Aural Vertigo

April, 2017
AMRN049
CD Digipack
Price: 
12.50
Sestetto Internazionale

SESTETTO INTERNAZIONALE features some of the most original and sincere voices in contemporary improvised music scene.
The 2015 tremendous Finland tour Harri Sjöström set up made this band play in several venues and theatres.
The recordings of the two concerts at Kanneltalo theatre in Helsinki and at Sibelius Museum in Turku are on this album.

The combination of SESTETTO INTERNAZIONALE

instrumental voices (a really unusual line-up!!!) looks as designed to generate an original creative process that involves the listener to observe the multiple, sometime mirroring, interplay, the collective timbral palette, the different and simultaneous sound consistencies and the single, respective paths.

Reciprocal listening, intelligible architecture, lyrical streams and seamless orchestration: the music, simply beautiful.
At times it looks detailed as an astral map crossed with a high degree of liberty showing distant connections, lyrical lines, dramatic changes, different depths.
At times it is intimate and chamber scented. Suddenly, angular collective pulses gently merge to splendid dialogues in a natural transparency, sound vertigos land on flowing microtonal backgrounds.

Don’t miss this!!

Reviews

Kathodik
Sergio Eletto

“Aural Vertigo” documenta due lunghe performance tenutesi durante il tour finlandese che ha visto protagonista il sestetto internazionale, ensemble nato in particolare dalla collaborazione tra i due sassofonisti Gianni Mimmo e Harri Sjostrom, entrambi sopranisti con un’aggiunta del sopranino nelle mani del secondo. A completare l’organico troviamo Alison Blunt al violino, un fantastico Achim Kaufmann al piano, Ignaz Schick ai giradischi, e Veli Kujala che si cimenta con una particolare fisarmonica quarter tone. Come si nota l’accostamento strumentale è piuttosto insolito, si pensi ad esempio alle interessanti sonorità che nascono dal flirt tra il micro noise dei turntables e lo stridente violino della Blunt, protagonisti del primo viaggio, Aural, dove i tocchi intervallati del pianoforte, i guizzi dei fiati, e gli istantanei gracchiamenti vinilistici fanno il resto. Stiamo parlando di quasi 35 minuti di elegante e complessa improvvisazione elettroacustica, che diventa più estesa nella successiva Vertigo, andando ad ambire i 43 minuti di esibizione; quest’ultimo un viaggio dove si percepisce maggiore liricità, a partire dal climax quasi malinconico instauratosi in partenza con il trittico piano-violino-sax. Di tanto in tanto le infiltrazioni collagiste di Schick ‘disturbano’ magicamente l’intero registro, modificando così le carte in tavole e aprendo la strada ad un melting pot di conturbante improvvisazione. La linea generale del lavoro resta complessa ma ascoltarlo a più riprese riserva continue e interminabili sorprese.

All about jazz
Daniel Barbiero

The Sestetto Internazionale is a truly international group of European musicians, having been put together by Finnish soprano saxophonist Harri Sjöström for a September 2015 tour of Finland. In addition to Sjöström, the sextet includes fellow Finn accordionist Veli Kujala; the masterful Italian soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo; UK violinist Alison Blunt; and the Germans Achim Kaufmann and Ignaz Schick on piano and turntables, respectively. This exciting live recording captures the ensemble's concerts at Helsinki and Turku, each of which is represented by one long track.

The makeup of the group is unusual even for a free improvisation ensemble unbound by conventions governing instrumentation. To begin with, there's an intriguing, built-in redundancy of function and range. Three of the instruments—the violin and the two soprano saxophones—are of similar compass, while the piano and quarter tone accordion are both chording instruments. The quarter tone accordion in itself adds an unusual flavor, but when paired with either the tempered piano or the violin, it opens up the possibility of dissolving conventional harmonies into less-determinate pitch bands. The addition of turntables to this acoustic grouping further multiplies the potential for novel sound combinations.

Accordingly, the music here is a music of detail. Movement doesn't come by way of harmonic change but rather by way of shadings of timbre and pitch. The overlap in range of soprano saxophones and violin shapes much of the sound profile, setting up contrasts between reeds and strings or even between reeds, as when Sjöström uses a mute in contraposition to Mimmo's more open-voiced sound. But contrast is as much a matter of identity as it is of difference, as when the coincidence of pitch erupting in the middle of a soundblock or during a moment of unison playing will seem to summon a new instrument whose timbre is a composite of violin, saxophone and accordion.

In the end, it isn't the qualities of the instruments alone but rather the energy and finely-honed actions and interactions of the individual musicians that animate these pieces. The two saxophonists may play the same instrument but they do so quite differently; Sjöström constructs angular, hard-edged bursts that leap registers, while Mimmo favors longer lines built of carefully balanced, rounded phrases—he is a melodist as much as a colorist. Blunt, for her part, also pursues line but with an emphasis on the untempered side of the violin, whether playing microtonally-inflected chords and passages following their own logic, or deftly deploying glissandi against Kujala's quarter tones. Underneath it all, Kaufmann's percussive pianism contributes an element of urgency and taut drama.

Much of the time the music is analogous to an abstract painting whose color fields move around over the picture plane. The picture plane in this case being Schick's turntables—a scuffy, static-permeated background much like a canvas of rough weave.

Bert Noglik

The lineup is exquisite - delightful not only what comes to the very special instrumental combination, but also in terms of the potential of the players and the resulting tension - a constant oscillation between different sound events and moods- the large arcs being exceeded require intuitive understanding of form and dynamics which is highly developed by all parties involved."

Orynx-improvandsounds.blogspot.it
Jean Michel Van Schouwburg

Le saxophoniste soprano Italien Gianni Mimmo nous donne régulièrement rendez-vous sur son label Amirani pour des réalisations qui sortent de l’ordinaire de la musique improvisée et aux quelles il participe activement. Ce Sextette International a été rassemblé à l’initiative de son alter-ego au sax soprano, le finlandais Harri Sjöström avec qui il avait enregistré un superbe album en duo sur le même label (live at Bauchhund). On peut sincèrement admirer la vision musicale de Sjöström car cet orchestre atypique est complexe à manœuvrer. Et la réussite est au rendez-vous avec deux très longues improvisations collectives de plus d’une demi-heure lors de concerts finlandais. La présence des deux saxophones soprano d’ Harri Sjöström et Gianni Mimmo, et du violon d’Alison Blunt dans un registre de hauteur identique  en combinaison avec deux instruments harmoniques, le piano d’Achim Kaufmann et de l’accordéon de Veli Kujala se révèle d’une richesse insoupçonnée à laquelle les dérapages soniques d’Ignaz Schick aux platines trafiquées apportent ce qu’il faut de sel sur la queue. Profitant de la proximité sonore des instruments, l’accordéoniste ne se privant pas de solliciter un registre voisin des trois autres, les musiciens jouent sur des écarts microtonaux subtils et des effets de miroitement surprenants, certes, mais qui renforce surtout le feeling de profonde intimité de la musique. Les glissandi millimétrés et savants (mais spontanés !) de la violoniste et de l’accordéoniste colorent l’ensemble et fascinent. Le vis-à-vis statique des deux saxophonistes soprano s’enchaîne à des mouvements en boucle de l’accordéon et des extensions sonores imprévisibles de Schick, lequel a une sacrée oreille, étant lui-même un solide saxophoniste alto.  Et donc, cette démarche improvisée libre qu’on peut qualifier de « free » free-jazz  est rendue très pertinente par cette orchestration peu commune et la conscience élevée de l’enjeu partagée par chacun. Notez bien, j’entends par free free-jazz, ce free-jazz librement improvisé sans thèmes et compositions mais qui tend à construire spontanément une forme assimilée à une composition sur la durée de l’improvisation collective. Ici, celle-ci se diversifie et s’étage en sous-groupes (duo, trio, quartet) mettant les voix de chaque protagoniste en relation directe avec celle des autres, supprimant une quelconque hiérarchie au sein de l’ensemble et créant un parcours qui épouse des affects et des dynamiques variées, contrastées ou complémentaires, qui vont de la raréfaction au bord du silence à l’emphase en passant par d’intenses échanges renouvelés ou enchaînés avec le plus grand bonheur. C’est très remarquable et, même si le travail sonique ne semble pas aussi radical que celui des  Gunther Christmann, Derek Bailey, AMM ou Hugh Davies, Doneda ou le trio Demierre / Leimgruber /Philips, cette véritable réussite devrait sûrement passionner les afficionados pour la substance musicale considérable de ce Sestetto Internationale, lequel aurait mérité d’être baptisé de manière plus originale à l’instar de leur splendide musique, originale de bout en bout.

Vynilmine
Phontas Troussas

Το Sestetto Internazionale αποτελείται από τους Harri Sjöström σοπράνο & σοπρανίνο σαξόφωνα, Gianni Mimmo σοπράνο σαξόφωνο, Alison Blunt βιολί, Achim Kaufmann πιάνο, Veli Kujala ακορντεόν και Ignaz Schick πικάπ. Πολυεθνές οπωσδήποτε το σχήμα έδωσε κάποια live στη Φινλανδία, στο Ελσίνκι και στο Τούρκου, τον Σεπτέμβριο του ’15 και δύο κομμάτια μεγάλης διάρκειας από ’κείνα τα live καταγράφονται τώρα σ’ ένα… full improv CD, που έχει τίτλο “Aural / Vertigo” [Amirani AMRN 049]. Το πρώτο εξ αυτών είναι το “Aural” (διαρκεί 34:09) και το δεύτερο το “Vertigo” (διαρκεί 43:01). 

Δεν ξέρω πόσοι είναι εξοικειωμένοι με τα ονόματα της σκηνής του euro-improv, αν και σε κάθε περίπτωση θα πρέπει να πούμε πως ο Φινλανδός Sjöström έχει συνεργαστεί μέχρι και με τον CecilTaylor, πως ο Mimmo (ιδιοκτήτης και της Amirani) είναι πολύ γνωστός στους φίλους τουδισκορυχείου, πως η Blunt έχει συνεργαστεί με Mimmo, Evan Parker κ.ά., πως ο Kaufmann είναι Γερμανός φυσικά και με παρουσία σε δεκάδες πρότζεκτ, πως ο Kujala είναι κι αυτός Φινλανδός έχοντας παίξει με Kalle Kalima & K-18, TUMO κ.λπ. και, τέλος πως ο Γερμανός Schick είναι και σαξοφωνίστας με προσωπική δισκογραφία. Αντιλαμβάνεστε λοιπόν πως εδώ έχουμε ένα αρκετά εντυπωσιακό γκρουπ, το οποίο αποδίδει «τέλεια» εντός των συγκεκριμένων πλαισίων. Τρία σαξόφωνα (σοπράνο και σοπρανίνο) που κινούνται σε ίδια / παραπλήσια τονικά ύψη, δύο όργανα με πλήκτρα (πιάνο, ακορντεόν), ένα με δοξάρι (βιολί) συν τα εφφέ δημιουργούν ένα σύμπλεγμα ήχων, που, προφανώς, παίρνει αφορμή από συγκεκριμένες ψυχοσωματικές καταστάσεις (αναπτυγμένες κατά τη διάρκεια του live), πριν ολοκληρωθεί μέσα σ’ ένα πνεύμα εν τω γεννάσθαι επικοινωνίας.

Claudio Fasoli

Listening to Aural Vertigo, the Sestetto Internazionale album, is an experience that involves emotions, cultures, analysis, raptures, poetry, architecture, improvisational and expressive techniques, structural and silent anticipations. The musical moves originate from absolute reciprocal listening which generates timbral eclipses and reappearances together with silences and instrumental relationships.  All these things contribute to a multi-voice texture, yet singular in it's clarity.  ​

Rockerilla
Massimo Marchini

Rockerilla

Gianni Mimmo nelle note di copertina scrive che già l’inusuale formazione di questo sestetto costituisce una formidabile che –in un certo senso- predefinisce le possibile semantiche di questo nuovo avatar della musica nuova.

Ancora una volta Amirani licenzia un album di straordinario valore artistico ed estetico per esplorare gli interspazi tra generi musicali stili e, giustappunto, intuizioni: rapide, precise, folgoranti.

Frutto di registrazioni dal vivo ottimamente registrate durante il tour Finlandese del 2015, le due composizioni di questo album vedono i talenti di Gianni Mimmo (sax soprano), Harri Sjöström (sax soprano e sopranino), Alison Blunt (violino),

Achim Kaufmann (piano), Veli Kujala (fisarmonica microtonale –capace di produrre intervalli di quarti di tono che avevo sentito solo in alcune musiche egiziane e africane) e Ignaz Schick ai giradischi.

La musica è senz’altro libera e di certo libera la mente, citando Finardi.

Il sestetto, attingendo a caleidoscopici timbri, sembra un amalgama che fiorisce e si addensa ammaliando spazi apparentemente simili (due sax soprano e un violino), smentendone ogni supposta regola per poi rarefarsi come un pensiero notturno verso un lirismo denso di memoria. Un incessante fluire di situazioni e atmosfere, mai scontate, sempre sorprendentemente intelligenti e colte.

PER UNA NUOVA DIREZIONE DELLA MUSICA IMPROVVISATA.

Turun Sanomat
Matti Komulainen

Heikki Heinosen teoksessa käsitellään suklaata.
Turkulaissyntyinen saksofonisti Harri Sjöström on kotiutunut Berliiniin ja löytänyt henkisen kotinsa musiikista, joka kaihtaa tavanomaisia määritelmiä. Ilmaisussa kohtaavat muun muassa free, klassinen, avantgarde ja elektro – tilanteesta ja kokoonpanosta riippuen. Oleellista on improvisointi, jota Sjöström luonnehtii välittömäksi luomisprosessiksi, reaaliai- kaiseksi sävellystapahtumaksi
Sestetto Internazionale on suomalais-italialais-sak- salainen kuuden muusikon ryhmä, jonka konsertissa kuuntelijaa kuljetetaan äänimaisemasta toiseen ja sävyskaalassa lyyrisestä dramaattiseen. Näin myös Turun Sibeliusmuseossa, jossa sekstetti äänitti syys- kuussa 2015 jälkimmäisen puoliskon uudesta albu- mistaan Aural Vertigo. Avaus on vuorostaan perua saman kiertueen Helsingin Kanneltalon konsertista.
Ryhmä tutkii teemoja irtonaisen leikillisesti soinnin leijuessa kuin kyyhkyn untuva syystuulessa. Sjöström kuljettaa ja johtaa sopraano- ja sopraninosaksofonillaan äänikudoksen paikoittuessa saumattomasti yhtyeeseen. Gianni Mimmon sopraanofoni, Alison Bluntin viulu, Achim Kaufmannin piano ja Veli Kujalan harmonikka kehittävät kokonaisuuteen jännitettä omilla rekistereillään. Erikoista vastavoimaa sooniseen virtaukseen generoi myös Ignaz Schick: turntablisti on läsnä muun muassa hätkäyttävällä alarekisterijylinällään.
Aural Vertigo on kaikkineen paitsi muistikuvia elävöittävä dokumentti huikeasta konsertista, myös todiste tosiaikaisen sävellysmetodin tehosta – kuuntelija voi havainnoida musiikin syntyä tuoreeltaan.

In Turku, Finland born saxophonist Harri Sjöström based in Berlin where he found his spiritual home for music that shun the usual definitions. Usually expression that meet are a.o. free, classic, avant - garde and electro - and composition depending on the line up. The essential is the improvisation that Sjöström describes as an immediate creation process, a precent time composing. („ PTC“). Sestetto Internazionale is a Finnish-Italian- German group of six musicians, in whose concert the listeners is taken from soundscape to the other of lyrical to dramatic. This is also the case with the Turku Sibelius Museum concert, where the sextet recorded in September 2015 for the second half of its new album Aural Vertigo. The opening is recorded during the same tour at the Kanneltalo concert hall in Helsinki. The group examines the themes loosely playfully in the sound of the sound that floats like the down of the dove in the autumn wind. With he’s soprano and sopranino saxophone Sjöström conducts and leads the sound textures seamlessly together in the band. Gianni Mimmo's soprano, Alison Blunt's violin, Achim Kaufmann's piano and Veli Kujala's accordion are developing a whole tune in their own registers. Ignaz Schick is also a special counter-force for the early flow: the turntable is present, among other things, in its astonishing sub-register. Aural Vertigo is a noteworthy documentary for a memoir of a staggering concert, as well as proof of the power of the real-time composer method - the listener can observe the music's freshness.

MusicZoom
Vittorio

La Amirani Records pubblica due concerti tenuti in Finlandia dal Sestetto Internazionale, un gruppo coagulatasi intorno alle varie collaborazioni del sassofonista soprano Gianni Mimmo. È una formazione internazionale dalla strumentazione insolita, ci sono Alison Blunt al violinoe Harry Sjöström al sax soprano, Achim Kaufmann al pianoforte, Veli Kujala ad una fisarmonica a quarti di tono e Ignaz Schick ai giradischi. i due concerti documentati qui sono stati tenuti nel 2015 a Helsinki e Turku e documentano una sperimentazione inedita, in cui la musica viene fuori quasi da un laboratorio alchemico in cui al posto degli elementi sono i suoni gli ingredienti principali. I due sax soprano (ma c’é anche un sopranino) ed il violino tirano fuori momenti poetici, melodie che si intrecciano e rispondono fra di loro insieme a strumenti che producono rumori, come il giradischi, o armonie inconsuete, come il pianoforte e la fisarmonica. La musica procede tranquilla, si svolge in un clima di empatia in cui nessuno prende il sopravvento così che il concetto di collettività ha modo di realizzarsi, un’utopia che prende forma da un’istante all’altro. In mezzo a strati che sembrano complessi c’è un architettura che i musicisti rendono comprensibile. La loro avanguardia ha toni delicati, “soft”, è un dialogo reciproco continuo in cui ci si può immergere e farsi trasportare. Tutti hanno modo di esprimersi e contribuire ad una musica che rappresenta l’aspetto più morbido e seducente dell’improvvisazione radicale.

Credits: 

Harri Sjöström  soprano & sopranino saxophones
Gianni Mimmo  soprano saxophone
Alison Blunt violin
Achim Kaufmann  piano
Veli Kujala  quarter tone accordion
Ignaz Schick  turntables

All music by Sjoström (GEMA), Mimmo, Blunt, Kaufmann (GEMA), Kujala (Teosto), Schick (GEMA)
Track 1 recorded live on September 9, 2015 at Kanneltalo Konserttisali, Helsinki, Finland
Track 2 recorded live on September 12, 2015 at Sibelius Museum, Turku, Finland

Live Recording Engineer Jouni Pusa
Mixed and Mastered by Maurizio Giannotti, New Mastering Studio, Milano, Italy
Front cover photo Harri Sjöström 
Inside photos Antti Kevätlahti
Graphics Nicola Guazzaloca
Produced by Gianni Mimmo for Amirani Records