1. Sincronia Vaga I (6:22)
2. Sincronia Vaga II (8:44)
3. Sincronia Vaga III (6:41)
4. Sincronia Vaga IV (12:08)
5. Soft Routine (15:53)
· Philippe Lauzier: bass clarinet, synthesizer, speakers and objects
· Carlo Costa: percussion and objects
Sincronia Vaga I-IV composed by Carlo Costa, Soft Routine composed by Philippe Lauzier (SOCAN)
Recorded by Philippe Lauzier and Carlo Costa between May and October 2021
Mixed by Philippe Lauzier
Mastered by Mario Gauthier
Cover artworks by Éric Normand
Photo by Frédérique Laliberté
Graphic design by László Szakács
Produced by Éric Normand & László Juhász
Philippe Lauzier and Carlo Costa collaborated for the first time in December 2019 for a few concerts in Canada. All the music at that time was improvised, but over the course of the pandemic Philippe and Carlo started collaborating remotely by elaborating and exchanging some compositional work.
Sincronia Vaga consists of four movements. In each movement there are a number of short motives, single notes and noise cells assigned to each player. These can be played in any order within a given time frame. The piece was conceived to be recorded separately without overdubbing one part to another. The two parts were overlapped in a second phase with some minor editing.
Soft Routine makes use of two harmonic sequences of different lengths that dephase in counterpoint for a while before returning to the starting point. A constant synthesizer part coexists with a spacious percussion collage of bell resonances, rocks, woodblocks and drum head rubbing, as well as bass clarinet long tones and multiphonics.
“The other two releases are co-productions with Canada’s Tour de Bras label, like Inexhaustible Editions, a hub for all musical styles mentioned above. It’s a bit unclear why they co-produced these, but maybe it’s because Philippe Lauzier and Éric Normand are from Canada. Lauzier plays bass clarinet, synthesizer, speaker; and Italian-born, US-based Carlo Costa plays percussion and objects. They played concerts together before the pandemic, but these five pieces resulted from exchanging sound files. There are four parts of Sincronia Vaga, composed by Costa and a one-part piece, Soft Routine, written by Lauzier. In both pieces, we find some elegantly played music. In the Costa pieces, each player plays several short motives, single notes and noise cells, and I assume, according to some score, the two are joined together in the mix, in which only a few edits took place. One might think this would result in some highly chaotic music, but that is not the case. The short attacks of the percussion mix nicely with the more extended tones of the clarinet and overtones from various percussive pieces ring sometime. At the same time, Lauzier adds shortish sounds on the clarinet. It all makes up some exciting interaction, not a typical call and response, which sometimes happens in improvised music. If you wouldn’t know, you could mistake ‘Soft Routine’ for another part of Sincronia Vaga, but, perhaps, a bit smoother in transitions and, yet again, beautiful spacious music. I believe this is the only piece where we hear more of Lauzier’s synthesizer and speaker, providing an exciting backdrop to the music. This, too, is a great release, pushing all the right buttons here; quiet, minimal and spacious.” / Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly, 1 August 2023
“Italian drummer and New York resident Carlo Costa’s music has been described on our blog as ‘quiet and intense’, and as time progresses, both the quietness and the intensity seem to increase. In Canadian bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier, he found a perfect partner for this musical vision. Lauzier’s playing is sober and austere: single notes are sustained before they evaporate in thin air, or are contrasted with one single deeper tone. Costa uses a variety of undefined percussion and objects to accentuate, to colour and to interact. Like zen art, the empty space around the music plays a critical role, more as a foundation than as a backdrop.
The first four tracks form one long suite, Sincronia Vaga, on which each player had received a number of ‘short motives, single notes and noise cells’ to use within a given time frame. Over the years, Costa has moved away from traditional notation, using a variety of graphic scores, symbols, written directions and cue methods to merge and juxtapose composed elements with improvisation. This music was created during the Covid-19 pandemic, recorded separately, and integrated afterwards with some minor edits. The advantage of the moments of silence is that it facilitates the integration of sound bits more easily, even if there are some surprises once in a while. It sounds amazingly coherent in any case.
The last track, Soft Routine, was penned by Lauzier, and is a little over fifteen minutes long. The composition is built around ‘two harmonic sequences of different lengths that dephase in counterpoint for a while before returning to the starting point’. Lauzier’s sound on bass clarinet is stretched and sustained by the use of synthesiser, offering shifting multiphonic mesmerising tones, against which resonating bells, rocks, woodblocks and drum head rubbing are set against. The result is – again – a zen-like atmosphere of moving calm, of sonic purity, of balanced clarity.
This is no longer jazz, of course, but that does not matter. It requires listeners with open ears and who appreciate the value of sparsity.” / Stef Gijssels, The Free Jazz Collective, 10 August 2023
“Carlo Costa è un percussionista e compositore italiano di stanza a New York. Nel corso della sua carriera, l’artista ha esplorato diversi generi e un ampio spettro sonoro anche grazie al frequente impiego di tecniche e oggetti non convenzionali.
Al tramonto dello scorso anno, Costa ha pubblicato Interspace insieme al canadese Philippe Lauzier, artista canadese attivo nel campo della musica sperimentale e della sound art e polistrumentista con una predilezione per il clarinetto basso e il sassofono, senza dimenticare i synth.
Dopo aver collaborato per alcuni concerti nella terra dell’acero, i due hanno realizzato un lavoro che comprende un totale di cinque brani: Sincronia Vaga, composto da quattro movimenti, e Soft Routine.
Il primo consiste in una sequenza di motivi brevi, note singole e spezzate, parentesi rumoristiche ottenute anche grazie a oggetti di vario tipo. Ottenuto con due registrazioni separate e senza sovraincisioni, il percorso di Sincronia Vaga rivela già un forte gusto improvvisativo impreziosito da un affiatamento notevole. Nei paesaggi sonori descritti da Sincronia Vaga, le tonalità sono spesso cupe, generano inquietudine, a tratti evocano ambientazioni cinematografiche.
Soft Routine utilizza sequenze armoniche di diversa lunghezza che si accartocciano e ripartono dall’inizio, mentre un tappeto di synth culla il suono percussivo di campane, rocce e legno, ma anche traiettorie di clarinetto. Interspace è un lavoro di ricerca e di qualità: idee ambiziose hanno trovato pieno compimento in un disco che convince anche nei suoi passaggi meno immediati.” / Piergiuseppe Lippolis, Music Map, 18 August 2023
“Sincronia Vaga en quatre parties numérotées I , II, III, IV composée par Carlo Costa et Soft Routine composée par Philippe Lauzier. Celui-ci est crédité clarinette basse, synthé, haut-parleurs et objets et Costa percussions et objets. Musique contemporaine s’étalant dans l’espace et la durée. Les deux musiciens alternent clairement leurs interventions espacées en intégrant un silence vécu et ressenti. Notre écoute a le loisir de caresser la douceur du souffle de la clarinette basse et ressentir les légères vibrations d’ éléments de percussions qui s’élancent lentement dans l’espace auditif l’un après l’autre (temple blocks, chimes, gongs, lamellophone etc..). C’est un travail minutieux, un enchaînement de sonorités contiguës qui s’agrègent un instant. Un synchronie minimaliste. Et le feeling et le caractère de cette Sincronia Vaga se retrouve dans Soft Routine. La précision ici est portée au maximum dans les coïncidences, les accords entre les hauteurs des timbres, le transport diagonal de l’éphémère unisson et la dynamique. Ce sentiment d’élévation de chacun de ses unissons est un des caractères fondamentaux de cette suite. Est-ce un exercice de style ou une projection sincère de la sensibilité des deux musiciens ? Je penche pour la deuxième option, car il y a dans cette œuvre une profonde sensibilité, une expression pleine de gravité et une immobilité gravitationnelle réussie. Interspace est un titre d’album qui convient bien à cette musique, un travail réalisé avec beaucoup de soin, de préparation qui conte une fable sur une réalité vivante de la pratique musicale de qualité. Cela constitue une matière à réflexion : penser une forme de relativité dans l’univers des musiques créatives, improvisées ou expérimentales. Écoute recommandée.” / Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, Orynx-improv’andsounds, 16 November 2023
· No Wave at Tilos Rádió, Budapest, 24 September 2023