Celebration Ensemble

by Agusti Fernandez

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    The 21st century is the age of post-avant-garde, which is not a trivial post-modern "return to the tradition". Post-avant-garde is for me a creative symbiosis and synergy of all possible genres: ancient and baroque music, 19th century modernism, 20th century classical symphonic and chamber music, classical avantgarde, electronic and electroacoustic music, and avant-garde free jazz and free improvised music - you name it. Post-avant-garde is not eclectic: the focus in the definition is on creativity! If one accepts this, then Agustí is one of the world leaders of the 21st century post-avant-garde, along with Barry Guy, Roscoe Mitchell, Evan Parker, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark or Ivo Perelman to name but a few.

    Agustí’s Warsaw 4CD box, River Tiger Fire, released by Fundacja Słuchaj! illustrates this wonderfully well, but the present live recording of the Celebration Ensemble confirms it perhaps even better. The concert and Agustí’s 60th birthday, celebrated in a quite extraordinary way, was possible due the generous support of the 2015 GREC Festival de Barcelona. The personnel is completely different from the Polish recording, and so is the music. Despite the presence of the explosive Mats and super-abstract Joe, Agustí’s music carries certain "kindness", lyricism and melancholy in the freely improvised parts. Despite the truly abstract nature, there are also certain similarities (in the piano parts and the composed parts) to some works of John Cage or Pierre Boulez. One can also hear elements of Spanish, or rather Majorcan folk, and minimalism.

    The group is joined in the final parts by the incredible dancer, Sònia Sánchez. The sounds generated by her shoes can be particularly well heard in Part 8 and later. Everybody plays fantastic here, but Agustí’s perpetual journeys inside and outside the piano, Nate’s peaceful and tranquilizing trumpet sounds, and Mats’ controlled fusion are particularly impressive. For me a paradigmatic masterpiece of the 21st century post-avant-garde!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Celebration Ensemble via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Get all 48 Fundacja Słuchaj releases available on Bandcamp and save 40%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Cowboy Transfiguration, Sumpflegende, Nirguna, Mind Creature Sound Dasein, Let It Be - Live in Liverpool, Illuminated Silence, Gemstones, Free Radicals At DOM, and 40 more. , and , .

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about

The 21st century is the age of post-avant-garde, which is not a trivial post-modern "return to the tradition". Post-avant-garde is for me a creative symbiosis and synergy of all possible genres: ancient and baroque music, 19th century modernism, 20th century classical symphonic and chamber music, classical avantgarde, electronic and electroacoustic music, and avant-garde free jazz and free improvised music - you name it. Post-avant-garde is not eclectic: the focus in the definition is on creativity! If one accepts this, then Agustí is one of the world leaders of the 21st century post-avant-garde, along with Barry Guy, Roscoe Mitchell, Evan Parker, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark or Ivo Perelman to name but a few.

Agustí’s Warsaw 4CD box, River Tiger Fire, released by Fundacja Słuchaj! illustrates this wonderfully well, but the present live recording of the Celebration Ensemble confirms it perhaps even better. The concert and Agustí’s 60th birthday, celebrated in a quite extraordinary way, was possible due the generous support of the 2015 GREC Festival de Barcelona. The personnel is completely different from the Polish recording, and so is the music. Despite the presence of the explosive Mats and super-abstract Joe, Agustí’s music carries certain "kindness", lyricism and melancholy in the freely improvised parts. Despite the truly abstract nature, there are also certain similarities (in the piano parts and the composed parts) to some works of John Cage or Pierre Boulez. One can also hear elements of Spanish, or rather Majorcan folk, and minimalism.

The group is joined in the final parts by the incredible dancer, Sònia Sánchez. The sounds generated by her shoes can be particularly well heard in Part 8 and later. Everybody plays fantastic here, but Agustí’s perpetual journeys inside and outside the piano, Nate’s peaceful and tranquilizing trumpet sounds, and Mats’ controlled fusion are particularly impressive. For me a paradigmatic masterpiece of the 21st century post-avant-garde!
Maciej Lewenstein

credits

released May 3, 2017

AGUSTI FERNANDEZ CELEBRATION ENSEMBLE

Agustí Fernández - piano
Frances-Marie Uitti - cello
Mats Gustafsson - sax
Nate Wooley - trumpet
Pablo Ledesma - sax
Joe Morris - guitar
Ingar Zach - percussion
Núria Andorrà - percussion
Sònia Sánchez - dance

All music by Agustí Fernández (SGAE)
Recorded Live July 20, 2015 by Ferran Conangla at Sala Ovidi Montllor, Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona
Mixed July 21, 2013 by Ferran Conangla at FCM Studio, Barcelona
Graphic design by Małgorzata Lipińska
Executive Producer: Maciej Karlowski
Special thanks to Festival Grec de Barcelona
The music was created as a continuous single piece, the different parts in this recording are just milestones to facilitate the navigation through the CD.
With the permission of the musicians of the ensemble, the pieces are registered as my compositions. This is a purely bureaucratic convenience. The music was created by spontaneous collective improvisation. - Agustí Fernández
Produced by Agustí Fernández for Sluchaj Recordings

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