One of Listen! Foundation's 2022 piano/bass duo series, German-based pianist Jordina Milla meets UK bassist Barry Guy for an album of uniquely discerning improvisation, Milla using inside preparations and gracefully energetic playing informed by her background in classical piano, complementing Guy's intensely melodic abstractions and technically advanced techniques; fascinating.
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Label: Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Catalog ID: 03/2022
Squidco Product Code: 31404
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Studio Rosazul, in Barcelona, Spain, on July 16th, 2021,
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• Show Bio for Jordina Milla
"Jordina Millà, pianist and improviser has been influenced by music since the early years. She graduated as a classical pianist in CODARTS University of Arts in Rotterdam, there she continued her studies and obtained the Master in piano performance. During that period Huygens Scholarship Program by the Ministery of Education Culture and Science of Holland has been awarded to her. After her time in Holland, she moved to Paris to continue her studies in Ecole Normale de París. During that period she has been very active offering recitals as a soloist and chamber music in The Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Italy.
Through the time the artistic need developed her interest towards other approach of music. On the way meets Agustí Fernández who guide her into the paths of improvisation. Now a days free improvised music and contemporary language are her main interests.
In spring 2018 she debuted with her Solo album "Males herbes" that had a beautiful impact on the passionates and crítics of that gender of music.
In the last two years she has been collaborating with the Doctor Alonso Dance Company at the Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona. With dancer Iris Heitzinger presenting the Kaleidoskop improvisation project at Posthof in Linz and at ARGEkultur in Salzburg. And has been part of Investigations, a work by the artist Christian Marclay presented at the MACBA Barcelona. She perfomes and makes the music of Woolf a piece of the Sevillan dancer Natalia Jimenez. She collaborates with the Contemporary Austrian dance company CieLaroque with the Coreographer Helene Weinzierl. In the field of Music she has a duo with Núria Andorrà played with improvisers such as Berlin trumpet player Axel Dörner, singer Almut Kühle, drummer Yorgos Dimitriadis, guitarist Andreas Willers, Ramon Prats, Don Malfon, and the doublebassist Barry Guy with whom she recently recorded a duo Album and will be released in 2022.
She currently resides in Germany and her last album "When forests dream" a two pianos Album with Agustí Fernández, that has been awarded by Enderrock de les Illes Balears, for the best Jazz album 2020."-Jordina Milla Website (https://www.jordinamilla.com/)
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• Show Bio for Barry Guy
"Barry John Guy (born 22 April 1947, in London) is a British composer and double bass player. His range of interests encompasses early music, contemporary composition, jazz and improvisation, and he has worked with a wide variety of orchestras in the UK and Europe. He also taught at Guildhall School of Music.
Born in London, Guy came to the fore as an improvising bassist as a member of a trio with pianist Howard Riley and drummer Tony Oxley (Witherden, 1969). He also became an occasional member of John Stevens' ensembles in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. In the early 1970s, he was a member of the influential free improvisation group Iskra 1903 with Derek Bailey and trombonist Paul Rutherford (a project revived in the late 1970s, with violinist Philipp Wachsmann replacing Bailey). He also formed a long-standing partnership with saxophonist Evan Parker, which led to a trio with drummer Paul Lytton which became one of the best-known and most widely travelled free-improvising groups of the 1980s and 1990s. He was briefly a member of the Michael Nyman Band in the 1980s, performing on the soundtrack of The Draughtsman's Contract.
Guy's interests in improvisation and formal composition received their grandest form in the London Jazz Composers Orchestra. Originally formed to perform Guy's composition Ode in 1972 (released as a 2-LP set on Incus and later, in expanded form, as a 2-CD set on Intakt), it became one of the great large-scale European improvising ensembles. Early documentation is spotty - the only other recording from its early years is Stringer (FMP, now available on Intakt paired with the later "Study II") - but beginning in the late 1980s the Swiss label Intakt set out to document the band more thoroughly. The result was a series of ambitious, album-length compositions designed to give all the players in the band maximum opportunity for expression while still preserving a rigorous sense of form: Zurich Concerts, Harmos, Double Trouble (originally written for an encounter with Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, though the eventual CD was just for the LJCO), Theoria (a concerto for guest pianist Irène Schweizer), Three Pieces, and Double Trouble Two. The group's activities subsided in the mid-1990s, but it was never formally disbanded, and reconvened in 2008 for a one-off concert in Switzerland. In the mid-1990s Guy also created a second, smaller ensemble, the Barry Guy New Orchestra.
Guy has also written for other large improvising ensembles, such as the NOW Orchestra and ROVA (the piece Witch Gong Game inspired by images by the visual artist Alan Davie).
His current improvising activities include piano trios with Marilyn Crispell and Agusti Fernandez. He has also recorded several albums for ECM, which often focus on the interface between improvisers and electronics, including his work in Evan Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble and his own Ceremony.
Guy's session work in the pop field includes playing double bass on the song "Nightporter", from the Japan album Gentlemen Take Polaroids.
He is married to the early music violinist Maya Homburger. After spending some years in Ireland, they now live in Switzerland. They run the small label Maya, which releases a variety of records in the genres of free improvisation, baroque music and contemporary composition.
Guy's jazz work is characterised by free improvisation, using a range of unusual playing methods: bowed and pizzicato sounds beneath the bass's bridge; plucking the strings above the left hand; beating the strings with percussion instrument mallets; and "preparing" the instrument with sticks and other implements inserted between the strings and fingerboard. His improvisations are often percussive and unpredictable, inhabiting no discernible harmonic territory and pushing into unknown regions. However, they can also be melodious and tender with due regard for harmonic integration with other players, and at times he will even play with a straight jazz swing feel.
Similarly, in his concert works, Guy manages to alternate harmonic and rhythmic complexity worthy of 1960s experimentalists such as Penderecki and Stockhausen with joyous, often ecstatic, melody. Works such as "Flagwalk" for string orchestra and "Fallingwater - Concerto for Orchestra" display Guy's compositional skill in handling extended forms and writing for large instrumental groups.
Some of his compositions, such as "Witch Gong Game" for ensemble, use graphic notation in conjunction with cue cards to lead performers into playing and improvising material from numbered sections of the score.
He is also an architect."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Guy)
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1. String Fables 9:14
2. Nuc 3:59
3. Duna 6:05
4. Decodification 9:58
5. Agora 7:47
6. Quart Creixent 2:42
7. Plithorikos 7:03
8. Essential Sonances 12:39
sample the album:
"A true music lover typically has dreams that their favorite musicians, who do not normally work one with another, will meet and perform together. I had a dream many years ago that the two Giants of contemporary improvised music, Joelle Leandre and Barry Guy play a double bass duo together. And my dream became true at the 2017 Ad Libitum in Warsaw in Festival, and was released by Fundacja Sluchaj! on a phenomenal 3 CDs box Blue Horizon Barry Guy@70.
Here is another dream realized by Fundacja Sluchaj! - on String Fables Barry Guy encounters Jordina Milla. Barry has a long experience working in piano trios and piano bass duos: from Howard Riley Trio in the 1960s, through Ithaca Trio with Marilyn Crispell and Paul Lytton, to Aurora Trio with Agusti Fernandez and Ramon Lopez, or more recent trio with the phenomenal Japanese pianist, Izumi Kimura and Gerry Hemingway, also on Fundacja Sluchaj!. The most impressive piano-bass duo of recent years are with Agusti Fernandez, who is, in a sense, a mentor of Jordina. They both play improvised piano, they both played prepared piano, they both oscillate between abstraction and lyricism - yet the music of Jordina is completely different, completely original and absolutely not comparable to anything else.
When I first listened to her debut album Males herbes (Sirulita), I wrote on the Facebook: "I experienced today a birth of a star, better to say a supernova." Indeed, Jordina grew up to become a legendary figure of Catalan scene immediately. Her way of tuning abstraction to sound lyrical is absolutely unique and uncompromising. In this sense she is an ideal partner to Barry, whose approach to the lyrical side of life is similar. Both of them can be extremely lyrical, sad and melancholic without any simplicity and any loss of abstract complexity.
String Fables is a masterpiece presentation of the joint concept of this music: lyrical abstraction/abstract lyricism. For me, this is one of the most beautiful piano-bass records of the century!"-Maciej Lewenstein
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