Rewiews of the concert
….Pagan and cultured music hand in hand in the hyperuranium, dense and tense silences, stalking, escapes, ambushes, clearings, archaic and forbidden fantasies, lux aeterna, drums live elaborated by Ceccarelli, who turns out to be the real wizard of the quartet, his crucial role in refracting in bottomless pits and making the acoustic rain of the other three abstract or hyperreal…. [complete rewiew (in Italian)]
Nazim Comunale, The New Noise (18.10.18)
Forlì open music (Really)
But Forlì Open Music aims high not only approaches distant sound worlds but wants to mix them. Open Border is the final event, an original project that sees the reeds of Vandermark and the percussion of Drake, two jazz players in dialogue with absolute protagonists of Italian contemporary such as Luigi Ceccarelli on electronics and Gianni Trovalusci on flutes. A largely successful meeting when the musicians looked for possible meeting points, giving up part of their baggage to get closer to each other. Vandermark rediscovers his most radical language made up of rips, Drake limits the ethnic aspect and develops isolated sounds. Trovalusci’s flutes and sound tubes alternate ancestral charms with contemporary visions, Ceccarelli’s electronics have the merit of managing, expanding, relaunching all the materials brought into play with a remarkable sense of form. The short encore opens with Drake’s shamanic voice that stimulates a phrase with the sweet flavor of a sax mantra immediately flanked by flutes. It couldn’t have been a better ending… (complete rewiev [in italian]) .
Paolo Carradori, Il Giornale della Musica 13 ott 2018
The light game of sounds at Forlì Open Music
…. We go to this festival in search of the unique sound in the making of the non-pop universe. Forms-non-forms that can overcome belonging to genres, traditions, schools and circulate a common platform of musical contemporaneity that is constantly open …..
In any case, this is the acute cultural proposal of Area Sismica on the occasion of Forlì Open Music ……
Luigi Ceccarelli, a well-known composer in the non-observant “contemporary” world, and Gianni Trovalusci, a globalist flutist, are part of the “learned” world, Ken Vandermark and Hamid Drake (toh, who sees himself!) Are part of the jazz world.
Together they form the Open Border group.
……..Vandermark renounces modern jazz and adopts the “neurotic” melody (obviously a positive term) of the more or less historical avant-garde. Drake uses his infinite percussive wisdom for the same purpose. Trovalusci with pipes of various sizes emits fascinating puffs and single sounds. Ceccarelli with computer and tablet captures the sounds of others and sends them reworked into the common space where they become new material. Radical contemporary music and radical free improvisation. The two are the same….
Mario Gamba, Il Manifesto 16.10.2018
If you think of Benedetto Croce who did not accept the distinction of forms of art and literary genres, stating that the intuitions are infinite and cannot be cataloged in classes because “organically connected as different and necessary stages in the development of the Spirit”, we are not surprised if in today’s jumble and in the diversity of musical proposals, languages and poetic instances it happens that different languages can find perfect harmony by joining in the construction of unpublished works with cohesive unity of forms and contents. This is the case of “Open Border” which testifies to the 2018 concert for the Forlì Open Music organized by Area Sismica, a performance by a quartet made up of some of the most eminent experimental musicians in activity: on the one hand the jazz players Ken Vandermark (tenor sax clarinet) and Hamid Drake (drums and percussion) and on the other the exponents of contemporary learned music Luigi Ceccarelli (electronics) and Gianni Trovalusci (flutes). The disc goes beyond the transitory phase identified at the beginning of the 20th century by the musicologist Giannotto Bastianelli, who, following up Niccian intuitions, saw the passionate followers of the god Dionysos opposing the cerebral ones of the god Hermes to arrive at a desired mediation of more advanced and complete synthesis. Thus, letting oneself go to a total improvisation (apart from a few fleeting predetermined junctions), the music unfolds through sudden ingenious shrewdness, murmurs, suspensions, melopees, drones, flashes of abstraction, clots of heavy matter, periods of punctual noise , with Vandermark reminiscent of Pharoah Sanders and Roscoe Mitchell and Trovalusci il Gazzelloni di Maderna, while Ceccarelli and Drake sew, open and close the shirts with sartorial skill. They are only thirty-five minutes of a single piece, a condensation of biting beauty.
Aldo Gianolio, Audio Review n.420 may-June 2020
Time to live in the desire for research
From time to time radical free improvisation and contemporary music of radical “learned” origin cross each other and become the same thing. A contemporary music understood as the time of living with the desire for research, for pleasure, for the composition of open relationships. There was such an event in October 2018 at the Forlì Open Music festival. The ensemble gathered for the occasion was called Open Border (precisely …).
And this name is also the title of the album that plays that concert.
Luigi Ceccarelli, a well-known composer in the anti-dogmatic “contemporary” world, plays a part in electronics (re-inventor, inventor) of the completely improvised session.
Hamid Drake, a beloved jazz percussionist, great virtuoso, practical seducer of avant-garde and Africanity, dispenses touches that would make Stockhausen the envy.
Gianni Trovalusci, a flutist who gladly switches from neue musik to free music (he is Roscoe Mitchell’s favorite partner), blows long, pointed sounds into tubes of various sizes that he transports to galaxies. Ken Vandermark, saxophonist and clarinetist, shows off his best skills as an ultra-free jazzman, forgets Rollins and draws on Ligeti. Yummy cocktail.
Mario Gamba- Il Manifesto (https://ilmanifesto.it/edizione/il-manifesto-del-08-04-2020/)
Music and More
General thoughts of fun stuff, like music, books and the like.
Open Border is a beautiful, truly collaborative project between Ken Vandermark on reed instruments, Luigi Ceccarelli on electronics, Hamid Drake on drums and Gianni Trovalusci on flutes. The music was recorded by Ceccarelli live at the Forlí Open Music Festival in October of
2018, and captures a gracefully flowing and exploratory performance. Musicians weave in and out of the sound tapestry, shifting from solo to full quartet sections, as the improvisations evolve from melodic to abstract freedom.
There is only freely improvised track, “Open Border” which emerges slowly as the music has pops and clicks like a transmission from a far off world, Vandermark’s clarinet meeting electronics and fluttering in open space, gradually gathering intensity with percussion and piercing flute entering the frame. Drake’s masterful fractured free drumming and Vandermark’s caustic clarinet further slip the boundaries, with sparse electronics adding to the action. Drake’s solo drumming reverberates through the theater, as Trovalusci joins him on flute providing an ethereal sound amid swirls of electronic noise building an alien soundscape. The instruments can create a alarming buzzing motif, then change just as rapidly into with popping and chattering reeds in a nervous, yet fascinating section.
Vandermark moves to tenor saxophone for powerful bursts of loud and stark playing, backed by Drake’s excellent drumming, and swirls of electronic sound, creating a raw and vibrant section of the overall performance, and diving into an excellent collective improvisation with flute soaring and flowing amid the other instruments. Interplay between Drake and Vandermark stellar as always, as is the light and fluid section for flute and electronic sound, and graceful spoken vocalization leading everyone to come together for a elegant and memorable conclusion. This was a unique and very enjoyable album, taking three stellar instrumentalists and adding Ceccarelli to create electronic sound and process the other band members playing in real time creates a vibrant and rich performance that continuously moves in dynamic and spontaneous ways.
by Tim Niland, 04 Aprile 2020
What impresses me most is that, unlike many other electronic musicians, Ceccarelli’s playing has the distinct ability to “breathe” just as much as his fellow artist’s acoustic instruments. The music seems to float, mingle, seperate, and then join again as a beautiful tapestry of sound is produced. Mesmerizing!!! 😎
How to open the curtain on a sidereal abyss: Open Border, an open border, worlds that we do not know yet are and sound familiar and that we return to visit with great joy in listening …
This stellar quartet, assembled by Ariele Monti (deus ex machina of the Forlì [Area Sismica]), closed the edition two years ago with a thrilling live that now (edited) becomes a 12 “vinyl (and download) for Ken Vandermark’s Audiographic Records, which produces the work together with Ariele Monti and Area Sismica. What we listened to live and hear now on support was the tasty and forbidden fruit of the first ever meeting between these heavyweights: Ken Vandermark on saxophones and Hamid Drake on drums presiding over the avant-jazz side of the territory, Gianni Trovalusci on flutes and pipes sound (at dinner then on the evening of the concert he would have told me that they were the tubes of a tent … when you say the genius) to probe the lands of the contemporary and Luigi Ceccarelli, who turns out to be the true sorcerer, to process the sound of the other three live, adding scientific delirium to delirium, luminous confusion to confusion. Pagan music and cultured arm in arm in Hyperuranium, dense and tense silences, stalking, escapes, ambushes, clearings, archaic and forbidden fantasies, lux aeterna, drums.
Thanks to Ceccarelli’s abstract and very punctual electronics, the sound refracts in bottomless pits; the acoustic rain of tenor, flute and percussion becomes hyperreal, a filigree dream.
The atmosphere sometimes recalls a more bristly Threadgill, then there are explosions as in Coltrane’s Interstellar Regions, with live electronics adding quarters of strangeness and impregnability, but any reference is in vain because the music we listen to is truly new and unheard of. , creepy. Trovalusci at the sound tubes is a shaman in the academy, the tenor sax turns into a cello, it is the sound of a perennial metamorphosis, a free chrysalis that takes off like a contemporary butterfly.
The clear feeling is that this is an important musical encounter, the seed of a forbidden and tasty fruit, which no God can prevent us from tasting. A sincere applause, therefore, to those who thought of bringing together these sounders in space, allowing us to sail with them.
At times the ears imagine the music of the pygmies played by Stockhausen, the heart listens to ancient and very new speeches, elusive secrets, the eyes are dazzled by so much monolithic, kaleidoscopic clarity. This music creates (and needs) space: a long theory of vanishing points, a cold that tastes of galaxy, of cosmic wind, of black holes, delicate and powerful epiphanies, sounds in perennial movement, full of questions, vague and narrative yet steadfast in their philosophical and orgiastic drift, unstoppable, fluid, natural as a breath.
Music that looks like the transcription in the score of a book by Nietzsche, ruthless and damned human. Thirty-five minutes simply amazing.
This LP is a fascinating union of pairs of musicians, two based in Rome and two in Chicago, at the 2018 Forlì Open Music Festival. Two improvisations, though having little in common, are of almost the exact length (17:51 and 17:52) and of seemingly equal parts electronic and acoustic. The latter is a bit of a stretch, but each member of this quartet led by electronics artist Luigi Ceccarelli indulge in sonorities that can sound anything but organic. Drummer Hamid Drake approaches his collection of instruments like an orchestra while reedplayer Ken Vandermark often revels in coaxing riveting sounds from his saxophones and clarinets. Italian flutist Gianni Trovalusci, even during melodic flights, blends so well with the others that his instrument recalls analog electrical sounds.
Throughout the first selection, side-long “Open Border, Part 1”, the ensemble operates fully as a collective, with few moments of any singular voice coming to the front.
Trovalusci shines on Side B (“Open Border, Part 2”), bouncing and sputtering off of Drake’s softly dictated pulsations, vocalizing through his head joint both with and in opposition to his standardly- played sounds. Vandermark blows with fervor and at least a degree of abandon, carrying the gritty urbane into this European session. Electronics then take the lead with a wall of sound as cymbals sound and simmer, but Trovalusci moves to center again, filling the soundscape live and in response as his instrumental voice is manipulated by Ceccarelli. The result is fascinating and, frankly, could have gone on longer.
This piece closes with a pensive, calming repetitive melody shared by electronics, saxophone and flute in varying degrees of rhythmic uncertainty, creating a cascading effect.
While the title indicates a positive meeting of international artists, the turbulence within appears to carry stronger symbolic meaning referencing the political strife around our government’s austere vision of border security. Most striking, particularly towards the close of side two, is the image of national boundaries as imagined by the global creative community as opposed to the bearers of arms.
John Pietaro – Novembre 2020 – The New York City Jazz Record