Mat Maneri, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten & Kalle Moberg – Wordless Voices (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 46:34 minutes | 474 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © KAMO Records
Recorded on the cusp of our voyage into isolation, Wordless Voices sings songs from the collective unwinding at the heart of improvised music. The 4 tracks traverse, intertwine and disentangle myriad territories of microtonality, pulse, melody, and noise and present an incorruptible expression of group improvisation and, just as significant, a remembrance of collective listening shared by audience and performer.
The disc documents Moberg’s 4th formal release on his KAMO label – pairing the young, pioneering accordionist with microtonal maestro Mat Maneri and fellow Norwegian and double bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten. Recorded February 2020 at No Idea Festival in Austin, Texas, Wordless Voices captures two distinct sets: a Friday night trio performance (Track 4) in a roadside church-turned-event-space (Ana Lark Center) and an intimate Saturday afternoon duo concert (Tracks 1-3) inside a corrugated metal quonset hut on Austin’s East Side (Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery).
Both sets share a music animated by the tensions of a first meeting in the live concert setting met with the urgency of sympathetic practices put into dialogue with one another. The Friday concert’s exceptional amalgam of microtonality and pulse results in 30 minutes of freely improvised trio music refracting through a fortuitous unity to create a seemingly endless spectrum of colors and forms. Maneri and Kalle continued their work together the following afternoon, diving deep into a vulnerable, melancholic playing rare in the field of improvised music. The duo’s bending microtonality seamlessly shifts between the complementary and course to produce fluent, voice-like qualities; the integrity of their individual artistic practices are revealed to open limitless paths of collective enunciation.
How did this music come to be?… I met Kalle in Mexico City in September 2019 while he was on tour with Paal Nilssen-Love’s Large Unit. It was the Saturday afternoon concert at Casa del Lago – where the Unit had broken into smaller ensembles to perform as duos, trios and quartets – where I first heard Kalle’s reconceptualization of the acoustic accordion. It’s more and more rare to hear sonic innovations on acoustic instruments and hearing Kalle’s all-embracing palette of microtonality, noise, and timbral intelligence grounded in a profound musicality and a barrage of novel techniques (without implements!) left the audience and myself awestruck.
The Large Unit’s week-long residency in Mexico allowed me to get to know Kalle a little. His inquisitive, kind nature was the icing on the cake-he had to come to No Idea! When curating the festival I aim to assemble artists whose work activates a full-spectrum of the music while, just as important, also embody a generous spirit and an openness to collaboration. Kalle was the first invited and confirmed artist for No Idea 2020 and, in many ways, set the tone and direction of the festival that year.
With origins from Kalle’s trip to Mexico City, it is fitting that Wordless Voices’ cover art is by the fantastic Mexican artist Luc’ia Arag’on. Unbeknownst to Kalle, Luc’ia (whom Kalle also collaborates with in live performance in Oslo) is old friends with Danae Silva, one of the organizers of elnicho-the organization that presented Paal’s Large Unit in Mexico City back in 2019. Entitled Su Persona, the artwork’s fragmented fluidity is an eloquent expression of the merging of personalities, creative energies and community responsible for bringing this important work to life-a series of intersecting moments affirming the friendships, trust and camaraderie continually guiding us towards our chaotic, lucid utopia.
1. Mat Maneri, Kalle Moberg – Wordless Voices (06:06)
2. Mat Maneri, Kalle Moberg – Sweet Syllables (05:13)
3. Mat Maneri, Kalle Moberg – Furtive Song (06:41)
4. Mat Maneri, Kalle Moberg, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten – Trialogue (28:36)