The Konvoj Ensemble is a Pan-European quintet based in Malmö, Sweden, and run by Swedish saxophonist Ola Paulson. This quintet is comprised of experienced free improvisersDanish saxophonist Lotte Anker and lap-top player Jakob Riis, Lithuanian saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas
, and Swedish drummer Anders Uddeskog, augmented for its debut recording by British sax legend Evan Parker
and Swedish pianist Sten Sandell
The live recording from September 2013 in Malmö feature a 52-composition, "Colors Of:," constructed with a series of graphical sketches and instructions by Paulson and Riis. This composition question the basic essence of the musical actthe loose boundaries between improvisation and composition; the transformation of raw, primal sound, any sound, into a coherent sonic articulation and the possibility to accumulate and discipline what may sound as unrelated, even contracting, sounds into greater, meaningful outcomes. It also explores the unique sonic spectrum of reed instrumentsassorted saxophones that cover the range from the soprano to the bass plus the bass clarinetwith machine-made electronic sounds and real-time processing, the piano and drums.
Within a few seconds the saxophonists construct a thick and multi-layered, collaborative interplay that offers a remarkable breadth of timbral colors and personal voices, with a subtle punctuation from Sandell and Uddeskog. The nuanced, contemplative interaction soon morphs into an intense and powerful one, even chaotic and highly dissonant at times, yet with a clear focus, and later again dispersed into Sandell's more introspective exploration of the piano and Uddeskog's fractured pulse, echoed with Riis' live-processing eerie sounds. From then on the ensemble splits into intimate solos and duos, broken by Riis' quiet electronic sound storms that patiently gather more volume and presence before the sparse and erratic gels into brief intense coda, without losing the enigmatic dramatic narrative of this brilliant performance.
This demanding compositionand the ensemble inspiring articulation of itraises the bar for the ensemble's future projects.
Personnel: Lotte Anker: soprano and alto saxophones; Ola Paulson: tenor and
baritone saxophones; Liudas Mockūnas: bass saxophone and bass
clarinet; Jakob Riis: laptop; Anders Uddeskog: drums, percussion ;
Evan Parker: tenor saxophone; Sten Sandell: piano.