Lasting Ephemerals

March, 2014
Gianni Mimmo & Alison Blunt

Sparkling acoustic duo featuring a contemporary wild chamber attitude, improvising instant compositions, sound texture explorations and sudden lyrical flights.
Their improvisation, that has been defined "A Gentle Vertigo", freely crosses boundaries and welcomes rich contradictions between melody and blessed chaos.
Experimental flavors, multi-perspective intuitions and reciprocal listening are the extremely well balanced blend of this duo that strives for an improvisation where "things happen", able to face pulsing silences and airy architectures as elements of a sound sculpture.
Relationship among inner voices, live attention to detail, lyrical declinations and violent assertive moments are on display in their performances where openess and concentration take the risky route of sailing through dynamic contrasts, tackling episodes of turbulence and tranquility, passages of great delicacy and braves hazardous balances on a music that keeps alive our attention and freshes our feeling.
Freshly started in 2013 the duo has already toured Uk, Italy, Germany, Finland and right now in the Usa with concerts in Chicago, California and NY.


John Eacott, about the performance at Full Of Noises festival, Barrow in Furness, North Uk, August 2015

[…] For me the highlight of the Floodtide performance was when two internationally acclaimed soloists taking part in the festival – Alison Blunt on violin and Gianni Mimmo on soprano saxophone – performed alongside the Barrow Youth Shipyard Band as the tide was building. The music was incredible and I hope that the band had an unforgettable experience. […] 

Robin Davey

[…] Your performance was so interesting and unexpected, opening up vistas of landscape and mysterious spaces, but really came down to exploration of sounds, textures, dynamics, pulsating volumes like an aural aurora borealis, warmth and cold, growls and reassurances and chiaroscuro - ah: italian word […] 

Thomas Götzelt

Erupting peaks, clouds assembling, preparing, human fragility.

Music? Questioning.

Starting, breaking off, resuming, conscious of boundaries, imagining them, silencing, starting again.

Creative circles

Avant Music News
Daniel Barbiero

If the sonic geometry of Turbulent Flow is broadly planar, the interplay between Mimmo and UK violinist Alison Blunt is one of supple and intertwining lines. This set of duets, recorded at St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church in London in the summer of 2013, embodies a quieter and more reflective mood than that of Turbulent Flow. Much of the music is a matter of putting line against line. Both players shape melodies out of spontaneously constructed tone rows, with Blunt moving smoothly between single note lines and harmonically rich—and sometimes unsettling–multiple stops. Color contrasts between reed and string are largely supplementary to the improvised polyphony, but when the two instruments overlap in pitch, particularly in the upper register, each unhesitatingly asserts its own identity with stridence.

As the one constant binding both of these very different recordings together, Mimmo’s voice inevitably is thrown into high relief. It consistently coheres around an often free-flowing line that has at its core a lyrical logic that keeps it rooted in song, even as it moves through pantonal note sequences, registral leaps and serrated rhythms. Extended techniques such as key clicks and overblowing serve somewhat the same function in regard to the main line as backlighting for an object—they make clearer the essential profile of the thing in question, which for Mimmo is always the melody.

Le son du grisly
hector Cabrero

Gianni Mimmo est un soprano lui aussi, mais saxophoniste. Sur Lasting Ephemerals, il cherche le sillon qui le mènera le plus sûrement à la violoniste Alison Blunt. Comme dans ces jeux pour enfants, il y a plusieurs possibilités, mais Mimmo et Blunt préfèrent brouiller les pistes en déformant au maximum le son de leurs instruments (qui sonnent « électronique » parfois, comme sur la deuxième face où le romantisme côtoie la BO de film noir). Et ce sera le plus sûr chemin, celui d’un scherzo pas banal.

Jazz Word
Ken Waxman

Playing violin in a Free Music context calls for a certain mindset and set of novel perceptions that are unlike those in so-called classical music or Jazz. While rejecting the enforced prettiness of much popular notated music, a thematic hook has to be there, especially when the fiddler is involved in a non-solo situation. Plus, while eschewing swing for its own sake, the improvisations still have to include motion enough to propel the sounds forward to a coherent stopping point.

Kenyan-born, London-based violinist Alison Blunt, a veteran of experimental confluence with ensembles ranging up to orchestral size, explores these concepts in duo and trio form here. Generic to both programs is a redefinition of staccato techniques. Certainly she and the two other London-based member of the Barrel trio, scratch, slide and scrape so many discordant swells from their 12 strings that those who prefer sweeter tones may regard Live at Artacts 12 as an aural trip wire aimed at upsetting them.

Violinist/violist Ivor Kallin and cellist Hannah Marshall, who are also involved in Free playing with small and large ensembles, including the London Improvisers Orchestra, organize their staccato pacing with Blunt so that Barrel’s performance has an internal logic. The trio is also disarmingly communicative, with some close stropping used for humorous effect and Kallin, especially, wont to let loose with this-side-of daft vocalizing. With the fingerboards, wood finish and tuning scrolls as involved as popping strings in this paroxysm of atonal tones, Kallin’s pseudo-operatic vocals, occasionally doubled by parallel female emulations, adds a needed human element to the corrosive playing. Galloping by at a racetrack pace, the three-part tremolo cooperation frequently reaches measured crescendos. At that point, one of the trio members propels the narrative forward while angled slices from the others scratch out theme variations. By the final sequence verbal interjections have turned to whistles and expressive cries until the track reaches a climax of near-mellowness, only to slide into a forceful wood-wrenching and string-buzzing coda of herky-jerky swats as a nose-thumbing finale.

As temperate soprano saxophone trills meet measured glissandi, at first it appears that the duo of Blunt and Pavia-native reedist Gianni Mimmo is going to aim for the tranquil architecture of contemporary chamber music rather than the building-site chaos of contrapuntal improvising. That idea is soon negated with the speed of a bulldozer knocking down an older dwelling. With “Lasting Ephemerals”, the introductory, title and longest track proving the code for their interaction the piece is soon segmented into spiky and spiccato string-and-bow pops from the violinist and buzzing multiphonics and split tones from the saxophonist. No stranger to experimental sounds, Mimmo has collaborated with the likes of vocalist Jean-Michel van Schouwburg, percussionist Gino Robair in the past.

On this track and throughout however, as with Barrel’s strategy, neither the saxophone reed bites nor the violinist extended techniques ever allow the instant compositions to dissolve into atonality. For every split tone or sul ponticello run crated there’s an equal number of chromatic timbres from one or the other that organically pace the ongoing narrative. In effect even a track such as “Elliptical Birds” where the duo’s intertwined buzzing ascends to a cornucopia of piercing aviary-like textures; sweetened sequences preserve the exposition among the string sprawls and reed multiphonics

Despite the joking oxymoron with which this session is titled, the skill of Blunt and her associates on both discs substantiates the value of and excitement engendered from string-centred Free Music.

KFJC 89.7 FM
Thurston Hunger

Free-soaring duet with Mimmo on soprano sax and Blunt on violin. The title cut drops an oxymoron and a side long improvisational piece that at the outset feels like Mimmo and Blunt are flying independent of each other, even at times it feels like a more aggressive competition. The cavernous beauty of the London church where this was recorded almost tricks the ear into relaxing, the sharpest quick-stop attack note falling away into soothing decay. If it’s a cliche to make a duo, a trio by referencing the environs as a player, I stil think it’s apt. (And credit due to Matt Saunders for capturing that to tape and vinyl on Mimmo’s own label. If the angles and invention of the title track are tack too much, perhaps try “Scherzo” the shortest piece on here, launching with almost a bop vibe, but the iciest bop that’ll ever drop. “Elliptical Birds” was my favorite with an almost crystalline beauty and more cooperation, if not exactly harmonizing between Mimmo and Blunt. Pretty much any stretch of music here will turn your life into a Bergman film.

The black and white streamlined clothing of the cover doves with that idea. Both players employ extended techniques, the sputter, the scrape, the tunnel of the soprano, the spider of the violin, the results are an abstract art that will not reassure many, but will entice some of us with the quick and not necessarily easy improvisations.

Sands Zine
Matilda Lane

Di Mimmo dovreste ormai conoscere un po’ tutto: dalle collaborazioni di carattere internazionale in ambito jazz alle escursioni in terreni prossimi al rock insieme a Iriondo. La violinista Alison Blunt, inglese nata in Kenya, è un soggetto altrettanto curioso, nonché integrato in un organigramma comprensivo di Apartment House, Barrel (con Ivor Kallin e Hannah Marshall), London Improvisers Orchestra e Berlin Improvisers Orchestra (per una lista completa dei progetti che la vedono coinvolta visitate il suo sito internet).

La collaborazione fra i due nasce quindi sotto l’auspicio di una buona luna, ed è proprio un chiarore lunare tenue e delicato, mai accecante, ad accompagnarli per i quasi tre quarti d’ora del disco. La tradizione della musica afroamericana, quale impianto ben solido, viene tinteggiato a colori difformi che raramente tendono ad alterarsi, a incupirsi o a deflagrare (e quando deflagrano lo fanno comunque con moderazione). Si tratta sempre di colori nitidi che mantengono nondimeno una loro sobrietà, dal momento che sia Mimmo sia la Blunt non sono certo sciampannatori di suoni. Il dialogo fra violino e sax soprano si sviluppa in modo serrato, ma sempre entro i limiti del buon gusto, e in ultimo vi risulterà particolarmente chiaro come è possibile far piangere o sorridere uno strumento musicale. Escono soprattutto ben definiti, dall’ascolto di “Lasting Ephemerals”, concetti quali solidarietà e non prevaricazione, concetti che andrebbero presi in blocco e trasferiti dalla musica alla vita quotidiana. A dare stabilità e dignità definitiva ai tre gioielli racchiusi nel disco c’è una frase, letta non ricordo dove, nel cui contesto non si parla tanto di improvvisazioni quanto di composizioni spontanee.

Le registrazioni sono state effettuate in concerto presso la St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church di Londra nel Giugno del 2013 e, a fare da madrina a un incontro così fecondo, nel retro della confezione viene citata una lapidaria frase di Frank Zappa: «Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture».

“Lasting Ephemerals” è reperibile unicamente come vinile di 180 grammi pubblicato in sole 250 copie numerate a mano. 

Guido Festinese

Intensità di pensiero e suono in Lasting Ephemerals (Amirani) del valoroso sax soprano Gianni Mimmo con la violinista Alison Blunt: in presa diretta dalla Chiesa si St. Leonard di Londra. Grande acustica, grande improvvisazione.

Solar Ipse
Loris Zecchin

Suoni che si rintracciano sulle coordinate della contemporanea e del jazz, ma che sanno avere anche sprazzi di stravaganza tali da evitare le pastoie dell’omologazione. Le sfumature hanno sempre la meglio sui contrasti ed il clima è quello di un’ascesi mistico-sonora lontana anni luce dalla musica meditativa che in questi anni tiene banco col ritorno del kraut e delle pratiche elettroniche frammiste a new age e altro. La notte nasconde mille colori se rivolgi gli occhi al cielo. Uno degli album più ammalianti ascoltati negli ultimi tempi.

Sounds traced on the reference points of contemporary music and jazz, but that can have flamboyant flashes as well, thus avoiding the tethers of homogenization. The nuances get the better of the contrasts, and the atmosphere is that of a mystical- auditory ascent, light years removed from the kind of meditative music which holds court these days after the comeback of kraut and electronic standards interspersed with new age and more. Thousands of colors are hidden in the night, if you look up to the sky. One of the most seductive albums we've listened to in recent times.


La Amirani Records documenta da anni la musica del sassofonista soprano Gianni Mimmo, uno degli studenti del grande Steve Lacy che con passione continua a divulgare quel messaggio con cura maniacale sullo strumento.

Questa volta a fargli compagnia in un dialogo serrato è il violino di Alison Blunt, una presenza sottile che dalle sue corde tira fuori tanti effetti per trovare una forma di comunicazione con il sax soprano. I tre brani hanno caratteristiche diverse, tre modi diversi di approcciarsi

all´improvvisazione totale, costante è però il senso di libertà, l´andare per vie proprie, perdersi e ritrovarsi con tutte le possibilità che lo strumento ha a disposizione. Ci sono momenti lirici ed altri più forti che però poi si assottigliano in un dialogo in punta di piedi, rispettoso dell´autonomia altrui. Alison ha un retroterra di musicista classica, anche se dedicata all´avanguardia e qui fa un ottimo lavoro, capace di estrarre sfumature liriche, quasi romantiche dal suo strumento ce ben si amalgama con le dissonanze del sassofono soprano. Un dialogo sorprendente se si vuole, ricco di situazioni inesplorate che vengono affrontate e risolte all´istante. È una musica con pochi appassionati e così Mimmo ha deciso di stamparla in 250 copie

in vinile che possono essere richieste alla Amirani Records. Il concerto è stato tenuto nella chiesa di St. Leonard’s Shoreditch a Londra e l'acustica particolare del luogo unita alla riproduzione su vinile contribuisce a rendere il suono suggestivo e coinvolgente.

All About Jazz
Neri Pollastri

Il trentasettesimo volume edito dall'etichetta indipendente Amirani Records è un LP da 180 grammi, stampato in 250 copie numerate, che documenta un concerto completamente improvvisato, tenuto nella chiesa di St. Leonard's Shoreditch a Londra da Gianni Mimmo al sax soprano e Alison Blunt al violino. 

Il lavoro segue la cifra stilistica della Amirani e dello stesso Mimmo: improvvisazione liberissima, interamente basata sull'interazione, ricca di cambiamenti di scena e di forme espressive estreme—nel caso del sopranista sovracuti e armonici, in quello della violinista risonanze di corde ed effetti rumoristici. Tuttavia nei tre brani in programma—la title track, ventidue minuti, impiega l'intera prima facciata—il percorso dialogico dei due musicisti rimane sempre perfettamente leggibile, su linee spezzate e mutevoli, ma anche sempre dotate di in loro particolarissimo lirismo. Ciò rende eccezionalmente nitido il suono, vero protagonista del lavoro, esaltato dalla location, le peculiarità acustiche della quale sono ben percepibili anche nella registrazione, probabilmente perché volutamente cercate dai due protagonisti. 

Sono le note basse del soprano a gonfiarsi e risuonare con colori spettacolari grazie alle eco della chiesa, delle quali si avvalgono anche certi sovracuti sul registro più alto e, più in generale, il contrasto timbrico tra le linee dell'ancia e quelle delle corde del violino. 

Il confronto timbrico "tra simili" costituisce un ulteriore elemento di pregio del disco, perché non va dimenticato che il soprano ha nella famiglia dei sassofoni lo stesso statuto del violino in quella degli archi: qui i due interagiscono alla pari, permettendo di apprezzarne affinità e differenze. 

Così, pur nella sua astrazione da temi melodici e strutture definite, Lasting Ephemerals si mantiene per tutta la sua durata caldo e suggestivo, matericamente legato al suono, e si palesa come un esempio eminente (e poi non così frequente) di improvvisazione radicale apprezzabile anche su supporto registrato.

Ettore Garzia Blog
Ettore Garzia

Il percorso sensorio effettuato da Gianni Mimmo assieme alla violinista Alison Blunt in "Lasting Ephemerals" si svolge nella cornice della chiesa di S. Leonard, Shoreditch, a Londra, un posto di cui vi ho già parlato a proposito di una registrazione di Francois Carrier: è sicuramente un luogo speciale per vari motivi, ma musicalmente quello più interessante è l'acustica che premia le pause e le risonanze dei musicisti. In "Lasting Ephemerals" i due musicisti ricorrono alla loro minuziosa preparazione di improvvisatori che si riflette sulla natura evolutiva dei suoni, trasmettendo percezioni pienamente risolte attraverso l'ingaggio dualistico. Per Gianni, questa innata capacità espressiva al soprano, non è certo una novità, ma in questo Lp a tiratura limitata fatto di lunghe tracce, forse mai come prima si avverte un fare prezioso, art music con notevole capacità narrativa. Specie nella title track potreste seguire storie letterarie: a me ha fatto venire in mente le vicende di Dorian Gray, sia per le surrogate atmosfere notturne dei rientri in casa, sia per le sorprese (puntellate da una intensità crescente degli strumenti) degli avvenimenti nell'abitazione. Una collaborazione di alto livello e, certamente, uno dei lavori più riusciti del sassofonista italiano di tutta la sua carriera.

Jazz and Tzaz Magazine
Phontas Thoussas

Τριπλή εταιρική συνεργασία (Amirani, Long Song, Teriyaki) για ένα άλμπουμ βινυλίου (“Lasting Ephemerals”) που φέρνει κοντά δύο προσωπικότητες της σύγχρονης avant και improvised music – τον ιταλό σοπράνο σαξοφωνίστα Gianni Mimmo και την βρετανή βιολίστρια Alison Blunt


Για τον Mimmo έχω γράψει κι άλλες φορές στο δισκορυχείον τονίζοντας την αξία της παρουσίας του σε μια σειρά «προχωρημένων» εγγραφών της δικής του εταιρείας Amirani Records, ενώ και η Blunt (γεννημένη στην Μομπάσα της Κένυας το 1971) είναι μία μουσικός με τεράστιο αριθμό συνεργασιών και παρουσία σε δεκάδες avant events ανά τον κόσμο. Το “Lasting Ephemerals”, που είναι μία παράσταση των δύο, είναι ηχογραφημένο ζωντανά στην St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church του Λονδίνου (26/6/2013) και, όπως και να το κάνουμε, περικλείει κάτι (πολύ) από την δυναμική όχι μόνον του duo, αλλά και του συγκεκριμένου χώρου. Τούτο διαπιστώνεται, βασικά, από το «βάθος πεδίου» και την επιστημονικώς μελετημένη ανάδραση της εγγραφής (όσον αφορά στα τεχνικά χαρακτηριστικά), αλλά και από τον τρόπο που παρίστανται οι δύο μουσικοί σ’ έναν ναό, που είναι 270 χρόνια παλαιός. Υποθέτω, δηλαδή, πως ο λυρισμός ορισμένων συνθέσεων, ή μάλλον, καλύτερα, ορισμένων μερών των συνθέσεων, δεν μπορεί να είναι άμοιρος τής εσωτερικής αρχιτεκτονικής ομορφιάς και του περιβάλλοντος χώρου. Αλλιώς, τι νόημα θα είχε να ηχογραφήσει κανείς σ’ έναν τέτοιο τόπο; Θέλω να πω πως αν εύρισκε εκεί ό,τι θα μπορούσε να βρει σ’ ένα στούντιο, τότε δεν θα υπήρχε ουδείς λόγος να κανονιστεί μιαν ηχογράφηση σ’ ένα μνημείο του 18ου αιώνα.


Ξεκινώντας από ’κει θα έλεγα πως και οι τρεις συνθέσεις του LP, το 22λεπτο φερώνυμο κομμάτι, το 12λεπτο “Elliptical birds” και το σχεδόν 9λεπτο “Scherzo”, δεν μπορεί παρά να ανταποκρίνονται στις απαιτήσεις μιας τόσο «ειδικής» παράστασης, συγκεράζοντας στοιχεία μουσικής δωματίου και ελεύθερου αυτοσχεδιασμού με τον πιο απροσδόκητο τρόπο. Τόσο ο Mimmo όσο και η Blunt επιχειρούν να εκμεταλλευτούν κάθε ηχόχρωμα των οργάνων τους, παίζοντας σε συμφωνία φάσης ή μη, και με ρόλους που μπορεί να δημιουργούν συνεχώς διαβρωτικά περιβάλλοντα (ο ένας δηλαδή να υποσκάπτει την παρουσία του άλλου στην εξέλιξη της «σύνθεσης»). Έτσι παρατηρούμε συχνά, για παράδειγμα, το ένα όργανο ν’ ακούγεται «μπροστά» και το άλλο να δημιουργεί, σ’ ένα «πίσω» επίπεδο, αλλόκοτες γενικώς καταστάσεις. Αυτή η εναλλαγή προσώπων και ηχοχρωμάτων προσφέρει στο “Lasting Ephemerals” επιπρόσθετους βαθμούς πλαστικότητας, μετατρέποντάς το σ’ ένα συνειδητό άκουσμα για την… μισή οικογένεια.


Στο πλαίσιο των 49ων Δημητρίων, την 7/10/2014 (δηλαδή προχθές), ο Gianni Mimmo μαζί με τον πιανίστα Gianni Lenoci και την ελληνική Plus’ n’ Minus Collective Orchestra θα εμφανίζονταν στην Αίθουσα δοκιμών της Κ.Ο.Θ. (πρώην κινηματογράφος Παλλάς) στη Θεσσαλονίκη. Αν πήγε κάποιος και παρακολούθησε, ας μας πει δυο λόγια…

Blow Up
Stefano Isidoro Bianchi

Tra i musicisti italiani più interessanti in ambiti di musiche di ricerca a metà tra jazz e contemporanea, il sassofonista Mimmo esce in duo con la violinista Blunt con schietta impronta cameristica: evoluzioni, digressioni e dialoghi come saliscendi emotivi nei quali gli strumenti si sfiorano e incontrano esaltandosi vicendevolmente accarezzando di quando i quando i limiti imposti senza però farsi free. Un ascolto perfetto.

Musica Jazz
Alberto Bazzurro

[…]una musica rigorosa e seducente, tutta giocata sulla improvvisazione totale, però con un senso della forma, una sapienza timbrica e una capacità di reciproco ascolto assolutamente esemplari. 
Bellissimo, purissimo anche nei rari frangenti più nervosi, il lavoro procede così suggerendo l’idea che, se l’opera perfetta non esiste, qui si marcia abbastanza nei suoi pressi.

[...] It has been a thrilling job, says Gianni Mimmo, where I can recognize flowers bloomed from seeds scattered long ago. Printing on vinyl is a challenge itself, and also working out the mastering part was of  great interest. Every listening involves an action and a little ritual, too.It all crystallizes in meticulous and enchanting music, in a play on absolute improvisation, but featuring a unique example of formal awareness, timbre enlightenment and ability to listen to one another as well.Their work progresses beautifully and purely even in its few tenser situations, suggesting that, if the perfect work doesn't exist, this is as close as you can get.

Dave Wayne

To say that someone is a virtuoso on their instrument isn't a statement just about playing ability. Virtuosity implies a deep level of understanding and insight into the way an instrument works, its history, and its sonic capabilities. This knowledge extends to an understanding of the physics of sound production: the minute details of how the sound is generated, how it is altered tonally, timbrally, and otherwise, where the overtones lie and how they can be manipulated, how environmental factors figure into one's sound. Though technical ability comes from within, the total command of one's voice is shaped by the playing environment and the social interactions occurring during performance. Thus, a virtuoso can elicit the widest possible range of expression and a fuller realization of the his (or her) own capabilities and how these relate to the matters at hand: the music being played.

In this regard, soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo and violinist Alison Blunt are true virtuosi.

Mimmo has complete command of the soprano saxophone. At this relatively early stage of his career, his sheer instrumental prowess is already legendary throughout Europe, and is amply documented on a string of excellent recordings for his own Amirani Records label. Mimmo is also virtuoso when it comes to self-expression and communication via his instrument in any number of disparate musical settings; from the most abstract free improvisation to classical, electronic, and modern jazz. 

Though he is involved in several music and multi-media projects with Italian avant-gardists, Mimmo also maintains working collaborations with cellist Daniel Levin, pianist Gianni Lenoci, and guitarist John Russell.

A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Alison Blunt, like Mimmo, is fascinated with sound, motion and space. These interests have led her well beyond the classical realm and into projects which probe the boundaries between different art forms and musical genres. On Lasting Ephemerals proves herself to be a remarkable performer. Though she's heavily credentialed in both the contemporary classical and traditional folk music worlds, she's made quite a splash of late on the UK avant-jazz scene, working in small ensembles with the likes of percussionists Tony Marsh and Mark Sanders, flutist Neil Metcalfe, cellist Tristan Honsinger and a host of like-minded young UK-based improvisors.

Though comprised of three tracks Lasting Ephemerals really works as a continuous performance. The duo blends a contemporary chamber music approach with instant composition, sound texture explorations, and sudden lyrical flights. The duo's chemistry is palpable as they freely cross boundaries, inviting contradictions between melody and chaos. The live recording in St. Leonard's Shoreditch Church, in London, makes extensive use of the space's natural reverb and drenches the proceedings in a ghostly, spectral mood.

A Frank Zappa quote on the album jacket ("Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture") and Massimo Ricci's liner notes both refer to the sculptural, three-dimensional aspects of this work. The sense that Blunt and Mimmo are really using the space to make certain harmonies and harmonics pop out into sharp relief is quite apparent, even during a cursory listen to Lasting Ephemerals. Sound engineer Matt Saunders and mastering engineer Maurizio Giannotti are to be lauded for this, as well as the artists. The sound is remarkably crystalline, clear and pure throughout.

Musically, Blunt and Mimmo are inclined towards melodic and, at times, harmonic, non-idiomatic improvisation. They take the term "instant composition" seriously, and the results—though quite abstract at times—are not entirely the province of the "furrowed brow" crowd. They can bring the noise as well as anyone on the European scene, and neither are averse to pregnant silences and long tension-filled pauses, yet they are similarly unafraid to acknowledge the melodic aspects of improvisation. Playing together, they create moiré patterns of harmonies and harmonics that ping in and out of one's consciousness like some crazy bird flying a little too close to your ear. They twine lengthy phrases that twist unpredictably, landing in new and unexpected territories. Their lines are so interesting that one forgets how difficult they must be to play; Blunt's perfectly intoned sliding double stops, and Mimmo's whirling sound vortices are the stuff of true virtuosos, but in the hands of these musicians, they express something far deeper than hundreds of hours spent in practice rooms. While a blow-by-blow description of Lasting Ephemerals is clearly an insufficient means to convey its sonic and emotional impact, it's safe to say that this album, taken as a whole, is a stunning document. Lasting Ephemerals is free improvised music of unparalleled beauty and delicacy.

Gerhard Uebele

This music is a bit like story telling by a couple.

The same story but sometimes different points of views.

Very dense communication in which one follows and comments the other like a shadow.

Very good.

And at each point of the ongoing stream both of them are completely aware of what is going on.

There is a lot of emotion in the music, too. 

Marco Carcasi

Innocence and dedication are proposed in their expressive composition by the Italian/British duo Gianni Mimmo - sax soprano/Alison Blunt - violin.
A chamber-music/contemporary impro vision more and more soundly tight-knit through touring in England, Finland, Germany, Italy and the USA. Now secured on precious vinyl in a 250-copy limited edition.
Broad melodic areas crosscutting fine-tuned tonal turbulences are offered to us in their London performance at St. Leonard's Shoreditch Church on 26th June 2013.
Three long instant compositions made of conflict, mutual progressions and sudden energetic/melodic releases.
This approach conceives parallel paths and an undeniable ecstatic instrumental confluence.
How could one otherwise define the violin's meditation and chirruping circular dialog in Elliptical Birds? Or the sudden Aylerian state of mind disclosure up to the chaotic/stifled thrust in Scherzo? And also the discontinuous sculptural and erratic balancing, re-launched in constant light and shade [chiaroscuro] of their opening Lasting Ephemerals?
State of grace, everyday experience and deep mutual respect. All of it worked out and assembled effortlessly one performance after the other, one stage after another.
With a whole series of tiny folk influences entangled in the strings of the violin that could be positively investigated further in the future.
Silence, concentration, enthusiasm, facing risks, the unforeseen and unexpected as their loyal companions.

Innocenza e determinazione, nella formula espressiva proposta dal duo sax soprano/violino, della coppia anglo/italiana Gianni Mimmo / Alison Blunt.
Una visione impro, cameristico/contemporanea, rodata a fondo attraverso un lungo tour fra Inghilterra, Finlandia, Germania, Italia e Stati Uniti.
Fermata su prezioso vinile in tiratura limitata a 250 copie.
Son ampie zone melodiche, alternate a calibrate turbolenze tonali, quelle proposte durante la data londinese del 26 Giugno 2013, presso la St. Leonard's Shoreditch Church.
Tre lunghe composizioni istantanee, fatte di contrasti, progressioni d'insieme e improvvisi rilasci energico/melodici.
Un approccio che prevede strade parallele e congiunzioni strumentali in stato d'evidente grazia.
Come altro definire difatti, il raccoglimento di violino e il dialogo, pigolante e circolare di Elliptical Birds?
O l'improvviso mostrarsi d'umori Ayler, fino all'affondo caotico/trattenuto di Scherzo?
E gli equilibrismi ad intermittenza, scultorei e mutevoli, in continuo rilancio chiaroscurale, dell'iniziale Lasting Ephemerals?
Stato di grazia, pratica quotidiana e reciproco, profondo rispetto.
Il tutto sudato e assemblato in scioltezza, data su data, palco su palco.
Con impigliate fra le corde del violino, tutta una serie di microscopiche suggestioni popolari, che non sarebbe male, esplorar a fondo in futuro.
Silenzio, concentrazione e slancio.
Il rischio, l'imprevisto e l'inesplorato, fedeli compagni di viaggio.

Cristoph Gallo

Great sound, intelligent music, great duo!!

Usa tour teaser from Center For New Music, San Francisco, CA, USA

The Bay Area welcomes the extraordinary duo of Italian soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo and UK violinist Alison Blunt for a concert of improvised chamber and electro-acoustic music rooted in deep chemistry and dynamic ensemble interplay. 

Mimmo, “one of the most inventive and virtuosic soprano saxophonists on the scene today,” (All About Jazz), was once a student of Steve Lacy, and shares that master’s proclivities for angular, architectural lyricism, enriched by a rich palette of timbral effects and extended techniques.

Among Europe’s most acclaimed improvising string players, Blunt has collaborated with Viv Corringham, Gino Robair, Elisabeth Harnik, Tristan Honsinger and Tony Marsh, among others, and has performed with the Berlin Improvisers Orchestra and the London Improvisers Orchestra. 

Their first duo album, Lasting Ephemerals, was released this spring on Mimmo’s Amirani Records, and documents their unique improvisational approach – an elegant, immersive blend of chamber music and jazz-inflected improvisation, lyrical and abstract at once.

Touching Extremes
Massimo Ricci

The alert gracefulness and reciprocal regard through which Mimmo and Blunt explicit their intertwined instrumental togetherness convey the same sense of fulfillment that irradiates the most surprisingly revelatory instants of normality... The pair is willing and ready to show the listener how peace can be restored, nimbly sailing to calmer waters without apparent effort: a musician's thorough control of his/her means of expression is something that can be attained only by "living" the instrument day in, day out, a principle respected as The Word by authentic improvisers...


A wonderful collaboration. Both of them switching between lyricism and extended noise making fluidly, echoing each other and taking time out to listen. I spent half of their set in a semi conscious mystical state.
Michael Holland

A great pairing, meshed like watch cogs, a face with 17 hours working to forgotten moons. A lesson in the creation of spontaneous sound; all you could ask for from an improvised performance.

All About Jazz
Dave Wayne

This sparkling acoustic duo blends a contemporary chamber music approach with instant composition, sound texture explorations, and sudden lyrical flights. Their music, which has been called "a gentle vertigo," freely crosses boundaries and welcomes rich contradictions between melody and blessed chaos. Experimental flavors, multi-perspective intuitions and reciprocal listening are the duo's greatest strengths, as they create spontaneous compositions where "things happen." They're consistently able to face pulsing silences and airy architectures as elements of a sound sculpture. Their music explores the relationship among inner voices, live attention to detail, lyrical declinations, and violent assertive moments. Their performances take all the risky routes, sailing through dynamic contrasts, tackling episodes of turbulence and tranquility, embarking upon passages of great delicacy and braving hazardous balances to create a music that captures your imagination and refreshes your mind.

Mark Weaver

A totally gorgeous document of the special sound you have together - in places it gives the impression of more than two instruments, but in a natural sounding organic way, not self conscious - beautiful sound.

Avreeayl Ra

Congratulations to your wonderful collaboration.... I love both of you all's concept's of sound....

Kris Vanderstraeten

Very beautifull and sparkling !!

A great soprano-saxophonist meets a great violin player ! Bravo,both !

A true great record that LP 1 from Amirani ! Also it sounds really hifi perfect.

A Nouvelle Vague of Classical Avantgarde is in the air !

Massimo Marchini

From Rimbaud to Lacan: lots of words have been writtenabout the “Speaking Self” indeterminacy.

In Gianni Mimmo’s flexible musical poetry I've always found millions of voices and immediate proof of the Freudian intuition: brilliant musician, cultural provoker, and a distinguished and eminent hierophant of the holy cult of Musica Degenere (as Carmelo Bene used to say), a sort of spontaneous music prophet, a poet of the ephemeral and an archivist of sounds and cultures as well.

This New Music masterpiece released on vinyl for Amirani Records presents him in a irresistibly captivating duet with the extraordinaire violinist Alison Blunt, weaving dreamlike textures, chiseling sound as if they were beams of light, and set in a universe off-limits for the average fake jazzy incidental music.

Here are delicate notes plastically following our thoughts and emotions or yelling their acoustic anger, disappointment, and perhaps hopes. Bergman-like sets in sunny Britannia on a holy 26th June 2013, the nocturnal remains of which have embraced the recordings of genuine dew gathered in the rare flower of this album.

Echoes of Schoenberg, Dolphy, Braxton, Stockhausen, Ligeti, Penderewsky, Sun Ra, in other words whatever Gianni and Alison's far-flung culture has absorbed in a lifetime of selected listening, is handed back to us in asymmetric syntheses, clusters of unconscious memories, i.e. new Words.

A work of deeply moving inspiration, pure art, golden new music.


Da Rimbaud a Lacan, tanto si è scritto sull’indeterminazione dell’io parlante. Nella poetica, plastica musicale di Gianni Mimmo ho sempre trovato milioni di voci e pronta conferma dell’intuizione freudiana: musicista geniale, agitatore culturale, autorevole quanto competente ierofante del sacro culto della musica degenere, come diceva Carmelo Bene, profeta del verbo della musica spontanea, poeta dell’effimero, archivista di suoni e culture.

Questo capolavoro di musica nuova uscito per la Amirani in vinile ce lo presenta in un ammaliante duo con la straordinaria violinista Alison Blunt, a tessere trame oniriche, scolpire suoni come luce, in un universo negato al jazzettino eunuco da sottofondo dilagante.

Dolci plastiche note che seguono i pensieri, emozioni che urlano acustica rabbia, delusione e forse speranza. Interni bergmaniani, assolata Britannia di un sacro 26 giugno del 2013 i cui resti notturni hanno accolto le registrazioni di spontanea rugiada raccolte nel raro fiore di questo album.

Echi di Schönberg, Dolphy, Braxton, Stockhausen, Ligeti, Penderewsky, Sun Ra… insomma tutto ciò che la vasta cultura di Gianni e Alison ha assimilato in una vita di ascolti selettivi viene restituito in asimmetriche sintesi, cluster di memorie inconsce, nuovi verbi.

Un’opera di struggente ispirazione, di pura arte, imperdibile musica nuova.

Free Jazz Blog
Steff Gijssels

The last album in this series is not really about seasons, but also about the passing of time, or even the opposite concept, in which the most fragile and volatile and transitory, gets a timeless nature.

Gianni Mimmo on soprano sax and Alison Blunt on violin treat us to some ephemeral beauty on this LP with three fully improvised pieces, recorded live at the St Leonard's Shoreditch Church in London, in June 2013.It is hard to describe the music as jazz, and although Mimmo's legacy is clearly with Steve Lacy, his sound and musical approach is truly his own, more abstract, classical at times in the clarity of his tone, yet audacious and explorative too.

The spontaneous interaction with Blunt is nothing short of fabulous, almost organic, like birds, delivering soaring love songs, or fluttering agitatedly, or even stronger, like more intimate whispers, cautious touching of notes, moving forward gently and elegantly together.

Blunt herself has the same spontaneous attitude for superb control of timbre and sound, while remaining utterly free in her inventiveness. Even in the rawest parts they find each other well, echoing improvised phrases, and creating sharp multiphonics if needed, before falling back on more gentle embraces. 

A marvelous duo.


Gianni Mimmo _ soprano saxophone
Alison Blunt _ violin
Music _ instant compositions by Alison Blunt & Gianni Mimmo
Live Recording _ St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church, London, UK, 26th June 2013
Sound Engineering, Mixing, Editing _ Matt Saunders
Mastering _ Maurizio Giannotti, New Mastering Studio, Milano, Italy
Liner Note _ Massimo Ricci,
Cover Photo _ Chiara Meattelli & Dominic Lee, London, Uk
Graphics _ Nicola Guazzaloca
Production _ Gianni Mimmo for Amirani records
                   Fabrizio Perissinotto for LongSong Records
                   Teriyaki records


Warmest appreciation and thanks to the D.C.C. of St. Leonard's Shoreditch Church and Robin T. Hatton-Gore.

Gianni Mimmo plays GLOGER HANDKRAFT saxophone neck andMASTERCLIP™ ligature