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Recenze

Karel Kouba, Unijazz, 10 avril 2006

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” This quote by John Cage introduces the solo recording of young Canadian bassist Pierre-Yves Martel, who, by altering the upright bass using pieces of paper, wood and metal, ties in to a tradition initiated by Cage’s prepared piano. Another inspiration of Martel’s creation is the philosopher of free improvisation and non-idiomatic playing, guitarist Derek Bailey. Martel is a classically trained musician, who does not use his skill for show. Rather, in the spirit of his two musical fathers, he is trying to unearth the inner expressive possibilities of his instrument. In his hands, the double bass leaves the boundaries of conventional context with which it is often associated. With preparation, unconventional use of the bow and extended techniques, Martel creates unexpected shadows, creeks, thuds and murmurs bordering with silence; the resulting sounds are often percussive in character, and at times reminiscent of wind instruments. The multi-layered structure of these improvised compositions holds firmly together, does not slide into purposeless and as a whole the album does not bore. This can be credited first of all to Martel’s experience with jazz and classical idioms, which play a role of contrast in his playing, as well as the chosen form of short compositions. With the essence of surprise, Martel’s world of sound represents an unheard-of side of music. (translated by Petr Cancura)

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