int031 | Ilia Belorukov & Jon Heilbron | Studio & Rotonda

Ilia Belorukov & Jon Heilbron
Studio & Rotonda

(16:50) / (06:15) / (18:50) / (07:10)

2 CD's, digisleeve / Edition of 200
21 October 2019

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Совсем недавно вышел сольный альбом Pieces for Chord Organs австралийца Джона Хеилброна , записанный во время резиденции в Санкт-Петербурге в августе 2018-го года. В то же время он плодотворно поработал с Ильёй Белоруковым, результатом чего и стал этот новый, двойной релиз, что случается на Intonema впервые! 

Первый диск с говорящим названием Studio – это записи, сделанные без участия зрителей, в камерных условиях. Тишина и статичные звуки лежат в основе этих сессий, во время которых Илья и Джон деликатно и скрупулёзно слушают друг друга, то погружаясь в молчание, то разрезая слышимое пространство при помощи саксофона, рабочего барабана, органов Bontempi и игрушечной мелодики.

Название второго диска, Rotonda, даст постоянным слушателям релизов Intonema правильное направление мысли: это продолжение серии записей, сделанных в ротонде Библиотеки им. Маяковского. Необычная акустика бывшей голландской церкви играет роль "третьего" участника коллектива. Тишина здесь не является такой уж неслышимой, когда звуки, доносящиеся с улицы, случайные шорохи и движения публики, вплетаются в общую канву, создаваемую музыкантами.

Recently we released the solo album Pieces for Chord Organs by Australian musician Jon Heilbron, which was recorded during an artist residency in St. Petersburg in August 2018. While there, he performed and recorded alongside Ilia Belorukov, resulting in this new double release.

The first disc (aptly named Studio) consist of private recordings, in which silence and static sounds are punctuated by saxophone, snare drum, Bontempi organs, and toy harmonica.

The name of the second disc, Rotonda, will not be surprise to regular Intonema listeners: this is a continuation of a series of recordings made in the Rotunda of the Mayakovsky Library. The unusual acoustics of the former Dutch church acts as a "third" member of the collective. Sounds coming from the street, random rustlings, and movements of the public are woven into a general outline forged by the musicians.

Ilia Belorukov: alto saxophone, snare drum, drum synthesizer, vibrating speaker, objects
Jon Heilbron: bontempi chord organs, bells, toy harmonica, tuning fork

Рецензии / Reviews:
"Studio & Rotonda (int031, 2xCD) rührt von JON HEILBRONs St. Petersburger Artist Re- sidency im August 2018 her und zeigt ihn mit Bontempi Chord Organs, Bells, Toy Harmo– nica & Tuning Fork zusammen mit ILIA BELORUKOV an Alto Saxophone, Snare Drum, Drum Synthesizer, Vibrating Speaker & Objects. Einmal unter sich und einmal öffentlich in der Rotunda der Majakowski-Stadtbibliothek, Nevsky prospekt, 20. Mit zuerst nur einem Beinahenichts wie von Kühlschrank oder Klimaanlage, in das orgelnde und geblasene Haltetöne mal hineindröhnen, mal bloß hineinscheinen, wabernd und leise tutend. Öfters wie aquarelliert, manchmal dröhnend wie mit öligem Pinselstrich, klangvoll und geradezu barock aufgeblasen, teils nur wie ein offenes Ventil oder der Geist einer Maschine, ab- gesetzt durch Stille und Faststille. Fort. Da. Ein monotones Pochen, ein Mundvoll 'monika, Zeit, viel Zeit, über »Warum ist überhaupt Seiendes und nicht vielmehr Nichts?« zu grü- beln, zu bereuen, was man getan und was man versäumt hat. Die Stille, die mitten in '(18:50)' aufklafft, könnte mörderisch sein, massiert aber als 4:33-Effekt nur die Ohren für weiteres Pochen, Tuten und Schnarren, die Bontempi als Teddybär in kurioser Wallung. Vor Publikum betreiben die beiden ihr Spiel noch etwas offensiver, mit Schneebesen, dem Raumklang der belebten Rotunde, Orgelclustern, perkussiven Schlägen, Pfiffen, Fieptö- nen, schwirrendem Sound der Reeds und auch wieder dröhnender Bontempi, die Schläge nun wie schwere Schritte. Wie die Statue des Komturs, die unsichtbar das Unbehagen verbreitet, sie könnte einen eiskalt anrühren."
(Rigo Dittmann, Bad Alchemy)
"Central figure in Saint Petersburg’s avant-garde music scene, Ilia Belorukov is involved with improvised, noise and electro acoustic sounds and played with timbre explorers such as Keith Rowe and Radu Malfatti. On this two-CD set he mostly puts aside the alto saxophone, with which he has recorded more Free Jazz-like sessions with the likes of drummer Gabriel Ferrandini and others to concentrate on sound design. Instruments of choice are snare drum, drum synthesizer, vibrating speaker and objects. His companion is Australian Jon Heilbron, a composer who is founder of the Phonetic Orchestra, and here plays bells, bontempi chord organs, toy harmonica and tuning fork.

Appropriately each CD is different. The first, recorded in a studio, interspaces minimalist instrumental outpourings and sometimes unidentifiable noises among protracted silences. The second, made in the Rotunda of the Mayakovsky Library, is in-the-moment sound design, exploiting the room’s spatial qualities to emphasize terse quasi-instrumental timbres with miscellaneous stirring and echoes from passing humans and machinery.

Although there’s arbitrary allure in following the drones, patterns, judders and crashes that buoy up during the “Rotunda” session, the 43 minutes includes enough patches of inertia to suggest that a careful edit to perhaps half the length would have been in order. As it is the occasional organ-like quivers and reed puffs appear only gripping when contrasted with protracted machine-driven hisses or intermittent percussive snaps. In fact a full-force outburst of stentorian bellowing that could come from an ocean liner’s foghorn that is heard mid-way through so dominates the sound field that preceding and following hubbub sounds like little more than minimal ghostly whistles, disconnected peeps or echoing slaps. When the narrative accelerates again during the final sequence the almost impenetrable drone that results is the purported climax, only to have momentum lost as the track dissolves into echoes of constricted, metallic clanks, a vague tremolo pulse and disconnected whistles.

Divided into two longer and two shorter selections, the “Studio” CD is more approachable since human created instrumental currents in the form of reed buzzes, organ-focused tremolos are heard among the many silences, hisses and buzzes. Comically enough the most frequent interruptions to this cone of silence are those which resemble whirring vacuum cleaner hums. The sound first appear on the second track mixed with equivalent vibrations from the organ and is mated with minute harmonica blowing on the third. On this third and longest track as well, uneven percussion whacks, saxophone whiffing made with key movement and massive machine-like echoes are also heard. Finally the fourth track makes a climatic virtue out of the Hoover-like buzz by framing it with intermittent signal processing, a heart-monitor-like pulse and random reed peeps.

Overall Belorukov and Heilbron can be commended by probing the outer limits of the sound-noise continuum with conventional instruments and field recording inferences. But a choicer touch could have made the experiments more welcome to others."

(Ken Waxman, JazzWord)
"L’australiano Jon Heilbron incontra il sassofonista Ilia Belorukov durante una residenza artistica, culminata nelle registrazioni del suo “Pieces For Chord Organs” a San Pietroburgo nell’estate del 2018.
Ovvio nel periodo l’esibirsi in coppia con annesse registrazioni (in studio e dal vivo), questo il risultato.
Un doppio cd, dove il sax, un organo Bontempi, un rullante ed un’armonica giocattolo, prima ingaggiano un corpo a corpo con il silenzio, punteggiandolo di fasi tonali statiche, micro interventi materici e più sostenute visioni d’insieme, mentre il secondo cd, documenta la performance registrata come da prassi della label, nello spazio con particolare risposta acustica della Rotonda della Biblioteca Majakovskij (vero e proprio terzo membro aggiuntivo), con annessi movimenti di pubblico e suoni di strada in libera intrusione che i due artisti, accolgono e inglobano.
Impro ricerca dronante di essenziale eleganza (minimal/sibilo/raschiante)."

(Marco Carcasi, Kathodik)

"New double CD from the pairing of Ilia Belorukov with Jon Heilbron, called studio & rotonda (INTONEMA int031). Jon Heilbron is the Australian fellow who came our way in Feb 2019 with his Pieces For Chord Organs, on this same label. He’s known for working with Bontempi chord organs, devices whose capacity for musical variation and subtlety might be a bit limited (seeing as they were built as toy organs), but evidently Helibron relishes the challenge and has made this his own thing. In particular, he makes a virtue out of the noise of the electric fan of the Bontempi, that part of the instrument that blows over the reeds.

On the “studio” disk, he’s doing it at the Cement Factory Studio in St Petersburg, adding toy harmonica and tuning fork to the list of possible droning instruments, and producing his characteristic “baffling” long-form works. By that I mean he loves these unexpected gaps and pauses that are hard to explain; this might not make him an outright minimalist type, but it does make the music that bit harder to follow. The listener has to be paying attention and follow the uneven pathway. On these four untitled works, Ilia Belorukov – his actions barely audible to my insensate ears – is contributing alto sax, snare drum, and various objects. I would like to say these are pieces full of air and light. They certainly contain a lot of silence, and for the most part it’s like being inside a room with bare walls. The last (7:10) piece stands out for its dramatic approach and more forthcoming, maximalist attitude; in company of the other pieces, it’s almost a discordant, roaring noise.

On the second disc ‘rotonda’, it’s pretty much the same set-up and recorded within days of the studio sets, only now it’s live at the Mayakovsky Library in St Petersburg. While still pretty low-key and slow-changing, it’s evidently a lot more interactive and collaborative and we can enjoy the sensations of two players pulling in different directions and rubbing their contrasting textures. The air of inscrutability hangs heavy in the dome on this day, with more of these pregnant pauses and long, tense silences. I think this may mean we have to admit that the strains of “Onkyo” and “EAI”, now about 20 years old, are developing and mutating in many interesting ways across the globe, depending on which hands are doing the playing and who is communing with who. From 7th November 2019."

(Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector)

"В самом начале этого года на наших электронных страницах была опубликована рецензия на альбом австралийского музыканта Джона Хейльброна Pieces for Chord Organs, записанный в Петербурге летом 2018 года и изданный петербургским же лейблом Intonema Records. О самом музыканте там рассказывалось довольно подробно, поэтому сейчас повторяться я не буду, а только напомню упоминавшийся в том тексте факт: Джон провел тогда в российской северной столице почти три недели. Появление нового текста, который вы сейчас просматриваете, свидетельствует о том, что записью Pieces for Chord Organs играющий на портативных органах Вontempi австралиец тогда не ограничился.

В тот август в Петербурге Хейльброн еще и весьма плотно посотрудничал с шефом Intonema Records, известным российским музыкантом-экспериментатором Ильей Белоруковым. Результат этого сотрудничества – новый двойной альбом Джона и Ильи под названием Studio & Rotonda. Тут нет каких-то двойных смыслов, все предельно конкретно: первый диск, Studio, объединил две студийные записи музыкантов, сделанные с интервалом в несколько дней, а второй, Rotonda, - «вклинившуюся» по дате между ними концертную запись в ротонде Библиотеки им. Маяковского.

Четыре композиции (от шести до почти девятнадцати минут звучания каждая) первого диска и сорокатрехминутная «живая» сессия весьма органично дополняют друг друга. Альт-саксофон, органы Вontempi, барабан, детская гармоника и разнообразные объекты вступают здесь в сложные взаимоотношения друг с другом и с тишиной. Я бы сказал даже, что именно тишина является основой этого альбома, а различимые нами, повисающие в ней звуки, лишь разрезают эту основу, которая тут же смыкается за ними. Динамика и какое-то развитие практически отсутствуют. Звук и тишина здесь самоценны и равноценны, и лишь характер звука, его тембр и продолжительность варьируются. Странная мысль посетила меня при прослушивании этой работы. Понятия не имею, как Илья и Джон относятся к дзен-буддизму, но Studio & Rotonda показались мне некоей иллюстрацией к знаменитейшему дзенскому коану о хлопке одной падони. Помните: там ни музыка гейш, ни звук капающей воды и ничто иное не были правильным ответом на вопрос учителя, что же такое звук хлопка одной ладони. Только тишина, она же - беззвучный звук, стала верным решением. Мне кажется, полтора часа, которые вы проведете вместе с Ильей и Джоном, слушая Studio & Rotonda, сродни медитации в поисках ответа на старую дзенскую загадку."

(Леонид Аускерн, Джаз-квадрат)

"Here we have two (well, three) discs of some pretty radical music. First, there is a double CD by Ilia Belorukov (alto saxophone, snare drum, objects) and Jon Heilbron (Bontempi chord organs, bells, toy harmonica and tuning fork). One disc has four studio recordings and the other has a forty-three-minute live recording. Curiously Heilbron plays the same instruments in concert, but Belorukiv (being in his home-town) plays alto saxophone, drum synthesizer, vibrating speaker and objects. The radical approach here is one of extreme silence at various times, for a considerable amount of time, followed by blocks that are quite loud, yet never noise. Also curious, so I thought, was the silence when it comes to the use of the Bontempi, an instrument that uses a motor and has no external output, so you always hear the fan (well, at least the few versions I have seen over the years). In the longest studio piece, close to nineteen minutes, the two take the most radical  approach. More than half of this piece is near silence. When there is something to hear it is small drones, except for the last few minutes when it is quite loud. This is a very intense piece, and perhaps luckily, the other three pieces don't have this approach in such extreme measures. The second and fourth piece (all pieces are untitled), the drones are quite loud, yet very minimal in development. Whereas the first piece has quite some silence, when it becomes louder, it is also pleasantly 'there'. This is minimal and drone-like, but in all the radical approach, it also calls for some concentrated listening. In concert things never get as quiet as in the studio, and they find another approach to their minimalist stances. Maybe it is the different instruments that Belorukov brought to the concert space, as there is a distinct difference in sound here. There is a minimal  development in sound, there is the loud/quiet (as said, never totally quiet) approach, the sustaining of tones, but also some different kind of sound, which I guess is the vibrating speaker and objects. This is an excellent project of these improvisers, with quite a diverse approach all around."
(Frans De Waard, Vital Weekly)