One take of horror vacui

Things are about to happen.

There exists a strange energy in the air. Some kind of expectation. Some sort of breath retention. As if legends were awaiting. And awaited.

There is a drum set, an electric bass, a grand piano and a set of saxophones.

Dressed in red, he carries the three saxophones. His body is reflected on the surface of the black piano, dazzling. He is dressed in red. Throwing the light into the big concert hall. The Berliner Festspiele applauds, ravishing. Him, bright. That red… that red is making a statement. The passion red, the powerful red, red the colour of blood and the colour of fight and the colour of energy, of the hottest nucleus of the sun.

Jazz is red. And blue and grey and black and green.

But very red. Continue reading →

The sax with the Mona Lisa smile

Mette Henriette Martedatter Rølvåg was sitting in a concert in Oslo. Next to her, Manfred Eicher, founder of the German record Label ECM. They started chatting. Next thing on the timeline is Mette Henriette debuting with a double-CD album under ECM’s wing.

 The Norwegian saxophonist’s career has escalated quickly, and her debut album as a leader saxophonist sounds like nothing else around it. Elegant and soft, powerful within its delicacy, it shouts directly to the bowels and she succeeds in creating a personality that is reaffirmed by her live performances. During the third day of this years edition of the Jazzfest Berlin, Henriette shares stage with a whole new formation, presented in world premiere: Henrik Nørstebø on trombone, Lavik Larsen on trumpet, Johan Lindvall on piano, Andreas Rokseth on bandoneón, Odd Hannsidal and Karin Hellqvist on violins, Bendik Foss on viola, Gregor Riddell on cello, Per Zanussi on double bass and saw and Dag Erik Knedal Andersen on drums. On Thursday the 3rd of November, at 8pm, after Julia Hülsmann’s Quartet, the light changes.

 

Ignitable, robust, powerful, raw, harsh, stripped, fresh, pointy, strong, hefty, delicate, intimate, talkative, legendary, magical, epic, ancestral, traditional, glacial, soft, meditative, controlled, curious, focused, carrying, invisible.

Invisible.

Yet it travels on the skin.

Continue reading →

When silence speaks (in blue)

The last day of the 53rd edition of the JazzFest Berlin, and after the journey one large dish is served on a sunny Sunday afternoon: the Karl Wilhelm Gedächnis Kirche hosts an interesting dialogue between organ and trumpet. Alexander Hawkins and Wadada Leo Smith present in this solemn environment their ‘Blue Meditation’ piece. As only a warning, the director of the festival Richard Williams, quotes Wadada, stating this is going to be “music with the breath of life”.

Murmuration.

Light is blue. Shining, powerful and bright blue. Cerulean, turquoise, cyan. It penetrates the millions of small square glasses that cover the walls of the Memorial. It comes into the big hall and illuminates the floating dust. Traveling until it hits a reflecting surface.

The most solemn journey, as it dies, hitting the big, golden sculpture of Christ that hangs. Flying, towards at the front of the church, right on the altar, flying right on the big golden cross.

Continue reading →