Apparently, Canadian trumpeter and composer/improviser Lina Allemano wishes to maintain a parallelism between activities closely related to jazz (through various lineups) and solo experimentation, or – as in this case – with a single artistic partner. Enter Mike Smith, a real-time sound manipulator equipped with effects to maneuver at will, in response to Allemano’s straight lines, wavering canons and noisier investigations of timbre. The pair, if you were not paying attention, performs under the name Bloop.
Proof was recorded exactly as you hear it, with no overdubs or after-the-fact editing. Where percussion exists, Allemano played it with the hand not engaged by the trumpet. The outward appearance of this music is twofold. On some tracks we have rather pensive melodies conveying a quiet serenity. Elsewhere, we’re presented with miscellanies of more concrete and explicitly less seductive sonorities. Here the breath becomes color besides being a source, and the vital rhythms self-generating on the axis “emission/manipulation” are fairly irregular. In both situations, Smith’s intervention tends to the creation of peculiar echoes, hazy repeats and slight distortions of meaning, as to displace a mind that demands to memorize.
Anyhow, we’re not talking about radical experimentation. The space frequently left in between the notes is indicative of reasoning inside the improvisational environment, choosing trajectories and well-defined directions that can still warrant a degree of freshness. For a sizable chunk of the disc, Allemano and Smith have managed to achieve that goal without noticeable impediments. They look at both opposite poles of a noise-melody sphere, and it’s up to the listeners to decide which side to take. If they do want to take a side.