Orchestra of Sympathetic Strings
5 Generations of Montreal’s finest improvising string musicians perform
the music of Rainer Wiens
The duo of Malcolm Goldstein violin and Rainer Wiens prepared guitar are joined by:
Jean René & Jennifer Thiessen,viola
John Corban & Guido del Fabro, violin
Emilie Gerard Charest,cello
Nic Caloia, Aaron Lumley & Thiery Amar, double bass
Sala Rossa Nov.10, 21:30 heures
Martin/Lozano/Lewis/Wiens/Duncan – At Canterbury (Barnyard, 2013) ****½
By Philip Coombs
Thanks to a suggestion from a devout reader on the comments section of my Canadian Round Up review, I was led to this recording from another Canadian group by snooping around for the groups on the Barnyard web site. I must admit, I would have entirely missed this if it wasn’t for his ear to the ground back home. Could have been one of my biggest mistakes of the year.
First of all I will address my elephant in the room. I have never been a fan of vocal jazz. Why don’t I like it? Is it the one sound that humans make that is the most human? Is it because the lyrical is the most literal? Is it because all attention is shifted to the voice once it starts?
Christine Duncan provides the vocal on At Canterbury and it is a cross between a soprano saxophone, film ambiance, an angry cat, and an aboriginal field recording. And it works. As much of a force as she is, she doesn’t dominate or draw attention away from the great moments the rest of the group provides. On “Throwing Light”, she cleverly uses the theremin to further blur the lines between voice and technology and my preconceived notions by adding a eerie sci-fi counterpoint to her growl.
Rainer Wiens (guitar and mbira) has a long history of composition and admiration for world music and intrinsically contributes to Duncan’s drama. This is best exemplified on the track “Corollary” where his mbira is the main focus. One of its keys has a nasty buzz. The buzz returns often, and over time, I was happily expecting it more than being annoyed by it. It became an instrument within an instrument.
Jean Martin (drums and percussion) is all about the power of choice. Half of the time, he let’s things sit in their place adding just enough clever to propel the track and leaving the need to engage to others. The half of the time he turns it up with a military beat that shows his skill on the snare as he plays with power and nuance at the same time. He has also been tasked with the job of keeping the other half of this group together with the first half.
The second half, comprised of Jim Lewis (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Frank Lozano, (tenor and soprano saxophone) make their own mark in various different ways throughout by keeping their improv and free jazz sensibilities in the forefront despite the rest of the group’s complexity. On “Patience Game”, they trade long singular lines that leads into a wonderful conversation as Martin drums up a storm behind them. They will not be overshadowed even as they get to the outer reaches of there respective registers or when Duncan adds another layer of bandwidth pushing them to break away and explore on their own.
This is a recording to be savored as the gifts here keep giving as my ears keep smiling.
9:00pm until 12:00am
La Brique, 6545 Durocher #402
de Toronto, Halifax, Montreal:
Rainer Wiens – Guitar and Thumb Piano
John Heward – Percussion
Arthur Bull – Guitar and Chromatic Harmonica
Bob Vespaziani – WAVEDRUM and Electronics
Guillaume Dostaller – piano
Olivier Prudhomme-Richard – guitare
Philippe Roy – contrebasse
Mathieu Frenette – saxophone alto et sopranino
Weins, Heward, Bull & Vespaziani is an electro-acoustic quartet uniting improvisors from Montreal, Halifax, and Toronto. These four players present some very original approaches to their instruments and a highly imaginative feel for improvisation.
Paralune est une réunion momentanée au su et vu de la lune, une rencontre rapprochée entre des objets sonores improvisés. Un mouvement à quatre songes décelable par les lueurs de la lumière qu’il réfléchi.
At the outskirts of the moon, a brief intimate meeting between objects of sonic nature. A quartet of dreams defining a movement detectable by the unique glittering of the light it reflects.
Rainer & Coat at the Imperial in Toronto was…
…like visitations from elsewhere that parked under starlit sky where in a field, by a river, on the side of a mountain shadowed shards of ephemeral persistent light pulsated with whispering choirs, guttural groans, spectral streams of molecular fireworks, chained to react to stillness that hung in the intimate tiny crowd of ears warmed by the vibrations and lucky enough to witness such a spectacle.
Rainer Wiens (Montréal) and Coat Cooke (Vancouver)
will be touring to promote their latest CD collaboration entitled,
Roughidea presents…COAT COOKE ~ RAINER WIENS DUO
54 Dundas St E, Toronto, Ontario M5B1C7
Friday, December 14, 8:00PM
Admission: $12 /pwyc
Coat Cooke – saxophones (Vancouver)
Rainer Wiens – guitar + kalimba (Montreal) COAT COOKE ~ RAINER WIENS CD Release
Saturday, December 15, 7:300 – 9:30 PM
TRANZAC – Southern Cross
Admission: $15 /pwyc
Coat Cooke – saxophones (Vancouver)
Rainer Wiens – guitar + kalimba (Montreal) RAINER WIENS, COAT COOKE and NAVID NAVAB Le Cagibi, 5490 St. Laurent, Montreal, Québec Tuesday December4, 21:00 Coat Cooke – saxophones (Vancouver)
Rainer Wiens – guitar + kalimba (Montreal) Navid Navab – laptop
Music by Rainer Wiens, Visuals by Jan Komarek
Josh Zubot – violin
Jean Derome – flute
from the CD “Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors“
Dream Algebra (with Frank Lozano, Clinton Ryder, Jean René, Thom Gossage and Joshua Zubot) plays at L’envers (185 VanHorne Ouest) on the 28th January 2011. The show starts at 21:30 (9:30pm).
Over the last fifteen years contemporary jazz musician Rainer Wiens has developed one of the most original guitar styles. He has composed music for dance, theater, television, and film. During the ’80s Wiens appeared in performances across Canada and in Europe with his jazz group, Silk Stockings. Along with Tom Walsh, he was a founding member of the group N.O.M.A., and he also started Sound Image Theater. Rainer Wiens works closely with Malcolm Goldstein, John Heward, and Frank Lozano, and he has released a compact disc, Bonunca Dream Music.