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New Releases On Between The Lines Records

Yitzhak Yedid: Visions, Fantasies And Dances - music for string quartet

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Yitzhak Yedid has released eight recordings at Between the Lines in 10 years. All of them reflect more than just the various influences on his work. He was born as the child of Jewish Syrian immigrants in Jerusalem in 1971 and molded by numerous visits to synagogues and the Sephardic music tradition cultivated there. Following studies in Jerusalem, he continued them in Boston under jazz greats Ran Blake and Paul Bley. Of course, he studied classical and contemporary composers intensively such as Béla Bartok, György Ligeti, Arnold Schönberg, and many more. However, he also names John Zorn as a source of inspiration and the recollection of the Arab-influenced music of his childhood and adolescence. He lives and teaches in Australia in the meantime, but often returns to his homeland. He is one of the most important contemporary composers and interpreters of music in Israel, to which his numerous prizes and distinctions give proof.

"Visions, Fantasies and Dances" now puts a special quality of Yitzhak Yedid´s in the foreground: his compositions. They have been the starting point of his activity for many years; the interpretation of works by others was always subordinate. But he previously always played himself on piano, regardless of whether solo or in a trio, quartet or quintet. This time he composed a piece for a string quartet without piano accompaniment. It is composed of seven parts, which in turn are composed of 34 small gems. He uses various techniques in the structure: at times elements in a series, then microtonal elements, makes references to the sounds of religious and suggests Arabic influences – and then we have it again: Yedid's ability to let music "speak" and tell stories with tones. The stories recount his life history, that of his fellow humans and the interrelations, in which they spend their daily lives. Molded by various and yet so closely related religious traditions, everyday life between walls and barbed wire where there wild parties anyway, and then violent confrontations and suicide attacks, from which almost every family has victims to lament in the meantime. The classical composition techniques do not suffice to depict all of that. However, Yedid can draw from an almost inexhaustible pool all the way to various improvisation techniques, which put high demands on classical ensembles. It is not just a question of playing a composition, but instead of also understanding which worlds of thought and experience as well as convictions have guided the composer and which story he wants to tell.

Releasedate: February 2014
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Double Trio De Clarinettes: Itinéraire Bis

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The clarinet has been a pivotal woodwind instrument in classical music for a long time. Important compositions of the 20th century (among others, by Gustav Mahler and Igor Stravinsky) even required increasing the number of clarinets in the orchestra composition. Numerous works have been composed not only for clarinet-orchestra over the centuries, but also for quartets and quintets. The clarinet has also been important in jazz from the start; you only need think of names such as Sidney Bechet and Benny Goodman. The saxophone only displaced the clarinet over the course of time due to its (supposed?) greater expressiveness, but it was still a very popular instrument, especially among innovators (Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Giuffre and Ron Carter).

However, although saxophone quartets were repeatedly formed in jazz over the years, bands only playing clarinets are still very rare. There have been two trios in Europe for many years: the "The Clarinet Trio" in Germany and the "Trio de Clarinettes" in France. Putting the two together in a studio and then sending them off onto the stage to perform borders on insanity. But as is often the case with great works, only the idea of the actually impossible and the belief in its realization results in something really new – or in its failure at times too.

Releasedate: November 2013
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Homepage: www.gebhard-ullmann.com

Scott Fields String Feartet: Kintsugi

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Only strings, 18 of them. What initially sounds like a string ensemble is actually an electric guitar and a trio composed of violin, viola and cello with the peculiar name "Feartet" (a pun on the German word for four “Vier”, quartet, fourtet, Viertett, Feartet). But have no fear, because the four instruments fit together so well into a tapestry of sounds that you ask yourself why this combination is not found more often. The ensemble follows the tracks that Scott Fields created with his compositions. However, it leaves the solid notation foundation repeatedly in improvisations and then gets securely back on track after these excursions. The musicians are afforded a lot of time and space to develop moods and sounds; the longest of the five pieces lasts more than 20 minutes, and you are disappointed when it ends. Melody and rhythm, which dominate our listening habits, experience reorientation in this music. It is not a question of reflecting on our habits, but instead of opening our ears to reinterpretation of the previously heard. In fact, everything can also be found in these recordings, but in a transcendental form. If you let yourself in for it, listen attentively to the music instead of consuming it, you can discover new worlds of music.

Releasedate: September 2013
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Homepage: www.scottfields.com

Alon Nechushtan: Ritual Fire

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Jackson Pollock made "Action Painting" well known a while back, and he became one of the most important painters of the 20th century. This art form considers improvisation to be a pivotal element in painting. Color is often not applied with a brush, but drop by drop, for example, sometimes applied to the canvas directly from the can. Simple materials and techniques result in amazing results. In spite of this, it is not at all dilettantism, but instead is done based on comprehensive knowledge of all set structures and techniques. But they are just not satisfied with set structures. "Action Suite" by the pianist Alon Nechushtan pursues similar considerations. Based on virtuoso mastery of musical instrumentation and with a clear idea of what music pieces created in free improvisation should express, a number of precious pieces are created – and these grow together into an overall work of art. Free improvisation in this sense is the opposite of lack of prerequisites. To the contrary: It only works if each single member of the band contributes all of his expertise, experience and skills into a mutual work networked internally. That is what accounts for the extraordinary fascination of "Ritual Fire": Inner concordance of the musicians that has become rare that makes the free improvisation seem to listeners as if it were composed.

Releasedate: 26/04/2013
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Homepage: www.musicalon.com

Timucin Sahin Quintet: Inherence

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On his second CD at Between the Lines (following 'Bafa', BTLCHR 71221, 2009), his influences and ideas can be heard again, which range from his intensive studies of south Indian music and the harmonics of Ornette Coleman to his enthusiasm for rock bands from Led Zeppelin to Van Halen They are not used for cliché-type copies, but instead are very subtle. You have to listen very closely to understand the stories that Sahin tells. However, if you let yourself be drawn into them, you are captivated and fascinated by the intensive tales full of details as well as by the sudden twists, the careful build-up of tension due to unusual harmony sequences and then again the free association of dominating embellishments.

Releasedate: 01/02/2013
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Homepage: www.myspace.com/timucinsahin

Peter van Huffel's Gorilla Mask: HOWL!

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A mixture of hard rock, jazz, grunge, metal and lots more, but for which there are no terms. That sounds very urban and natural, intellectual and emotional, structured and free at the same time. And never boring.

Releasedate: 02/10/2012
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Homepage: www.petervanhuffel.com