Busy Butterflies

Gianni Mimmo & Alison Blunt

CD/LP
Jan 2020

Tracklist

1. Busy Butterflies [20:30]
2. Ravenoville Plage [6:42]
3. Humble Sonata [5:14]
4. Dense-Dance-Evidence [5:49]
5. More Than One Turn [3:21]
6. Oracle’s Regret [2:39]   CD BONUS ONLY

Credits

Gianni Mimmo _ soprano saxophone
Alison Blunt _ violin

Music by Alison Blunt & Gianni Mimmo
Recorded on 6th May, 2019 at Chiesa di Santa Maria Gualtieri, Pavia, Italy
Sound Engineering, recording, mixing _ Lorenzo Sempio, Interplay Recording Studio, Milano, Italy
Mastering _ Maurizio Giannotti, New Mastering Studio, Milano, Italy
Cover artwork _ Ruth Van Haren-Noman “fortune-molik”, 2012, oil on canvas
Photo _ Stefano Galvani
Liner _ Daniel Barbiero
Graphics _ Nicola Guazzaloca
Production _ Gianni Mimmo for Amirani Records

Special thanks to Bruno Cerutti for his logistic support, Achille Gabba and Cecco Aroni Vigone for their intense listening and to Reciprocal Uncles in flesh and spirit without whom we might never have been inspired to collaborate.

The 180gr. Vinyl LP version of this album is available in a 100 hand-numbered copies limited edition.

Busy Butterflies

Gianni Mimmo & Alison Blunt - Ravenoville Plage by Amirani Records

Rockerilla
Francesco Buffoli

Registrato nella chiesa di Santa Maria Gualtieri a Pavia, Busy Butterflies, è l’ennesimo salto nel vuoto di Mimmo, qui affiancato dalla violinista Alison Blunt. Il musicista si posiziona sempre al crocevia tra jazz sperimentale e avanguardia pura, sulla falsariga di quanto fecero tedeschi e inglesi negli anni ’60 e ’70 (come Evan Parker, Mimmo adora lavorare nelle chiese, per il particolare sound che consentono di ottenere). La title-track è una suite di 20 minuti che compatta una carriera: Mimmo è ora elastico, ora stridulo e Braxtoniano; Blunt avvicina la musica seriale e poi si cimenta con un campionario esteso di tecniche percussive. Nel complesso, l’opera sbalordisce per la RICCHEZZA DI IDEE.

Recorded in the church of Santa Maria Gualtieri in Pavia, Bus Butterflies is yet another jump into the void by Mimmo here flanked by violinist Alison Blunt. The musician is always at the crossroads between experimental jazz and pure avant-garde, along the lines of what the Germans and English did in the '60s and '70s (like Evan Parker, Mimmo loves working in churches, for the particular sound they allow). The title-track is a twenty-minute suite that compacts a career: Mimmo is now elastic, now shrill and Braxtonian; Blunt approaches serial music and then tries his hand at an extensive sample of percussive techniques. On the whole, the evening is astounding for the RICH OF IDEAS.

Vinylmine

Για τον σοπράνο σαξοφωνίστα Gianni Mimmo, τον ιδιοκτήτη τής Amirani Records, έχουμε γράψει πολλές φορές στο δισκορυχείον. Στο πιο νέο άλμπουμ του, το “Busy Butterflies”, ο Mimmo (ξανα)συνεργάζεται με την βρετανή βιολίστρια (γεννημένη στην Μομπάσα της Κένυας) Alison Blunt. Είχε προηγηθεί το άλμπουμ τους “Lasting Ephemerals” το 2014 (υπάρχει review στο blog), με το “Busy Butterflies” να προσθέτει έναν ακόμη κρίκο στην προσωπική δισκογραφία τού καθενός, και βεβαίως στην κοινή τους.

Ο τίτλος του άλμπουμ “Busy Butterflies” (Πολυάσχολες Πεταλούδες) ανταποκρίνεται κατά μίαν έννοια στο άκουσμα, καθώς η διαρκής κινητικότητα των δύο οργανοπαικτών, ή των δύο οργάνων αν θέλετε, πιθανώς να συμβολίζει την, μέσω ζιγκ-ζαγκ, κινητικότητα των πεταλούδων – εκείνην την χωρίς εμφανή ειρμό κίνηση, που ενώ διαθέτει αυτό το απροσδιόριστα τρεμάμενο, είναι, ταυτοχρόνως, και τόσο ελκυστική.
Με προφανείς και σαφείς αναφορές στην σύγχρονη avant, τη μουσική δωματίου, την ευρωπαϊκή contemporary jazz και improv-jazz, οι δύο συνθέτες-αυτοσχεδιαστές συλλαμβάνονται, εδώ, «ζωντανοί» στην Chiesa di Santa Maria Gualtieri, στην Παβία της Ιταλίας, έναν ναό δηλαδή που χρονολογείται από τον 10ον μ.Χ αιώνα και ο οποίος μετατράπηκε σε στούντιο, προκειμένου να υποδεχθεί τους ήχους τού Mimmo και της Blunt.
Πέραν, λοιπόν, της διαρκούς κινητικότητας του παραγόμενου αποτελέσματος, εκείνο που διακρίνει την εγγραφή είναι, βασικά, ο μελωδικός προσανατολισμός της. Μπορεί τα δύο όργανα να μην αποτελούν ό,τι πιο σύνηθες σε μια ντούο-συνεργασία, όμως έχουν διακριβωθεί, από τους δύο συνεργάτες, όλα εκείνα τα κοινά πλαίσια, εντός των οποίων θα αναπτυχθούν οι ιδέες τους, με συνέπεια ό,τι παράγεται να ακούγεται με μιαν απόλυτη φυσικότητα.
Με σεμνές χρήσεις διαφορετικών timbre, κινούμενοι πάντα σε αργά και μεσαία tempi, και με γνώμονα την παραγωγή μιας μουσικής που να μην εκβιάζει το ρηξικέλευθο ή το εντυπωσιακό, οι Gianni Mimmo και Alison Blunt δίνουν ένα άλμπουμ υψηλής εσωτερικής ισορροπίας, που ελκύει μ’ έναν μάλλον αναμενόμενο τρόπο.

orynx-improvandsounds.blogspot.com
Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg

Gianni Mimmo a creusé son bonhomme de chemin avec son saxophone soprano et son remarquable label Amirani. Après avoir publié de nombreuses collaborations de collègues remarquables, son amirani se focalise sur ses meilleurs duos, parmi lesquels ses très gracieux échanges avec la violiniste Alison Blunt. J’ai déjà entendu des voix me dire que Gianni Mimmo était un « copiste » de feu Steve Lacy, lui-même le plus grand Monkien devant l’éternel. En fait, le travail musical de Gianni Mimmo se situe dans le prolongement de Steve Lacy et adopte une démarche plus étoilée assumant la spatialisation de la polytonalité lacyenne, assemblant les éléments du langage de Lacy avec une toute autre conception architecturale dont il assume complètement les choix. Lacy affirmait la découpe abrupte de la matière/son contre le silence avec la précision du couteau des plus grands peintres (de la « matière »), donnant le sentiment d’une expression granitique proche de la sculpture, la collision de ces deux éléments suggérant un rythme irrépressible. Mimmo incarne un oiseau chanteur qui approche doucement la branche de l’arbre ou volète face aux nuages créant un réseau aérien. L’expression d’une légèreté. Depuis quelques années, il favorise les duos volatiles avec des compagnons en phase tels Vinny Golia, Harri Sjöström, Ove Volquartz, Daniel Levin et surtout notre violoniste Alison (leur deuxième opus),  au travers desquels il définit son travail dans l’agilité aérienne, d’où le titre Busy Butterflies. En duo, Lacy s’est confronté à des contrebassistes (Maarten Altena, Kent Carter, JJ Avenel), des percussionnistes (Centazzo, Masa Kwaté) et des pianistes terriens (Mal Waldron, Michael Smith, Bobby Few) tel un Rollinsien caché. Bref, les raccourcis sont l’ennemi de la critique constructive. Alison Blunt et Gianni Mimmo ont trouvé un partenariat idéalement complémentaire à de nombreux égards, le son, les instruments de chacun, les phrases, la sensibilité, le jeu collectif, cette manière de voltiger, de s’élancer dans l’espace d’un commun accord jamais pris en défaut. Au fil des enregistrements de la violoniste, et cela se vérifie chez son comparse, on perçoit une mue, un aboutissement où la qualité musicale se pare d’une dimension poétique, évocatrice dans le jeu sur les timbres, les ficelles de la logique se métamorphosant en arabesques chatoyantes. Publié en vinyle en édition limitée et en CD !!

Percorsi Musicali
Ettore Garzia

(English Below)

Uno splendido impasto timbrico è quanto si comprende in Busy Butterflies, il secondo duetto discografico tra Gianni Mimmo ed Alison Blunt, realizzazione di un concerto effettuato nella Chiesa di Santa Maria Gualtieri di Pavia nel maggio dello scorso anno. l’iniziale title track è improvvisazione sintomatica e programmatica: Mimmo fa scorrere il suo soprano su un paio di modalità, una elastica e l’altra stridula, una giocata sull’allungamento melodico ed armonico e l’altra in costante funzionalità multifonica; in contrapposizione la Blunt tira fuori altre sue due modalità, un’esposizione austera ai confini con il seriale e l’altra giocata sulle tecniche estese picchiettando e percuotendo le corde; sono venti minuti eccellenti di musica, che risvegliano pensieri di compiacimento alla vita e alla sua movimentazione e allo stesso tempo immergono nella profondità dell’arricchimento interiore dovuta all’arte vera. I due sono “farfalle impegnate”, quelle che intercettano l’ispirazione della Ravenoville Plage in Normandia, che sposta il baricentro verso lavorazioni sonore dal sapore barocco; si scuote un pò la memoria del jazz, la pittura e l’invariabilità del tempo, ma è in Humble sonata che si perde persino il controllo storico, perché le alterazioni temporali sembrano non avere né geografia né posizione: specifiche dialogicità ed estensioni lavorano per un’improvvisazione universale, in cui il barocco musicale si confonde con una tensione taiwanese. La relativa calma che introduce More than one turn (opportunamente spazializzata nella registrazione) è un espediente per riaffermare il principio che tutta la musica ha una sua logicità, è fatta di passaggi che svolazzano sui concetti, sebbene sia tutto improvvisato. Qual è allora il significato del “rimpianto” dell’oracolo? Per che cosa si lagna sommessamente nel finale? L’oracolo pronostica, ma sul “rimpianto” ci conduce a pensare che la sua pronunzia sia l’effetto di un’esperienza irripetibile della vita e senza retorica ci sbatte in faccia la bellezza e la riuscita del percorso appena fatto: Mimmo e Blunt l’hanno avuto quel percorso, viaggiando nell’improvvisazione con le proprie armi e a diretto contatto, come nella bellissima similitudine di movimento creata in termini descrittivi da Daniel Barbiero nelle note interne “…two butterflies maintaining distinctive tracks even while traveling in the same direction together….“.

A continuous succession of timbral combinations is the main feature of Busy Butterflies, the second recorded duet between Gianni Mimmo and Alison Blunt, an exciting concert performed in the Church of Santa Maria Gualtieri in Pavia in May of last year. You can get an idea of what happens in this piece of improvisation from the beginning: the title track (the first track) is symptomatic of a transmission of events and indicative of a work in constant evolution: Mimmo plays the soprano sax in two ways of expression, one elastic and the other acute, where the first occurs with melodic and harmonious tones played on all the keys of the sax, while the second is a constant multiphonic functionality of his instrument; in contrast, Blunt's violin highlights two other types of expression, one an austere exposition at the borders of serial combinations and another played with extended techniques, by tapping and striking the strings; these are twenty excellent minutes of music, which awaken thoughts of satisfaction with life or thoughts that allude to its movement and, at the same time, are able to give us an inner, deep enrichment, the aim of true art. We must see the two musicians as "busy butterflies", two artists able to incorporate a special inspiration thanks to the beautiful ambience of Ravenoville Plage in Normandy, where the music evokes the thought of a center of gravity that shifts towards traces of Baroque sound; in this piece the memory of jazz, painting and the invariability of time return to dwell a little, but already the successive track, i.e. Humble Sonata, brings a new reversal of sensations and history is forgotten again because the music and the tones’ alterations appear to have neither geography nor position: specific dialogicities and extended techniques work for a universal improvisation, in which you can confuse the musical baroque with a Taiwanese tension. In More than one turn you appreciate the relative calm of a musical introduction (appropriately spatialized in the recording), an expedient to reaffirm the principle that all music has its own logic; it is made of passages that flutter about its concepts, although it is all improvised. So what is the meaning of the "regret" of the oracle? What is he complaining about in a "low voice" in the finale to work? The oracle predicts the future, but his "regret" leads us to think that his pronouncement is the effect of an unrepeatable experience of life, and without rhetoric he conducts us to the beauty and success of the path just made: Mimmo and Blunt followed that path, traveling in improvisation with their styles and in direct contact, a path to be seen as similar to the movement of butterflies, the same similitude created in descriptive terms by Daniel Barbiero in the liner notes "... two butterflies maintaining distinctive tracks even while traveling in the same direction together ... . ".