Anna Thorvaldsdottir : Into-Second Self, Ro, Aeriality, Tactility, Trajectories, Shades of Silence, Aura. Divers interprètes.
Trained in California and based in London, Anna Thorvaldsdottir has not yet broken through in France, where she nevertheless participated, in 2017, in the 40th anniversary of the Ensemble intercontemporain with a creation. This disc is therefore welcome to get to know this 45-year-old Icelander better, who, from the Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin to that of New York, has already seen the most prestigious formations order her. Compilation of works with very different numbers (published in 2015 by Deutsche Grammophon and enriched with a percussion quartet, Aura), the program of this attractive monograph proves that Anna Thorvaldsdottir really has a style of her own, recognizable and renewed. Each work gives the impression of a slow stretching of material with, on the surface, long wear and, in depth, an animation based on harsh or quivering sounds. These “landscapes” evoke a world quite similar to that of the Finnish Kaija Saariaho, in her early days. Norse kinship? Pierre Gervasoni
After a prelude announcing Love Quantum, the title theme of his seventh album developed further, the American trumpeter, singer and composer Theo Croker continues with Jazz Is Dead. In a text interpreted in rap, he declares: “We don’t care what they can say” and adds all that he “owe[s] to his masters”, who over the decades have shaped this jazz. far from dead. His approach? The fusion of genres. There is rap, drum and bass rhythms, trumpet sounds passed through filters, tender passages with misty phrasing, evocative of acoustic jazz, Fender Rhodes electric piano for a jazz-rock color of the 1970s. guests, saxophonist Gary Bartz (on Jazz Is Dead), singers Jill Scott (great soulful voice, in To Be We), Ego Ella May (perfect vocal curves on the ballad Somethin’) or drummer Chris Dave (in accomplice with Croker on Cosmic Intercourse). A rather convincing set. Sylvain Siclier
Denis Levaillant, author of a considerable body of work in all fields, without gender distinction, all-terrain actor, hard-to-map composer, category mountaineer, has signed a book that is more topical than ever, L’Improvisation musicale: essay on the power of the game (JC Lattès, 1980). Casually, on August 3, he will be 70 years old. Last installment? Neither symphonic, nor opera, nor cinema, nor dance, nor circus, nor contemporary, all the worlds where he distinguished himself (full list on request): Levaillant publishes a collection of eleven pieces, entitled Blue Songs. Piano open to the four winds. The quasi-solo quintessence of his impressive conception of music. Meditation ? Trace of blues? No: that’s for hanging on to the branches. Often invoked, blue has reference value for Levaillant: “Something blue that looked like a wing. It is the color of the astonishing bass that he sculpts with his bare hand (the initial B flat)… Eleven times, he straddles the form and the formless, the light and the dark, the tonal and the extreme contemporary. He will have been one of those who leave “the ordinary road” (Choderlos de Laclos) and will have been able to cover his tracks. Attention ! Avant-garde for the general public. Disconcerting simplicity. Surprised pleasure. Francis Marmande