Amy Horvey

Magnificent! See Magazine, Canada

Un eccellente viatico per dare un nuovo corpo all’immaginario della tromba. Blow Up, Italy

Interview: a collection of sound worlds for solo trumpet which embrace feminism, story-telling, and experimentation. Born out of improvisation, this work became organized sound through thoughtful collaborations with composers from Canada to Argentina.

CD (MAM 012)

  • Label: Malasartes musique
  • MAM 012
  • 2009
  • UCC 771028226221
  • Total duration: 49:47
  • 128 mm × 140 mm × 6 mm
  • 40 g

On the web

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In the press


Piotr Grella-Mozejko, See Magazine, May 20, 2010

In jazz, it is nothing strange to have a CD released by a trumpeter. Not so in the classical field. Amy Horvey is in a league of her own. Among those in the know, she is considered a genius. Big word, but justified fully by what we hear on the Ottawa-based musician’s debut CD. From a point of view of a composer exploring the “uncharted territories,” Horvey is a dream-interpreter. Technically impeccable, she also has incredible interpretive intelligence, emotional sensitivity and a great deal of enthusiasm for even the weirdest compositions, sometimes including strong extra-musical elements. There are two highlights on this CD, namely Cecilia Arditto’s Música Invisible, a fantastically innovative piece with a slew of unusual, yet beautiful sounds, and Apparatus inconcinnus from Canada’s own Ryan Purchase, a theatrical piece in which the trumpet sounds like a happily inebriated village storyteller. Magnificent!


La “terra del nudo suono”

Vincenzo Giorgio, Wonderous Stories, no. 17, April 1, 2010

Se Ganesh Anandan e Hans Reichel, con Self Made, attraverso sottili intarsi percussionistici ci spingono in un mondo dove il profondo oriente si sposa ad una raffinata propensione improvvisativa (Amphibian, Primate Marathon), Charity Chan (in Somewhere the Sea and Salt) ci guida nel Regno della Dissonanza attraverso l’acustica deformata di un piano preparato ed “oggetti vari”. Ma è ancora il femminile ad ammaliare in Amy Horvey (Interview) dove la trentenne trombettista canadese si cimenta in quattro brani di compositori contemporanei tra cui spicca l’asciutto lirismo di Quattro pezzi per tromba sola, opera del grande Giacinto Scelsi (musicista ligure ultimamente molto rivalutato) e il radicalismo della conclusiva Overture to the Queen of Music Boxes. L’attenzione alla “classica contemporanea” è mantenuta alta anche da Quasar, che con Miroir des vents ci regalano un vivido affresco fiatistico dove la solitudine del vento (leggi i sax di Marie-Chantal Leclair, Mathieu Leclair, André Leroux e Jean-Marc Bouchard) viene declinata attraverso otto composizioni che trovano ne Le chant de l’inaudible di Jean-François Laporte la sublimazione ultima.

Con Rainer Wiens (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) la faccenda si fa davvero intrigante: il percussionista (sic) di origini tedesche organizza undici performances in forma di solo e duo dove si alternano il flauto di Jean Derome, i violini di Malcolm Goldstein e Joshua Zubot nonché il sax di Frank Lozano. Il risultato - profondo e suggestivo - trova la sua sublimazione estrema nella traccia omonima: oltre dieci minuti splendidamente giocati dal duo Derome-Zubot, attraverso un zigzagare materico nel silenzio incombente…


Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no. 141, February 1, 2010

Nel 2006 Amy Horvey con The Perspective of Disapperance iniziava una serie di concerti per tromba solista, un viaggio attraverso l’identità acustica dello strumento, un tentativo di ripensarlo in maniera più vicina alla sue proprietà sonore. Il cd presenta tre delle quattro composizioni di quel progetto. Nei Quattro Pezzi per Tromba Sola di Giacinto Scelsi vengono esaltate la trasparenza e la tensione trascendente dei toni, mentre Musica Invisibile, della giovane Cecilia Arditto, ci attesta che il timbro può essere sporcato da interferenze del cavo orale, abluzioni e fischiettii e rimanere intatto nella sua intensità lirica. La vocazione alla teatralità è al centro di Apparatus Inconcinnus (Ryan Purchase), tratto da un aneddoto dello scrittore russo Daniil Charms, dove sono messe in luce le virtù attoriali dello strumento. Fanno parte di una più ampia performance dedicata a Edna White, trombettista scomparsa nel ’92 all’età di cento anni, gli altri due brani, la title track (Anna Höstman) e Overture To The Queen of Music Boxes. Quest’ultimo funziona proprio come un scatola sonora, animata dai meccanismi digitali ed acustici elaborati da Jeff Morton tra i quali si dipana una danza klezmer per carillon e cornetta composta da Isak Goldschneider. Un eccellente viatico per dare un nuovo corpo all’immaginario della tromba.

Un eccellente viatico per dare un nuovo corpo all’immaginario della tromba.


Jay Batzner, Sequenza 21, January 29, 2010

This is not your typical solo trumpet disc. Some folks might dismiss a CD made up almost entirely of solo trumpet music, but when the most straightforward thing on a disc was written by Scelsi, I get kind of excited. Amy Horvey tackles exciting and provocative repertoire on this offering and nails all of it.

The Quattro pezzi by Scelsi kick off the disc and highlight Ms Horvey’s chops and musicality. Her tone is dark and somber, her ability to connect the lengthy lyrical lines in each piece is uncanny, and the only thing that would make the performance better would be hearing her live. These are demanding pieces and she squeezes every nuance of music from them.

Cecilia Arditto’s Música Invisible is in three movements (Sfumato, Chiaroscuro, and Anamorphosis) and uses both flugelhorn and trumpet. Each work involves the use of extended techniques such as singing while playing, extreme pedal tone melodies, and putting the bell of the trumpet into a bowl of water. Regardless of the techniques, which are intrinsic to the sound worlds of the pieces and not mere gimmicks, the music is haunting and meaningful. Each gesture is given time and space to develop and mature and, at about 12 minutes, I could stand to listen to a whole lot more.

The next two works both feature spoken passages as well as played passages. Anna Höstman’s Interview relates to a larger work about trumpet soloist Edna White called “Queen of the Music Boxes.” The fragments of text coax listeners into an emotional world with very little said. The music that follows is sometimes playful, sometimes sorrowful, and Ms Horvey communicates the text well without being too hammy or too stoic in affect. In contrast to the fragmentary Interview, Apparatus Inconcinnus by Ryan Purchase contains more of a linear narrative about remembering how to count by Russian author Daniil Charms. This humorous anecdote takes some serious musical terms and would be, of course, most effective in a live performance. The story holds the music together very well. My only quibble of this disc, if I have to have one, is that these two very similar works were programmed back to back.

The final work, Overture to “The Queen of the Music Boxes”, includes the electro-acoustic / circuit-bending / composer Jeff Morton working with prepared music boxes, toy instruments, and electronics. The composition is largely about Morton’s sound world of dreamy, lo-fi mechanical music making than it is Amy Horvey’s trumpet playing. When the trumpet melody does emerge, the dreaminess of Morton’s contraptions becomes more accompaniment than ambient. The whole piece projects an introspective mood and is the perfect sound world to close off the CD.

Amy Horvey tackles exciting and provocative repertoire on this offering and nails all of it.


Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 713, January 11, 2010

The continuity of interesting releases by Ambiances Magnétiques is also the case for the sublabel Malasartes Musiques, that was started by Damian Nisenson several years ago. This time Nisenson presents his new group Nozen, a quartet by Pierre Tanguay (drums), Jean Félix Mailloux (bass), Bernard Falaise (guitars) and Nisenson himself on (alt and tenor sax). They interpret 12 compositions by Argentina-born Nisenson that move between jazz, new music and musical traditions of Jewish Eastern Europe. After the revival of klezmer in the 90s, it was also embraced by jazz musicians. Just think of John Zorn’s Masada or Burton Greene’s Klezmokum. Nozen is also exponent of this development as Nisenson also strives above all for a combination of jazz and klezmer. He does so very successfully. Their playing is modest and inspired. The music often starts very calm but gradually effervescent passages takes over and climaxes are reached. Very satisfying are the few tracks where guitarist Falaise impresses with fine solo work and dissonant, like in the opening track and in the fantastic Spread the News. They counterbalance perfectly with the pieces that pass by relatively unnoticed because they are built around klezmer-like themes that sound to common and therefore insignificant. Like the closing track No Milk No Sugar. However after the short silence a new piece begins that is added as a ghost track. This is by far the most experimental track and was probably produced in the studio.

Jean Félix Mailloux is ready for his second record by his group Cordâme (Marie Neige Lavigne - violin, Julie-Odile - violoncello, Rémi Giguere - guitars, Ziya Tabassian - percussion, vibraphone, Pierre Tanguay -drums). Migration draws inspiration from Persian, Indian and Armenian music, and modal and improvised music. In this respect it is a similar project as Nozen, as both integrate eastern musical traditions in a western context. In contrast with Nozen Mailloux moves further east, not only geographically but also in the music he composes. Jazz-influences, as well as other western idioms are less obvious then in the case of Nozen. Mailloux is not interested in opposing or confronting these influences with western traditions. He brings an ode to eastern musical traditions, leaving behind all the ornaments that characterize this music often in its original form. Of course one can hear immediately that the music is played by western players, who - that is also very evident - are very dedicated to this music. It is evident that Mailloux is very fond of eastern music. However the compositions are not always satisfying or engaging from beginning to end. A bit too spun out from time to time. The music often moves along in the same slow - walk like a egyptian - pace. If you can surrender yourself to this it is a very pleasant slow journey. Very organic and pleasing chamber music. Constantly in the same relaxing mood but played very spirited.

With Interview something else is going on. This is the fist solo effort by the young trumpeter Amy Horvey. She works mainly as a contemporary, orchestral and Baroque trumpeter and appeared as a soloist with numerous ensembles and orchestras. On her first solo-album she interprets works from very different composers. The CD opens with Quattro pezzi per tromba sola, a beautiful composition by Giacinto Scelsi. It is followed by pieces from unknown contemporary composers: Musica Invisible (Cecilia Arditto), Interview (Anna Hostman). In Apparatus Inconcinnus (Ryan Purchase) a story of the Russian writer Daniil Charms is read by Horvey, interrupted by instrumental parts. Overture to The Queen of the Music Boxes features Jeff Morton on music boxes, toy instruments and electronics. It sounds like an improvisation, but I can be wrong. To conclude I can say that Horvey made the right decision in including a wide variety of compositions, showing that she feels at home as a trumpeter in very different musical worlds.


Massimo Ricci, Temporary Fault, January 6, 2010

A young virtuoso of the trumpet (she was born in 1980) who has worked with Pierre Boulez among others, Horvey presents works from different composers, of which only Giacinto Scelsi I’m familiar with. The latter’s Quattro Pezzi Per Tromba Sola are the best introduction to the artist’s outstandingly eminent know-how, her timbre is a thing of beauty — control and restraint mixed with eloquent intensity. After this fine start, the program swiftly tends to an area of music which is experimental but not in a really innovatory way, thus hindering a little our full appreciation of the protagonist’s irrefutable qualities. Two pieces — Anna Höstmann’s Interview, dedicated to pioneer trumpeter Edna White, and Ryan Purchase’s Apparatus Inconcinnus make use of spoken fragments amidst the instrumental lines; the final Overture To The Queen Of The Music Boxes is an interesting parallelism between Horvey delivering a klezmer melody against Jeff Morton’s small mechanical universe made of toy boxes, toy instruments and electronics. Cecilia Arditto’s Musica Invisibile is instead almost entirely forgettable: a dusty, old-sounding piece that manages to render even the employment of extended techniques uninteresting, if not annoying. With a better repertoire, Amy Horvey will definitely shine.

A young virtuoso of the trumpet (she was born in 1980) who has worked with Pierre Boulez


PJL, CISM, November 12, 2009

J’ai grandi dans une cave. De 0 à 6 ans, mes interactions avec les autres humains se résumaient à japper après les ombres de jambes qui passaient parfois à ma fenêtre. C’est pour ça que des fois aujourd’hui (bien adapté comme je suis), quand je bois trop de café, je me lance dans des petites dances pour accompagner les sons primates que je laisse échapper de ma bouche normalement en contrôle. Un peu comme un kid de 4 ans qui ne sait pas qu’on le regarde et qui imitte Lady Gaga dans un sous-sol mi-fini. Vous savez de quelle dance je parle: le sautille-frétillé-sans-rythme-ou-balant où t’es pas certain si la personne est en convulsions de joie ou si elle va se peter la gueule sur un coin de table… bon, celle-là. Cet album me fait sentir un peu moins seul dans ces moments de… de créations sur-le-vif post-modern… d’improvisations physiqu… de communication corporelle primair… okok: de court-circuits mentaux, contents-là?!

Cet album me fait me sentir un peu moins seul dans ces moments de… […] OK, OK: de courts-circuits mentaux. Contents, là?!

Listening Diary

François Couture, Monsieur Délire, November 6, 2009

A pretty record of contemporary music for solo trumpet. Montréaler Amy Horvey delivers a diverse program that runs from the unshaking placidity of Giacinto Scelsi to a vivacious composition by Cecilia Arditto. Also featured are pieces by Anna Höstman and Ryan Purchase (the latter is inspired by the works of Daniil Charms, which is always a plus in my book). The disc concludes with an improvisation with Jeff Morton’s music boxes and electronics. The focus is on ambiance and texture more than on technical display. I don’t know why – their approaches are way different – but Interview reminds me of Arve Henriksen’s first solo CD.

A pretty record of contemporary music for solo trumpet.