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Sylvie Courvoisier & Mary Halvorson Duo @ Hyde Park Jazz Fest, 9-28-19

trickling thoughts

Painting by Lewis Achenbach

Words by Izzy Yellen

improvising in sync — composed but played freshly / mary used effects sparingly adding a perfect amount of otherworldliness that wasn’t already accomplished by her frenzied but clean blinding lines / sylvie conjured up rumbles, a bed for mary’s playing // nice, simple melancholic piano ostinato with electronic guitar bleeps and blerps / spurts of moments of elastic and malleable weirdness — more out of key piano or manipulated guitar / this feels four-dimensional in that playing a traditional score is three-dimensional but the effects and compositional interjections add another direction // solo mary is like duet — how her acoustic and electronic playing interact, amp mic’d, guitar acoustics mic’d / surprisingly cinematic, emotionally wrought / not common to hear music balance virtuosic technique and emotion so well / carefully picked apart into more free improvised sections, and put together again // hearing how mary composes/improvises with electronics makes me think of how sylvie does similar with only acoustic, and vice versa, and vice versa, and vice versa... / turns on a dime / sometimes lean into really unexpected but enjoyable grooves / and out / grooves appear again after nearly illogical points // back to the heavy handed / ethereally heavy / submerged in it / with bubble to air on occasion / they can always surprise with their writing // spacious somber piano interjected with rustles/clunks/rummaging / spacious somber guitar interjected with gurgles/whirs/splurging / lulls to recollect / back in / strumming often has negative connotations in this music although it shouldn’t as it sounds so at home here / an infant asks a question, approves of the music // forever spinning / forever whirling / constant motion even when not / acoustic able to recreate electric / acoustic grounds in this realm (slightly) / electric puts it in space (slightly) // layering with staggers simple ideas become increasingly complex and friendly despite starting off as friendly / flurries possess // fun, why shouldn’t it be? / slowly fall into darkness / can’t tell if falling, too dark / where to begin writing like that? / happy inspired //

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