Title: The Convergence of Parallel Lines
Artist: Daniel Barbiero & Jimmy Ghaphery
Release Date: 2015 Feb 06
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Music Is Big Place
Daniel Barbiero & Jimmy Ghaphery Converge Parallel Lines in a series of performances from 2013 and 2014. This release will interest listeners of music that is not based on set patterns. It’s all about the live recording and interactions with the audience.
Daniel Barbiero & Jimmy Ghaphery Converge Parallel Lines
This recording consists of series of five recordings. Tracks 1-4 were recorded in 2013, while Track 5 was recorded in 2014. ‘Exchanges II for alto saxophone and bass’ was the only non-improvised track, and the score is included as a supplement to the release. ‘Approaching/Contact (for Jose)’ was improvised with the interesting addition of a percussionist and three dancers to the ensemble.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere that it can be a daunting task to try to talk about improvised recordings. Daniel Barbiero and Steve Hilmy’s previous work was a study in listening to two musicians interact with each other to shape and re-shape the space around them. While there is certainly a similar element of interaction in this work, it takes on a rather different form. It’s not as much about shaping the space, but interacting with the space around them, and with the inhabitants of the space.
Nothing could make this more clear that in presenting a work with three dancers. There is a visual element that is difficult of translate into a purely auditory form. However through the recording of ‘Approaching/Contact’ we get the feeling that there is an interplay going on: some times the instruments are leading the action, at other times they are reacting to the action of the dancers.
Taking that ‘Approaching/Contact’ is the conclusion of the convergence, it is the completion of the journey that starts with the opening of ‘The Convergence of Parallel Lines (1)’. This piece begins with a flourish of flute lines from Ghaphery, while Barbiero’s bass works it’s way around underneath it, search for a path that would lead it into parallel. As the bass finds it’s path, the flute line becomes dis-jointed, darting around the bass, with occasional percussive punctuations of the crossing of lines.
This is music that is as much cerebral in nature as it is improvisation. Ghaphery and Barbiero are engaged in a battle of wits, a sparring of instruments in a game like play, more than in the strictly adversarial sense. And, at times when they aren’t sparring, such as on ‘Silver under Grey on Black’ we have the sense that there is a purity of interchange between the two. It’s almost never about imitating each other, as finding ways to supplement each other and bring out something new. The sum of 1+1 isn’t 2, it’s 4 or 10 instead.
This isn’t a release that will appeal to everyone . However, for those who find the process of communicating and interacting between musicians interesting, this release is going to pay dividends. This is a release that is about doing things that by definition shouldn’t be possible: converging parallel lines, or making 1+1=4. The layer of interaction that is accomplished on ‘Approaching/Contact’ is the pinnacle of the process.