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Serpa, Sara (w / Laubrock / Fiedlander): Close Up (Clean Feed)

Lisbon, Portugal native, singer and composer Sara Serpa in a trio with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander, recording live at Pete's House, in Brooklyn, for an album of unusual and creative vocals inspired by experimentation and changing identities, bringing a unique approach to improvised voice, here in the company of accomplished players.
 

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product information:


UPC: 5609063004670

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF467CD
Squidco Product Code: 25637

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Pete's House, in Brooklyn, New York, on June 15th 2017, by Pete Rende.


Personnel:

Sara Serpa-voice, composition

Ingrid Laubrock-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone

Erik Friedlander-cello

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Artist Biographies:

"Natural from Lisboa, Sara Serpa is a singer, composer, improviser, that through her practice and performance, explores the use of the voice as an instrument. Recognized by her wordless singing, Serpa has been working in the field of jazz, improvised and experimental music, since moving to New York in 2008.

Described by JazzTimes magazine as "a master of wordless landscapes" and by the New York Times as "a singer of silvery poise and cosmopolitan outlook", Serpa started her career recording and performing with jazz luminaries such as alto-saxophonist Greg Osby, and Grammy-nominated pianist Danilo Perez.

Literature, film, visual arts, nature and history inspire Serpa in the creative process and development of her music. As a leader, she has produced and released seven albums, (with labels Sunnyside Records, Clean Feed, Tzadik and Inner Circle Music), the latest being a partnership with Portuguese guitarist André Matos, All The Dreams (2016), a successful follow-up to their debut Primavera (2014), which was noted by All About Jazz: "Their music is art at the point where minimalism and cangiante merge, resulting in an otherworldly sound that's utterly enthralling and completely unique."

Serpa's collaboration with her teacher/ mentor, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow pianist Ran Blake resulted in three recorded albums, providing fertile ground for the singer to explore/ interpret the Great American Songbook along with Film-Noir: Camera Obscura (2010), Aurora (2012), Kitano Noir (2015), the latter described by PopMatters as "wonderfully hypnotic".

Sara Serpa is a member of Mycale, an international a-capella quartet commissioned by MacArthur Fellow and avant-garde composer John Zorn, whose newest release Gomory (2015) was praised by The New York Times as "astonishingly beautiful, a high point in the series; it sounds medieval and new at the same time."

With literature has a source of inspiration, Serpa released the album Mobile (2011), title that refers to themes of travel and movement, reflects her passion for reading. Inspired by authors from Homer to Melville to V.S Naipaul, and featuring André Matos, Kris Davis, Ben Street and Ted Poor, it was noted as "work of art in motion" by the Chicago Jazz Magazine and outlined by JazzMan Magazine (France): "Serpa's commitment to this special and difficult project works wonders - it would be difficult not surrender to it."

Serpa's accomplishments extend beyond the jazz world. Serpa has performed/ interpreted music of contemporary composers such as Andreia Pinto- Correia, Derek Bermel (with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Allan Miller), Aya Nishina (Flora (2014), Guillermo Klein and Joseph C. Phillips Jr. (Changing Same (2015).

A New England Conservatory Master of Music (MM) in Jazz Performance, and a graduate from ISPA (Portugal) in Social Work and Rehabilitation, the Portuguese singer completed her Piano and Classical Singing Studies at Lisbon National Conservatory. She later fell in love with Jazz and Improvisation through the Hot Clube de Portugal's school, while working on her research thesis about Refugee Women in Portugal. She relocated to the United States in 2005 to attend Berklee College of Music, followed by New England Conservatory.

Serpa was voted as "Musician of the Year" in 2010 by the newspaper O Público, one of the major daily publications in Portugal, and was the cover of the U.S magazine Jazziz in 2012. Serpa has been voted and included by the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll in the "Rising Star Vocalist" list for three times: 2014, 2015 and 2016.

She has performed her own music in Europe, Australia, North and South America, singing at international festivals such as Festa do Jazz, the Panama Jazz Festival, Festival de Jazz de Montevideo, Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Adelaide Festival, or venues like Bimhuis, Casa da Música, Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Kennedy Center for the Arts, among others.

Currently, Serpa leads City Fragments, an ensemble featuring three voices (Sofia Rei, Aubrey Johnson), cello (Erik Friedlander), guitar (Andre) and drums (Tyshawn Sorey), which allows her to deepen and expand her passion for vocal music. Serpa has been working on a composition/suite inspired by French philosopher/ feminist Luce Irigaray's writings, to be recorded in 2017."

-Sara Serpa Website (http://www.saraserpa.com/?page_id=1685)
11/12/2018

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

"Originally from Germany, Ingrid Laubrock resides in Brooklyn, NY. Between 1989 and 2009 she was active as a saxophonist and composer in London/UK. She performed and/or recorded with: Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, Kenny Wheeler, Jason Moran, Tim Berne, William Parker, Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Craig Taborn, Luc Ex, Django Bates' Human Chain, The Continuum Ensemble and many others.

Ingrid's current projects as a leader are Anti-House, Sleepthief, Ingrid Laubrock Orchestra, Ingrid Laubrock Sextet and Ubatuba. Collaborations include LARK,Haste,Paradoxical Frog and Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey Duo.She is a member of Anthony Braxton's Falling River Music Quartet, Nonet and 12+1tet, Tom Rainey Trio and Obbligato, Andrew Drury's Content Provider, Mary Halvorson Septet, Kris' Davis Quintet, Nate Wooley's Battle Pieces and Luc Ex' Assemblée. Ingrid was one of the featured soloists in Anthony Braxton's opera Trillium J.

Awards include the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2004, a Fellowship in Jazz Composition by the Arts Foundation in 2006, the 2009 SWR German Radio Jazz Prize and the 2014 German Record Critics Quarterly Award. Commissions include Jammy Dodgers for jazz quintet and dancers (2006), Nonet music for Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2007, SWR New Jazz Meeting 2011 and "Vogelfrei", a piece for chamber orchestra (ACO/Tricentric Foundation). She won Rising Star/soprano saxophone in the 2015 in the 'Downbeat Annual Critics Poll and won the 'El Intruso Critics Poll for tenor saxophone in 2013. Ingrid was Improviser in Residence 2012 in the German city Moers. The post is created to introduce creative music into the city throughout the year. As part of this she led a regular improvisation ensemble and taught sound workshops in elementary schools. Other teaching experiences include improvisation workshops at Towson University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Baruch College, University of Michigan, University of Newcastle and many others."

-Ingrid Laubrock Website (http://ingridlaubrock.com/about.html)
11/12/2018

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

"Cellist Erik Friedlander started studying music at an early age, beginning at 5 with guitar, and then at 8, cello lessons. He grew up in a house filled with music, as his father, an avid music lover, made countless mixtapes which played daily in their home. Erik spent his twenties honing his skills as a player and an improviser and quickly became a sought after studio musician, performing on the Downtown music scene and with artists as diverse as The Mountain Goats, John Zorn, Dave Douglas and Courtney Love. Erik's desire to actively participate in the swirl of music styles he was surrounded by led him to find new ways to play the cello and drives his solo work which is varied and unusual."

-Erik Friedlander Website (http://www.erikfriedlander.com/about/)
11/12/2018

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


1. Object 4:04

2. Passaros 4:19

3. Sol Enganador 6:01

4. The Future 5:37

5. Listening 2:57

6. Storm Coming 5:20

7. Woman 4:06

8. Quiet Riot 3:57

9. Cantar Ao Fim 4:59

sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Through a series of critically acclaimed releases over the past ten years, Lisbon, Portugal native, singer and composer Sara Serpa has continually defied the limitations of genre, implementing a singular instrumental approach to her vocal style. Her new album, Close Up, presents the compelling configuration of voice, saxophone and cello, exploring Serpa's own compositions. Accompanied by a stellar new trio, Serpa finds her partners in two innovative improvisers with distinct musical personalities: saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, one of the most significant voices in contemporary jazz and improvised music, and Downtown veteran cellist Erik Friedlander.

"The configuration of voice, saxophone and cello exposes each instrument with a precise vulnerability," says Serpa. "From within this exposure, we look for cohesion and collective sound. I write the material, but the music takes shape in the process of our rehearsals and the time we spend together, through discussion and collective experimentation."

The result is an album that resembles a high resolution photograph, a mesmerizing play on the idea of close-ups: the compositions, the musicians and their roles within the trio, and the recording process.

"The compositions also reveal close-ups of different episodes in my life," Serpa explains. Take the example of the poignant song "Woman," using the French philosopher Luce Irigaray's text. "It exposes the invisibility of motherhood. Because that experience is recent to me, the text resonated with my thoughts and feelings," Serpa offers. "Writing this song was part of a healing process, as I dealt with the realizations of the lack of support women artists receive as mothers, and of the paradoxical loneliness one can feel in one of life's most beautiful events."

All the compositions present striking atmospheres, glimmering with melodic and dissonant sounds, unified and transformed by the trio. Serpa, Laubrock and Friedlander play with their roles, alternating in creating backgrounds, to holding down bass lines, or to playing extremely long tones that become textures. "To find our place without a harmonic instrument was an interesting challenge and I enjoyed learning how to be independent, to be featured as soloist, or to act in ensemble, whatever each song was calling for." Laubrock and Friedlander are valuable partners in these roles; shifting with their unpredictable phrasing, extreme versatility, and attentive ears.

Iranian film director Kiarostami's film Close Up is cited as an influence in the album's liner notes. "The movie (a masterpiece itself) plays with the idea of actors who are in fact not actors but become actors of a fictitious film, providing a common thread between the film and the music I was creating at the same time I was watching it."

The quality of being still, of observing as nature unfolds, comes across in the song "Storm Coming," highlighted by Ingrid Laubrock's masterful solo improvisation. In the dark and ambient section, each instrument blends into the other, rendering the piece an impressionistic sonic experience, an image of dark clouds slowly gathering before a storm.

Serpa, whose natural instinct is to sing wordlessly -"When I lack words, I sing sounds, and emotions are conveyed through those sounds" - uses literature as inspiration in several of this album's pieces: Luce Irigaray for "Woman," and Virginia Woolf in "The Future." Portuguese poet Ruy Bello's "Pássaros," Birds, is the backbone for an eccentric and energetic piece. "The poem is about how birds are tree's fruits, and how birds make the trees sing. Imagining the trees singing is an inspiring image," the singer explains.

"Object," "Quiet Riot," and "Sol Enganador," exploratory and complex in their compositional nature, are all instrumental pieces, in which the voice functions as an equal to the cello and the saxophone.

Close Up reveals Serpa's voice as never before - her sound is full, consistent, and expressive. "Cantar Ao Fim," at the end of the album's journey, starts with a vocal improvisation that makes one wonder whether Serpa is singing right next to your ear, intimate and quotidian. "This song came out of an improvisation I recorded on my phone when I was out in the mountains, at night. That moment stayed with me, looking at the mountains and singing without thinking or judging what was coming out. There is something very powerful in singing alone in the nature."

Sara Serpa

Lisbon, Portugal native, Sara Serpa is a singer, composer, improviser who implements a unique instrumental approach to her vocal style. Recognized for her distinctive wordless singing, Serpa has been immersed in the field of jazz, improvised and experimental music since first arriving in New York in 2008. Described by JazzTimes magazine as "a master of wordless landscapes" and by the New York Times as "a singer of silvery poise and cosmopolitan outlook," Serpa started her recording and performing career with jazz luminaries such as Grammy-nominated pianist Danilo Perez, and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow pianist Ran Blake. Her ethereal music draws from a broad variety of inspirations including literature, film, visual arts as well as history and nature. As a leader, she has produced and released seven albums; the latest being "All The Dreams" in collaboration with guitarist André Matos. Serpa has collaborated with an extensive array musicians including John Zorn, Mycale Vocal 4tet, Guillermo Klein, Mark Turner, Zeena Parkins, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Derek Bermel, Aya Nishina, Tyshawn Sorey, Nicole Mitchell, among many others."-Clean Feed

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Unusual Vocal Forms
Trio Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


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