The Squid's Ear Magazine

Draksler, Kaja Octet (w/ Baars / Nielsdoottir / Polence / Rave / Dumitriu / Heyndels / Govaert): Gle (Clean Feed)

Draksler's interest in poetry drives this 2-CD release, with a chamber octet of improvisers and orchestra players, with 2 vocalists, two reedists (inc. Ab Baars), violin, piano, double bass, drums & orchestral percussion, performing Draksler's compositions for the words of Pablo Neruda and Andriana Minou.

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Bjork Nielsdoottir-voice

Laura Polence-voice

Ada Rave-tenor saxophone, clarinet

Ab Baars-clarinet, tenor saxophone, shakuhachi

George Dumitriu-violin, viola

Kaja Draksler-piano, conducting

Lennart Heyndels-doublebass

Onno Govaert-drums, orchestral percussion, piano

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 5609053004175

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF417
Squidco Product Code: 23823

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Dommelhof, in Neerpelt, Belgium, in November, 2016, by Ted Masseurs.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"It's no wonder that a pianist with such a large sonic vision of her own instrument has an orchestral way of imagining sound and sonic associations, with her dedications to both the solo and the large ensemble formats complementing each other. Unexpected could be her interest to the song imprint and the voice (here delivered to the singers Bjork Nielsdottir and Laura Polence), because the impulse to work with it comes from other concerns and interests, but the Slovenian artist values timbre and acoustic quality in a special way: her love for vocal music is understandable.

Yet, there's something else in Gledalec explaining this new adventure. That "something else" has an extra-musical motive: Draksler's love for poetry, going the choices in this double album to the words of Pablo Neruda and Andriana Minou. Two horns join the two voices, but that doesn't mean there are unisons going on. The instrumentation undergoes constant permutations, and the work done by the piano, the double bass and the drums (Kaja Draksler herself, Lennart Heyndels and Onno Govaert, also playing piano when the leader is conducting) isn't what you would expect from a conventional rhythm section. Much in the same way, violinist George Dumitriu hasn't a fixed role. The chamber feel of the music keep the songs away from something of pop or folk manufacturing, and that's particularly intriguing."-Clean Feed

Artist Biographies

"Icelandic soprano Björk Níelsdóttir began her music study at an early age playing trumpet. She played on Björk Guðmundsdóttir's Volta World Tour in 2007-2008 before pursuing her career as a singer.

After the tour, Björk started her studies at The Conservatory of Amsterdam with Valerie Guillorit and followed master classes with Margreet Honig, Ira Siff, Mariella Devia, Jeff Cohen and Dalton Baldwin.

During her studies she has sung the roles of Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, Alcina by Handel, La Musica in Les plaisirs de Versailles by Charpentier, 2nd lady/2nd witch in Dido and Eneas by Purcell, and created the role Aunt/Angel in the world premiere of Sinking by Georgi Sztojanov.

In 2013, she sang as a soloist in Carmina Burana by Carl Orff with Studenten Koor Amsterdam and performed for Het Festival Opera aan Zee in Noordwijk and for de Stichting Kunst in het Kamer (NL).

In 2014 Björk sang Marie in the opera Woyzeck een waanopera (production of Silbersee/ex Vocaallab), which was performed at Oerol Festival, Karavaanfestival and Over het Ij Festval (NL).

She made her debut at Muziekgebouw aan't Ij (Amsterdam, NL) in September 2014 singing the soprano solo in Stabat Mater by Arvo Pärt and Stabat Mater by G.B. Pergolesi with The New European Ensemble.

Björk finished her masters in 2015 from The Conservatory of Amsterdam with excellence and distinction for artistry. That year she was also a member of the band Florence and the Machine, on their How Big world tour as a backing vocalist and a trumpet player. She also sang at the world premiere of Cars 2 by Luke Deane in a collaboration with the group Lunatree at Grachtenfestival that year.

Last fall Björk sang the soprano part in the world premiere of Beeldenstrom by Peter-Jan Wagemans in a production of Hollands Diep in a co-production with Amsterdam Baroque Consort and het Doelen Ensemble. Beeldenstorm was performed at the Bachfestival in Dordrecht and November Music days in ´S Hertogenbosch. She also sang a solopart in the worldpremiere of the musical Morning Blossoms by Chloe Charody and Malcolm Rock in a production of Odd Continent. Morning Blossoms was performed in various city theater throughout The Netherlands. Last December Björk sang the soprano solo in The Christmas Oratorio by J.S. Bach with Amsterdam Bach Consort and Collegium Delft with Nico van der Meel as conductor.

Björk´s last production was with Lichtbende a show called Zeven Nachten with music by Gubaidulina and Gorecki. Zeven Nachten was premiered last January in Orgelpark.

Björk continues her vocalstudies with the renowed teacher Margreet Honig."

-Bjork Nielsdoottir Website (

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"Laura Polence (1987) is a singer and composer from Latvia, since year 2007 based in the Netherlands. Her musical background of Latvian folkmusic and 12 years of European academic music studies have merged with strong interest in modern jazz, the popular music of Brazil and singer-songwriter-like compositional ideas in the last couple of years. Laura won the Best Composition Prize of the "Dutch Jazz Competition 2012"."

-Native DSD Music (

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"Ada Rave: Saxophonist, improviser and composer, was born in Chubut (Argentina) in 1974. She began her musical development in 2000 in the Buenos Aires jazz scene. Her musical interests are jazz, free improvisation and composition. She works on her own projects and also collaborates with other musician's - performing in several places around Argentina. Since 2013 she has been based in Amsterdam where she performs with several musicians in the Netherlands and Europe. She continues researching her personal approach to the sound and interaction with other musicians as well as the environment, expanding her passion for the free improvisation.

She is currently involved in the following musical projects:

- new rumors & other noises with Raoul Van Der Weide (contrabass) and Nico Chientaroli (piano)

- Wilbert De Joode (contrabass) and Nicola Hein (guitar)

- Kaja Draksler (piano, composition), Laura Polence and Bjork Nielsdottir (voices), Ab Baars (cl, sax), George Dumitriu (violin, viola), Lennart Heyndels (contrabass), Onno Govaert (drums)

- Felicity Provan (trumpet, composition), Han Buhrs (voice), Harald Austbo (cello), Michael Vatcher (drums)

She studied with the teachers: Carlos Lastra, Enrique Norris and Rodrigo Domínguez and graduated with a degree in jazz at the Manuel De Falla Conservatory of Buenos Aires.

In addition to playing music, she is also the initiator and organizer of a jam session for free improvisation (in both Buenos Aires and Amsterdam), and also a concert organizer. She has also been a music educator since 2000 and she currently teaches saxophone and free improvisation."

-Pany Rosa Discos (

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"Ab Baars (Magrette, 1955): Dutch musician-composer and bandleader Ab Baars performs on tenor saxophone, clarinet and shakuhachi. He focuses mainly on Ab Baars Solo, Baars-Buis, Fish Scale Sunrise, Perch Hen Brock & Rain, Ab Baars Trio, Duo Baars-Henneman and the ICP Orchestra.

In reviews Baars' music has been characterized as joyfully obstinate, but surely appealing and as colourful as it is astonishing. It embodies the best typically Dutch improvised music has to offer. Although he seldomly uses recognizable song forms or ongoing swing rhythms, the music stays catchy, because it is stripped to the essence and clearly presented.

Ab Baars has been internationally acclaimed for both his solo and ensemble music performed in hundreds of concerts throughout Europe, North America, Brasil, Japan and Australia in the past 30 years.

Some highlights:
▪ Ab Baars Trio tour Netherlands (2013 - 2014) recorded on Slate Blue (Wig 24, 2014)
▪ Duo Baars-Henneman Autumn Songs USA Tour (2012) recorded on Autumn Songs (Wig 22, 2013)
▪ Ab Baars Trio & New York Guests Fay Victor, Vincent Chancey and Dutch poet Anneke Brassinga in Invisible Blow (2011) recorded on Invisible Blow (Wig 23, 2014)
▪ Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark (2007 and 2009), recorded on Goofy June Bug (Wig 15, 2008)
▪ Kinda Dukish. The music of Duke Ellington (2004), recorded on Kinda Dukish (Wig 12, 2005)
▪ Ab Baars Trio plays music of Native Americans (1999), recorded on Songs (Geestgronden, 2001)
▪ Ab Baars Trio with trombonist Roswell Rudd (1996 & 98), recorded on Four (DATA Records, 2001)
▪ Ab Baars Trio plays the music of John Carter, recorded on A Free Step (Geestgronden, 1999)
▪ Ab Baars Trio in collaboration with the Nieuw Ensemble, shakuhachi player Yoshikazu Iwamoto and conductor Butch Morris at the Festival Improvisations/Improvisations (1996)
▪ Ab Baars Trio with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy (1995)

Influenced by the American saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, whom he worked with in 1986, and by his participation in the Monk Project (performed by the Instant Composers Pool, directed by Misha Mengelberg), Baars adopted a very personal style, or 'ab music' as Misha Mengelberg calls it.

At the age of 15, Ab Baars began playing the saxophone in the Philips Marching Band and other local bands in the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. From 1976 to 1981, he studied saxophone with Leo van Oostrom at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. He was granted a scholarship by the Dutch Ministry of Culture in 1989 to study with clarinettist-composer John Carter in Los Angeles. That same year Baars was presented with the prestigious Boy Edgar Award. In 2005, Baars set out playing the shakuhachi (a Japanese end-blown bamboo flute) and took lessons with Kees Kort, Christopher Blasdel and Takeo Yamashiro.

So far, Ab Baars has worked with improvisers such as Han Bennink, Jaap Blonk, Alberto Braida, Anthony Braxton, John Carter, The Ex, Cor Fuhler, Ben Goldberg, Tristan Honsinger, François Houle, George Lewis, Michael Moore, Sunny Murray, Sonic Youth, Fabrizio Spera, Cecil Taylor, Roger Turner, Ken Vandermark, Veryan Weston, Wolter Wierbos, Michiyo Yagi, poets H.C. ten Berge and Diane Régimbald, dancers Beppie Blankert, Hisako Horikawa, Masako Noguchi and Katie Duck's Magpie Company."

-Wig (

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"George Dumitriu is a Romanian guitarist, violist and violinist residing in Amsterdam. Graduate of the Bucharest National University of Music, he won more than 15 national and international prizes as a classical violinist. As a jazz guitarist he studied in Groningen (granted with the Huygens Scholarship), New York and Conservatory of Amsterdam, researching live electronics.

Co-leading the group Re-bop Unit, he recorded a CD featuring the New York saxophonist Dick Oatts. In 2007 he joined the European Jazz Academy Big-Band led by Peter Herbolzheimer, performing in Europe and having guests such as Benny Golson and Herb Geller. As one of the four finalists of 2011 Brussels Jazz Orchestra International Contest, had the chance to compose and conduct one of the most prestigious big-bands.Important collaborations: Ambrose Akinmusire, Theo Loevendie, Michel Godard, Ack van Rooyen, Michael Moore.

As a leader of the group DUMItRIO, he released the album Future Nostalgia in 2014 (FN01).He performs internationally with a variety of ensembles (Sanem Kalfa, Kaja Draksler Octet, Hidden Myth, Romanian Jazz Collective, Newstalgia, Steven Kamperman Trio, Alex Simu Quintet).Founding member of the I/O music-theater platform, he experiments with live electronics, composition and improvisation.

He is a guest teacher at the Amsterdam Conservatory and Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen."

-George Dumitriu Website (

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"Kaja Draksler (1987) is a Slovenian pianist and composer. After her studies in the Netherlands (BA in jazz piano and MA in classical composition), she decided to stay in Amsterdam, where she is an active member of the improvisors scene, performing extensively all over the Europe. Besides her frequent solo concerts, she has been working regularly with Čudars-Draksler Duo, Feecho, BadBooshBand, and Draksler-Santos Silva duo. She is also one of the founding members of the interdisciplinary group I/O. She recently formed her Octet. As a composer she has been commissioned by various international groups, ranging from vocal and chamber ensembles to big bands and orchestras. Kaja is interested in finding ways to merge the composition and (free) improvisation by working with different structures and musical logics. She is drawn to the idea of erasing the stylistic and historical musical borders, and discovering personal expression and language through composition and improvisation."

- Website (

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"Lennart Heyndels grew up in musical family. He got in touch with classical and jazz music from an early age on. Currently he's studying at the Royal Conservatory The Hague where he will receive his bachelor degree in june 2012. He got selected to participate in the "IASJ Jazz Meeting" 2010 in The Hague, allowing him to take classes with bass legend Reggie Workman. As a First Prize winner at the "Prinses Christina Concours" 2010 in Amsterdam, Lennart was able to attend the critically acclaimed "Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music" 2011 in Canada. Lennart is an active member in jazz bands Elk Town, Winchovski, Tree House, Matiss Cudars Quartet, Sallma's Moles as well as pop band Wildlife and rock band Hypochristmutreefuzz. Besides he works as a freelance musician with a wide variety of musicians.

Education :
2008 - High School Degree ASO Latin-Modern Languages "Koninklijk Atheneum Pitzemburg", Mechelen
-2002 - Basic Academy Degree "Academie voor muziek en woord" Mechelen: cello
-2008 - Full Academy Degree "Academie voor muziek en woord" Mechelen: jazz double bass
-2008 - Basic Academy Degree "Academie voor muziek en woord" Mechelen: classical double bass
-2012 - Bachelor Degree Jazz Double Bass "Royal Conservatory The Hague" (NL)

Past Projects :
-electric bass player/singer/composer with rock band A Vibe (2002-2011)
-double bass player in jazz ensemble Groovepact (2004-2008)
-double bass player in folk band Nuada (2007)
-bass player in dance/music production "Waanzien" by Lise Uytterhoeven and Tom Mahieu (2006)
-double bass player in jazz ensemble Jazzzound (2006-2007)
-leader/double bass player of jazz ensemble Eclectic Yell (2008-2009)
-double bass player in jazz ensemble Marjan Van Rompay Group (2009-2010)
-double bass player in jazz ensemble Alex Koo Trio (2009-2011)
-electric bass player with singer-songwriter Jasper Erkens (2009)
-Tour in Sweden with jazz/world music band Bamako Project (2010)
-Tour in Latvia with jazz ensemble Matiss Cudars Quartet (2011)
-CD-recording + Tour in Denmark with jazz ensemble Bjarke Nikolajsen "Gibberish" Quintet (2011)
-CD-recording with eclectic pop band Wildlife (2010-2011)
-Tour in Lithuania with jazz ensemble Vytis Smolskas trio (2011)
-CD-recording in Osnabrück, Germany, with Matiss Cudars Quartet (2012)

Current Projects :
-Jazz ensembles: Winchovski, Elk Town, Tree House, Matiss Cudars Quartet, Sallma's Moles
-Part time bass player in rock band Hypochristmutreefuzz
-bass player in eclectic pop band Wildlife
Workshops : -2011 - Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music, Banff, Canada with: Dave Douglas, Matt Brewer, Clarence Penn, Robin Eubanks, Kneebody ,...
-2010 - IASJ Jazz Meeting, The Hague, The Netherlands with: Dave Liebman, Reggie Workman, Ronan Guilfoyle, ...
-2010 - Langnau Jazz Nights Workshop, Langnau, Switserland with: David Binney, Ambrose Akinmusire, Eivind Opsvik, Dan Weiss, ...
-2008 - Summerschool, Dordrecht, The Netherlands with: Hein van de Geyn, Ab Baars
-2007 - Rencontres des Contrebasses Internationale Stage, Cap Breton, France with: Hein van de Geyn, François Moutin, Joe LaBarbera, Enrico Pieranunzi, ...
-2006 - Jazzworkshop Halewijnstichting, Brussels, Belgium with: Nic Thys
Masterclasses and lessons with -Thomas Morgan, Ralph Alessi, Ronan Guilfoyle, Brad Mehldau, Larry Grenadier, Gregory Hutchinson, Mark Turner

Prizes :
2010: Two First Prizes (with both Alex Koo trio and Matiss Cudars trio) at the Prinses Christina Concours, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2010: Finalist at the Dutch Jazz Competition, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2006: First Prize at "Maanrockrally", Mechelen with A Vibe
2006: Second Prize at "Musiclive", Brugge with Groovepact

-2011-2012: Huygens Scholarship Program for excellent foreign students, studying in the Netherlands -Jazz in Belgium (

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

Onno Govaert is a drumer from Amsterdamn performing free jazz, swing and rock. He is a member of Cactus Truck with Jasper Stadhouders and Wilbert de Joode, and has also recorded with Andy Moor, Colin McLean, and John Dikeman, and with Dave Rempis and Frank Rosaly.

-Squidco 6/17/2024

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Track Listing:


1. Mirabile Mysterium / Births 10:57

2. Omphalomancy 6:06

3. Bizdibocul 5:44

4. A Carnival Of Words 2:02

5. A Promise Is A Promise 6:06

6. Dulce Como Un Solozzo En La Nevada 3:23

7. Omlettio Ad Absurdum 5:50


1. Gledalec 11:41

2. (And Here Who There Who) 4:45

3. Canto XI 14:52

4. The Builder 6:53

5. Epilogue 5:43

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Compositional Forms
Free Improvisation
Unusual Vocal Forms
Octet Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Clean Feed

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