3 February 2015

Free

SoundOut day 2 was different. I only managed to attend the Saturday afternoon session and the Sunday night session. Day 1 was all meditation and texture. Day 2 was mostly energy and abandon.

For me, first up was a stunning solo piano set by Hermione Johnson. I saw her preparing the piano before with numerous chopsticks (or similar) inserted vertically into the grand piano. Then a single long performance of thudding notes, abandoned flourishes, fluid spaces. This was abandon, not violent but of a related emotion. Whether this is played with training of patterns, this was convincing: emotionally authentic and intellectually challenging. Then a quiet set more reminiscent of the textures of day 1: Richard Johnson with Christian Kobi and Klaus Kilip on sax, sax and electronics. And to a high point with the return of Norway's Frode Gjerstand Trio joined by Jon Rose on violin. This was energetic, extravagant, unrelenting, more loud than dynamic, although there were some gentler spots. All drove with immense power and Sydney's Jon Rose was a dynamo, watching and pushing despite being the visitor. I'd place this as the free jazz end of this spectrum against the experimental, given the rhythms. Exciting and immensely strong.

Hermione Johnson (prepared piano) played a solo set. Richard Johnson (soprano sax) played a trio with Christian Kobi (tenor sax)and Klaus Kilip (electronics). Frode Gjerstand Trio comprised Frode Gjerstand (clarinet, alto sax), Jon Rune Strom (bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and was joined by Jon Rose (violin).

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