André Pabarciuté | Mark Tokar | Klaus Kugel | Varpai | Nemu Records

nemu records 010

André Pabarciuté – voice | Mark Tokar – double bass | Klaus Kugel – percussions

Recorded at church Sankt Maria Namen, Engelskirchen – Osberghausen, Germany, May 2009 by Klaus Kugel. Mixed and mastered by Ulrich Seipel, USM Production, Darmstadt, Germany. Produced by André Pabarciuté, Mark Tokar and Klaus Kugel. Graphic design by Vitalis Tiknius. Photo: Mark Tokar and Klaus Kugel by Kostyantyn Smolyaninov. Photo of André by Vitalis Tiknius.

Tracklist: 1. Symphonic Fields [9:02] 2. Wood Dance [5:18] 3. Play or Way? [2:39] 4. Echoes of the Trees [8:35] 5. Church in Blue [4:35] 6. Lost Inside [3:25] 7. Sacred Forest Trio [9:04] 8. The Lizards of Aukstumala [4:43] 9. Archaic Glimpses [3:18] 10. Varpai [5:15] Total Time: [55:56]

This unique trio utilizes extended vocal and instrumental technique, archaic sound objects, and ritual percussion within free metric structure. The resultant soundscapes are otherworldly and rich with a sense of timelessness. Their music is best experienced in performance spaces such as churches or concert halls where the sound stage lends itself to an atmosphere conducive to silence and resonance. Each concert is a singular event exclusively comprised of self composed pieces.- from the liner notes

I grabbed this one

after the Zimpel/Tokar/Kugel/Kusiolek concert during the Silent Movie Festival. And definitely find no reason to regret this decision, even if I’m not such a big fan of vocals in improvised music.

This is musical journey into the centre of the earth. Peaceful, meditative, with lots of extended techniques, little ‘melody’ but all sound, very organic and natural. Stripping the instruments (including the voice) of all expected notions of how it “should” be used. The silence and the resonance of the long-gone sounds are here as important as the sounds themselves.

In those You will hear shimmering water, wind brushing through leaves or going through hollow tree trunks in the forrest. Those natural inspirations can be quite easily traced in the tiltles on the album – “Symphonic Fields”, “Wood Dance”, “Echoes of the Trees”. Varpai (if Wikipedia is any help) is lithuanian for ‘bells’ and You will also hear a lot of those, gongs, bows on plates, archaic or ritual objects, small sounds dying slowly in the time and space. All the ‘self-composed’ pieces were recorded in church and this music is also very spiritual, mystic, but I would say that this spiritualism is somehow of the pagan, ancient descendance, the whole performance being some kind of celebration and sonic decodification of Mother Earth. Music that manages to be rich and full-textured and spare and light at the same time. Completely abstract, yet strangely accessible and hypnotizing (lot of Air, Water, Earth but very little Fire). Escaping the common time and space reality it is, to cite the short liner notes, “otherwordly” and “rich with a sense of timeless”. While avoiding the soothing cliches of new age music, this is captivating, engaging, very unique and rewarding listening experience. — Jazz Alchemist


CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

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One thought on “André Pabarciuté | Mark Tokar | Klaus Kugel | Varpai | Nemu Records

  1. This unique, pan-European trio of like-minded improvising masters—Lithuanian vocal artist/dancer Andrė Pabarčiūtė, Ukrainian bassist Mark Tokar and German percussionist Klaus Kugel—explore the multiple sound variations of their instruments, releasing them from typical conventions while inventing free form structures and pulses. With great sensitivity, imagination, patience and obviously flawless technique this trio succeeds in forming timeless, rich soundscapes that sound fresh, organic and inspiring.

    On “Symphonic Fields,” Pabarčiūtė’s broad vocal range touches Tokar’s lower register arco and then soars gently to the stratosphere, while Kugel resonates with spare bells and cymbals. But the mood of this piece shifts organically between meditative tranquility and dense and powerful interplay. Tokar’s fat, low arco grounds “Wood Dance” as a shamanic dance, contrasting the fast syllables of Pabarčiūtė and the distant, echoing rhythm that Kugel lays down. The interplay becomes tight and playful in “Play Or Way?” led by Tokar’s assured pizzicato.

    “Echoes Of The Trees” feature the angelic side of Pabarčiūtė’s rich voice, enveloped by Tokar’s deep tones and Kugel’s sound objects, in a slow, archaic suite. Tokar and Kugel create a dense, open-ended soundscape on “Church In Blue” in which Pabarčiūtė’s nasal grunts serve to bind the piece together. Tokar’s atmospheric drones introduce the otherworldly “Sacred Forest Trio,” which patiently blossoms as a beautiful, telepathic interplay between arco bass, operatic grunts and resonating bells. “The Lizard Of Aukstumala” continues the previous moody soundscape, but is even more adventurous in its inventive, urgent sounds. “Archaic Glimpses” features the humorous side of a trio that is built with such free, playful improvisations. The concluding title piece, with its chiming bells and Pabarčiūtė’s gentle, angelic voice, feels like a farewell prayer after this fantastic trip in sound.

    Andrė / Tokar / Kugel is a remarkable trio that has only begun to explore its potential.

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