Monday, November 16, 2015

The Intuition Orchestra - Case Of Surprise (2015)

The Intuition Orchestra

Ryszard Wojciul - saxophone, clarinet
Bolesław Błaszczyk - keyboards, cello
Jacek Alka - drums
Marta Grzywacz - vocals
Barbara Błaszczyk - vocals
Dominik Strycharski - recorders

Case Of Surprise


By Adam Baruch

This is the second album released on For Tune Records by the Polish Improvised Music ensemble The Intuition Orchestra. On the previous album, entitled "To The Inside", they created a bridge between the origins of their activities by including archival material of early recordings going back as far as 1993, and their (then, 2011) current material. Listeners interested in the genesis of the ensemble (and the fascinating Polish Avant-garde in general) should check out the fabulous Legendarne Ząbki album as well as the Grupa w Składzie album, which are both related to Intuition Orchestra. 

On this album the ensemble is down to a trio lineup with saxophonist/clarinetist Ryszard Wojciul, keyboardist/cellist Bolesław Błaszczyk and drummer Jacek Alka. They are joined by three guests: vocalists Marta Grzywacz and Basia Błaszczyk and recorders player Dominik Strycharski. Together they perform twenty one short (averaging around two minutes) collectively improvised pieces. The titles of all the pieces are in fact lines from a poem by Grzywacz.

The music on this album can be treated as a continuous flow from start to finish, since the separation into the individual pieces is pretty arbitrary. It includes a wide variety of sounds produced by the instruments, voices and electronics, all combined into an unusual, bubbling amalgam, which is unpredictable and keeps the listener at his toes at all times.

There is very limited melodic content here, and when present it lasts just for a brief moment, before it is picked up by the improvisers and taken into another dimension. As such, this music is obviously much more difficult and challenging, but of course provides a much stronger emotional as well as intellectual interaction. Avant garde music is not supposed to be measured by its likeability, but rather by its ability to absorb the listener's attention and take him unconditionally on a timeless, completely subconscious journey into sound aesthetics.

To an untrained ear this music can sound chaotic and even cacophonic, and yet it does make perfect "sense" and "intelligibility" to the cognoscenti. The trick is simply to let the flow of the sound engulf you and carry you on. This music seems to be able to serve as a vehicle to reach "higher planes", a rare and precious quality, which should be cherished.

Overall this is superb contemporary music, which still tries to expand the realm of what we consider as being sonic Art. Regardless of the current trend of music imploding into itself, people who are pushing outward at least try to slow the process. This album is warmly recommended to open minded listeners, who have no Avant-garde phobias!

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