int016 | Badrutt Belorukov Kocher | Rotonda

Badrutt Belorukov Kocher


CD, digisleeve, insert | edition of 200
09 September 2015

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В сентябре 2014-го года лейбл Intonema участвовал в организации российского тура Гауденца Бадрутта, Ильи Белорукова и Йонаса Кохера. Они посетили Москву, Ярославль, Томск, Кемерово, Новосибирск и Санкт-Петербург. В нашем родном городе и был записан материал, который продолжает серию релизов, сделанных в ротонде Библиотеки им. Маяковского. Внимательная работа с паузами и крайне аккуратное отношение к звуку продиктованы музыкантам "четвертым" участником: самим пространством ротонды с её особенной акустикой.

In September 2014 Intonema co-organized the Russian tour of Gaudenz Badrutt, Ilia Belorukov and Jonas Kocher. They played in Moscow, Yaroslalv, Tomsk, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg. They recorded the material of this album in Intonema's hometown, St. Petersburg, which extends the series of releases recorded in rotunda of the Mayakovsky Library. Acute attention to silences and extremely careful work with sound comes from the “fourth” collaborator, the space of the rotunda and its specific acoustics.

Gaudenz Badrutt: electronics, objects
Ilia Belorukov: alto saxophone, objects
Jonas Kocher: accordion

Рецензии / Reviews:
"Rotonda" is similar, although it contains one track only, "The Ghosts" and the instrumentarium is completely di fferent. Particularly important role is played here by the accordion player, Kocher. He an Ilia form an absolutely incredible duo that sounds like pipe organ coupled to a trumpet... But, Badruf s also essential providing a lot of necessary "acoustic sounds". Again, this a music in which pauses and silence play a principal role, in the tradition of the greatest composers of the XXth and XXIst century. Ilia is a genius, that is it."
(Maciej Lewenstein, Facebook)

"In contrast, Belorukov’s collaboration with Gaudenz Badrutt on electronics and “objects” and Jonas Kocher on accordion makes for fascinating listening. Rotonda is a live performance inside the Mayakovsky Library in St Petersburg. The musicians note that the space of the rotunda and its specific acoustics makes it “the fourth collaborator” in the piece. A compositional constraint is introduced: “acute attention to silences and extremely careful work with sound”. A slow, deliberately-paced music unfolds over nearly 50 minutes, each performer knowing that the resonance of the space will fill and colour their inactivity. A welcome relief from the horror vacui that affects so many musicians, without ever becoming a dry, didactic exercise in silence."
(Ben Harper, Boring Like A Drill)

"Suono in libera e cangiante rifrazione ed intrecci strumentali sul limitar dell'impalpabile.
Questo è “Rotonda”.
Gli svizzeri Gaudenz Badrutt (live sampling e sorgenti sonore acustiche), Jonas Kocher (fisarmonica) e il russo Ilia Belorukov al sax, ripresi dal vivo durante una data del loro tour russo nel 2014, presso la Rotonda della Mayakovskiy Library a San Pietroburgo.
Riduzionismo dronante al suo top più la particolare resa acustica dello spazio circostante.
Tre rette parallele in garbato attorciglio (elegante e compiuto), per un'offerta impro di primordiale, contratta serenità.
Migrazioni di esserini per lo più silenti o indecisi fra il crepitio fugace e la bassa vibrazione.
Stringhe tonali fluttuanti, movimenti del mantice, leggere astrazioni fiatistiche.
Il vento soffia, la terra borbotta un rumble sommesso.
In assoluta calma e assenza d'ogni intemperia.
Apparizione/espansione e naturale decadenza + qualche raschio da minimo/granuloso attrito.
Tutt'attorno un silenzio.
Se il coppin vi s'infiamma tra Assumed Possibilities e Deep Listening Band, siete capitati proprio bene.
Gran performance."

(Marco Carcasi, Kathodik)

"A l’été 2014, Jonas Kocher, Gaudenz Badrutt et Ilia Belorukov ont donné ensemble sept concerts en Russie. A Saint-Petersbourg, le 9 septembre, ils improvisèrent dans la rotonde de la bibliothèque Maïakovski : c’est ce que ce disque Intonema donne à entendre.

De longues notes de saxophone alto et d’accordéon ouvrent cette plage unique, longue de trois quarts d’heure, que l’électronique de Badrutt envisage déjà de déformer. Pour l’heure, celui-ci extirpe de ses fichiers des éléments sonores auxquels ses partenaires devront réagir. Et c’est dans ces réactions que des différences, dans le maintien ou dans l’approche, apparaîtront pour composer une œuvre de contrastes.

Ainsi, quand graves et aigus ne se mêlent pas avec délicatesse, ce sont des silences ou des emportements volontaires qui se chargent de l’humeur commune. Le 9 septembre, la tournée touchait à sa fin et les musiciens avaient eu le temps de s’accorder à son propos et même de s’y entendre : elle n’en est pas moins expressive."

(Guillaume Belhomme, Le Son Du Grisli)

"Rotonda (INTONEMA int016) is a single 47-minute improvisation performed by the trio of Gaudrenz Badrutt, Ilia Belorukov, and Jonas Kocher. It’s one of these lengthy, slow and quiet affairs, which I usually liken to Quaker prayer meetings, because a player will apparently only make a sound when he has something to say. Otherwise, Aut tace aut loquere meliora silentio 1 is their motto.

Kocher’s inaudible accordion-playing has crossed our path before, and I often find it surprising how memorable his work is when, pound for pound, there’s so little of it. Matter of fact he joined forces with Badrutt on the album Strategy Of Behaviour In Unexpected Situations for the Insubordinations label in 2015, and the agonising tension induced by that music is something I won’t forget in a hurry. I needed prescription muscle relaxants for about two weeks.

Badrutt is still doing unspeakable things with electricity, and given the dark nature of his crimes we expect to read about his arrest in Zurich any day now. He turned his back on his beginnings as a classical pianist, doing so in a memorable public action that involved the conflagration of a concert grand that had been doused in petrol, and for 15 years he has been in pursuit of the sort of dreams that only sine waves can give a man. Notably, he’s done it with the woodwind player Hans Koch, and he plays in strøm with Christian Müller and Kocher. Here, he does some form of live sampling, which may involve taking the temperature of the room with his magic thermometer (don’t ask!) and working with “acoustic sound sources”, which given the environment in question may involve anything from riffling through a card index to agitating a wooden library shelf.

Yes, they did it in the Rotonda of the Mayakovsky Library in Saint-Petersburg, starting imperceptibly at first, but building up to an alarming combination of tones that drove all the readers out into the street in short order, while a small federation of librarians laboured to maintain an aura of calm. Belorukov is almost elbowed aside by the taut fabric of fear created by the Swiss pair, but he manages to insert some pained, abstract tones from his alto saxophone, comforting it like a wounded animal. I’d also add that their playing is highly attuned to the space itself; Kocher in particular seems to be in his element, exploiting the natural echo of the venue, and his short utterances (when they do happen) delineate the architecture of the walls and ceiling with a pinpoint accuracy.

Bleak, cold, slow to the point of inertia, and full of unexpected silences, this is still an impressive bout of minimal blap, packed with existential doubts and strange emotions. From 26th October 2015."

(Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector)

"Das Label Intonema mit Sitz in St. Petersburg co-organisierte die Russland-Tour der beiden Schweizer Musiker Gaudenz Badrutt (Objekte, Live-Sampling) und Jonas Kocher (Akkordeon) im Herbst 2014. Eines dieser Konzerte gibt es nun auf der CD Rotonda am Stück zu hören. Am 9.9.2014 spielten sie mit Ilia Belorukov, Saxofonist und Kopf des Labels, ein Konzert in der Mayakovskiy-Bibliothek in St. Petersburg. Die Aufnahme ist geprägt durch sehr viel Stille. Zu Beginn dauert es ein wenig, bis die drei Musiker ihre klaren, teils heftigen Impulse zu einem durchgehenden Klang aufbauen. Die Klänge werden hier sehr bewusst und sehr langsam aneinandergereiht, mit extremen Ausbrüchen zwischendurch, die eher spärlich gesät sind. Jeder Ton und jeder Klang scheint am richtigen Platz gelandet zu sein, in einem ständigem Spiel mit der Akustik des Raumes, der Rotonda. Die Musiker geben bzw. nehmen sich sehr viel Raum und setzen ihre Aktionen überlegt. Bewusstes Hinhören und im passenden Moment aufeinander und auf die akustischen Eigenschaften des Raums zu reagieren, dominiert diese Aufnahme. Am Schluss scheint alles im Nichts zu versiegen. Die Klänge und Aktionen werden weniger, bis nur mehr der Raum selbst übrig bleibt und man wieder im Jetzt ankommt. In Eile darf man hier nicht sein; das heißt, hinsetzen und mit offenen Ohren Badrutt, Kocher und Belorukov lauschen."
(Katrin Hauk, freistil 65)

"As it reaches the fifth anniversary of its first release, it seems a fitting time to reflect on how Intonema is progressing. Initially, the label attracted attention because it was based in St. Petersburg, on Russian soil, a novelty at the time. The early releases on the label featured Russian-based musicians, including the Intonema proprietors saxophonist Ilia Belorukov and bass guitarist Mikhail Ershov. Gradually the roster became more international, so that the third and fourth Intonema releases featured no Russian musicians—Axon (2011), by the Franco-German duo Myelin, and Concret (2012), by the Iberian trio Atolón. The expansion of the label's horizons has continued apace, but Intonema has still continued to feature an impressive array of Russian improvisers. And whatever the musicians' nationality, the quality of the label's releases remains high—as is evident in the three latest releases...

This is the second Intonema album entitled Rotonda, following the 2014 album of that title by guitarist and electronicist Andrey Popovskiy. The reason for the duplication is that both albums were recorded in the same extraordinary space, the rotonda of Mayakovsky library, St. Petersburg. (See YouTube, below, for footage of this space.) Its circular shape gives the rotonda a naturally resonant acoustic which amplifies small sounds so they resound. With such an amazing resource available to record in, the duplication is not surprising—we can doubtless expect more to follow... Where the previous disc featured Popovskiy solo, this time out the recording features the trio of Gaudenz Badrutt, on acoustic sound sources and live sampling, Ilia Belorukov, on alto saxophone and objects, and accordionist Jonas Kocher.

The album was recorded in September 2014 and consists of just one forty-eight minute track entitled "Rotonda" (surprise!) In that month, the trio toured Russia, playing in Moscow, Yaroslalv, Tomsk, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg. Normally, such a tour makes players familiar with one another, leading to good improvising. But no amount of normal gigging could prepare any trio for a gig with the mercurial fourth member—the rotonda! The great fascination of this disc is to hear the ways in which the players explore the effect of the space then adapt to and exploit it. Tentative at first—sounding single notes then leaving plenty of silence to hear the responses to them—they gradually come to terms with its characteristics and are then able to slowly build up a complex, richly satisfying drone, to which all four contribute component parts and then... silence. Then, a three-way exchange dominated by accordion but punctuated by electronic tones and strategic silences which become more and more frequent. Very engaging and atmospheric.

Altogether, another triumph for the rotonda. More!"

(John Eyles, All About Jazz)

"Fanoušci evropského improvisingu by si měli do svého hledáčku přiřadit další aktivní ruský label. Za značkou Intonema stojí především všestranný umělec a hráč na dechové nástroje Ilja Belorukov a vyprodukoval skrze ni již řadu pozoruhodných alb. Jeden z nejnovějších titulů přináší koncertní záznam z rotundy v Majakovského knihovně v Petrohradě, kde se 9. září roku 2014 sešli s Belorukovem (saxofon, objekty) dva Švýcaři: svého nástroje skoro všeznalý akordeonista Jonas Kocher a jeho častý spolupracovník, velmi interaktivní elektronický experimentátor Gaudenz Badrutt.

Tento materiál si jasně řekl o to, aby nebyl rozdělován na nějaké části a jevil se tak lenivému posluchači přístupnější. Ale ta o něco více než třičtvrtěhodina v jednom kuse je nadmíru příjemným partnerem člověku přemýšlivému se zálibou v meditacích o hranici mezi uměním coby tvorbou děl = produktů a uměním jako permanentním životním procesem = posláním.

Trio si tento koncert zjevně užilo. V úvodu navyklo publikum na veletiché kreace, ohledalo dozvuk prostoru mešní atmosféru navozujícím cinkáním, dopřálo času citlivému zkoumání možností vzájemné komunikace. Teprve poté přicházejí táhlejší zvuky a jejich dvojice či trojice a nástroje uplatní i plnou sílu. Dojde i na společný dronový chorál vyvolávající monumentální dojem, při opakovaných posleších ale stojí za studium spíše tvůrčí cesta před jeho plným rozezněním a hlavně i po něm (tam je spusta jemného humoru).

Je to zkrátka informačně bohaté setkání se zajímavým akustickým prostorem prezentovaným navíc triem těch nejpovolanějších průvodců. Nebraňme se tuto konstelaci esteticky prožít."

(Jan Faix, His Voice)

"A relaxed set from this trio, laid back even, recorded in 2014 at the Mayakovsky Library in St. Petersburg. There’s plenty of space here for the trio to explore and interact – indeed, the acoustic properties of the titular Rotonda are such that the release notes credit it as an additional member of the group – and the result is a pleasing recombination of acoustic and electronic improvisation.

Early sections are characterised by whirring motors and gentle wafts of alto saxophone, occasionally punctuated by a struck bell, its brassy resonance allowed to echo through the space like waves from a stone dropped into a pool. With the set clocking in at 47 minutes, there’s no need for anyone to hurry, and so things proceed gradually, with layers of sound gently overlapping then fading away with an almost drowsy air. Jonas Kocher’s accordion arrives with a burst at around 08:00 mark, its distinctive sound slicing through the echoey softness in a bracingly welcome draft. With all three players established, things come into focus somewhat, the trio calm as they usher forth a series of electronic bloops, reedy whispers and angular bellows-driven phrases. There’s plenty here for the eai and improv fans to get into, the sounds resonating in the space with a nourishing richness. Watch out for a lively blast of melodrama at 22 minutes, an exhilarating group drone that’s redolent of manic organ overload from some vintage Hammer Horror flick.

Even better is a freak out section at about 29:00, Kocher ratcheting round his accordion keys in fine hectic style as Bardrutt hits some gritty whooshes of noise, with Belorukov’s airy licks curling round the outside. Bubbling up from nowhere the noise disappears as quickly as it arrives, returning abruptly to the parched, minimal gestures of the first half. It’s pretty quiet from then on, with the trio avoiding any easy moves or attempts at crescendo, opting instead to continue with their careful mutual explorations. Badrutt in particular achieves some lovely washes of electro-burble, all the better for being almost inaudible, teeing us up nicely for a final five minutes of near-silence. A treat for well-tuned ears."

(Paul Margree, We Need No Swords)

"Enregistrée en septembre 2014 dans la rotonde de la Mayakovsky Library après une tournée visitant Moscou, Iaroslav, Tomsk, Kemerovo, Novossibirsk et Saint-Pétersbourg, la suite « Rotonda » esquissée par Gaudenz Badrutt (acoustic sound sources, livesampling), Ilia Belorukov (as, objets) et Jonas Kocher (accordéon) s'étend sur plus de trois quarts d'heure. Elle pourrait se concevoir comme le pendant bruitiste du disque précédent, car aux voix des chanteuses et aux instruments acoustiques se substitue ici un conglomérat électro-acoustique qui oscille aléatoirement entre un filet ténu de sons, un magma sonore plus volumineux avec des sources plus ou moins identifiables et, là encore, le silence, constamment tapi en arrière-plan, comme près à engloutir le son. Et c'est d'ailleurs ce qu'il fait définitivement en fin de disque..."
(Mark Sarrazy, Improjazz)

"It’s not often that I’m rendered aware of the throb of my own pulse in my head. Yet as I listen intently to Rotonda – waiting for something to emerge from the silence, be it a shuffle of movement, or a chime dropped from above, or a drone of laboured electronic process – I begin to hear the low thump of blood in my ears. The only sound is myself. During these moments, I wonder whether Badrutt, Belorukov and Kocher are experiencing the very same: a sudden, persistent awareness of self in the absence of a sonic other; an ellipsis in sound, suspended in expectation and unknowing. Dot. Dot. Dot.

Rotonda is about intrusions of all sizes. The trio sit in deathly quiet until one of them has something to say. Sometimes, shrill electronic tones seep into the frame tentatively, one vibration at a time, like a carefully inserted syringe. Sometimes, an accordion jolts through emptiness like a hiccup. The blanket of silence is ripped open by event and then promptly re-sewn by absence. Questions flood my head in the gaps between action. When is the right moment to make oneself heard? Do mistakes exist in situations like this? My favourite moments on Rotonda are when the trio leap into the frame like three vandals, driven by instinct rather than rationalised judgement: a spittle-flecked saxophone breath, a churning music box, an accordion smear. They deface the blank canvas and retreat."

(Jack Chuter, ATTN:Magazine)

"The other new release by Intonema, from St-Petersburg, deals with a recording made in the Rotunda of the Mayakovsky Library in this town; a place they used before to do recordings (see Vital Weekly 946). The trio of musicians here is Gaudenz Badrutt (acoustic sound sources and live sampling), Ilia Belorukov (alto saxophone, objects) and Jonas Kocher (accordion). They toured in Russia about a year ago and the music they played is very quiet. Most of the times that is. These three players manage to do nothing for a bit of time and then play all together for some time. That can be 'loud', but it's more the volume for a short period going up than them playing some actual noise. This is absolutely not 'easy' music to get into. One can't do anything else than sit down and listen closely. Otherwise this silence versus outbreaks of some sound will be highly annoying - as I learned the first time I was playing this. But when I returned to it, sat down and listened than I noticed a very powerful interplay between the three players as well as the silence vs. the sound. It's wonderful recording indeed (although I must admit I am not sure if I heard the actual space in these recordings) and not something one sticks on for sheer entertainment. Very refined."
(Frans De Waard, Vital Weekly)