Published May 21, 2018As outlined in Friday's Fang / Goldstein / Wiens review, there are improvisations that are highly cooperative. Then there are those, like today's by Rasmussen / Nakamura / Taxt that are equally competitive.
Saxophonist Mette Rasmussen, microtonal tuba player Matte Taxt and no-input mixing board artist Toshimaru Nakamura premiered as a trio at FIMAV, and common ground seemed something necessary to carve out and cultivate instead of waiting for a garden party-style invitation.
Early on Rasmussen appeared the odd player, out as Nakamura and Taxt claimed high and low ground respectively, with full frequencies. Taxt's tuba was outfitted to resemble, and sound like, a brass whale enhanced with hydraulics to plumb deeper. For her part, Rasmussen listened for her moments and eventually picked repeating phrases like wedges to get into the mix. When she pulled off her instrument's mouth piece and began keyed vocalizations, it was like a sudden revelation.
What seemed most sonically effective is when the improvisers pared down to duos, blending tones, drones and noise more organically, Taxte + Nakamura = a scatter field of frequencies. Rasmussen + Taxt = tiers of brass and wood passed through a digital chipper. Nakamura + Rasmussen = a keening insect conference.
There was enough raw material and deft interplay to suggest that further exploration by the trio will yield even richer results.