Khari B. — spoken word
Magic Malik — flute, voice
Guillaume Orti — saxophones
Jeb Bishop — trombone
Frédéric BBriet — double bass
Tyshawn Sorey — drums, bass trombone
Strong wind advisory. Like all the assemblies of musicians put forward by the transatlantic network The Bridge, this formation is a story of mergings and involvements, a story born of desire and a few initial encounters. Thus, Frédéric BBriet and Guillaume Orti have spent much time together at the time of the Hask collective in the 90s. With his polyvalent ensemble Nimbus, the double bass player has made sure to invite the saxophonist, as well as flute player Magic Malik (who has also collaborated with Orti, most notably for the ensemble Octurn). Briet, during a trip to the US in 2012, met Tyshawn Sorey in New York and Jeb Bishop in Chicago, with whom he later collaborated in the ensemble Bonadventure Pencroff. Sorey, who knew Malik due to their both gravitating in the stevecolemanian solar system, share with Bishop and Khari B. a common denominator: George Lewis, the trombonist, improviser, composer, musical software programmer, and Columbia University musicologist, with whom all three have performed or studied. And Khari B., son of the saxophone and clarinet player Mwata Bowden, was the previous chairman of the AACM, on which Lewis wrote a book. All this leads Briet to say: “In this orchestra, the trajectories of each musician are like rays of light converging to the focal point of a magnifying lens. We went through this lens during the first tour, in the winter of 2014 in France, and discovered, travelled, the sublimed, other, dimension of a world we were already familiar with. We are at once on one side and the other of the looking glass, observers and observed.” Meanwhile, Tyshawn Sorey attributes to music the power “to question WHO we are and WHY we are – to question the nature of our perceptions and what they signify. Simply put, music IS. It wants nothing, needs nothing. It operates in this liminal area that separates the ‘same’ from the ‘different’. The fully conscious listener will have to abandon themselves to the sounds, clean the mirror that reflects the self, and put that self aside.”
Strong wind advisory. This is but the realest and most complex of equations: the aerial currents and counter-currents of a conjunction of individualities, each with their own personalities on their instrument, their own specific ways of making them sound, their own references and experiences (here, among the former, Charles Mingus and Arnold Schönberg, Morton Feldman and Wayne Shorter, the AACM, rock and rap, the music of India and South-East Asia; among the latter, Benoît Delbecq and Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman and Ernest Dawkins, Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark). A conjunction of individualities, each with their own life stories and their implications, their contradictions, and their imaginations. For music that is collectively improvised is the most akin to the moment of encounter, stretching it into a whole world: an encounter of musicians, an encounter with the surrounding world, and encounter that crosses parallel worlds. So, what can we expect? A modular orchestra that can play with abundance and infinity, as well as meditating the lessons of the infinitesimal (depending, for instance, on whether Tyshawn Sorey is playing the drums or the trombone, which can transform a sextet with integrated rhythms and a spoken word artist, Khari B., in the lineage of Langston Hughes or Amiri Baraka, into a near-chamber orchestra, a voice, winds, and strings ensemble), that can operate on centers of gravity and forces of attraction, on magnetic fields, musically researching multiple perspectives, using their sense of orientation, of exploration, and of construction.