A New Horizon
‘Same Self, Same Silence’ documents the unique collaboration between the Iranian grandmaster Hossein Alizadeh and the Dutch Rembrandt trio. In an ancient church, Persian melodies and oriental scales intermingle with echoes of jazz – all played on a set of one of a kind instruments.
Invited by the famously inquisitive jazz pianist Rembrandt Frerichs, the prominent lute-player Hossein Alizadeh transports melodies from Iran into a space where all four musicians bring their own traditions and backgrounds into play. Vinsent Planjer, Tony Overwater, Rembrandt Frerichs and Hossein Alizadeh play instruments especially built for them or collected from musical eras past, to find a common language in music.
On ‘Same Self, Same Silence’ – a line lifted from a famous Iranian poem – we can hear how, when we dare to immerse ourselves in a different culture, we discover new horizons.
About the project, and why there is no DSD for this one…
Same Self, Same Silence was recorded by Jared Sacks of Channel Classics & NativeDSD Music in DSD 256 back in 2017. The project underwent minimal post production and was finished, but then a hard drive failure (and a loss of a backup) resulted in our DSD files being lost forever.
Feeling very sad and at a loss, we had to get it out of our heads, until a 44.1 render of the final track selections was discovered on a different hard drive. This has been used to press a CD, and offer a download in that resolution, so at least this beautiful music would see the light of day and can be enjoyed over the world.
Hossein Alizadeh – Shurangiz
Rembrandt Frerichs – Fortepiano & Harmonium
Tony Overwater – Violone
Vinsent Planjer – Whisperkit
(Only available in PCM Wav download or Physical CD, unfortunately this music is not available in DSD)
Het Parool, December 2020
Trouw, December 2020
Total time: 00:57:49
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||December 18, 2020|
London Jazz News
Given its name, it’s not surprising that the Rembrandt Trio is from the Netherlands. What is surprising is the instrumentation. On this album the trio’s pianist/leader Rembrandt Frerichs plays (along with occasional harmonium) a fortepiano that is an exact copy from 2014 of an instrument by Anton Walter that Mozart had in his house at the end of the composer’s life; bassist Tony Overwater plays a violone (bass viol with six strings); and drummer Vincent Planjer plays what he calls the ‘whisper kit’, his own eclectic collection of percussion from different cultures and eras. With Iranian musician Hossain Alizâdeh joining on shurangiz (a Persian long-necked six-stringed lute), however, the trio’s unusual instrumentation makes sense.
Hossain Alizâdeh is renowned as a classical player and innovator in Persian music, with a concerto and film scores to his name. For Same Self, Same Silence, he collected traditional Iranian folk songs based on nava, one of the oldest dastgāhs (Persian modes) known for its meditative quality. The problem for western instruments is that the dastgāhs require quarter tones. Overwater solved the problem by adding frets to his violone, and Frerichs by retuning a couple of keys. ‘In this D minor colour that we play in on the album called dastgāh nava,’ Frerich explains, ‘I have tuned up the Eb and Bb in the middle register by a quarter tone, to make my piano sound in the original colours and flavours of this specific tonal system. In this way my fortepiano blends in with Hossein’s instrument in such a way that it’s sometimes hard to tell who’s playing, Hossein or myself.’
It’s not the first time the trio has played these instruments nor with an Iranian musician: witness It’s Still Autumn (2019) with Kayhan Kalhor playing the kamancheh (an Iranian knee violin); and The Contemporary Fortepiano (2018), where the trio played originals in the European jazz tradition using their unusual instrumentation (but with conventional tuning) to refreshing effect.
It sounds complicated, but it really works and the results are beautiful. The fortepiano is closer to the timbre of Persian music than a modern pianoforte and easier to retune, the challenge for Frerich being that quarter tones exclude the use of chords – a problem he solves by taking a highly melodic approach reminiscent of players of the santur (Persian hammered dulcimer). Overwater’s violone manages to sound like a double bass in the lower register but, in the upper register, close to a lute and so providing an effective counterpoint to Alizâdeh’s shurangiz; and Planjer’s appropriately named whisper kit is quiet enough not to overwhelm the delicate sound of the shurangiz – especially as Planjer plays with his fingers rather than sticks, just as the tombak (Persian drum) is traditionally played.
[…] (Read complete review via source link)
Nu al een cd voor het jaarlijstje van 2021. (Already a disc to list for the best of the year 2021.)
Published on December 31, 2020.
(…) deze plaat klinkt, mede dankzij de productie, die in zijn soberheid de scherpte van het samenspel heel goed naar voren brengt, als een echt nieuwe stap. De muziek klinkt kordater, beslister en minder speels, ze klinkt ook rauwer en ernstiger.
Niet de enorme technische vaardigheid van de musici blijft je bij, maar de zeggingskracht en het onverwacht, maar voorbeeldig passende pact tussen een westers, veelal aan oudere muziek gelieerd instrumentarium en de verbluffende kracht van de shurangiz; een bijzonder luitachtig instrument dat Alizadeh onvergetelijk bespeelt.
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