Jazz: Elena Kakaliagou, Schmoliner, Stempkowski – Para-Ligo
The first sounds on this album come from the French horn played by Greek musician Elena Kakaliagou, a deep and dark wail arising from the depths of human emotion in a desperate cry to be heard, heartrending and beautiful, followed by the double bass of Thomas Stempkowski and the subtle piano touches of Ingrid Schmoliner, both from Austria. The three young musicians create a warm yet sad welcoming sonic environment.
Once you’ve been welcomed, you get different aural vistas, with sounds emanating from the same instruments, but now unrecognisable, yet intense, vibrating around a fast repetitive rhythm, that quietly dissolves once the horn makes its entry, an entry of silence and deconstruction of sound fragments trying to get a life and structure.
On “Ti ine?“, Elena Kakaliagou recites poetry in Greek. What she recites is ununderstandable to me, but in contrast to most poetry recited in a jazz or musical context, it sounds lyrical, intimate and beautiful, in sharp contrast to the bombastic declamatory style that I abhor.
“-1°“, the long center piece of the album sounds slow and sad, with some uncanny wails over light percussive sounds, no, it is extremely sad and extremely desolate, amazing what you can create with so few sounds.
“Sandra” offers more recognisable instrumental voices, with the horn, the bass, the piano using their intended sound, offering a small waltz-like song, fresh and simple and beautiful, gloriously disrupted by the rattling strings on the piano on “Canidae”, offering a torturous backdrop for the muted plaintive laments of the horn, interestingly surrounded by a lightly jumping walking bass.
“ihobkanfoelagsehn” is a long slow piece circling around a tonal center played by the bass, with muted parlando-style horn, a strange dialogue interrupted – or complemented – by resonating piano chords.
A young trio, with an unusual line-up, brings us remarkable music with a strong musical vision and voice.