TrueMuze 9802

track list:

1) Micro-Orka 6:02
2) Revolving Doors 10:44
3) Nagaraja 13:43
4) Grüblein 8:56
5) Aarti 4:43
All compositions by Rajesh Mehta (BUMA)

(total duration 44:29)

booklet text:

The influences of Indian musics (especially those of South India) and contemporary improvised musics have inspired my musical language for years. It becomes increasingly apparent to me through the group‘s evolution, that the Collective 3+ has an affinity to the South Indian temple ensembles consisting of two nageswarams (double-reed instruments) and Tavil (high-tensioned double-headed drum) and the penetrating and exuberant musical interplay between them. I couldn‘t have been more fortunate than to find kindred spirits in Australian trumpetist/ vocalist Felicity Provan and the poly-percussionist Scotsman Alan „Gunga“ Purves and to meet these versatile talents with their wealth of musical experiences so early in my stay in Amsterdam. The unique instrumentation of two trumpets and drums already provides an unusual timbral rich-ness with which to work. This is enhanced by the addition of voice, trumpets of different kinds (and at varying degrees of preparation and deconstruction) and a battery of percussion instruments, bells and squeaky toys. Nevertheless, it has always been integral to the concept of the Collective 3+ to invite other musicians to join this threesome for projects, teasing the group‘s fantasy towards new musical expressions. On this CD, two string players were our guests: Dutch-American cellist Paul Stouthamer grounds the group‘s pieces with his jazz roots while Australian guitarist Tom Fryer perks up the two tracks, Micro-Orka and Grüblein, with his idiosyncratic guitar style and microtonal nuances.

The pieces on this recording were designed to allow the collective artistry of the group‘s members to flourish and to navigate through specific musical structures:

Micro-Orka is a „contemporary raga“ which builds on the microtonal language I‘ve developed in my solo work by removing slides from a trupet; extending this to two trumpets and offering complementary pitches to the string instruments. The piece highlights the unique series of pitches and the ensuing „wooden flute“ like timbre that each trumpet possesses when played through the disconnected slide.

Revolving Doors is a collective improvisation derived from a sequence of phrases which each musician can enter freely, having the possibility to either change speeds, embellish the phrase, or to stop.

The modal composition Nagaraja is based on modulating number cycles and features a string of solo statements by the group‘s members. After a vocal exposition by Provan, solos follow by Stouthamer, Mehta, Provan (this time on pocket trumpet), and Purves.

Grüblein‘s post-jazzrock funk-ness gives free rein to the group‘s whimsical urges.

Inspired by a Hindu devotional song of the same name, Aarti opens as a canon and unfolds its mystery through the group‘s explorations.

Rajesh Mehta (August 1998, Amsterdam)

Recorded by Ben Mendes at Phunky Pheasant Studios, Amsterdam on April 14/15, 1997 • Mix and CD-Master by Vlatko Kucan, August 1998.