Improv trio Supersilent team up with legendary multi-instrumentalist and original Led Zeppelin band member, John Paul Jones for a UK tour that kicks off on Nov 15th.
A mainstay on Norway’s improv scene for more than a decade, Supersilent continues to push the boundaries of modern improv. Supersilent counter the human impulse to create or recognize logical structures and things. They transport us to the level of pre-genesis –there is no conclusion– and thus one is forced to stay in the pure phenomena, of sound, and remain in the senses. For a musician or any creative artist what they do can indeed seem superhuman, for they never sit down to make anything; they never write music, prepare or even rehearse. Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken, trumpeter/vocalist Arve Henriksen and multi-instrumentalist Helge Steen just come together and press the record button. Supersilent is the now in the purest sense of the word: improvisation not as a device, but improvisation as a basic mode of being.
Says Ståle Storløkken on the research station that is Supersilent: -We simply know that something will happen, says Storløkken. It may sound a bit laissez faire or arrogant even, but the truth is that over the years we have reached a level of confidence in the format itself. Personally, it gives me a great sense of freedom; Supersilent is like coming home, it is where I have learnt about the aural realm and where I continue to feel most acutely present musically.
Most of the music Supersilent has produced over their more than ten-year-career has been characterised by brooding, darkish traits, and a sense of withdrawal: an apparition of sinus curves more than any architectural form. Is the subdued and sub-categorical a necessary character of music that comes into being this way?
-I don’t think darkness or obscurity is a function of Supersilent’s modus operandi, says Storløkken. In fact I don’t think our music is obscure, certainly not in any conscious way. But the nature of experimentation indicates that one seeks to avoid falling into patterns and known structures. Instead, during our years of experimentation and exploring we have found new pathways to beauty and strong lyrical veins, which are both part of the Supersilent palette. What is fantastic is finding beauty when you aren’t looking for it. In that sense it is perhaps true that our point of departure is a kind of sub stratum, a place where we can access things that are normally obscured by predetermined solutions and normative notions of music.
-Improvisation is my basic approach, and what is musically dearest to me, admits Storløkken. So there are of course similarities between the different projects that I am involved with. However, different strands of taste and orientation get their expression if different projects. And Supersilent is always in the background somehow, as a parent in a way, that spawns diverse children.
One of the most striking artistic partnerships to come out of the Punkt Festival format is the pairing of Supersilent with Led Zep legend John Paul Jones. The two parties first met at the 2010 Punkt – hit it off and has since collaborated on a number of occasions. Jones now has a duo with Supersilent member Helge Sten aka Deathprod; Minibus Pimps, that played its first live shows this summer to critical acclaim. An applauded Supersilent/JPJ gig at Barcelona’s Sónar Festival in mid-June 2012 solidified the rewarding artistic partnership that continues into autumn ’12 and beyond.
John Paul Jones
A prolific session musician in the 1960s, he played, arranged and recorded with artists including Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Cat Stevens. He was a founder member of Led Zeppelin. Following his unparalleled career with Led Zeppelin, he worked as a performer, arranger and producer for artists and groups including Diamanda Galas, REM, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel and La Fura dels Baus. He released his debut solo album, Zooma, in 1999, followed by The Thunderthief (2001). Since 2004, projects have included John Cage’s Music Circus at the Barbican under the direction of Stephen Montague, touring with bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, and working as co-composer and performer for Merce Cunningham’s Nearly Ninety. In 2009 he co-founded the band 'Them Crooked Vultures', with Dave Grohl and Joshua Homme, releasing a universally acclaimed album and touring the world to sold-out venues. In 2011 John appeared and performed in Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera 'Anna Nicole', and is currently writing an opera based on Strindberg's 'The Ghost Sonata' as well as performing with his computer noise
Joining forces, they set the table for an unforgettable evening. As with all of Supersilent’s recordings and concerts, this performance is executed with no rehearsals and is entirely improvised.
Supporting JPJ and Supersilent is Aki Onda, a New York based composer and electronics musician. His instrument of choice is a Walkman, where he captures recordings on tape, and manipulates this material in electro-acoustic performances.
Live shows Supersilent and John Paul Jones UK tour 2012:
Wednesday 14 November, 8.00pm
Thursday 15 November, 8.00pm
Friday 16 November, 7.30pm
Saturday 17 November, 8.00pm
Sunday 18 November, 8.00pm
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