Video Review: A trio becomes a quartet…30 minutes of unlimited sounds

Date: Feb 16 2015
Venue: Threes Brewing (NY)
Review by Constance Cooper

The musicians are: Eyal Maoz – guitar, electronics, Michael Lytle – bass clarinet, electronic music tapes
, Nick Didkovsky – guitar, electronics
 and Lucas Collins – drums

The first 30 seconds of this 30-minute improvisation gleam and crunch. Then sustained notes are added that keep that gleam and crunch. Then, when the music begins to zoom around;
as ostinati are added in;   as an ascending melody and chords are added, the music keeps that gleam and crunch.

I think you’re getting my point: that this improvisation maintains, throughout all its immense variety, a basic, integrated timbre. The bass clarinet solo with recorded electronic music is a very brief contrast–and, by the way, an intriguing diversion, since it is a not-quite-common musical allusion, in the genre of free improvisation, to solo-vs-chorus jazz structures.

At around 14:30, is the trio calling out to someone? Perhaps, since the video, just halfway through the improvisation, seems edited to allow the drummer to pop into the mix then and there.

Michael Lytle, who is credited with the audio editing, did a terrific job keeping the drum sounds in balance. A true quartet is the result, adding boom and bit to gleam and crunch.

At 21′, are we calm, or are we waiting for something? The latter, I think, in the light of the music at 23′ and on–are they, incidentally, chords, or discords? In any case, they fly off as bits of musical timbre. We get a buzzy presto coda and then dissolution.

During the video, I noticed an unused piano upstage. I wished like anything I had been playing it, along with this marvelous group.