Audrey Lauro - alto saxophone & preparations
Pak Yan Lau - prepared piano, synth, electronics & gong rods
Yuko Oshima - drums & electronics
Recording: Roel Snellebrand at Werkplaats Walter, Brussels, Belgium on March 2021
Mixing: Manolo Cabras
Mixing & Mastering: Giovanni Di Domenico
Executive Production: Rogé
Drawings: François Van Damme
Available on CD
release April 26, 2023 at Jazz à Poitiers, France
Written texts about music, whether they are reviews, press texts, portraits of an artist or liner notes, usually tend to focus on accomplishments that evoke observable actions - so and so played with that other musician, possesses a dazzling technique, won those prizes, released this many albums, etc. But rarely that other strength is mentioned, the one that seems more passive, but is as crucial for any musical process as taking initiative: listening. Certainly in improvised music, where there is no predetermined song or structure to rely on, you need to be aware and not just hear what happens around you, but actively listen. As much as it is about the excitement about what happens in the moment, improvisation is the art of listening, and you really don’t want to be the one who’s ‘short on ears and long on mouth’.
Audrey Lauro, Yuko Oshima and Pak Yan Lau are excellent listeners. Patient, attentive and open-minded. Take your time to listen to this album, their third one since their first performances as a trio nearly a decade ago, and you will hear a trio at work that is remarkably attuned to each other. You can witness it in the way they pick up ideas from each other, allow themselves to take a backseat for a while and watch their reactions when one of them does exactly that. Some tracks present themselves as nearly uninterrupted streams of sound, but even then there is an unspoken concord, a mutual language that is agreed upon.
There are a few instances where the trio plays something that is reminiscent of what we shall call an almost traditional free jazz style, but even then there is none of the jumbling chaos or heavy-handed interaction it can lead to. At any given moment during these improvisations, the musicians are aware of what they are doing, adding to the mix, keeping the overall arc in focus. It is concise, balanced and always respectful. Even more fitting exemples are some of the longer tracks, like the one that kicks off the album. It starts with rustling, like wind moving through cracks, and subsequently accumulates density, sound, detail and volume, with extended techniques, subtle percussion and what sounds like rotating devices in a prepared piano. It has an almost ritualistic, stately effect, accomplished because it is a true democracy at work.
The sounds they create already suffice to prick up your ears, but it is the combinations in their instant composing that makes these pieces such successful endeavors at the crossroads of sound exploration, free improvisation and electro-acoustic imagination. It is because they manage to combine those slithering lines, resonations and manipulations/effects so well that a compendium of sounds is turned into a cohesive whole, an ambient-like piece becomes a story, the flow of energy a unified, collective statement. And it is all rooted in their listening, the capacity to receive, identify and add their responses and ideas to the mix. And the most beautiful thing of all? Even for a non-participating listener, it is something to discover and try to make sense of. The reward is generous.
-- Guy Peters, Geraardsbergen, November 6, 2022
"... ." ..., ... (../../2023)
A. Lauro / Y. Oshima / P. Y. Lau - 13:34
A. Lauro / Y. Oshima / P. Y. Lau - 01:55
3. Fluctuating Realities
A. Lauro / Y. Oshima / P. Y. Lau - 06:06
4. Ônaki / Konaki
A. Lauro / Y. Oshima / P. Y. Lau - 09:18
A. Lauro / Y. Oshima / P. Y. Lau - 03:04
A. Lauro / Y. Oshima / P. Y. Lau - 05:28
total time - ..:..
eNR108 © 2023
All compositions by Audrey Lauro, Yuko Oshima and Pak Yan Lau.
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