int011 | Keith Rowe, Ilia Belorukov, Kurt Liedwart | Tri


Keith Rowe, Ilia Belorukov, Kurt Liedwart
Tri

S (42:14)
Bez (31:33)

int011
CD, digisleeve, insert | edition of 300
6 May 2014


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В 2013-м году музыканты Илья Белоруков и Курт Лидварт пригласили легендарного Кита Роу в Россию на фестиваль Тени Звука для совместного проекта: были сыграны и записаны концерты в Москве и Санкт-Петербурге, проведено несколько сессий звукозаписи. Спустя год лейблы Intonema и Mikroton выпускают два релиза с участием английского мэтра электроакустики. Первым из них оказался альбом "Tri", на котором представлены полный сет на фестивале в Галерее Экспериментального Звука и трек, записанный в тот же день перед концертом. 

In 2013 Ilia Belorukov and Kurt Liedwart invited famous and legendary Keith Rowe to Teni Zvuka Festival in Russia for a collaborative project, they played concerts in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and recorded several times. In a year Intonema and Mikroton Recordings release two albums with this electroacoustic master. The first will be the album called "Tri" where you can listen to the full set at the festival at Experimental Sound Gallery and a track which they recorded the same day before the gig. 

Keith Rowe: electric guitar, electronics
Ilia Belorukov: alto saxophone, contact mic, mini-amp, monotron, effect pedals, mini-speaker, ipod, objects
Kurt Liedwart: ppooll, electronics, objects


Рецензии / Reviews:
"The St Petersburg-based Intonema label finds plenty of room to wander within what appears at first to be a pretty narrow range of music. The wandering is both musical and geographical. Tri presents a state-of-the-art improvisation in electroacoustic music with venerable electric guitarist Keith Rowe and Ilia Belorukov and Kurt Liedwart on various instruments, objects, computer processing and electronics. It documents a live performance and listening at home it’s hard to get too excited about all the technique on display. Sympathy to the guy in track one with the cough."
(Ben Harper, Boring Like A Drill)
 
"Rattling around in my listening box are these two gems, both involving Saint Petersburg’s Ilia Belorukov. Tri, released on Belorukov’s own Intonema label, stars Belorukov, Kurt Liedwart and the majestic Keith Rowe while Somebody Rattled teams Belorukov and Liedwart with Andrey Popovskiy and came out on Louie Rice’s Hideous Replica label. Both aren’t exactly new releases – Tri dates from late 2014 and Somebody Rattled from earlier this year, but they’re both excellent and well worth investigating.

All Intonema releases are handsome things, and Tri keeps standards up with gorgeously austere squiggle grid cover art. There’s an impressively a moody double performance shot on the insert, which also tells me that the two performances documented here come from the Experimental Sound Gallery in Saint Petersburg in 2013, one with an audience and the second without.

For both pieces, Rowe deploys his usual guitar  and electronics setup, while the other two juggle an array of stuff (there’s a kit list on the release page if you’re interested). Both pieces are engrossing, full of detail and dynamic range, from moments of detailed scuffs and squeaks to full on, multi-layered roars, packed with clangs and hums.

The recording quality is amazing, bringing out every serrated scrape and motorised drone – the first piece (which clocks in at over half an hour) in particular benefits from this hi-fi approach, at times seeming awesomely monolithic as its rough-hewn noise fills the space. Yet, at others, there are moments of almost pastoral drift – at about 23 minutes, for example, where an ominous low-end throb fades out and there’s just a cloudy, engine like buzzing and gently feedback drone.

The second piece is more restrained, with some lovely, gritty guitar mangling and visceral scrapes and buzzes. While it’s not immediately clear who’s doing what, Rowe certainly seems to dominate proceedings, the determinedly physical nature of his sounds – almost painful at times – recognisable from his years of consolidating and refining his aesthetic. If not quite as immediately gripping as the first piece, this second work has an intensity and rigour that rewards close and engaged listening, almost sculptural in its play of presence and space."

(Paul Margree, We Need No Swords)

"Far out literally, to the extent that the nucleus of contemporary music isn’t Russia; and sonically, since the four players involved work on the periphery of electro-acoustics; these densely programmed discs offer insight into unique post-instrumental improvisations, with a total of four tracks that are almost relaxing in their formlessness.
Recorded two days apart in St. Petersburg, the sessions resulted after local Ilia Belorukov, who plays prepared saxophone, and Moscow-based electronics manipulator Kurt Liedwart invited British guitarist Keith Rowe and Barcelona-based microtonal accordionist Alfredo Costa Monteiro to participate in some Russian gigs. Contour’s second track feature the interaction of all four, both Tri tracks involve Belorukov, Liedwart and Rowe; whereas only Rowe and Costa Monteiro on featured on Tri’s aptly named “Two”.
At the risk of drawing brickbats, numbers don’t much matter here, since the sounds generated don’t differentiate much among duo, trio or quartet formations. On their own, for instance, the two non-Russians’ interface is only distinguished by happenstance and/or stylized wave forms and perhaps the movement of thickened objects that give “two” more of a percussive undercurrent than the other tracks.
Taken as a whole, Tri’s trio tracks, the 42-minute-plus “S” and the more-than-31½-minute “Bez” are one of a pulsating kind, with broadening pitches and textures characterized more by silences and dense electronic grain than (m) any recognizable instrumental tones. Throughout timbres come in-and-out of aural focus, with a persistent machine-affiliated drone making an ostinato, which at times builds up to an almost unbearable crescendo of sewn- together strident textures. With the finale distinct sprawling signal processing rumbles and fades, previous sequences of ear-splitting reed squeaks and snarls, plus wood-splintered suggestions and metal comb-like string sweeps, as well as footfalls and coughs are the only human-like references in an otherwise seemingly machine and electricity oriented performance.
The slightly shorter “Bez” offers a bit more variety, since there are sequences during which watery lip slurps, clanking metal guitar clanks and band saw-like screeches interrupt the buzzing static before it subsumes all the other sounds. These distortions not only pierce the flat-line processes, but also introduce a sputtering leitmotif that finally asserts itself in the track’s final seconds as a single reed breath is isolated from among the fading rumbles.
Two days later when the quartet convened on “Four”, the additional tremolo functions from Costa Monteiro’s instrument appear to inject more organic animation into the shuddering drone that characterized all these electronic synapses outputting at once. With the sonic picture still as calmly mesmerizing as on other tracks, the intensity is lessened with scrubs, pops and swizzle which are not signal processed, yet can’t be attributed to any particular instrument. Reaching an earlier, more pronounced climax, the rugged oscillations that underline “Four”, meet contrapuntal interference from sharpened reed blows, intermittent beeps like a computer system rebooting and a collection of undefined noises resembling stomach growls and dog yelps. Even more instructive, the protracted conclusion moves on from what could be paper being crumbled for a finale that’s equal parts rushing wave forms, reed smears and percussion thumps.
Although not as difficult to fathom as Russia’s foreign policy, the two CDs aren’t designed to be pleasant background sounds. Acceptance of harsh timbres alongside unending drones is a necessity; as is staying away from a demand for melody or harmonies. That said, these sorts of performances have become an important part of 21st music in many countries – east and west – and deserve investigation by the adventurous."

(Ken Waxman, Jazz Word)

"Russian experimental imprint Intonema Records dropped an amazing CD, featuring a pair of electroacoustic mini-storms brewed by a trio of legendary (or soon-to-be legendary) musicians. Keith Rowe essentially needs no introduction, being a pioneer of electroacoustic sound art; Ilia Belorukov is the Intonema czar and is also a multi-instrumentalist (focusing on the saxophone) of considerable talent; Kurt Liedwart (real name: Vlad Kudryavtsev) runs the Mikroton Recordings label and is an electronics maestro. Tri documents a pair of workouts that the three performed – one live and the other without audience. This album is extremely quiet, the smallest hints of sound blossoming into tiny tornadoes. Subtle scratching and buzzing electronics are just audible. The appearance of drones is an anchor point for those wondering what exactly is going on. My suggestion: wear headphones to fully enjoy this disc.Russian experimental imprint Intonema Records dropped an amazing CD, featuring a pair of electroacoustic mini-storms brewed by a trio of legendary (or soon-to-be legendary) musicians. Keith Rowe essentially needs no introduction, being a pioneer of electroacoustic sound art; Ilia Belorukov is the Intonema czar and is also a multi-instrumentalist (focusing on the saxophone) of considerable talent; Kurt Liedwart (real name: Vlad Kudryavtsev) runs the Mikroton Recordings label and is an electronics maestro. Tri documents a pair of workouts that the three performed – one live and the other without audience. This album is extremely quiet, the smallest hints of sound blossoming into tiny tornadoes. Subtle scratching and buzzing electronics are just audible. The appearance of drones is an anchor point for those wondering what exactly is going on. My suggestion: wear headphones to fully enjoy this disc."
(Bryon Hayes, Decoder Magazine)

"The two tracks on Tri, "S" and "Bez," were respectively recorded with an audience, at the experimental sound gallery in St. Petersburg at the Teni Zvuka festival, and without an audience, before the festival appearance, on April 27th 2013. This album could reasonably be considered a companion piece with Contour (Mikroton, 2014) which was recorded in the same city two days later and added Alfredo Costa Monteiro to the threesome heard here—Keith Rowe on guitar, Belorukov on alto saxophone and Kurt Liedwart on ppooll, with all three employing electronics. Incidentally, his appearance on Tri brings Belorukov's tally to five of Intonema's thirteen releases—the most of anyone yet.

It is entirely fitting that this music was recorded at an experimental sound gallery as it fits that description perfectly. Recognisable instrumental sounds are in short supply, with the instruments often recreating electronic sounds, such as the saxophone being blown too lightly to vibrate the reed, generating a crackle effect. Together, the two tracks run for a very generous seventy-three minutes and present an interesting contrast between playing before an audience and without one. Rowe himself places much importance on the role that "the room" plays in shaping an improvisation, regarding the performance space (and the audience within) as another member contributing to what is played. As he said in 2009, "There is a sense in which the audience actually produce the music, not you. You are in the space, and the people are in the space with you...You can pick up a lot on them, on what they are feeling, how they are concentrating. So their concentration for example will allow you to develop material and extend material." That view is borne out by the music here, as the track with the audience runs for 42 minutes, while the one without runs for just 31 minutes. Hmmm. Go figure...  "

(John Eyles, All About Jazz)

"Two CDs of electroacoustic improvisation on Intonema (a label whose gatefold cardboard sleeves are very classy). The Eubanks/Kahn is a quite successful: five improvisations in the 6 to 7 minutes range, music both vivid and thoughtful. Eubanks on sax, but also on feedback circuit, oscillators and radio, three instruments often used by Kahn in other projects – here Kahn sticks to the drum kit. In comparison, Tri is a disappointment: 72 minutes of quiet noise, discreet interventions, bits of monologues that don’t coalesce into a three-part dialogue."
(Francois Couture, Monsieur Delire)

"A Teni Zvuka kísérleti zenei fesztivált 2010 óta szervezi Szentpéterváron az a két fiatal zenész, akik egyben a jelenleg két legfontosabb orosz lemezkiadó mögött is állnak: ez a két kiadó nem más, mint a pétervári Intonema és a moszkvai Mikroton. Ahogyan szervezőik definiálják, a „csendes zenék” nemzetközi fesztiválja tavaly is felsorakoztatott néhány igazán figyelemre méltó nevet az elektroakusztikus improvizációs zene nemzetközi színteréről – ezek közül a legrenomésabb kétség kívül Keith Rowe volt. Rowe számára két koncertet is szerveztek: egy szólót, illetve egy triót a rendezvény két fiatal zenész-kurátorával, Ilia Belorukovval és Kurt Liedwarttal.

Az egyszerűen csak Háromnak keresztelt kiadvány első fele ennek a fesztiválfellépésnek a szűk háromnegyed órás, vágatlan dokumentuma. A Tri két hosszabb tételből áll, amelyek egyebek mellett abban különböznek, hogy az egyiket közönség jelenlétében (S = –val/vel), a másikat pedig közönség nélkül (Bez = nélkül) rögzítették. Mindkét darabot, a Teni Zvuka meghatározásához hűen, a visszafogott, ám dinamikus, sűrű és színes zenei légkör jellemzi: a hosszan poroszkáló halk részeket festő zajok által létrehozott világ néhány perc után magával ragadja a hallgatót, hiszen nagyon hamar, valamiféle személyes kapcsolatba lép a hallgató a trió produkciójával. Feltételezem, ez a zene szerkezetének tudható be, ugyanis egy pillanatig sincs olyan szekvencia, rész, tétel, ami ismétlődne vagy éppen drone-szerű, pszichedelikus elemként szerepelne, sokkal inkább folyamatosan mind újabb és mind változatosabb hangok játszanak közre – kaparás, zúgás, kattogás, búgás, csikorgás, bőgés és a többi -, amelyek mindig más-más színezetűek, mindig másként szólalnak meg, ráadásul állandón két csendesebb rész közbevetéseiként. Ezáltal egy hullámzó hangtájkép alakul ki, amely hullámokon a csend vagy majdnem-csend és a rögtönzött zörejek váltják egymást, folyamatosan megújulva, változtatva a zene képét egészen a lemez végéig. Mindezek folytán szoros, közeli figyelmet követel a felvétel, de cserébe egyedi élményben lehet részünk hallgatása közben. A két darab – annak ellenére, hogy hosszabb terjedelműek – nem válik nehézzé, merevvé, hideggé, ami a legtöbb esetben várható lehet, inkább végig izgalmassá, a maga szelídségében-visszafogottságában színessé lesz.


A két felvételen egy-egy elektroakusztikus rögtönzést hallunk, amelyeket ugyanazon a napon (tavaly április 27-én) és ugyanott (a szentpétervári Experimental Sound Gallery-ben) rögzítettek. Keith Rowe a megszokott hangszerein, preparált elektromos gitáron és elektronikán játszik, Ilia Belorukov pedig alt szaxofont, apró tárgyakat, kontaktmikrofonokat, monotront, iPodot és effektpedálokat használ. Kurt Liedwart neve után a következőket jegyezték a borítóbelsőn: ppooll, elektronika és objektek. Az olykor már-már talányosan visszafogott, csendes hangulat eredményeképp egy magával ragadó, különleges improvizációs kiadványt hallhatunk, ami természetszerűen a zsáner egyik legnagyobb nevének, Keith Rowe-nak a kompetenciáját igazolja, illetve nem utolsósorban a két fiatal orosz zenész kreativitását, akiknek végső soron ez a korong létrejötte is köszönhető.

Egyrészt egy kiemelkedően izgalmas albumról van szó, ami mellett nem igazán érdemes elmenni; másrészt pedig egy, mind érdekesebb címekkel jelentkező, viszonylag friss minikiadóról, aminek a működését több mint ajánlatos követni.

Végezetül pedig egy kapcsolódó információ: a Mikroton Recordings néhány hete egy másik cd-t is megjelentetett, amin a fesztivál ideje alatt rögzített, Keith Rowe-val és a portugál Alfredo Costa Monteiroval való további közös stúdióimprovizációk szerepelnek. Akiknek tetszett a Tri, ezen a címen máris felkereshetik a másik orosz label Contour című lemezét."

(Lenkes Laszlo, Improv.hu)

"As you might expect from Keith Rowe and anyone he plays with, tri is a carefully considered, improvised soundscape that mixes scrapes and scuffles with textural electronics, pauses and almost inaudible details.

As I listen through again this morning, my study window is open, and the birds outside, the distant sounds of the road and the window cleaner’s whistling, have changed the music again: the treated guitar sounds like distant thunder, contact-mic sounds like the wind pushing a storm away. Then something buzzcuts across, something rings like a distant phone, and the scene changes again.

Drones underpin much of this musical exploration, holding the noises together as a composition, one which ebbs and flows, regroups and splinters, time and time again. There is perhaps little unexpected going on here – musicians have been improvising this way for 40 or 50 years now, but Rowe and his colleagues on both long tracks here offer some of the best work in the field: tri is an enchanting, focussed example of abstract dialogue and discussion as composition in the moment."

(Rupert Loydell, The Sound Projector)

"AMM und die Folgen? Das wäre zu simpel. Aber mit Rowe zieht einen hier einer der Erzväter dessen, was ich weiterhin 'diskret-minimalistische Reduktion' nennen möchte, mit in die Mikrospiralnebel des Beinahenichts. An seiner Seite im April 2013 in St. Petersburg der Intonema-Macher Belorukov und der Mikroton-Macher Liedwart. Mit E-Gitarre, Altosaxophon, Electronics, Krimskrams und 4:33-Raumklang weben sie Spinnwebfäden, die einen einspinnen in die hermetischen Dimensionen der bruits secret. Weder Gitarre noch Saxophon erscheinen als das, was sie sind. Es gibt da nur bruitistische Anmutungen, die am ehesten noch synästhetisch zu fassen sind. Als ein metallischer Beigeschmack, ein luftigter Anhauch. Es ist eine allem Sang und Klang denkbar abholde Askese, die sich hier als einmal 42- und noch einmal 31 ½-min. Lebenszeitfresserei anbietet. Auf den seltenen Höhepunkten der mirkochirurgischen Action gibt es knurpsige, sirrende, rumorende, pfeifende, dröhnende Turbulenzen. Auf den Annäherungen dahin ein dreifach feines Schleifen, Ticken, Ploppen entlang der Bewusstseinsschwelle, auf der flache Hierarchien sondiert werden, die schwache Wechselwirkung und Möglichkeiten der Erwartungslosigkeit, der Zeitlosigkeit. Mit einem Erlebnispotenzial, so bunt wie, auf ne weitere Metapher kommt's jetzt auch nicht mehr an, das Wortfeld Schnee im Isländischen. Aber egal. Wie Whitehead festgestellt hat: There is no light or colour as a fact in external nature. There is merely motion of material. ...The mind in apprehending experiences sensations which, properly speaking, are qualities of the mind alone. "
(Rigo Dittman, Bad Alchemy)

"Den som spelar dröjande, lågt, väntande har ett svårt arbete att skapa spänning. Själva dröjsmålet kan ticka som en avtagande puls, de små ljuden kan kittla som något du väntar på, störningar kan kastas in för att punktera den redan glesa ljudridån. Det är strömmar som flyter, där en krusning kan betyda mycket och också kan förbli helt likgiltig. En dekoration, en knapp i rockärmen.

Gitarristen Keith Rowe är ju mästare på att verka glömsk inför sitt instrument. Alla slags ljud flyter med omfattande pauser. Dem lyssnar han på, han smakar av dem och söker sammansättningen av en tystnad som aldrig är en tystnad, bara ett uppehåll. Det finns en besatthet i de spänningar som då uppstår. Men Rowe ockuperar inte ens dem, han hör dem, vet vad som händer men låter ljuden svirra, lagras, vänta.

Och han vet vad han ska göra med dem. Han kräver mycket av oss, i mångt och mycket en medveten musiker med en viss moralisk övertygelse. Om hans gör sitt yttersta förväntar han sig en del också av lyssnaren.

Inget lättköpt kommer ur den butiken. Och han har en lyhörd elektronikakompis i Kurt Liedwart.
Saxofonisten Ilia Belorukov är välgörande, han är otålig, kan inte riktigt hålla sig hela tiden. Rätt vad det är kommer ett saxofonljud så ortodoxt att jag hoppar till. Hans kamrater verkar inte ens ha lagt märke till det. För det mesta strövar Belorukov kring i det glesa ljudlandskapet, frasar och fräser som sig bör. Men glömmer bort sig ibland. Utan att be om ursäkt för det. Det är ganska suveränt.

Mitt i denna omdefinierade musik med lika djupa rötter som frijazz och impro (AMM!) bär sig Belorukov åt som i frijazzens barndom där folk spelade fast det inte var deras tur. Bara det att ordning numera är upprättad på ett annat strikt vis, som han inte riktigt har begripit.

Det gör skivan alldeles underbart nerskruvad, den liksom rör sig i korta vågor som om musiken inte ville göra väsen av sig. Fast den samtidigt kräver allt. Det liknar vardagshändelser som bordsskick vid bjudningar. Fantastiska smakrika händelser med avmätta överraskningar. Belorukov har inget alternativ, han har bara litet litet busig brist på vett och etikett. Och det känns fint. En musik för människor."

(Thomas Millroth, Soundofmusic)

"Two trio performances from the same space, one with an audience, one without.

Not to be overly hierarchical about this, but even in as much as Rowe strives to maintain equanimity with any collaborators, when he journeys to a far-off location to do some improvisatory set with younger, local musicians, something of the sort inevitably creeps in, a certain deference on the part of those musicians, perhaps (barring some unusually strong personality), so that the results tend to follow a Roweian path and the listener tends to frame the music more in the context of what he knows of Rowe's previous work. Unfair and unfortunate, but difficult to avoid, at least for me. Happily, Rowe doesn't think of these events as "just" improv sessions (as opposed to projects that he's conceptualized at greater length or depth) but seeks to understand the place in which he's performing, the issues affecting the area, the musicians themselves of course, and to integrate himself into the milieu, hoping to add something of value and/or interest. It doesn't always work, by any means, but when it does--and I think that, by and large, that's the case here--the music can achieve a difficult-to-describe specialness.

Most of the sounds are quite subdued, especially in the set with audience, sublimated to a wonderful, sometimes ghostly degree. My impression throughout most of it was of a kind of ruffle in the atmosphere, a passing disturbance. Belorukov's alto saxophone (he's also heard on contact mics, ipod and other electronics and objects) is always discreet, carefully poking out its head, commenting quietly, receding. And Liedwart's ppooll (I take it), often provides deep, faint tones, a little watery sounding at times, often mysterious and indicative a great spatial depth even if they never quite attain solidity, really enjoyable. The music maintains this cool darkness for most of its 42 minutes, very impressive, very strong and surprisingly varied within those parameters. The occasional jostles and bangings emerge quite naturally, never seem forced and don't really get too loud or disparate, more a subtle change in texture and grain.  


The sans audience set is reasonably similar and not bad, though it lacks the mystery of the other, strikes me as somewhat flatter, the sounds more up-front, sometimes very much so, bursting out of the frame and coming across as disjunctive, which may well be a tonic for the preceding set but doesn't work as satisfactorily for me. It's totally fine, very reminiscent of any number of such events I've seen or heard with Rowe, just not quite capturing that undefinable specialness encountered earlier. Although I must say, listening to it for the sixth or seventh time as I write, certain passages, such as the one beginning at about the 24-minute mark and continuing for a few minutes thereafter, are brilliant. It's one of those works I can easily see myself returning to in years to come and discovering multiple new aspects and ways of hearing/listening.

Definitely well worth investigating."

(Brian Olewnick, Just Outside)

"Two very lengthy pieces of improvised music recorded on the same day, 27th of April 2013. A meeting of the old guard, Rowe on guitar and electronics, and the 'new' kids Ilia Belorukov (alto saxophone, contact mic, mini-amp, monotron, effect pedals, mini-speaker, ipod and objects) and Kurt Liedwart (ppooll, electronics, objects). The first and longest piece is with audience, the other one without. It's interesting, I think, to see that the concert without audience is much silent and more spun out than the concert with audience, which is not only louder but also has three distinct positions when things seem to burst out. With respectively forty-two and thirty-one minutes I would not recommend to play these pieces in one go, as it requires quite some attention to fully grasp what is going on. Lots of small acoustic rumble, object on object, part of all three players I should think, before slipping into more sustained blocks of sound. A highly electro-acoustic sound - with emphasis on the 'acoustic' and reminding me of Morphogenesis, Noise Makers-Fifes or Kapotte Muziek and with well spaced silence and carefully constructed noise. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what is played on the spot and what is added through say the laptop or the Ipod. This is most certainly not easy going by any standard and that's what makes this into some great music. It left me entirely tired! Refreshed but tired. I went out for a walk afterwards."
(Frans De Waard, Vital Weekly)