London Duos and Trios
Hans Koch: Sopransax, Bass- & Contrabassclarinet
Pat Thomas: Electronics
Phil Minton: Voice
Steve Noble: Drums, Percussion
Roger Turner: Drums, Percussion
Mark Wastell: Cello
Rhodri Davies: Harp
Phil Durrant: Violin
John Edwards: Bass
Liner Notes:John Cratchley
Intakt CD 081 / 2004
Im Winter 2000 brachte Hans Koch sein Bassklarinette, die Kontrabassklarinette und das Sopransaxophon nach London und spielte mit einigen der interessantesten Musikern der Londoner Improvisationsszene. Die vorliegende CDs hält neun Begegnungen fest: Soundexperimente, Zwiegespräche und Klangexkurse mit Musikerfreunden, mit denen Hans Koch während seines längeren Londoner Aufenthalt zusammenspielte oder mit langjährigen Freunden wie Phil Minton. Die «London Duos and Trios» sind Ð nach mehreren von der Musikwelt hochgelobten Aufnahmen mit dem Schweizer Trio Koch-Schütz-Studer Ð ein weiteres Dokument der Experimentierfreude, der künstlerischer Radikalität sowie der Innovationskraft von Hans Koch.
Hans Koch meets London musicians In the winter of 2000, Hans Koch brought his bass clarinet, contrabassclarinet and soprano saxophone to London and embarked upon a series of live and studio encounters (in both duo and trio format) with some of the capital's finest free improvising residents. Koch, it seems, was determined to engage fully with his collaborators in a variety of combinations and hence discover, in a spirit of positive openness, the scope of their potential dynamic possibilities.
The disparate roll call also seemed to consolidate Koch's reputation for musical risk taking. It allowed him to embrace not only the closely controlled minutiae of Pat Thomas' electronics but the equally refined, yet utterly unique, voice/instrument of Phil Minton. Further encounters afforded him the opportunity to explore the sophisticated spontaneity of bassist John Edwards, percussionists Steve Noble and Roger Turner as well as a trio of string players whose lateral approach to their instruments' capabilities is continuing to open up and define new vistas of contemporary musical interpretation: violinist Phil Durrant, harpist Rhodri Davies and cellist Mark Wastell.
Judging from the results of the recording, Hans Koch obviously relished the role of visiting «wildcard» in this meeting of hearts and minds. He is, of course, a valued member of that coterie of cutting edge European improvisers who continue to both innovate and excite every time they make music. Indeed, his long-standing partnership with Martin Schutz and Fredy Studer is both revered and well documented within the world of free improvisation.
Furthermore, the breadth of his musical vision seamlessly integrates itself into the range of his chosen instrumentation. The bass clarinet and the soprano saxophone are as technically disparate to master as they are diverse in their sonic and textural signatures yet, as these pieces testify, Koch has full control of their combined spectrum and moves freely between them at will.
results in highly intricate and detailed improvisations that seem to
insinuate themselves into the listener's consciousness rather than overtly
announce their presence. He is capable of intense, minimal quietude
(which, for the most part, these pieces demonstrate) yet he is equally
accomplished in replacing introvert inflection with the larger gesture
and «cutting loose» when the moment requires it. The closing duo improvisation
with John Edwards ably demonstrates this attribute. Yet the pervading
mood of these collaborations is one of finesse and delicacy: a meeting
of like minds intent on producing work of the highest calibre and extending
both personal and collective musical vocabulary. John Cratchley
Hans Koch on Intakt Records: all CDs