John Eyles Review of Three States of Freedom

Allaboutjazz.com writer John Eyles‘ review of Three States of Freedom published on August 10, 2012:

Eddie Prevost‘s improvisation workshop has been meeting weekly in London since 1999, with several hundred participants having attended. In that time, some of its long-standing participants, such as saxophonist Seymour Wright, guitarist Ross Lambert and pianist Sebastian Lexer, have built up considerable performance histories and discographies.

Lately, there has been an increasing trickle of releases from newer workshop participants such as guitarist James O’Sullivan, French pianist Marjolaine Charbin and Greek zither player Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga. To that list, we can now add Israeli saxophonist Tom Soloveitzik, who attended the workshop while he was studying at the London College of Communication, only stopping when he went back to Israel at the end of 2011.

Three States of Freedom was recorded in Jaffa in June 2010 during a tour of Israel by the trio of Soloveitzik plus American-born cellist Kevin Davis and, on computer and controllers, Korhan Erel, of Turkish free improvising group Islak Köpek. Soloveitzik had met and played with the other two when he visited Istanbul in October 2009, a meeting that led to the tour and this recording. Given the diverse nature of their instruments, the three work well together as a trio. None of them hogs the limelight, all three seemingly more focused on the overall ensemble sound, with each occasionally rising to the surface, supported by the others.

At his workshop, Prevost always emphasizes to participants the importance of listening to those they play with and of exploring what their own instruments can do. On the evidence of all seven improvisations here, all three members of the trio have heeded those instructions but none more so than Soloveitzik; he hardly ever plays like a jazz player, instead using his instruments to produce whatever sound is most appropriate at a particular moment. As on “Chamesh,” this can involve sustaining a single note to underpin the playing of his colleagues or interjecting the occasional single staccato note to punctuate proceedings. At other times, he will strike the bell of his saxophone with metal objects to produce percussive sounds. Such invention and variety are also displayed by both Davis and Erel, ensuring that Three States of Freedom has plenty to reveal to those who return to it frequently.”

Three States of Freedom is distributed by Metamkine in Europe and Klompfoot (formerly Cadence) in North America.  It is available for sale on Amazon, Squidco and Creative Sources. You can listen to the sixth track, Arbah, below.

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About Korhan Erel

Korhan Erel is a computer musician, improviser, sound designer based in Berlin. He plays instruments he designs on a computer by employing various controllers. He also uses analog and digital electronics. He is a founding member of Islak Köpek, Turkey’s pioneer free improvisation group, which is regarded as the band that started the free improvisation scene in Turkey. He composes and designs sounds for dance, theater, installations and film. He collaborates with dancers, video artists and spoken word artists. Korhan’s collaboration with Sydney-based video artist Fabian Astore “The Threshold” has won the Blake Prize in Australia in 2012. Korhan’s computer performance system is called Omnibus. The instruments within Omnibus are a culmination of Korhan’s musical past and aesthetic choices. Omnibus instruments use concrete sounds (samples, field recordings), morphed and processed in realtime. They can be as simple as one single sample being played using a Nintendo Wii controller to a complex system that employs granular synthesis and spectral processing. The instruments are played interactively using Nintendo Wii controllers (Korhan’s choice of controller when he plays in ensembles with acoustic/electric instrument players), an iPad (used in solo/duo performances as well as ensemble concerts) and several midi controllers. No matter what technology he uses, Korhan always stays focused on the outcome and musicality rather than processes. Korhan is the co-curator (with Nicola Hein) of UnStumm, a project that brings video artists and musicians from Germany and one other country for audiovisual improvised collaboration. Korhan has had three residencies at STEIM (Center for research & development of instruments & tools for performers) in Amsterdam, where he studied use of sensors in music performance and instrument design. He was a guest composer at the Electronic Music Studios in Stockholm in January 2011. Korhan has seven CD releases on Gruenrekorder (Germany), Creative Sources Records (Portugal), Evil Rabbit Records (Netherlands/Germany), A.K. Müzik (Turkey) and Kukuruku Recordings (Greece) as well as several netlabel releases. He performs regularly in Europe and in the Middle East as a solo artist as well as with his projects in Germany and Holland.
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