Angelika Niescier alto saxophone | Denman Maroney hyperpiano | James Ilgenfritz contrabass | Andrew Drury percussion
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Here is a quartet committed to contrast conventional and unconventional approaches to composition and improvisation. Complex time signatures and intricate notated materials coexist with spontaneous sonic explorations, both timbral and chromatic. The textures and figures are harmonically rich, full of details and with simultaneous organic effects – crude, primal, atmospheric, and dramatic.
Angelika Niescier, Denman Maroney, James Ilgenfritz and Andrew Drury combine the best of two worlds: the cerebral and the sensitive, always changing roles. For instance: the piano and the drumset are played in the familiar way but also with unique approaches: Maroney with the help of objects placed on the interior strings (this way justifying the name “hyperpiano”) and Drury using his breath and found objects to produce pitch and sustained tones that aren’t really percussive at all.
Usually, it’s impossible to distinguish the origins of the produced sounds. Ilgenfritz’s double bass bridges the shifting colors of the rhythm / harmonic section of the band with the melodic/noise content of Niescier’s sax, sometimes positioning itself on one side, using a percussive attack, or choosing the other to reinforce the lines with some arco work. These permanent changes between the recognizable and the unexpected open the music to any eventuality and make the audition of “Ephemera Obscura” an adventure. Mind games indeed, but making the hair of your arms react before your brain acknowledges what’s happening.
Tracks 1 & 4 by James Ilgenfritz (Mountain Of Signs ASCAP) | Track 2 by Denman Maroney (Mon$ey Music ASCAP) | Track 6 by Angelika Niescier (GEMA) | Track 7 by Andrew Drury (Andrumo Music BMI) | Tracks 3, 5, and 8 by Maroney/Ilgenfritz/Niescier/Drury
Recorded by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios Recorded October 30th, 2013 | Mixed and mastered by Jim Clouse February 20th, 2015
Produced by James Ilgenfritz | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos