JOACHIM GIES & SOUND / BODY / CELLS – Shimmering

Leo

Rather appealing things and a clutch of good vibrations come from this trio formed by saxophonist Gies (alto and tenor plus glockenspiel and rattles), soprano vocalist Ronni Gilla and percussionist Denis Stilke, recorded at Berlin’s Johanniskirche in 2009. The church location is ideal for this music, the acoustic properties of the sacred edifice exalting a type of interplay which – quite intelligently – leaves a lot of breathing room for the single elements to reveal their nuances. So, what are these people doing? Picture a cross-pollination of leisurely unfolding ceremonials, a few ECM echoes (this being told with optimistic intent) and a female voice whose gamut comprises influences ranging from native American chanting to Meredith Monk, technically grounded in impeccable fashion. I don’t know exactly why, but certain accents from Gilla – who’s not really a revolutionary singer, yet her performance is outstanding throughout – transported my imagination across territories bordering with Arvo Pärt’s work, at times influenced by African currents. She interacts with Gies’ conscientious dissection of multiphonics and reliable phrasing adequately, Stilke providing the right percussive gradations for any setting with expert hands and caring ears.
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