisation, etc.

Since then he has collaborated, toured and recorded with many different bands and projects such as Boi Akih (an ethno-jazz band from the Netherlands), Planeta Imaginario (progressive jazz-rock) October Equus (avant-rock), The Oddvisers (pop-avant), Fine! (indie pop-rock), Mundo Flotante (ethno-jazz-rock), Kaulakau/Cobla Sant Jordi (an ethno-jazz Catalan orchestra), Filthy Habits Ensemble (a jazz octet playing Zappa's and Stravinsky's repertoire), Cows On Trees (a jazz-improv quartet with Susana Santos Silva and Kaja Draksler), Balimonster (an impro-ethno duo with Angel Ontalva), Yedo Gibson-Vasco Trilla duo (an improv sax & drums duo), Outerzone (jazz-core), Reptilian Mambo (mambo free rock), Liba's Traum, etc.

In the last years he has been playing and experimenting on the free-improv scene, applying extended techniques to the kit and treating it as a textural-melodic instrument. Blowing, bowing, scratching, playing with hands and all kinds of objects, all is valid to expand the vocabulary of this innovative percussionist. He played with improvisers, such as: Lotte Anker, Marshall Allen, Yedo Gibson, Susana Santos Silva, Kaja Draksler, Jasper Stadhouders, Mikloaj Trzaska, Martin Kuchen, Richard Barrett, Jorma Tapio, Christher Bothen, Marc Stucki, Luc Ex. etc...

He has released around 30 CDs in labels such as Cuneiform Records (USA), Altrock Records (Italy), Leo Records (UK) Discordian Records (Barcelona, Spain), Audition Records (Mexico), El Negocito Records (Belgium), Jacc Records (Portugal), Fmr Records (UK)."

-Vasco Trilla Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Enthymeme I 2:57

2. Apodeixis 8:12

3. Pistis I 4:43

4. Singularity 15:37

5. Dynamic 4:11

6. Antistrophos 4:17

7. Entekhnos 8:42

8. Pistis II 3:07

9. Enthymeme II 4:45

Related Categories of Interest:

Creative Sources
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Percussion & Drums
Duo Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Creative Sources.

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