In pessimistic times of murky imminence, the alchemy of improvisation transmitting an explicit lucidity arrives as the proverbial unexpected gift. On a second thought, by analyzing Ute Völker and Udo Schindler’s curricula one does not anticipate anything less than that. Both proficient instrumentalists (on accordion and reeds, respectively), the former is a teacher and the latter an architect. The formal aspect of playing – and we don’t mean “academy”; rather, “respect of implicit codes” – is therefore a central factor in this set of sharp yet earnest duets presented exactly as they came, no further editing applied.

If you relish the instants when a natural phenomenon of undisputable emotional consequence materializes out of the blue – say, a peculiar trembling of light in the rippling sea, or the twisting shifts of a flock of migrating birds in the sky – a good chance exists for this disc to satisfy most of your needs. Völker and Schindler’s interplay is civilized but not devoid of boldness. Certain sounds suggest a walk in the woods with perked up ears, or even the breathtaking sensation experienced while standing on a cliff’s edge; elsewhere, it’s mere powerfulness of vibrational substance. The duo is sensible to the slightest variation of a timbral nuance; they catch small glimpses of chaos and melt them into comprehensible shapes, reproducing that microcosm of existence without thinking twice. However, the acoustic composites born from the marriage of impure particles and unintentional clusters are frequently reminding us that we’re not listening to someone who compromises research in the name of some “style”. Dissonance usually prevails, as to indicate for the umpteenth time that actual evolution derives from contrast, and is not to be found within the asphyxiating rules of a forced “harmony”.

Synopsis is a brilliant album, offering secrets and revelations in equal measure. An example of communication remaining quite near to the principles of improvisational orthodoxy, yet still leaving the mind free enough to guess what could be discovered behind the politeness. Come closer, though; there’s no danger.

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