25/08/2023 – 15:00
For the eight edition the Summer Bummer Festival moves to Trix, one of Antwerp’s foremost multi space venues. On Friday, we present the return of Selvhenter, one of Scandinavia’s most thrilling live bands, the world première of the opera ‘The Death of Kalypso’ by Martin Küchen’s Angles, performances by influential artists like Mike Reed, Rob Mazurek, Ben LaMar Gay, Cath Roberts, Dee Byrne and Han Bennink, suprising international collaborations and a bunch of young, eager musicians who will knock your socks off! And don’t forget the free access area with a record fair, film screenings, photography expo and some delicious slow food.
Angles is a band of many configurations led by Swedish saxophonist Martin Küchen. From the original sextet in 2007, known for several classic albums and its passionate live performances, the group has expanded for several occasions to a nonet or even a twelve piece ensemble. In 2022 they recorded an opera, written by Küchen, that will have its world première live on stage at Summer Bummer. ‘Une certaine paix — The Death of Kalypso’ is a jazz opera for our times — an archaic pantheon reflecting a self-indulgent hyper modern humanity. Roles and sides change constantly, in a condensed and atmospheric libretto. The music vibrates through past and present, through brass and reeds, piano and vibraphone, strings, percussion and a solitary voice. The crystal clear vocals of Elle-Kari Sander are the obvious centre of the opera.
For the creation of this magical piece of work, the Angles octet will be reinforced with a superb Belgian delegation of musicians: baritone saxophonist Hanne De Backer, who just got back from a monster tour with her “As We Walk”-project, is no stranger to Küchen and his Scandinavian gang. She has been playing for a number of years with the likes of Paal Nilssen-Love, Signe Emmeluth and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. With double bass player Nils Vermeulen (on Saturday he presents a brand new just intonation project), cellist Jasmijn Lootens, violinists Laure Bardet and Lucas Caluwaerts and Esther Coorevits on viola, five string players with heaps of experience in contemporary classical music and free improvistation, will be joining in as wel.
Since forming in Copenhagen in 2010 as Selvhenter, drummers Jaleh Negari and Anja Jacobsen, saxophonist Sonja LaBianca and trombonist Maria Bertel have forged a unique approach to making music that starts with their instrumental setup: two drummers that interlock as frequently as they go their own way, a trombone put through a bass amplifier loud enough to rattle your chest and a saxophone put through a range of effects so that it often sounds unrecognisable. Selvhenter work within their own idiom, drawing from the individual players’ personalities and interests to make a highly collective music, where all four musicians are absorbed into a total sound where an improvised free jazz approach collides with experimental electronic music and avant-garde noise/post-punk sonorities. Their new LP ‘Mesmerizer’ (out this summer) marks their first physical album release in nearly a decade.
Having the patrimony of Chicago’s AACM and the concepts of Sun Ra and Bill Dixon as their main resource, the American Rob Mazurek (Exploding Star Orchestra, Chicago Underground) and the Italian Gabriele Mitelli split, bend and turn inside out the free jazz and creative jazz tradition, using a cornet, a soprano saxophone (Mitelli), a piccolo trumpet (Mazurek), several electronic devices and amplified objects (both), and also their voices. The result is a beautiful jazz extravaganza that will marvel fans of São Paulo Underground, Exploding Star Orchestra and Tortoise as can be heard on their self titled debut album released on Clean Feed in 2019.
Over the last two decades, musician, composer, and bandleader Mike Reed has become a powerful figure in Chicago’s artistic community. He leads several working bands rooted in jazz and improvised music (Artifacts, People Places And Things) and is also the founder of the Pitchfork Music Festival, programming chair of the Chicago Jazz Festival and owner and director of performing arts venues Constellation and Hungry Brain. Reed has now teamed up with the high-in-demand cornettist and multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar Gay, who has released two highly acclaimed albums on International Anthem, and poet and vocalist Marvin Tate to create a musical experience that transcends genres. Their collective prowess as improvisers and their shared dedication to pushing musical boundaries result in a tantalizing fusion of jazz, improvisation and spoken word.
The legendary Dutch drummer Han Bennink, a pioneer of European free improvisation and co-founder of the ICP Orchestra is still the most furiously swinging drummer on the planet. He has been working with the iconoclastic guitarist Terrie Ex (of punk band The Ex) for many years and in many different constellations. From duo concerts and recordings, to playing with The Ex in Ethiopia or improvising with Thurston Moore and many others. For their show at Summer Bummer, they invited Heidi Kvelvane as a special guest. She’s a very young alto saxophonist from Norway, active in various ensembles. A while ago she caught the eye Paal Nilssen- Love, who promptly included her in his renowned improv big band Large Unit. Now Han en Terrie will put her to the test, or will it be the other way round?
Cooper Crain, Dan Quinlivan and Rob Frye are offcourse better known as Bitchin Bajas, one of Chicago’s most renowned experimental outfits. Their psychedelic, loop-based ventures created with vintage keyboards, synths, drum machines, flute and saxophone can be heard on a few dozen releases on labels such as Drag City and Hands In The Dark. At Summer Bummer, they will try a different approach, improvising as a quartet with Belgian synthesist David Edren, who released several solo albums, most of them under the DSR Lines moniker, and collaborations with Hiroki Takahashi, Glenn Steenkiste and Bent Von Bent. His most recent solo LP ‘Relativiteit Van De Omgeving’ features beautiful electronic compositions connected to the hidden rhythms of what surrounds and affects us. Bitchin Bajas and DSR Lines once released a split LP together, in ‘The Encyclopedia Of Civilizations’ series of Abstrakce Records. This collaboration will be the very first time they will meet on stage.
Cath Roberts (baritone saxophone) and Dee Byrne (alto saxophone) have worked together in various contexts since 2013: organising live performances, tours and festivals under the banner of LUME, co-running the record label Luminous and playing together in numerous projects – including UK/Swiss sextet MoonMot. In early 2019 they played a few improvised duo gigs around London, stripping everything away to the sparseness of an alto and baritone saxophone. Later that year they recorded the album ‘Disembark!’. The spontaneous, relatively short improvisations capture the spirit of the duo, with wildly ranging textures from minimalist sounds to full-on wailing.
After years of experience in bebop, West Coast and modal jazz, French alto and soprano saxophone player Ornella Noulet has devoted herself with great dedication and passion to free improvisation and sound research. Playing the saxophone since the age of seven and having spent more than 12 years in French conservatories, she is currently studying at the CRB in Brussels. Her partner in crime, the Belgian drummer Ferdinand Lezaire, switches from brushes to mallets, from sticks to bare hands to harness the full textural and sonic power of his kit. He watches the music intently and his arms seem to play independently, responding to the music without being consulted.
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