FMP/FREE MUSIC PRODUCTION - An Edition of Improvised Music 1989-2004


G. Fritze Margull


- What is so special about this trio?
It is neither the unconventional combination of voice, piano and trombone, nor is it (just) an encounter between three personalities each of whom is completely familiar with his own particular instrument, it is - and this is always the most important thing- what they do: They produce original music which does not attempt to imitate any other, music in which chords seem to play no part, music which only compares itself with itself. Anyone listening to "ORGANO PLENO" can discover the terms and descriptions which are virtually hurled at the trio in concert write-ups - and some of which hit the mark - for himself, and use them to liven up the bare title Pars l-XV.

- How does a trio such as this one come into being?
In this case it started as a duo... Annick Nozati and Fred Van Hove who were lecturing at a summer workshop in Cluny in France in 1984. In November of the same year they gave their first public performance at "Dunois" in Paris. Two years and many concerts later (in 1986) Mark Charig or Phil Wachsmann occasionally appeared with them as the third voice. However they continued to appear as a duo until September 1987 when Johannes Bauer joined them for a tour of the GDR and stayed on.

- How are things going? On the road a lot?
It is always difficult to find places where this "extravagant" kind of music can be performed. Even so in the past few years the trio has appeared at most festivals of improvised music - sometimes in a larger set-up as "Trio plus for example Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford, Benoit Viredaz or André Goudbeek ...". In August 1986 a duo-LP appeared in France on the "nato" label (no. 994). In September 1988 the trio made a record on "Amiga" (no. 856411) in the GDR. (Anecdote: (Fred Van Hove] "Hannes had offered "Amiga" to make a recording of his workshop band. But "Amiga" took so long to reply, that the band no longer existed, so the trio recordings were made instead.")

- How.. . ?
Fred Van Hove: "We never rehearse. We just meet up, and even if we haven't played together for a long time, things work out really well right from the word go. I really love this physical, sometimes even orgiastic way of playing music. The actual "show" or the individual solo isn't important for any one of this three of us, but we always try to create the best possible music out of nothing. That is what I think "improvised music" is all about. It isn't just a question of emotional involvement of course, both the mind and the mental process play a part, and even if we occasionally stumble, we achieve what we want to at some stage during the performance."

- What then?
That which makes "improvised music'', as Fred Van Hove simply defines it, unique. That unplanned moment, the combination of all the different elements of the music, in other words, the very thing which makes us listen to this music, and makes us want to listen to it.

Bauer/Nozati/Van Hove achieve this through their manner of playing, which places trust in their own spontaneity, allows them to become involved and to interact with the other musicians. The self-assurance with which this takes place has a solid background in their different musical and personal experiences in life, which provide an element of suspense, a certain area of friction.

Translation: Margaret Neuendorf

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