Gianni Mimmo | Alison Blunt | Lasting Ephemerals | Amirani Records

Gianni Mimmo _ soprano saxophone | Alison Blunt _ violin

Music _ instant compositions by Alison Blunt & Gianni Mimmo. Live Recording _ St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church, London, UK, 26th June 2013. Sound Engineering, Mixing, Editing _ Matt Saunders . Mastering _ Maurizio Giannotti, New Mastering Studio, Milano, Italy. Liner Note _ Massimo Ricci, Cover Photo _ Chiara Meattelli & Dominic Lee, London, Uk ( Graphics _ Nicola Guazzaloca. Production _ Gianni Mimmo for Amirani records.Proudly co-produced with LongSong Records and Teriyaki Records. Recorded live at S. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church in London, Uk by sound wizard Matt Saunders.

Here is this fantastic acoustic soprano sax- violin duo featuring a contemporary chamber attitude improvising instant compositions, sound texture explorations and sudden lyrical flights.

Warmest appreciation and thanks to the D.C.C. of St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church and Robin T. Hatton-Gore. Gianni Mimmo plays GLOGER HANDKRAFT saxophone neck and MASTERCLIP™ ligature

Tracklist: Side A: 1. Lasting Ephemerals Side B: 2. Elliptical Birds 3. Scherzo

Their improvisation, that has been defined “A Gentle Vertigo”

freely crosses boundaries and welcomes rich contradictions between melody and blessed chaos. Freshly started in 2013 the duo has already toured Uk, Italy, Germany, Finland and right now in the Usa with concerts in Chicago, California and NY.

Sparkling acoustic duo featuring a contemporary wild chamber attitude, improvising instant compositions, sound texture explorations and sudden lyrical flights. Their improvisation, that has been defined “A Gentle Vertigo”, freely crosses boundaries and welcomes rich contradictions between melody and blessed chaos. Experimental flavors, multi-perspective intuitions and reciprocal listening are the extremely well balanced blend of this duo that strives for an improvisation where “things happen”, able to face pulsing silences and airy architectures as elements of a sound sculpture. Relationship among inner voices, live attention to detail, lyrical declinations and violent assertive moments are on display in their performances where openess and concentration take the risky route of sailing through dynamic contrasts, tackling episodes of turbulence and tranquility, passages of great delicacy and braves hazardous balances on a music that keeps alive our attention and freshes our feeling. Freshly started in 2013 the duo has already toured Uk, Italy, Germany, Finland and right now in the Usa with concerts in Chicago, California and NY.

This is the first volume of an Amirani Vinyl LP serie and comes in a limited edition of 180 gr. vinyl LP of 250 hand-numbered copies.


Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture — Frank Zappa

Indeed, reacting to the spontaneous propulsion

of Alison Blunt and Gianni Mimmo’s artistry during this impressive exhibition – their very first public display as a duo – while they surf the all-encompassing reverberations of St. Leonard’s Shoreditch, temptations arise for a writer to underscore instant visualizations with overexploited words such as “chiaroscuro”, “shades” and “proportions”.

Nonetheless, rarely you will see a “sculpture” gently fluttering around like a marvelously colored butterfly, or compare it to the sentiment of tenderness elicited by observing a couple of adolescent lovers approaching playfully, looking at each other’s eyes and walking away hand in hand, beginning to discover much more inside themselves than physical indications can disclose, ultimately united in the purest kind of communion.

Because, when all it’s said and done, the alert gracefulness and reciprocal regard through wich Mimmo and Blunt explicit their intertwined instrumental togetherness convey the same sense of fulfillment that irradiates the most surprisingly revelatory instants of normality. Quietly peeping at a cat gleefully rolling on his back in a summer afternoon; meeting a little child who instantly welcomes you with a two-teeth grin; watching the morning dew slowly evaporate under the very first sun rays.

One’s aware that warmth and beauty can’t last forever: at times, adjacent pitches and less cordial timbral appositions in the interplay remind us that the actual reason for real progress is given by a contrast requiring resolution, closeness momentarily discontinued as the urge of a cry of despair emerges.

When the duty calls, the pair is willing and ready to show the listener how peace can be restored, nimbly sailing to calmer waters without apparent effort: a musician’s thorough control of his/her means of expression is something that can be attained only by “living” the instrument day in, day out, a principle respected as The Word by authentic improvisers.

The strength of a duo becomes palpable when innocence is detected in their way of communicating by discerning individuals, and there’s no stopping the Anglo/Italian twosome’s quest for sharing their aesthesia with audiences all over the globe.

If you’re not fortunate enough to watch the lighted particles of these fluid acoustic creations live, this album will certainly help in feeling less alone in a growingly callous world. For the sounds comprised herein will smile at whoever wants to greet them. — Massimo Ricci


Music is the healing force of the universe — Albert Ayler

“A great pairing, meshed like watch cogs, a face with 17 hours working to forgotten moons. a lesson in the creation of spontaneous sound; all you could ask for from an improvised performance. — Michael Holland, Nov 2013

“A wonderful collaboration. Both of them switching between lyricism and extended noise making fluidly, echoing each other and taking time out to listen. I spent half of their set in a semi conscious mystical state.– this place at this time

The last album in this series is not really about seasons

but also about the passing of time, or even the opposite concept, in which the most fragile and volatile and transitory, gets a timeless nature. Gianni Mimmo on soprano sax and Alison Blunt on violin treat us to some ephemeral beauty on this LP with three fully improvised pieces, recorded live at the St Leonard’s Shoreditch Church in London, in June 2013.It is hard to describe the music as jazz, and although Mimmo’s legacy is clearly with Steve Lacy, his sound and musical approach is truly his own, more abstract, classical at times in the clarity of his tone, yet audacious and explorative too. The spontaneous interaction with Blunt is nothing short of fabulous, almost organic, like birds, delivering soaring love songs, or fluttering agitatedly, or even stronger, like more intimate whispers, cautious touching of notes, moving forward gently and elegantly together. Blunt herself has the same spontaneous attitude for superb control of timbre and sound, while remaining utterly free in her inventiveness. Even in the rawest parts they find each other well, echoing improvised phrases, and creating sharp multiphonics if needed, before falling back on more gentle embraces.A marvelous duo. — Steff Gijssels, Freejazzblog.


LP version includes the MP3 album of this release. (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

$ 30.00
Out of Stock

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

$ 14.00
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8 thoughts on “Gianni Mimmo | Alison Blunt | Lasting Ephemerals | Amirani Records

  1. From Rimbaud to Lacan: lots of words have been writtenabout the “Speaking Self” indeterminacy.

    In Gianni Mimmo’s flexible musical poetry I’ve always found millions of voices and immediate proof of the Freudian intuition: brilliant musician, cultural provoker, and a distinguished and eminent hierophant of the holy cult of Musica Degenere (as Carmelo Bene used to say), a sort of spontaneous music prophet, a poet of the ephemeral and an archivist of sounds and cultures as well.

    This New Music masterpiece released on vinyl for Amirani Records presents him in a irresistibly captivating duet with the extraordinaire violinist Alison Blunt, weaving dreamlike textures, chiseling sound as if they were beams of light, and set in a universe off-limits for the average fake jazzy incidental music.

    Here are delicate notes plastically following our thoughts and emotions or yelling their acoustic anger, disappointment, and perhaps hopes. Bergman-like sets in sunny Britannia on a holy 26th June 2013, the nocturnal remains of which have embraced the recordings of genuine dew gathered in the rare flower of this album.

    Echoes of Schoenberg, Dolphy, Braxton, Stockhausen, Ligeti, Penderewsky, Sun Ra, in other words whatever Gianni and Alison’s far-flung culture has absorbed in a lifetime of selected listening, is handed back to us in asymmetric syntheses, clusters of unconscious memories, i.e. new Words.

    A work of deeply moving inspiration, pure art, golden new music.

  2. A totally gorgeous document of the special sound you have together – in places it gives the impression of more than two instruments, but in a natural sounding organic way, not self conscious – beautiful sound.

  3. This sparkling acoustic duo blends a contemporary chamber music approach with instant composition, sound texture explorations, and sudden lyrical flights. Their music, which has been called “a gentle vertigo,” freely crosses boundaries and welcomes rich contradictions between melody and blessed chaos. Experimental flavors, multi-perspective intuitions and reciprocal listening are the duo’s greatest strengths, as they create spontaneous compositions where “things happen.” They’re consistently able to face pulsing silences and airy architectures as elements of a sound sculpture. Their music explores the relationship among inner voices, live attention to detail, lyrical declinations, and violent assertive moments. Their performances take all the risky routes, sailing through dynamic contrasts, tackling episodes of turbulence and tranquility, embarking upon passages of great delicacy and braving hazardous balances to create a music that captures your imagination and refreshes your mind.

  4. Innocence and dedication are proposed in their expressive composition by the Italian/British duo Gianni Mimmo – sax soprano/Alison Blunt – violin.

    A chamber-music/contemporary impro vision more and more soundly tight-knit through touring in England, Finland, Germany, Italy and the USA. Now secured on precious vinyl in a 250-copy limited edition.

    Broad melodic areas crosscutting fine-tuned tonal turbulences are offered to us in their London performance at St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church on 26th June 2013.

    Three long instant compositions made of conflict, mutual progressions and sudden energetic/melodic releases.

    This approach conceives parallel paths and an undeniable ecstatic instrumental confluence.

    How could one otherwise define the violin’s meditation and chirruping circular dialog in Elliptical Birds? Or the sudden Aylerian state of mind disclosure up to the chaotic/stifled thrust in Scherzo? And also the discontinuous sculptural and erratic balancing, re-launched in constant light and shade [chiaroscuro] of their opening Lasting Ephemerals?

    State of grace, everyday experience and deep mutual respect. All of it worked out and assembled effortlessly one performance after the other, one stage after another.

    With a whole series of tiny folk influences entangled in the strings of the violin that could be positively investigated further in the future.

    Silence, concentration, enthusiasm, facing risks, the unforeseen and unexpected as their loyal companions.

  5. This music is a bit like story telling by a couple.

    The same story but sometimes different points of views.

    Very dense communication in which one follows and comments the other like a shadow.

    Very good.

    And at each point of the ongoing stream both of them are completely aware of what is going on.

    There is a lot of emotion in the music, too.

  6. The saxophonist Gianni Mimmo is among the most interesting Italian musicians investigating the musical realm halfway between contemporary music and jazz. He has just come out in duo with the violinist Alison Blunt expressing a genuine chamber music imprint: evolutions, diversions and dialogues rising and falling emotionally with their instruments touching lightly and then joining up to exalt one another, toying on the verge of free without embracing it. A perfect listening experience.

  7. To say that someone is a virtuoso on their instrument isn’t a statement just about playing ability. Virtuosity implies a deep level of understanding and insight into the way an instrument works, its history, and its sonic capabilities. This knowledge extends to an understanding of the physics of sound production: the minute details of how the sound is generated, how it is altered tonally, timbrally, and otherwise, where the overtones lie and how they can be manipulated, how environmental factors figure into one’s sound. Though technical ability comes from within, the total command of one’s voice is shaped by the playing environment and the social interactions occurring during performance. Thus, a virtuoso can elicit the widest possible range of expression and a fuller realization of the his (or her) own capabilities and how these relate to the matters at hand: the music being played.

    In this regard, soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo and violinist Alison Blunt are true virtuosi.

    Mimmo has complete command of the soprano saxophone. At this relatively early stage of his career, his sheer instrumental prowess is already legendary throughout Europe, and is amply documented on a string of excellent recordings for his own Amirani Records label. Mimmo is also virtuoso when it comes to self-expression and communication via his instrument in any number of disparate musical settings; from the most abstract free improvisation to classical, electronic, and modern jazz.
    Though he is involved in several music and multi-media projects with Italian avant-gardists, Mimmo also maintains working collaborations with cellist Daniel Levin, pianist Gianni Lenoci, and guitarist John Russell.

    A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Alison Blunt, like Mimmo, is fascinated with sound, motion and space. These interests have led her well beyond the classical realm and into projects which probe the boundaries between different art forms and musical genres. On Lasting Ephemerals proves herself to be a remarkable performer. Though she’s heavily credentialed in both the contemporary classical and traditional folk music worlds, she’s made quite a splash of late on the UK avant-jazz scene, working in small ensembles with the likes of percussionists Tony Marsh and Mark Sanders, flutist Neil Metcalfe, cellist Tristan Honsinger and a host of like-minded young UK-based improvisors.

    Though comprised of three tracks Lasting Ephemerals really works as a continuous performance. The duo blends a contemporary chamber music approach with instant composition, sound texture explorations, and sudden lyrical flights. The duo’s chemistry is palpable as they freely cross boundaries, inviting contradictions between melody and chaos. The live recording in St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church, in London, makes extensive use of the space’s natural reverb and drenches the proceedings in a ghostly, spectral mood.

    A Frank Zappa quote on the album jacket (“Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture”) and Massimo Ricci’s liner notes both refer to the sculptural, three-dimensional aspects of this work. The sense that Blunt and Mimmo are really using the space to make certain harmonies and harmonics pop out into sharp relief is quite apparent, even during a cursory listen to Lasting Ephemerals. Sound engineer Matt Saunders and mastering engineer Maurizio Giannotti are to be lauded for this, as well as the artists. The sound is remarkably crystalline, clear and pure throughout.

    Musically, Blunt and Mimmo are inclined towards melodic and, at times, harmonic, non-idiomatic improvisation. They take the term “instant composition” seriously, and the results—though quite abstract at times—are not entirely the province of the “furrowed brow” crowd. They can bring the noise as well as anyone on the European scene, and neither are averse to pregnant silences and long tension-filled pauses, yet they are similarly unafraid to acknowledge the melodic aspects of improvisation. Playing together, they create moiré patterns of harmonies and harmonics that ping in and out of one’s consciousness like some crazy bird flying a little too close to your ear. They twine lengthy phrases that twist unpredictably, landing in new and unexpected territories. Their lines are so interesting that one forgets how difficult they must be to play; Blunt’s perfectly intoned sliding double stops, and Mimmo’s whirling sound vortices are the stuff of true virtuosos, but in the hands of these musicians, they express something far deeper than hundreds of hours spent in practice rooms. While a blow-by-blow description of Lasting Ephemerals is clearly an insufficient means to convey its sonic and emotional impact, it’s safe to say that this album, taken as a whole, is a stunning document. Lasting Ephemerals is free improvised music of unparalleled beauty and delicacy.

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