At first glance, the sound experiments presented here come across as an uneven, lumpy mixture of electronics, drum and bass, and sporadic reed work. It takes several sessions and a certain willingness to allow the whole of the seemingly disjointed Life Tied
to be convincing. Since the music is anything but traditional in concept and execution, swing and 4/4 time are nowhere to be found, the album requires an open mind for full appreciation. As with this year's London Duos and Trios
, German sound artist Hans Koch and his cohorts use the more figurative meaning of jazzfreedom through improvisationto create an album of vast themes.
Koch, Martin Schütz, and Fredy Studer are enamored with an industrial, urban sound where the electronic and the organic dance and discuss. On pieces like "In Drei Akten," "The Burning Tongue," and "The Whispering and Hammering Ritual," the effects are loud, dense, and shocking, though intriguing. In many ways, this music is a modern snapshot, an up-to-the-moment analysis and summary of our current condition of television, internet, news, and warloud, dense and shocking. Whereas other forms of music attempt to remove listeners from these settings, Life Tied uses them as the scraps and pieces of its tapestry. It is art musicshouldn't it always be?in the best possible sense.
Life Tied was recorded live at Biennale Venice, Italy (Sept. '03); Expo 02 Murten, Switzerland (May '02); Théâtre de Poche Biel/Bienne, Switzerland (Oct. '01); and Tonic, New York City (March '03), proving that the progress of jazz and freedom, despite our bombs, grows everywhere, unexpected and vibrant.
Personnel: Hans Koch- reeds, electronics; Martin Schütz- electronic 5-string cello, cello, electronics;
Fredy Studer- drums, percussion