72 minutes of Live Performances from Echoes.
Dream Logic-The Echoes Living Room Concerts v.16 is here and it’s another journey into the magical sound world that is Echoes. Echoes has spent the last 21 years creating links and matrixes between genres, weaving nightly journeys from ambient to acoustic music, chamber jazz to chamber rock, electronica to world fusion. With the logic of dreams we move seamlessly from one room to another shifting from pastoral landscapes to interior halls and space-warped corridors.
Hear The Album Leaf’s “Within Dreams”
In Dream Logic we bring musicians out of the studios and into a spontaneous setting where the music is set on edge, challenged by the limitations of a live presentation, changed by the excitement of music made in the moment. In the 72 minutes of Dream Logic, you have the experience of Echoes.
Many of these performances were recorded in the Echoes Living Room including the opening track by The Album Leaf. This performance marks one of the last recordings by this edition of Jimmy Lavalle’s long-running chamber rock project mixing glitch electronics with haunting melodies. The six musicians jammed into our 12×14′ space and dissolved the walls with a song appropriately titled, “Within Dreams.”
Lavalle’s hymn-like melody and Matt Resovich’s strings on “Within Dreams” allowed me to segue into the all acoustic performance by Time for Three. Sometimes called the “Jonas Brothers of classical music,” the scarily gifted string trio of violinists Zach De Pue and Nick Kendall and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer left us stunned with their performance of “Sundays,” a song based on a Ranaan Meyer bass line and expanded into into an Arvo Pärt-like hymn arranged by Steve Hackman. This Echoes performance was the first time that Time for Three had ever played “Sundays” live.
Hear Time For Three’s “Sundays”
From Time for Three’s purely acoustic performance we move to Jon Hopkins’ purely electronic performance. This Brian Eno associate is one of those musicians challenging common conceptions of live music. He can play keyboards, but in for his Echoes concert he came in with a computer and a pair of KAOS pads and proceeded to do a finger-dance manipulating the themes of his “Light Through the Veins,” a song that was adapted by Coldplay on their Viva La Vida CD.
Jon Hopkins looping electronics allow a segue into Inbar Bakal’s Middle Eastern electronica performance at the now-defunct Broken Wave Studios in Los Angeles. It’s one of the times on Dream Logic that I really wish you could’ve been there to see this radiant singer bending and dancing to her entrancing music, which mixed electronic tracks from Carmen Rizzo with a band playing oud, violin and dumbek. “Song of Songs,” a Hebrew psalm, never sounded or looked so sensual.
The strings and world music grooves of Inbar Bakal are the tread that leads into violinist Anna Schaad’s performance. Her album, Dream Within A Dream is an elaborately produced affair with lots of over-dubbed electronics, but she traveled out from Washington state with just her trio of percussion and cello to play her soaring melodies. Her performance included this track, “Angel Oak,” named for an ancient tree in Charleston, South Carolina.
Anna got the electric juice going that opened a gateway into the pure electronic music of Arc, the English duo of Mark Shreeve from Redshift and Ian Boddy. They transformed the quaintly elegant living room of the Alpenhof B&B in Media, PA into a synthesizer station as they unfolded the sequencer themes of “Veil.” It’s a mix of modern computer electronics and vintage modular synthesizers played by Shreeve.
Arc creates a celestial sound that seems like the perfect segue into the heavenly chants of Donna De Lory, taking us from deep deep space into deep chants.
This former Madonna back-up singer is dressed completely down as she and her band, with cellist Cameron Stone and percussionist Dave Allen move into the spirit of De Lory’s intimate prayer, “Aham Prema,” mixing Hindu and Christian themes. She creates a performance that is more intimate, but no less powerful than her elaborately produced albums.
Harp guitarist Muriel Anderson takes over from Donna, joined by the Flamenco guitar duo Tierra Negra. Muriel Anderson is a student of Christopher Parkening and Chet Atkins, while Tierra Negra is German born players Raughi Ebert and Leo Henrich. This is a rare arrangement of “Summer Morning Rain” which is played solo on their album, New World Flamenco, but here, Tierra Negra join in, filling out Anderson’s pastoral theme
From the flamenco tinged strings of Muriel Anderson & Tierra Negra, we move into the African strings of Senegal’s Ablaye Cissoko playing the African harp called the Kora. Cissoko is part of the griot tradition, storytellers who pass down the history and legends of their people in song. He’s joined by German trumpeter Volker Goetze. Their album, Sira, was one of the most soulful CDs of 2009. Here they explore, “Bouba” a lament to Cissoko’s late father, continuing a generational string of griots that goes back centuries.
The strings of the kora transform into the strings of cellist Dave Eggar. He was on a previous Echoes CD, Observatory-The Echoes Living Room Concerts v.11, playing with Blow Up Hollywood. This track comes from a session that moved from Bob Marley to Olivier Messaien. Here he’s joined by singer Katie Costello and her beautifully world weary song, “Rain in the Face.”
Peter Janson represents all the great solo finger-style guitarists we had on Echoes over the last year or so. He’s a post-Windham Hill player who deploys his guitar filigree across “Binnacle,” a wistful track that moves with the ease of a buggy ride down a country road.
Hear Inbar Bakal’s “Song of Songs”
That sets us up for the reflective theme of “Stillness” by the Kevin Keller Ensemble. It’s hard to believe this was recorded in a small Manhattan bedroom filled with two keyboards, a string trio and oboe. “Stillness” comes from a suite of mourning and affirmation called In Absentia, inspired by his father in-law who was lost in a hunting accident and at the time of this writing, has never been found. It’s a song of quietly intense contemplation in the madness of Manhattan.
And Manhattan is the location of our final performance “Stillness” leads into further stillness, with “Sacred Place” written by Ralph Towner. He’s best known as the guitarist of Oregon and is a legend among acoustic players. He’s joined here by Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu. Together these musicians craft a meticulously serene space of intuitive improvisation.
That ends Dream Logic but dreams continue.
You can hear Dream Logic in its entirety, tonight 11/22/10 and the weekend of 11/28/10 on Echoes.
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))
Buy Dream Logic Here.
Members of the Echoes CD of the Month Club will be receiving Dream Logic as a bonus CD to their membership.