White Night Marathon in Tel Aviv
Szwajgier mocked the exaggerated moves of an opera singer while she tried to make sense from notes on score pages that actually were filled with indecipherable colorful drawings. Meanwhile, Pyzik presented some of the possible uses of a perfectly built double bass, demonstrating how it could serve as a bed or a chair, then playing it upside down and even using its bow as an ad hoc fishing rod. But he always interacted with the theatrical movements of Szwajgier, offering vivid musical and verbal commentary on her vocal forays. Next he went out into the audience and from there shouted wild calls of encouragement. All the while, Szwajgier looked as though nothing could surprise her as she continued with her exploration of the extreme registers of the human voice. Nevertheless, their set was filled with pure musicality, even as they demonstrated that any musical happening brings with it a sort of game which, child-like as it may be, is still representative of the playful interaction occurring between players of music.
The atmosphere changed again during the set of the couple of German trumpet player Markus Stockhausen and Dutch clarinetist Tara Bouman. Having recorded as the Moving Sounds duo on Thinking About (Aktivraum, 2005), both are gifted with a clear and warm sound, and their music suggested a reflective and minimalist choral music. Their vibrating timbres were very suggestive of a resonant church pipe organ, filling the hall of Enav Cultural Center with meditative and beautiful sounds. Stockhausen further played with the acoustics of the hall when he played quarter tones with his trumpet into the grand piano while using the piano pedals to enhance the vibrating sounds, with the crystalline sound of Bouman's clarinet and bass clarinet providing colorful support. Stockhausen said that he is weary of any attempt to define his music. "All we are doing is music," he eventually submitted. The only guest musician who dared to put his music in the larger political context, he dedicated a captivating elegiac piece to "all the suffering mothers, here and every where," and indeed, you could feel the healing power of this music.
It was clear that after such a musical catharsis almost no other set might be welcome. The video art performance of German Elke Ulerm and Martin Slawig referenced the experimental film works of Stan Brakhage, but the simplistic, raw and repetitive electronic music emptied this performance of any meaningful combination of sound and vision. The Jerry Garval Sextet, led by veteran Israel drummer and senior members of the Israeli jazz scene, such as sax players Albert Piamenta, Morton Kam and bass saxophonist Motti Zelig, presented loose arrangements of compositions sounding in need of a few extra rehearsalsa sign it was time to retire for some sweet early morning sleep.