ENSEMBLE]H[IATUS / PETER JAKOBER – ensemble]h[iatus / Peter Jakober


Had your chronicler perused the press release prior to plunging into the slightly perturbed waters of his magnificent record, chances are that the collected clues would have been in any case sufficient to ascertain the depth of vision generated by the beliefs of Austrian composer Peter Jakober in conjunction with the inventive intuitions of ensemble]h[iatus.

Whereas the former is a young talent whose work and ideas were previously unknown in this house (shame on me), the ensemble’s lineup reads as a veritable who’s who of present-day music comprising interpretation of scores, individual contribution to an extemporaneous unity, and all that’s found in the interstices of multidisciplinary art.

After such a preamble, we’re not going to hide behind the mask of false detachment typical of allegedly unbiased reviewers. The tracks of this CD, featuring three works by Jakober alternated with the same number of improvisations, are all estimable demonstrations of how a modern repertoire should be approached in analogous contexts.

In keeping with the unification of a player’s role within encompassing circumstances – artistic, corporeal, mental – the sounds we hear are, depending on the moment, quite cryptic or utterly transparent. They seem to materialize from nowhere, sometimes in a flash, elsewhere more unhurriedly. Whispering, lulling or speaking persuasively to both ears and spirit, only rarely they need an emphatically louder volume. I recall this occurring, if memory serves, in the second and sixth track before the dust settles back down to a somewhat rippled composure.

However, generally speaking there’s not a wealth of real turbulence in spite of a constant movement; better still, no useless screaming. What emerges is the will of conveying a message as incisively as possible while respecting the implicit rules of a gradual unfolding of the events. The musicians succeed on all accounts, notwithstanding sections where the level of impenetrability equals that of the sheer quality of the textural sharing.

In spots, a comparison could be made with certain orchestral pieces by Elliott Sharp. Not in terms of dynamics, perhaps, but definitely in the sonic representation of physical phenomena that just cannot be put into words. An acoustic attempt to go a little further than your average fairy-tale theory about the theoretical birth and development of the vibrational force at the basis of an infinity that the human brain is, and always will be, incapable of accepting without recurring to idiotic myths and bogus scientific speculations.

If people finally managed to relinquish the needs related to the goddamn self and its pitiable limitations, everything would fall into place simply and clearly.

On the other hand, the abundance of restful segments inside the unprompted exactitude of the instrumental and vocal juxtapositions will surely appeal to any serious advocate of Zen-ish EAI. We’re not being ironic, mind you. As an illustration, the longest piece on offer – a 17-plus minute improvisation walking slowly in tactful semi-quiescence – is as respectable as the finest documents coming from the erstwhile “lowercase” lands.

And, for some reason, appears less dictated by trends and more by interior necessities.

Since the beginning, this has appeared to me as one of 2017’s foremost releases. You know how stupid this expression usually is. Well, this time it’s not.

We’re talking sustenance of one’s integrity, electroacoustic wisdom summoning forth intelligent doubts rather than superficial assumptions.

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