Harri Sjostrom, soprano saxophone
Andrea Centazzo - percussion, malletkat, sampling
Giancarlo Schiaffini - trombone
Sergio Armaroli - vibrafono
All improvisation by the performers
Recorded at Il Pollaio by Piergiorgio Miotto
Mixed, edited, produced by Andrea Centazzo
at ICTUS Studio
Long Beach, California, USA
Executive producer Sergio Armaroli
Cover drawing by Sergio Armaroli
Inside cover notes by Evan Parker
Cover art by Andrea Centazzo
Some years ago Andrea Centazzo was invited by long time friend trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini to play in a trio with vibraphonist Sergio Armaroli. The trio, named "Trigonos", recorded a CD in 2017 followed by occasional concerts.
In June 2919 while in Berlin to present "The Seer", one of his multimedia solos, AC was approached by Harri Sjöström for a trio gig with bassist Matthias Bauer. The music went very well.
This led to the next natural step to add Harri to the trio and form the quartet on this CD.
Andrea proposed Harri as fourth member to Sergio Armaroli who is in fact the producer and the coordinator of this ensemble. Sergio agreed and the four went to Biella, to record this album titled "Orbits".
The title comes from the tracks organized in a way that a player starts improvising and the others join one by one until the cycle or “orbit” is completed.
The quartet is a solid combination of 2 percussion sets, including AC electronics and 2 wind players covering a wide range of sounds. Since he started to improvise freely Centazzo has been interested in the possibilities of live electronics and has followed the path through from analogue to digital sound sources and controllers.The interaction with Armoroli's vibraphone is a fundamental part of the quartet's music.
After a hiatus of about 30 years Andrea and Giancarlo met again in NY in 2012 for the celebration of the 35th anniversary of ICTUS and the collaboration was rekindled. In the way of the scene generally, musicians come to hear new players with great interest.
Centazzo and Schiaffini were very happy when Armaroli arrived on the scene.
At this point the methodology of free improvisation has become an international language and this quartet speaks the language fluently.
Of course how appropriate it is to use "language"as an analogy is now the subject of a thousand doctoral theses. It can also be described as a set of codes, rituals, generic tropes...and so on. The essential requirement in group improvisation is to generate a flow of understanding which it is naturally tempting to describe as a conversation in a shared language, but in fact something much more complicated than a conversation is happening. In the same way that poetry in a language unknown to the listener can still be distinguished from prose (think of the adjectives "poetic" versus "prosaic") it is easy to hear the mechanisms of interaction in an improvising group that transcend the prosaic.
Welcome to "Orbits"
Evan Parker (London, July 15th, 2020)
Ciò che accomuna questi tre dischi di composizione istantanea o free improvisation è senza dubbio il perpetuarsi di una duplice “tradizione” oltranzista, che s’afferma lungo gli anni Sessanta sia in ambito classico (ad esempio con Fluxus, AMMusic, Strach Orchestra, Gruppo Nuova Consonanza) sia quale metamorfosi del free jazz afroamericano soprattutto grazie ad alcuni solisti europei. Ma è anche l’interscambio o “turnazione” fra i musicisti, quattro in totale, che qui si dividono in quartetto, due trii e un duo. Orbits e Steps (entrambi Ictus Records) e Duos&Trios (Leo Records) comprendono 33 brani via via con Sergio Armaroli, Andrea Centazzo, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Harri Sjostrom. La costante presenza di un vibrafono, strumento di per sé quasi apollineo, fa da contrappeso ai toni grevi, variegati, immaginifici del trombone (e in parte del soprano), con percussioni e mallet kat a compendiare i due estremi, il tutto in giochi mirabolanti di flusso creativo per un ascolto al contempo vigile e rilassato, arduo e comprensibile, se però scevro da pregiudizi culturali.