Alexandra Bellon (percussion) – Anna-Kaisa Meklin (viola da gamba) – Anouck Genthon (violin) – Brice Catherin (cello) – Bruno Crochet (laptop) – Christoph Schiller (spinet, objects) – Christophe Berthet (soprano saxophone) – Cyril Bondi (percussion) – d’incise (laptop, harmonium) – Dorothea Schürch (voice) – Eric Ruffing (analog synthetiser) – Hans Koch (clarinet) – Ivan Verda (guitar) – Jamasp Jhabvala (violin) – Lucien Danzeisen (objects) – Marei Seuthe (cello) – Maxime Hänsenberger (percussion) – Patricia Bosshard (violin) – Raphaël Ortis (laptop) – Regula Gerber (double bass) – Rodolphe Loubatière (percussion) – Sandra Weiss (bassoon) – Sébastien Branche (tenor saxophone) – Steve Buchanan (alto saxophone) – Teresa Hackel (recorders) – Vincent Ruiz (double bass) – Vinz Vonlanthen (guitar) – Violeta Motta (traverso)
Recorded by Simon Reynell in Geneva, 2018. Mixed by d’incise.
Commissioned by Insub Meta orchestra with the support of: Ville de Genève & Ville de Lausanne
The fact that the commissioned composers are none other than Michael Pisaro and Magnus Granberg speaks volumes about the high esteem in which IMO is held…
Everything about these two albums makes them seem like companions. Their (uncredited) cover artwork is stylistically similar enough to suggest it originates from one source. Both albums were recorded in Geneva in 2018 by Another Timbre’s Simon Reynell, which is good news about any album. Both feature the same 27-strong IMO, one in which two-thirds of the players date back to the ensemble’s earliest days. The instrumentation is well balanced between strings, wind, percussion and electronics, with the inclusion of viola de gama, spinet, musical saw and recorders giving the ensemble a distinctive soundscape.
However, the two compositions themselves are distinctly different from one another, making use of the IMO in contrasting ways. Michael Pisaro’s forty-eight-minute piece begins sparsely, with the sound of objects being moved about and electronic crackle, slowly joined by the sounds of other instruments which combine into a background over which a range of individual sounds are featured for a short while, the overall effect resembling a cast of characters being introduced individually. Gradually the soundscape fills out until, about a third of the way through the piece, a prolonged note on a horn signals a change, and the sounds of many instruments well up together; this sets the tone for the remainder of the album, with frequent sustained notes on horns being answered in kind by other instruments with washes of hissing electronics surrounding them; altogether, there is enough variation for the piece to avoid being labelled ‘a drone,’ the combined effect being decidedly dramatic, a credit to both Pisaro and IMO
John Eyles / All about jazz