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Album Review

Kobe Van Cauwenherghe’s Ghost Trance Septet: Plays Anthony Braxton

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Kobe Van Cauwenherghe’s Ghost Trance Septet: Plays Anthony Braxton
Why is it that we remember the past but not the future? That is a question which theoretical physicists are continually fascinated by. Think about it for a moment, we rely on our flawed individual observations to make judgements about the world. A few hundred years ago, Earth was definitely flat and, by further inspection, the sun most certainly revolved around said Earth. It required some distance, say a spaceship, to get a clear perspective. The same can be said of Anthony Braxton's Ghost Trance Music. For the casual observer, his graphic scores are merely squiggly drawings with geometric shapes and colors; think an Albert Einstein equation. But to Kobe Van Cauwenberghe, the musician equivalent of a theoretical physicist, his scores are decipherable and an abundant wellspring of information. Van Cauwenberghe has previously released his solo guitar interpretations Ghost Trance Solos (all that dust, 2020), a remarkable recording of maestro Braxton's music.

With Plays Anthony Braxton Van Cauwenberghe has assembled a septet to record four GTM compositions, including "Composition 255" which he recorded on his solo outing. That composition opens the two discs and draws the listener into a literal hypnotic state that the music symbolizes. The sound, which is made up of repeated music cells, does not require the listener to understand Braxton's cryptographs to enjoy the event. One is only required to suspend classifications of music, be they jazz, classical, new, chamber etc., to be swept away by the GTM. Per Braxton's notations, his GTM should include mistakes, and "If the music is played too correctly, it was probably played wrong." Braxton's music is deconstructed utilizing Van Cauwenberghe's guitar, bass, synthesizers, voice, piano, euphonium, trumpet, saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, drums, and percussion, yet it never enters the state of entropy. Braxton's equations, although dense and indecipherable to most mortals, turn out to be readily accessible sounds if you leave your preconceptions about music and the nature of time at the door. Kobe Van Cauwenberghe's Ghost Trance Septet remembers both a Braxton future and a Ghost Trance past.

Track Listing

Composition 255; Composition 358; Composition 193; Composition 264.

Personnel

Kobe Van Cauwenberghe: guitar.

Additional Instrumentation

Kobe Van Cauwenberghe: electric guitar, nylon string guitar, electric bass, synths, voice; Frederik Sakham: double bass, electric bass, voice 
Elisa Medinilla: piano; Niels Van Heertum: euphonium, trumpet; Steven Delannoye: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Anna Jalving: violin; Teun Verbruggen: drums, percussion.

Album information

Title: Plays Anthony Braxton | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: El Negocito Records

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