27 May 2012

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With perfect logic Sonore heads back to Austria after Germany for a 2nd time on the same tour, to play in Salzburg on May 24th. The trio plays one longer concert set, Peter performing with remarkable lyricism on this night, the band getting into a deeper use of space and layers, which is made clear because I’ve was able to use the clarinet’s low register more on this gig than anytime in the group’s history. This addition of introspection should not be taken as an exchange for intensity, however. Quite the contrary- there are now more extremes than before and the power of the walls of sound are felt with fuller force. The series of concerts since Vienna have had an inverse relationship between the increase in quality of interplay between the members of the group and the decrease in the reverberant characteristics of the rooms we play in. After a 5:30am start and nearly 12 hours of travel between Salzburg and Nantes- which included 2 trains, a plane from Munich to Paris, 90 minutes in a taxi across Paris to Montparnasse, and a 3rd train- Sonore was faced with the driest acoustics yet on the tour.

Our exhaustion level and the effort needed to play strong music despite the extreme travel conditions somehow led to a radical sense of exhilaration, the attempt to overcome the odds stacking up against us each day turned into a psychological game that allowed us to continue the tour with a sense of humor. In Nantes Sonore played the best set we could, a concert of honest music made with whatever we had left in us. Considering who I’m playing with (Brotzmann, Gustafsson) that’s a significant amount of music. On the 26th the group faced the hardest day of travel during the trip: back to Montparnasse with a noon train> a taxi to Charles de Gaulle airport> a flight to Copenhagen (which included dinner at Burger King, the only restaurant open by the trains; the sight of Peter Brotzmann eating one of their hamburgers is something I never thought I’d live to see, and his absolute disgust with the experience is permanently etched into my memory: “Scheisse. Now that I know what they’re eating it’s clear why half of America looks the way it does.)> 10:30pm train to Aarhus, arrival at 1:30am with no pick up and no hotel reserved for the trio. I get the rooms and deal with these problems later in the morning.

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