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Leandre, Joelle / Lauren Newton / Myra Melford: Stormy Whispers (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

The 13th International Festival of Improvised Music "Ad Libitum" in Warsaw, 2018, themed "Women Alarm!", presented the new trio of Joëlle Léandre (double bass), Myra Melford (piano), and Lauren Newton (free improv voice), performing a masterfully energetic, quirky and indescribably enthralling set of trio and duo improvisations titled "Whisper" 1 through 8.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Joelle Leandre-bass

Myra Melford-piano

Lauren Newton-voice


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UPC: 5905279364691

Label: Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Catalog ID: FSR 11 | 2020
Squidco Product Code: 29289

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Poland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Laboratorium, U-Jazdowski, „Women Alarm!” 13th Ad Libitum Festival, in Warsaw, Poland, on October 27th, 2018, by Jakub Sosulski.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The 13th International Festival of Improvised Music "Ad Libitum" took place in Warsaw in October 2018 at the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art. The motto of that edition was "Women Alarm!" One of the main attractions was a new trio of Joëlle Léandre, Myra Melford, and Lauren Newton. This new trio formed in a sense a counterpoint to another legendary formation of Joëlle, Les Diaboliques, with Irène Schweizer and Maggie Nicols. Indeed, I could adapt my own ancient review of the music of Les Diaboliques to describe the trio of Léandre/Melford/Newton: "The humour and joy, synergy, creativity and imagination - this is what characterizes the music of them. The language of Lauren sounds like Hebrew or Latino, or sometimes even like Hungarian or a Scandinavian language." Yet, the music is completely different. Myra's piano playing is in deep relation to American free piano music tradition from Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Adams to Matthew Shipp and Marilyn Crispell. As the title suggests, Lauren uses plenty of special vocal effects: whispers, squeaks, loud breaths, opera techniques, even throat singing, à la Sainkho Namtchylak. However, she uses also plain English sometimes. Joëlle... is simply magnificent in any respect, showing the whole palette of her bass and vocal abilities.

The set consists of 8 "Whispers 1-8", each of which is quite different. "Whisper 1" illustrates quite widely Lauren's approach, with amazing bowing support from the bass and delicate piano. "Whisper 2" is more abstract and expressive, with Myra entering the inside piano. "Whisper 3" is a beautiful piano-bass duo piece: it starts with wonderfully lyrical and impressionistic piano lines, supported by the bowing bass. "Whisper 4" is a duo of bass and vocal: it has repetitive, minimal bass motives of Joëlle and long howls of Lauren. On the short "Whisper 5", Lauren begins with contemporary opera approach, but develops into an avant-garde stream of short free improvised voice sounds. On "Whisper 6" Lauren and Joëlle "talk" in English, supported by the marvellous piano and bass sounds. "Whisper 7" is perhaps the most expressive track, with the piano introduction in a Cecil Taylor style, and tremendous breathes of Lauren, and bass effects of Joëlle. The closing "Whisper 8" has throat singing, and tears-squeezing final, melancholic part.

This concert of Léandre/Melford/Newton trio was an epochal event."-Listen! Foundation


Artist Biographies

"Joëlle Léandre is a famous French Bassist and is known for her collaborations with other musicians in the field of improvised music. Born in France on September 12th, 1951, she made her music debut in 1984 with Les Douze Sons. Her childhood was filled with music, and she was particularly interested in the piano during her early years. In her later years, she developed an interest in double bass, which won her many honors and scholarships during her education. Her double bass teacher Pierre Delescluse encouraged her to apply to the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, where she was formally trained and noticed for her talent in the bass. Her outstanding musicianship took her to the United States and to the Centre for Creative and Performing Arts in Buffalo through a scholarship. In the United States, she expanded her network and met some of the best composers, such as John Cage, Giacinto Scelsi, and Morton Feldman. Among them, John Cage greatly influenced her music and compositions. Her time in the United States also enabled her to experience downtown New York music, which was another significant influence that led to her continued involvement in the field of improvised music.

Some of her notable collaborations in the field of contemporary music are with Pierre Boulez, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and Giacinto Scelsi. Among them, John Cage and Giacinto Scelsi were the biggest influences in her life and music. In an interview, Joëlle Léandre said that John Cage was her spiritual father and changed her perception of sound and music. In another interview, she tells how Giacinto Scelsi allowed her to discover her own music and how his music transported her into a new world of improved consciousness. In the field of jazz music, she collaborated with Derek Bailey, William Parker, and Sebi Tramontana. Her music was owned and distributed by different music labels, including FMP, Leo, RougueArt, and Red Toucan. Some memorable songs and albums she released throughout the years include Instant Replay, Les Douze sons, Trios, Sweet Zee, Frerebet, Joelle et Tetsu, Philippe Fenelon, Voyages, etc. Some of the recent releases include Can You Hear Me and Unleashed. She has also performed live at the Tampere Jazz Festival twice, where popular international artists compete with each other.

Joëlle Léandre is also the member of European Women's Improvising Group (EWIG). The group evolved from the Feminist Improvising Group, and Joëlle Léandre joined the group in 1983. In the early 1900s, she co-founded Les Diaboliques with Irene Schweizer and Maggie Nicols, who were her long-time musician friends. Besides that, she also teaches several classes in prestigious universities about contemporary and improvised music. She has lived in France, Germany, and U.S during her lifetime, teaching at academic institutions in the religions and playing concerts. In 2002, she was invited to Canada as a visiting professor for music and composition."

-Joelle Leandre Website (https://www.joelle-leandre.com/biography/2/)
2/21/2024

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

"For pianist, composer and Guggenheim fellow Myra Melford, the personal and the poetic have always been intimately and deeply connected. Raised outside Chicago in a house designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Melford grew up literally surrounded by art. Where most of us find the beauty in our childhood homes through the memories and associations we make within its four walls, Melford saw early on that aesthetic expression could both be built from and be a structure for profound emotions.

Over the course of a career spanning more than two decades, Melford has taken that lesson to heart, crafting a singular sound world that harmonizes the intricate and the expressive, the meditative and the assertive, the cerebral and the playful. Drawing inspiration from a vast spectrum of cultural and spiritual traditions and artistic disciplines, she has found a "spark of recognition" in sources as diverse as the writings of the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi and the Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano; the wisdom of Zen Buddhism and the Huichol Indians of Mexico; and the music of mentors like Jaki Byard, Don Pullen, and Henry Threadgill.

The latest incarnation of this ever-evolving cross-disciplinary dialogue is Language of Dreams, which will premiere in November 2013 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The multi-media work is inspired by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano's Memory of Fire trilogy, a history of the Americas told through indigenous myths and the accounts of European colonizers. The piece will combine music for Melford's quintet Snowy Egret with narration by a multi-lingual actor, dance by Los Angeles-based choreographer Oguri, and video by Bay Area filmmaker David Szlasa.

While Language of Dreams is her most ambitious project to date, it is not the first time that Melford has constructed a piece from such a wealth of disciplines. In 2006, the Walker Arts Center premiered Knock on the Sky, a piece inspired by Albert Camus' essay "The Myth of Sisyphus" and Kobo Abe's novel Woman in the Dunes, in which Melford collaborated with New York City-based choreographer/dancer Dawn Akemi Saito and Austrian architect Michael Haberz.

Snowy Egret, Melford's latest working group, made its debut in 2012. The quintet comprises some of creative music's most inventive and individual voices: trumpeter Ron Miles, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Stomu Takeishi, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Melford's spacious, contemplative, exploratory compositions have long attracted and almost demanded such forward-thinking artists. Her past ensembles have included Be Bread, with Cuong Vu, Ben Goldberg, Brandon Ross, Stomu Takeishi, and Matt Wilson; The Same River, Twice, with Dave Douglas, Chris Speed, Erik Friedlander, and Michael Sarin; Crush, with Takeishi, Vu, and Kenny Wolleson.

Melford also currently is one-third of the collective Trio M with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Matt Wilson; their most recent CD, The Guest House, was one of 2012's most acclaimed releases. She also performs in the duo ::Dialogue:: with clarinetist Ben Goldberg and will release her first solo album in October 2013, a collection of work inspired by the paintings of the late visual artist Don Reich.

Melford's musical evolution has long run in parallel with her spiritual search, a personal journey that has led her to Aikido, Siddha Yoga, and the wisdom traditions of the Huichol people of Mexico's central highlands. Sonically, that quest is expressed via her wide-ranging palette, which expands from the piano to the harmonium and electronic keyboards or to amplifying barely audible sounds in the piano's interior. Her playing can build from the blissful and lyrical to the intense and angular, with accents from Indian, African, Cuban and Middle Eastern musics or the cerebral abstraction of European and American jazz and classical experimentalism.

While Melford's music continually reaches toward a state of transcendence, it still remains deeply rooted in the blues traditions she heard growing up in the Chicago area. In 1978, she first encountered violinist Leroy Jenkins, her introduction to the AACM, whose boundary-free, adventurous approach to jazz remains an influence. She would go on to study with Jenkins, together forming the collective trio Equal Interest with multi­reedist Joseph Jarman in 1997.

Melford moved to the east coast in 1982 and began performing in New York City's thriving Downtown scene, making her recorded debut as a leader in 1990; she has since released more than twenty albums as a leader or co-leader and appeared on more than 40 releases as a side-person. In 2000, she spent a year in North India on a Fulbright scholarship, immersing herself in the region's classical, devotional, and folk music. Melford relocated to the west coast in 2004, joining the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as an associate professor of contemporary improvised music. There, she engages students in the theory and practice of improvisation, employing diverse creative strategies.

Her work has earned Melford some of the highest accolades in her field. In 2013 alone, she was named a Guggenheim Fellow and received the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Performing Artist Award and a Doris Duke Residency to Build Demand for the Arts for her efforts to re-imagine the jazz program at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She was also the winner of the 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music. She has been honored numerous times in DownBeat's Critics Poll since 1991 and was nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association as Pianist of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and Composer of the Year in 2004."

-Myra Melford Website (http://www.myramelford.com/content/page/display/slug/biography)
2/21/2024

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

"Born in Coos Bay, Oregon, U.S.A. She received the Bachelor of Music degree in 1975 from the University of Oregon and in 1977 a degree in Vocal Performance from the School of Music in Stuttgart, Germany.

She has performed 20th century music as well as works written especially for her by composers A. Hölszky, B.Konrad, W.Dauner,H.J.Hespos, H.Zerbe and others. She was singer with the "Vienna Art Orchestra" from 1979 to 1990(20 LP/CDs). Her first solo LP "Timbre" received the annual German Critics Award in 1983 and was again released in´98 as a CD under the title "Filigree". Tours and CD recordings with Vocal Summit with B.McFerrin, J. Lee, J.Clayton and U. Dudziak. She composed music for the Freiburg Theater in Germany, and Burg Theater in Vienna, Austria, for radio-plays (german, swiss and austrian radios) and for film, acting and singing in all of these as well. She performed with austrian poet Ernst Jandl from 1983 until 1999. Since 1990 she performs with the vocal quartet "Timbre", since 1995 with Joëlle Léandre(b), Fritz Hauser (dr), Urs Leimgruber(s), and Heiri Känzig,(b). Diverse music projects, concerts, radio and cd recordings with Jon Rose (v/comp), Hannes Zerbe (p/comp), Patrick Scheyder (p), Vladimir Tarasov (dr), Joachim Kuehn(p), Aki Takase(p), Anthony Braxton (sax/fl/comp) and the European Chaos String Quintet as well as performances with artist, Koho Mori. She has done commissioned works, radio plays and has sung as soloist in performance art projects as well as in collaboration with various dancers.

Since 1974 she travels extensively with different groups performing at most of the reknowned music festivals in Europe, Russia, USA, Canada and parts of Africa. Since 1982 she continues to sing in Japan in concerts and recordings with different japanese artists. She lives in Germany since 1974."

-Lauren Newton Website (http://www.laurennewton.com/en/index.htm)
2/21/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Whisper 1 7:34

2. Whisper 2 5:10

3. Whisper 3 5:40

4. Whisper 4 5:59

5. Whisper 5 3:40

6. Whisper 6 5:06

7. Whisper 7 5:08

8. Whisper 8 6:42

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Unusual Vocal Forms
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Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!).


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