If you need evidence that the very first musicians, our evolutionary ancestors, made sounds to imitate nature, Purvs may be the proof. The Latvian and Lithuanian saxophonists Arvydas Kazlauskas and Liudas Mockūnas made two recordings, one in an open air Latvian bog marsh which makes up the first LP of this release and the second LP in an amphitheater made of peat, called Saulgrieži (summer solstice), by the Latvian artist Janis Gutans-Grass.
Mockūnas may be the better known of the two musicians, with an impressive discography including sessions with Agusti Fernandez, Barry Guy, Nate Wooley, Stefan Pasborg, and William Hooker. His two solo Hydro recordings for NoBusiness Records, referred to as The Bog Sessions, begin with Mockūnas blowing air through his "water prepared" saxophone. You guessed it, sound bubbles up, not unlike a hot spring. Along with Kazlauskas' baritone saxophone, "Gilluwā" rises from the bog's waters as throaty croaking bullfrogs. The duo's encounter at the bog includes a third voice, nature, which is picked up by the microphones. The saxophonists play-off those sounds, imitating not only frogs but birds, on "Deja," and imaginary beasts, on "Drugys." The second LP, Live At Peat Amphitheater: Solstice, performed in front of an audience, is more diverse, with the duo's approach and sound generation. We hear everything from overblown Peter Brötzmann-like saxophone on "Šmékla" to the World Saxophone Quartet Gospel sounding "Zilās Sūnas" and the insect-inspired sounds of "Gyvatynè." Kazlauskas' and Mockūnas' varying techniques keep these two sessions fresh and compelling.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.