Carl Ludwig Hübsch / Frantz Loriot / Carlo Costa / Raphael Loher

November 23, 2001


Neithernor Records n/n 018

Representative Free Music, European division, by a quartet of accomplished specialists, Paris needs only 36 minutes to define its parameters and stimulate with its facility. Dexterity is also involved as the musicians – Italian percussionist Carlo Costa, German tubast Carl Ludwig Hübsch and violist Frantz Loriot and pianist Raphael Loher from France – shun conventional timbres and melodies as if they had been mass produced by a hamburger chain.

Instead the ever-shifting paradigm is defined by the percussion textures created by piano and drums plus the strained chromaticism of the tuba and viola lines. With Costa usually confining his strokes to the clip-clops and clatters to produce unforced rhythm, it’s often Loher’s prepared piano with its strings plucked and stopped that becomes the major idiophone-like instrument resulting in metronomic precision. Set up against this metrical undercurrent are Loriot’s barbed string stabs and the tuba player’s lowing burbles. When Hübsch’s basement alphorn-like vibrations set up the tune’s second selection, intensity mounts and is extended with ringing piano chords mated with strident fiddle scratches, drum raps and eventually squeaking treble tones from the tuba. Ascending to high-pitched and staccato variables in the subsequent elaboration, stopped piano key sounds are offered as continuum and counterpoint to insect screech-like bow gashes and aviary brass squeaks.

Reaching a point during the final sequence that the exposition can be splintered, distended or altered any further, the four bring their wood-drumming, brass burbling, spiccato string textures and drum pops and echoes to a climax of intersectional alliance and a fading, reverberating conclusion.

With this CD not overstaying its welcome while maintaining our close attention, the multi-national Diaphane quartet confirms the vitality and ingenuity of a program improvised out of diaphanous whole cloth.

–Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Paris

Personnel: Carl Ludwig Hübsch (tuba); Raphael Loher (piano); Frantz Loriot (viola) and Carlo Costa (percussion)