Lotus Eddé Khouri and Gamut Kollektiv

7 Lines
editiongamut EG 04

Choreographed minimalism, the performance on 7 Lines resulted from a challenge given to French-Lebanese dancer/choreographer Lotus Eddé Khouri to compose music to be performed by seven Zürich-based musicians. Although the visual aspect of stage placement and gestures are unseen, the audio recorded on-site by France’s Eric la Casa and transformed into this disc can stand on its own. Khouri, who has worked with Jean-Luc Guionnet, is familiar with musical improvisation, though the moments of silence during this 50-minute composition are important parts of the concet as well.

The piece’s first moments of stillness are eventually cracked by cascades and arpeggios from pianist Philipp Eden joined by clacks and smacks from drummer Paul Amereller and eventually acid split tones from tenor saxophonist Tobias Pfister and alto saxophonist Tapiwa Svosve. Percussion smacks adumbrate the exposition until reaching chunky pops and later ratamacues that signals a break for winnowing reed squeals heading in antithetical directions and bugling smears from trumpeter Silvan Schmid. Schmid’s repeated phraseology that take in body tube tones and eventually choked effects are more obvious after an appropriate silence. By mid-point a pronounced arco double bass line from Xaver Rüegg plus mewling flattement from the saxes break up the narrative. It still remains chromatic due to a drum and piano continuum amplified by electric seeps from guitarist Vojko Huter. As trumpet surges become brassier and more fragmented and Rüegg’s sul tasto sweeps vibrate as if eight strings in use instead of four, steamrolling reed variations and keyboard patterning lead the ensemble to a concentrated near-electronic drone and a finale-marking retrained drum pop.

7 Lines suggests Khouri could have second career as a site-specific composer. But for skilful interpretation, creative musical strength like that exhibited from the nine players here would also be needed.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. 7 Lines

Personnel: Silvan Schmid (trumpet); Tapiwa Svosve (alto saxophone); Tobias Pfister (tenor saxophone); Philipp Eden (piano); Vojko Huter (guitar); Xaver Rüegg (bass); Paul Amereller (drums); Eric la Casa (recording) and Lotus Eddé Khouri (composition)