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Butterfly Effect Ensemble: Chimera

Eyal Hareuveni By

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Butterfly Effect Ensemble is a trio of three veteran Israeli musicians—woodwinds player Stephen Horenstein, known for his decade long association with innovative trumpeter Bill Dixon, a dedicated educator and passionate collaborator with cross-genres artists as dancers; percussionist Jeffrey Kowalsky, the principal percussionist in Israel symphony and philharmonic orchestras, who plays on myriad of ethnic percussive instruments (Indian, Arabic, Caribbean and African) and a close collaborator of Horenstein in many of his projects, and pianist Lior Navok, a contemporary composer and soloist of many chamber outfits and symphony orchestras all over the world.

The trio began working in 2009, beginning with live improvisation-compositions for classic silent films such as Nosferatu (W.F. Morneau, 1922), Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1926) and The Golem (Carl Boese Paul Wegener, 1920). The trio released its debut album in 2010, The Natives Are Restless. The sophomore release feature the trio using its extensive instruments arsenal (over 75 instruments are played) in attempt to articulate musically and visually a journey through dream-states feelings, sounds and colors.

The interplay of the trio is nurtured by years of collaborative work, deep understanding, exemplary listening and the breadth, inventiveness and the imagination of the musical vocabularies of each musician. The 53-minutes title piece evolves and transforms between extreme poles—from a subtle, meditative depths with East-Asian overtones, ritualistic, delicate, ethnic -tinged dances, surreal, dissonant and even eccentric improvisations, to intense, raw and cathartic eruptions—but never loses its sharp focus, sense of dramatic progression and its tight, tough risk-taking, interplay. Throughout this real-time improvisation that eventually blossoms as a cohesive composition the trio structures new world musical universes, vivid, cinematic scenes and keep experimenting with nuanced, new sounds, some sound old and others futuristic and unworldly.

Patiently and methodically this captivating collaborative, spontaneous process of music making-sonic journey orchestrates its own cinematic narrative, rich in details and enigmatic moods, colors and shades. The dramatic tension reaches its climax towards its end and then dissolves gently into a series of gentler, compassionate gestures, reaching a profound musical bond that is articulated in brief, minimalist sounds.

Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Chimera.

Personnel: Stephen Horenstein: baritone and soprano saxophones, alto and bass flutes, bass clarinet, Chinese saxophones, kalimba, Indian flute, shakuhachi, Greek double reeds ; Jeffery Kowalsky: gongs, roto toms, vibraphone, Buddhist bowls, Amglocken, metal objects, bass drum, heat sink, boo-bams; Lior Navok: piano, prepared piano, harpsichord, percussion.

Title: Chimera | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced

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