Gledalec (2CD set)
Kaja Draksler Octet
Björk Níelsdóttir voice | Laura Polence voice | Ada Rave tenor saxophone / clarinet (1/I, 7/I, 4/II) | Ab Baars clarinet / tenor saxophone (3/II, 4/II) / shakuhachi (6/I) | George Dumitriu violin / viola | Kaja Draksler piano / conducting (4/II) | Lennart Heyndels double bass | Onno Govaert drums / orchestral percussion / piano (4/II)
It’s no wonder that a pianist with such a large sonic vision of her own instrument has an orchestral way of imagining sound and sonic associations, with her dedications to both the solo and the large ensemble formats complementing each other. Unexpected could be her interest to the song imprint and the voice (here delivered to the singers Bjork Nielsdottir and Laura Polence), because the impulse to work with it comes from other concerns and interests, but the Slovenian artist values timbre and acoustic quality in a special way: her love for vocal music is understandable. Yet, there’s something else in “Gledalec” explaining this new adventure. That “something else” has an extra-musical motive: Draksler’s love for poetry, going the choices in this double album to the words of Pablo Neruda and Andriana Minou. Two horns join the two voices, but that doesn’t mean there are unisons going on. The instrumentation undergoes constant permutations, and the work done by the piano, the double bass and the drums (Kaja Draksler herself, Lennart Heyndels and Onno Govaert, also playing piano when the leader is conducting) isn’t what you would expect from a conventional rhythm section. Much in the same way, violinist George Dumitriu hasn’t a fixed role. The chamber feel of the music keep the songs away from something of pop or folk manufacturing, and that’s particularly intriguing.
All the compositions by Kaja Draksler, except Mirabile Mysterium by Jacobus Gallus Petelin (1550 – 1591) and pieces marked with a star (*), which are instant compositions by musicians indicated.
Recorded at Dommelhof, Neerpelt, Belgium, November 2016 | Recorded and mixed by Ted Masseurs | Mastered by Luis Delgado
Produced by Kaja Draksler | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design and artwork by Travassos