Ugo Boscain/Fred Marty

Creative Sources CS 315 CD

Extrapolations a wider scope of textures created during heightened improvisations, the five tracks on this CD also demarcate how to achieve sonic ecstasy – estasi in Italian — despite bare bones instrumentation. Recorded during a protracted residency in an antique French church, contrabass clarinetist Ugo Boscain and double bassist Fred Marty stretch out with extended techniques to reach a rapprochement that is as remarkable as it is restrained.

Trained in notated music, Paris-based Boscain, also studied with the likes of bassist Joëlle Léandre and saxophonist Evan Parker, has played with Léandre and trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini and is also a mathematical researcher. A member of Paris’ l'ONCEIM orchestra, Marty has worked in duos with figures such as laptoppist Jean Marc Foussat and percussionist Yuko Oshima. But this is an altogether more hushed affair. Like astronauts conducting their training within insulated surroundings, string plucking and battering plus reed snarling and split tones are so often advanced with an air of subdued seriousness that the interchange could be redolent of two surgeons in the midst of a delicate operation. Low key doesn’t mean low-energy however, for on “La nascita del grido” for instance, buzzing tongue slaps and string preparations strengthen the contrapuntal patterns in such a way that unprecedented thunderstorm is suggested. As well, a piece such as “Spazio in attesa” may begin with the seriousness of plainsong but end up exposing a sprightly melody.

Probably the best instance of this transformation occurs on “L'amore dodecafonico”. Discordantr string stretching and spilling plus grating reed yelps and squeals are slowly buffeted into pleasant ambulatory motion. Finally the conclusion can only be acknowledged as inevitable as lowing reed tones and pungent glissandi move into connective interface.

Not for the casual listener who needs obstreperous entertainment, those who can appreciate musical thought organized in an understated manner will cherish this disc.

—Ken Waxman


Track Listing: 1. Orgasm non apofantico 2. Spazio in attesa 3. Materia oscura 4. L'amore dodecafonico 5. La nascita del grido

Personnel: Ugo Boscain (contrabass clarinet) and Fred Marty (bass)