Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Zakrocki/Olak/Wielecki – Spontaneous Chamber Music Vol.1 (2016)

Zakrocki Olak /Wielecki

Marcin Olak - electric and acoustic guitars
Patryk Zakrocki - viola, electric mbira, tuning forks
Mikołaj Wielecki - percussion

Spontaneous Chamber Music Vol. 1

FSR 05/2016

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish Improvised Music trio comprising of violinist Patryk Zakrocki, guitarist Marcin Olak and percussionist Mikolaj Wielecki. Together they perform eight pieces, all of which are spontaneously improvised and the album is an exact presentation of the music as it was created during the recording session.

The title seems to describe the music pretty accurately, as the intimate mostly acoustic ambience and the melodic proximity certainly belongs to what is considered as Chamber Music. Of course in this case the music is entirely improvised, as opposed to the Classical Chamber idiom, but music is moving ahead and definitions and borders of our musical terminology are changing on the fly.

The pieces are also Chamber in their very nature, due to the fact that they have a relatively short duration and are based on intimate relationships between the three performers, who are "changing positions", i.e. constantly changing the focus of the music from one instrument to another. The level of interplay and telepathic communication between the musicians is truly astounding and this is immediately reflected in the music itself, which remains calm and non-aggressive / non-competitive at all times.

Improvised Music does exist really only at the very moment it is creation and in the vast majority of cases completely loses its meaning and purpose the moment its over, which of course means that recording Improvised Music is an oxymoron of sorts. In some very rare cases however, Improvised Music is able to create a lasting, coherent, meaningful piece of music, which still makes sense after being recorded and then consequently played back. This is definitely one of such magical moments.

It is important to know, however, that contrary to the brand Improvised Music is often trying to "sell" to the listener, there is nothing really revolutionary or innovative in this music, to be honest, regardless of how good it is. Improvised Music exists both in the Classical Music and Jazz idioms for many decades and experimentation and border crossing much bolder than the music recorded here have been achieved many times before. In fact in many respects this music is pretty conservative in most respects and for that reason it is more accessible to a much wider audience than most Improvised Music recordings.

Overall this is a beautiful musical moment captured for posterity on this album, which many open-minded listeners should be able to enjoy. I encourage the people who usually avoid Improvising Music to try this one and perhaps discover an entire universe of music they have been missing earlier.

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