CATALOG nemu 010
more information about Varpai
André Pabarciute - voice
Mark Tokar - double bass
Klaus Kugel - percussions
"This unique trio utilizes extended vocal and instrumental technique, archaic sound objects, and ritual percussion within free metric structure. The resultant soundscapes are otherworldly and rich with a sense of timelessness. Their music is best experienced in performance spaces such as churches or concert halls where the sound stage lends itself to an atmosphere conducive to silence and resonance. Each concert is a singular event exclusively comprised of self composed pieces."- from the liner notes
I grabbed this one after the Zimpel/Tokar/Kugel/Kusiolek concert during the Silent Movie Festival. And definitely find no reason to regret this decision, even if I'm not such a big fan of vocals in improvised music.
This is musical journey into the centre of the earth. Peaceful, meditative, with lots of extended techniques, little 'melody' but all sound, very organic and natural. Stripping the instruments (including the voice) of all expected notions of how it "should" be used. The silence and the resonance of the long-gone sounds are here as important as the sounds themselves.
In those You will hear shimmering water, wind brushing through leaves or going through hollow tree trunks in the forrest. Those natural inspirations can be quite easily traced in the tiltles on the album - "Symphonic Fields", "Wood Dance", "Echoes of the Trees". Varpai (if Wikipedia is any help) is lithuanian for 'bells' and You will also hear a lot of those, gongs, bows on plates, archaic or ritual objects, small sounds dying slowly in the time and space. All the 'self-composed' pieces were recorded in church and this music is also very spiritual, mystic, but I would say that this spiritualism is somehow of the pagan, ancient descendance, the whole performance being some kind of celebration and sonic decodification of Mother Earth. Music that manages to be rich and full-textured and spare and light at the same time. Completely abstract, yet strangely accessible and hypnotizing (lot of Air, Water, Earth but very little Fire). Escaping the common time and space reality it is, to cite the short liner notes, "otherwordly" and "rich with a sense of timeless". While avoiding the soothing cliches of new age music, this is captivating, engaging, very unique and rewarding listening experience.