Live concerts! Playing! More!
Starting next Saturday, March 22nd, when my Contemporary Collective will be performing in Temppeliaukio Church, my focus of activity is shifting towards live concerts again.
The Contemporary Collective will henceforth appear in two versions: the sextet/septet that appeared on our recording ‘The Zen Connection‘, which is the version with the string quartet, and then the new compact quartet version that will play next Saturday:
Teemu Viinikainen – guitar, Sid Hille – piano, Heikki Nikula – bass clarinet and Markus Hohti – cello.
Both versions are based on the same intention – to create a bridge, a connection between jazz and contemporary classical music. The obvious difference being that for the string quartet version the music has to be constructed beforehand in order to make full use of the polyphonic possibilities.
Next Saturday we will be improvising to a very large extent. And what a thrill it is! Four such unique voices!
In a similar way that Beethoven described the string quartet as four cultivated people having a conversation, this will be a conversation of four experienced improvisers, four different instruments plus the use of electronics, two players coming from a jazz point of view and two from a contemporary classical one.
A conversation about eight topics.
I drew a kind of landscape map, a parameter chart, that serves as a point of departure, but the participants are free to digress, take liberties in execution or remain silent.
You have the right to remain silent. How important this is in music. The silences!
Listening, before responding.
The best thing about it is, that we have a common understanding of aesthetics: there will be wild, exciting bits as well as fragile, prayer-like sections. In the rehearsals we played some spontaneous counterpoint improvisations that could have been composed by Gesualdo, weird and chromatic, yet ecstatically beautiful.
So after three years of focussing on composing, after three solo concertos (trombone, piano and bandoneon), FEUER for orchestra and choir, two films, big band and chamber music – I am amazed myself at how much one gets done by just continuing to do – all thanks to the support of the Arts Council of Finland…..
After all this, I’ll be back on the road.
Well, actually I’ll probably be just as much in my office organizing the gigs.
And not to forget the Jazz Opera ‘Jonny swipes again’.
I won’t be able to refrain from the pen altogether.
‘Jonny’ is due in October 2015 at music theater Kapsäkki in Helsinki.
Keep an eye on the gig calendar!