Pascal Niggenkemper Vision7 – Lucky Prime (CF 283)
A double bass player Pascal Niggenkemper composed an intriguing suite “Lucky Prime”, phenomenally performed by a true dream team of contemporary improvised music scene.
The phrase announced by Lesbros – “das Leben ist flexibel” (life is flexible) – perfectly corresponds with the hybrid polistylistic nature of the music itself. Freedom on the recording has rather aleatoric then free jazz character, closer here to the Pierre Boulez local indiscipline strategy or Luciano Berio various works also including for voices and orchestra, Stockhausen’s Klavierstucken conceptions presented in the pianist Eve Risser’s realization. Focusing on texture, arouses associations with musique concrète and contemporary chamber music. On the opposite shore of what we might encounter on Lucky Prime is a consonance and sophisticated popular music.
We might clearly distinguished here relationship between the pieces. Carnet plein d’histoires fulfilling the role of a prelude: “das ist die Geschichte” (this is the story), the middle section Feuertreppe, I do not know why, but this morning … and ending sortir de la colère. Main cells are linked with interludes, polymeter marimba’s dia de los muertos (Els Vandeweyer), en urgence on the piano (Eve Risser) and lances die Lanze on drums (Christian Lillinger).
Music and libretto perfectly captures the pressing atmosphere of a modern life, full of transitory intentions, accumulation of impulses inclinations that can easily distort our orientation. Sharing and merging colors, languages ( French, German, English), polyvalent sound structures, rotary melodic lines, creates mood that is departed from the static recognition of reality, in favor of a more relativistic. Significant to the analysis of what we hear, are factors like duration, intensity, selectivity, compatibility, sound proportions spectrum. Apart from the arrangements the musical form on Lucky Prime reigns energy, thematic, textural thinking, striving for chamber coherence and building diverse multicolored course. Mileage of the compositions analogously to human insubordinate life is filled with amplitudes of emotions, spread between pianissimo to a larger volume of sound consonance or densely scattered dissonant loss of tonality and finally atonal efflorescence.
Vocalizations here are stretched in a broad intervallic twists and turns, full of dynamic and agogic contrasts, expressive modulations, naturally aroused from the narrative course in which functional dependencies are completely suspended. Lesbros finds no difficulty in this formula, her baroque syntactic and lexical abilities reminding Catherine Berberian’s mastery and subtle humor I do not know why, but this morning … In sortir de la colère emphasized by violin, double bass and Frank Gratkowski’s clarinet tonal and key accompaniment, she’s chanting: “That’s my dream, sortir de la colère”. By using pauses there is a space brought for her singing, which gradually turns into a pathetic, expressive perspicuity opera line. Emilie Lesbros’ entertaining coloratura figurations add distance to the music, neutralizing in a way the pathos of the moment, that is closer to fragility of the usual life and human decisions. The band supports her singing with a romantic, widely drop-down melody, massive texture that brings consolation and sedation.
What is important and intriguing at the same time, is that how ideal the values of individual instrumentalists are presented here as well as in the solo or arranged parts: bringing the collective improvisation, usage of contrasts as a formative element, such as comparing delicate song texture with extended technique extrapolations by the violinist Frantz Loriot ke belle or as a lance die Lanze extraverted drum solo with the arranged sections. The role which Lillinger plays in that group need to be highlighted regarding his great ease and control, blurs or enhances energy of the whole band – always otherworldly precise, minimalistic or exploding lush in an interaction, that gives a remarkably modern flow to the whole album.
This music is definitely for those who love when a lots of things going on and for those who want to relax when being attacked by the accumulation of incentives dare to shout “enough!”. A perfect balance found by Pascal Niggenkemper and his band, therefore don’t get mad anymore sortir de la colère. Just listen and experience!