Joris Rühl

January 16, 2024

Umlaut UMFR-CD 46

Unfolding slowly with subtle, overlapping textures, is Joris Rühl’s single track composition/improvisation synthesizing the timbral respirations of clarinets played by him and fellow Gaul Xavier Charles plus Swiss accordionist Jonas Kocher’s undulating quivers and the symmetrical percussion of another French improviser, percussionist Toma Gouband. Generating a fluid but targeted program such as this is part of the players DNA since Rühl’s improvising partners have include Eve Risser; Gouband’s Evan Parker; Kocher’s Hans Koch; and Charles’ numerous sound explorers in Europe and North America,

Expressed as often in broken octaves as harmonies, the unfiltered reed whooshes and vibrations maneuver through waves of foreshortened bellows quivers punctuated by idiophone shakes, Mylar slams and pings on bell metal or yielding polymer from Gouband. Without neglecting horizontal evolution, by the one-third point, percussion dynamics and dissonant reed shrills get louder and then unite into darkened chalumeau register drones that adhere to accordion bellows thickness. A slighter later change of pace creates an unexpected melodic transference as singular peeps and doits from the clarinets echo onto top of vibraphone-like reverb from Gouband, completed with emphasized accordion smears.

While the initial group murmur continues moving in and out of aural focus at various speeds, its emphasis from light to darkness starts to resemble sine wave properties. Eventually splayed tremolo chording from Kocher unites with positioned idiophone shakes to and fused reed textures so that the slowly dissipating finale reflects the introduction.

A program unique unto itself, the key to the trajectory of these leaves  – the title’s English translation – is to follow their paths as suggested by each player and note the piles in which they’re assembled.

–Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Feuilles

Personnel: Joris Rühl and Xavier Charles (clarinets); Jonas Kocher (accordion) and Toma Gouband (percussion)