Percussions Pour La Danse was a collaboration between North American born jazz & contemporary-dance instructor Tony Kennybrew and French musician Jean-Pierre Boistel. Tony, a Washington native who had studied, taught and danced professionally since the age of 12, found himself in France in the late 80’s. It’s here that he linked up with like-minded musician Jean-Pierre; who had recently returned from a 6-month trip to West Africa. A trip that helped refine his craft that begun in the early 70’s.
The music was created for Tony to use when teaching contemporary jazz-dance classes and to accompany live performance, allowing students to “dance slowly, rapidly and change speeds without changing the tempo!”. This work of rhythmic research was based on the “Balance of The Walk”; in 4 times, in 6 times, in 7 times & in 3 times. In order to reach the spatial possibilities he was striving for, Jean-Pierre would also use computer assisted programming to sample and re-play his own instrumentation. This allowed him to lay down the tempo of the track and then play live over the top, which in turn gave him the freedom to add the desired instruments and effects to each song.
Jean-Pierre’s use of instruments such as the Kalimba, Talking Drum & Sanza gives the album a distinctly African feel, while contemporary Jazz-dance time signatures adds a unique perspective to these traditional instrumentations creating an ethereal balance between the old and new.
Release 20/1/2023. Does Spring Hide Its Joy is an immersive piece by composer Kali Malone featuring Stephen O’Malley on electric guitar, Lucy Railton on cello, and Malone herself on tuned sine wave oscillators. The music is a study in harmonics and non-linear composition with a heightened focus on just intonation and beating interference patterns. Malone’s experience with pipe organ tuning, harmonic theory, and long durational composition provide prominent points of departure for this work. Her nuanced minimalism unfolds an astonishing depth of focus and opens up contemplative spaces in the listener’s attention.
Does Spring Hide Its Joy follows Malone’s critically acclaimed records The Sacrificial Code [Ideal Recordings, 2019] & Living Torch [Portraits GRM, 2022]. Her collaborative approach expands from her previous work to closely include the musicians Stephen O’Malley & Lucy Railton in the creation and development of the piece. While the music is distinctly Malone’s sonic palette, she composed specifically for the unique styles and techniques of O’Malley & Railton, presenting a framework for subjective interpretation and non-hierarchical movement throughout the music.
Does Spring Hide Its Joy is a durational experience of variable length that follows slowly evolving harmony and timbre between cello, sine waves, and electric guitar. As a listener, the transition between these junctures can be difficult to pinpoint. There’s obscurity and unity in the instrumentation and identities of the players; the electric guitar's saturation timbre blends with the cello's rich periodicity, while shifting overtone feedback develops interference patterns against the precise sine waves. The gradual yet ever-occurring changes in harmony challenge the listener’s perception of stasis and movement. The moment you grasp the music, a slight shift in perspective guides your attention forward into a new and unfolding harmonic experience.
Does Spring Hide Its Joy was created between March and May of 2020. During this unsettling period of the pandemic, Malone found herself in Berlin with a great deal of time and conceptual space to consider new compositional methods. With a few interns left on-site, Malone was invited to the Berlin Funkhaus & MONOM to develop and record new music within the empty concert halls. She took this opportunity to form a small ensemble with her close friends and collaborators Lucy Railton & Stephen O’Malley to explore these new structural ideas within those various acoustic spaces. Hence, the foundation was laid for Does Spring Hide Its Joy.
In Kali’s own words: “Like most of the world, my perception of time went through a significant transformation during the pandemic confinements of spring 2020. Unmarked by the familiar milestones of life, the days and months dripped by, instinctively blending with no end in sight. Time stood still until subtle shifts in the environment suggested there had been a passing. Memories blurred non-sequentially, the fabric of reality deteriorated, unforeseen kinships formed and disappeared, and all the while, the seasons changed and moved on without the ones we lost. Playing this music for hours on end was a profound way to digest the countless life transitions and hold time together.”
Does Spring Hide Its Joy has since been performed live on many European stages, in durations of sixty and ninety minutes. Including at the Schauspielhaus in Zürich, the Bozar in Brussels, Haus Der Kunst in Munich, and the Munch Museum in Oslo. Concerts are forthcoming at Unsound Festival in Krakow, Mira Festival in Barcelona, the Venice Biennale, and the Purcell Room at the Southbank Center in London.
In addition to live concerts, the Funkhaus recordings of Does Spring Hide Its Joy have evolved in parallel as a site-specific sound installation. Malone has also invited the video artist Nika Milano to create a custom analog video work that interprets and accompanies the musical score as a fourth player, creating a visual atmosphere inspired by the sonic principles of the composition. Eight sequential video stills from Milano’s work are featured in the album artwork.
Does Spring Hide Its Joy is packaged in a heavyweight laminated jacket with full-color printed inner sleeves with artwork by Nika Milano. Mastered by Stephan Mathieu and cut at Schnittstelle Mastering, the record is pressed in perfect sound quality by Optimal in Germany.
“Gasparyan's playing produces an equal amount of sadness and sweetness in every note, every phrase, and every song. Simply graceful.” All Music
First ever vinyl edition of Djivan Gasparyan’s exquisite second album recorded in 1993, a decade after his classic debut album I Will Not Be Sad In This World. Produced by Michael Brook.
Available on vinyl for the very first time: “The Trance Of Seven Colors” by master Gnawa musician MALEEM MAHMOUD GHANIA and free jazz legend PHAROAH SANDERS. Produced by BILL LASWELL and according to The Attic “one of the most important albums of Gnawa trance music released in the ‘90s”.
Originally released in 1994 on BILL LASWELL’s AXIOM imprint, “The Trance Of Seven Colors” is the meeting of two true musical masters: MALEEM MAHMOUD GHANIA (1951 – 2015), son of the master of Gnawa music MALEEM BOUBKER GHANIA and the famous clairvoyant and "moqaddema" A'ISHA QABRAL, and a master of the traditional Gnawa style in his own right. MAHMOUD learned this craft as a youth along with his brothers, walking from village to village, performing ceremonies with his father BOUBKER and was one of the few masters (Maleem) who continued to practice the Gnawa tradition strictly for healing (the central ritual of the Gnawa is the trance music ceremony – with the purpose of healing or purification of the participants). With 30 cassette releases of music from the Gnawa repertoire with his own ensemble and performances at every major festival in Morocco, including performing for the King in various contexts, MAHMOUD GHANIA was also one of Morocco's most prominent professional musicians.
In 1994, BILL LASWELL and PHAROAH SANDERS went to Mocrocco, equipped with just some mobile recording devices, to record GHANIA and a large ensemble of musicians (to a good part family members) in a very intimate set up at a private house with the legendary free jazz musician contributing his distinctive tenor saxophone sounds that gained him highest praise as a truely spiritual soul right from the days of playing with JOHN COLTRANE and his wife ALICE and on seminal solo albums like „Karma“.
The aptly titled „The Trance of Seven Colors“ ranks among the best Gnawa recordings ever released , made it onto the list of “10 incredible percussive albums from around the world” by Thevinylfactory.com and is 25 years after its original CD release on finally available on vinyl!