A Windy Season is: Angelo Contini _ trombone, didjeridoo, thunder drum, jew’s harp, sea-shell | Mirio Cosottini _ trumpet, flugelhorn | Gianni Mimmo _ soprano sax | Alessio Pisani _ bassoon, contra-bassoon
music _ instant compositions by A Windy Season. recording _ 2012, 5-6 Jan., Fondazione Remotti, Camogli, Italy. engineering & mixing _ GRIM. mastering _ Maurizio Giannotti at New Mastering studio, Milano, Italy. Tidal concept _ Gianni Mimmo. cover artwork _ excerpt from “Panta Rhei (vectors)” by Pedro Mari www.defetto.com. inside photo _ Mirio Cosottini. graphics _ Nicola Guazzaloca. production _ Gianni Mimmo for Amirani Records, GRIMedia records, Teriyaki Records
Special thanks to Fondazione Pierluigi e Natalina Remotti for the inspiring location and the artistic support. Thanks to Assessorato alla Cultura di Camogli. Gianni Mimmo plays Gloger Handkraft saxophone necks and Masterclip™ ligature. Edition number thirty-three by Amirani Records is TIDAL™
Tracklist: 1. Amplitude and Cycle Time 2. Ebb and Flow 3. Line and its Fragility 4. Humpback Song 5. Amphidromic 6. Tidal 7. Rogue Wave 8. Bay Lyric 9. Westerlies Tale
Be sure to find here a cutting edge recording! Marvellous sound textures, perfectly balanced moods and violent delights. Surprising, one-of-a-kind wind quartet featuring sizziling musicians taken here in an excellent album. A Tidal music where elements dance in a fluid structure starting from solid centers and radiating to live nerve endings.
An amphidromic point is a point of zero amplitude of one harmonic constituent of the tide.
Amphidromes are convergent areas in the oceans, places where there is little or no apparent tide. This is not to say that the surface of the ocean in these places doesn’t move, doesn’t rise and fell with wind, momentum, inertia, and other forces acting on it, but in the purpose of studying the tides from space, these areas are mathematically still.
Radiating from the very center of this stillness to the antinodes, Cotidal Lines experiencing same phase of the tide, connect all points. Because tidal waves do not travel with constant speed, but instead respond to changing depht, Cotidal Lines will not be evenly spaced or consistently shaped.
Repeated cycles of ebb and flood, current changes, rise and fall, directions, speed, level increasing, dramatic depths and wave patterns can be observed along the coastlines of this music too, that proceeds through shared textures and simultaneous peripheral fires, still densities, path diversions and converging edges.
But those nodes, those amphidromes, those dense silences with all those sounds moving around and expanding to increase their presence and to come back regenerated, mixed up with rip current sediments…
Well, that’s Tidal”.
A dance of elements, a fluid structure, solidly multi-centered, with live nerve-endings. A pulsing network responsive to environments, and to lateral imputs as well, but at the same time, conscious of the whole creative ongoing process.
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)
This album fooled me, and I am not afraid to admit it. A subset of the EA Orchestra, whose recent recording (Likiedos, Amirani Records, 2011) focused on the compositional aspects of avant-garde large ensemble music, A Windy Season is a wind quartet that—at first blush-seems to traverse similar terrain on Tidal. A quick perusal of the liner notes made me blush: the music on Tidal is completely improvised. Or, more precisely, A Windy Season refers to their creations as “instant compositions.” And perhaps that’s the more fitting term, because this music got me thinking about the related processes involved in composition and improvisation. As improvisational music continues to move beyond the boundaries of jazz, rock, or ethnic music, how is it going to change? When one considers the music of A Windy Season, some very interesting questions arise. The interplay throughout this album is detailed and precise. There’s thematic material, or at least extended passages that sound like melodies and themes. These often frame solos or group improvisations in much the same way that the composed material on Likiedos did. There are definite jazz elements here, but the music, taken as a whole, isn’t necessarily free-jazz-as-we-know-it. When the quartet moves from one motif to another, or decides to end a piece altogether, the transition arrives seamlessly and definitively. But it’s all made up on the spot.
The overall feel of the music varies quite a bit. One constant, however, is the reverberant room sound, which becomes a bit of a “fifth player” on several tunes. Members of the quartet move around in the space while playing, thus adding an extra dimension to the overall sound. Soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo introduces “Ebb and Flow” with a convoluted, screwball melodic figure that trumpeter Mirio Cosottini – Tonino Miano picks up immediately. They run with it for a bit over the plodding contrabassoon before dropping the tempo to match the bass line as Angelo Contini’s spooky muted trombone slowly, and quite literally, moves to the foreground. The long unisons in “Line and Its Fragility” are dry and seemingly close-miked, but these give way to the warmer, richer long tones that begin “Humpback Song.” One of the album’s more abstract and clearly improvisational pieces, “Rogue Wave,” rides in on Contini’s buzzing didjeridoo and Alessio Pisani (bassoon)’s malevolent contrabassoon, as soprano saxophone and trumpet skirl and wheel overhead. Mimmo, one of Europe’s finest soprano saxophonists, drives the action on “Bay Lyric” as the other horns call-and-respond in various highly coordinated ways before they settle into a sort of chorale behind the soloist. The centerpiece of Tidal is the sprawling 18-plus minute-long “Westerlies Tale.” Trombonist Contini dominates the first third of the piece, and the quartet gets into some fascinating textural explorations using various sorts of drones and long tones. These are interspersed with unaccompanied solos by each member, and a number of interesting thematic-sounding passages. Other highlights include the ghostly, incantatory “Amplitude and Cycle Time,” and “Amphidromic” which is held together by Pisani’s funky, braying bassoon lines.
It’s tough to compare A Windy Season to any other group in a jazz context. The closest comparisons may well come from outside of the jazz realm. Groups such as Belgium’s Art Zoyd have similar drummer-less (and at times, bass-less) instrumentation and, like A Windy Season, mix non-jazz improvisation and composition in different ways. But, overall, A Windy Season is a really unique group whose experimentation has yielded a sort of improvisational chamber-jazz that doesn’t come off like a dry academic exercise. The music on Tidal is an exploration of sound and interpersonal relationships that is warm, human, and at times quite visceral.
The latest from Italian saxophonist Gianni Mimmo’s Amirani label is an unusual “wind quartet,” featuring Mimmo’s soprano sax along with trombone, trumpet, bassoon, and a handful of other breath-activated instruments. Though wind may get things off the ground, Tidal sticks pretty closely to its restless ocean theme, the music reflecting the tug and pull of the tides. The group is essentially unmoored, an inflowing and outflowing of horns with no rhythm section to keep them safely anchored.
Tidal is entirely improvised, but unlike a lot of recent free improvisation, there’s not much by way of extended technique here. And refreshingly, it’s not needed; the group creates immersive soundscapes through carefully selected notes, expert layering of distinct timbres, and a great use of the natural reverb in the Fondazione Remotti museum. “Humpback Song” eerily captures the feeling of whale song materializing from somewhere in deep sea darkness, while “Line and Its Fragility” jostles a mournful trumpet in increasingly rough waters. Alessio Pisani’s contra-bassoon (which positively thunders in “Amphidromic” and “Rogue Wave”) is an awesome inclusion, its substantial tone evoking the immense expanse of the ocean, or at times, even the weighty pull of gravity itself.
The album closes with the subtly sinister “Westerlies Tale,” a long, dark gale that funnels down into a beautiful solo spot by Mimmo before things are swept to their conclusion. Tidal is an impressive slab of music, and I look forward to more from these Italian musicians. The liner notes briefly touch on amphidromes—“mathematically” still points in the ocean where tides do not exist—and the cotidal lines that radiate in all directions from these points of stillness, of “silence.” Perhaps I’ll close on that interesting image: the idea of some silent, equalized point and then—suddenly—noise, ebbing and flowing, sound emanating, being pulled like fine threads by some great force compelling and unseen, but also familiar, reassuring.