In the second volume of their collaboration, Banabila and Van Geel explore further into their neo-classical mix of viola improvisations, ambient textures, minimal compositions, and modular experiments.
Banabila, Michel / Oene Van Geel
Music For Viola And Electronics II
Label: Tapu Record
Released in: Netherlands
"After their collabs on 'Music for viola and electronics', (2014) Michel Banabila and Oene van Geel decided to continue their recording sessions, again combining viola with electronics. This time they invited Eric Vloeimans on trumpet, Keimpe de Jong on contrabas clarinet, Joost Kroon on drums, Emile Visser on cello and Radboud Mens for Ableton programming. Emile plays in Zapp String Quartet with Oene, Eric performed live with Oene and The Nordenians, Eric and Michel worked before on their award winning album VoizNoiz 3, Keimpe and Michel performed together in a theatre play, Radboud and Michel worked on ZoomWorld and many other projects together. The artwork is again by photographer Gerco de Ruijter."-Tapu RecordsQuotes, reviews:
Michel Banabila's and Oene van Geel's Music for viola and electronics I & II is wonderfully immersive, expansive, and intimate. If there's one word that comes to mind, over and over it's cinematic. The listener is swept up in a storyline that's played out by two superb actors, in this instance, Oene von Geel's viola and Banabila's electronic counterpoint of mood and temperament. The overall result is a sonic dance that fills the space and the heart. Let's encourage these two superb musicians keep collaborating. Highly recommended for headphones. Five stars. (Don Hill)
After they met when working together on Cloud Ensemble, Michel Banabila and Oene van Geel extended their collaboration which resulted in 2014's "Music for Viola and Electronics".
Both were so very enthusiastic about the new musical world that they had opened up, that they kept working on "Music for Viola and Electronics II", which is released this month. Judging by the (strikingly beautiful!) aerial landscape photography of Gerco de Ruijer on the cover, their collaboration will probably not end here: the crop of the (geometric) landscape on the Volume I cover photo is only partially harvested - by hand, line by line... a difficult, strenuous, but most rewarding work. Even for those that follow Banabila's work throughout the years, "Music for Viola and Electronics" is a bit hard to classify, because it's different from most of what he did before. At least, it seems that way: according to Michel himself, it's simply a next step - the logical consequence of everything he has done in the past.
The combination of Michel's modular Doepfer electronics with the warm natural sounds of Oene's viola opens up completely new perspectives. In some way, it is easier to say what this music is nót, than to describe what it ís. It cértainly is a roller coaster of emotions and dynamics, which probably is demonstrated best at the beginning of Volume I: after opening with the carefully restrained, almosts zen-like "Sinus en Snaar", complete turmoil kicks in with the aptly named "Dondergod" ("Thunder God"). It's probably best to put on safety belts before you play this on high volume! "Music for Viola and Electronics II" builds further on the same concepts as the first volume. Some extra musical guests are introduced on several tracks: Keimpe de Jong (contrabass clarinet), Joost Kroon (drums and metals), Emile Visser (cello), and Eric Vloeimans (trumpet). There are some distinct references to somewhat less 'experimental' musical territories. For instance, "Kino Mikro" and "Vleugels" both have a rather cinematic arrangement (the latter taking a surprising turn midway with frantic drumming backed by a string section that sounds like a metal band - a surprising moodswitch effectively breaking the constraints of minimalism). Unlike many other albums that choose to focus on one particular atmosphere, these albums are more like a kaleidoscope of fragmented emotions. This may be a bit confusing at first listen, but it proves to be very rewarding if you carry through and keep listening ! (Peter van Cooten)
UTILITY FOG (FBI Radio):
Music for viola and electronics II follows the same sonic path as part 1 but adds further instrumentation: bass clarinet, cello, trumpet, drums. It's not all experimental modular electronics & extended techniques, but nor is it all lush world beats & string melodies - it strikes a nice balance. They've both stayed on my virtual turntable a lot recently. (Peter Hollo)
VITAL WEEKLY 976:
In the last six months they worked on new music, again using their set-up of electronics, which is for Banabila a doepfer A-100 analog modular system, radio, logic pro and keyboards (the latter on all tracks) and Van Geel plays viola and 5 string violin. I was highly surprised by their release, and obviously the second release is not the similar surprise (it could be, of course, but it just isn't) but it further explores the nature of violin playing and electronics. 'Chaos' comes close to the world of free jazz, with some wild electronics too and a fine orchestral ending. In the longest piece, 'Hephaestus', that also is the opening they set the compass to all things drone like and atmospheric, along with the modular synth cracking up like rainfall and some sparse drumming, making it all a very intense piece. A top-class release of some highly exciting electronic music meeting classical instruments. (FdW)
At The Squid's Ear!
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
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Label: Tapu Record
Catalog ID: BGII
Squidco Product Code: 20543
Recorded by Michael Banabila.
Michel Banabila-composer, keyboards, synthesizer, radio
Oene Van Geel-violin
Keimpe De Jong-contrabass clarinet
Joost Kroon-percussion, metals
Keimpe De Jong-sounds
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1. Hephaestus 12:51
2. Chaos 11:00
3. Vleugels 08:26
4. Radio Spelonk 05:31
5. Kino Mikro 09:23