Albrecht Maurer - violin

Mat Maneri - viola

Lucian Ban - piano

Recorded at Loft Köln, Mai 2012 by Christian Heck and Mai 2013 by Stefan Deistler. Mixed by Holger Urbach, Musikproduktion Ratingen. Mastered at systems two, Brooklyn, by Max Ross. Cover and inside photo by Christina Modreanu. Graphic design concept by Christiane Resch. Portrait photos by Gerhard Richter. Produced by Albrecht Maurer and Lucian Ban, all rights reserved! Made in Lithuania. Nemu Records, Siebengebirgsallee 12, 50939 Köln, Germany

Ban, Maneri, Maurer with their respective instruments piano, viola, violin form a quite uncommon combination as an improvising trio. Mat Maneri is coming from a distinct zone of listening slightly outside the focus of ordinary habits. His playing produces a magic kind of radiance that expands our possibilities of perception. Lucian Ban with his blues inflected and dark unresolved colorings creates the deep space for Maneri’s viola to draw its magical contours. Maurer spreads the string spectrum, hatching, expanding, counterbalancing or doubling Maneri’s viola and elevating Ban’s piano. It is a configuration owning special potentials and unusual possibilities to get musicians and listeners into experiencing uncommon sounds, unknown things in a specific relationship to known things. The music will trigger déjà entendu moments - not that severely on the level of recognizable stylistic patterns but from a much deeper level. That in turn increases attention and tension giving way to joyous catharsis. 


Something deep in our memory, can become awake through the album’s music.  Reminiscent of traces of old song(s), an archaic pattern, a vague sensation of feeling at home, feeling alone, desperate, happy … . The music on this album also may sound as originating from different areas and sources. Mississippi goes Transylvania goes India goes … . A matter of confluence or uncovering deeper affinities? 


Playing can happen within a continuum ranging from imitation, regeneration, reinvention to transformation. All modes and practices can be done in a good or a bad way, more or less thrilling. What is crucial here is personal honesty and the linkage to our present world, to the present situation. The musicians of this album work on the side of reinvention and transformation, rely on spontaneous creation in the here and now, Jetztzeit, on spontaneous creation out of an open and experienced mind. However, no dichotomy of composed vs. improvised is entailed here. Most of the pieces had some in advance structured or composed material as springboard. The balance of both first of all is a practical and spiritual question.  


Fantasm, the title-piece has been created by an amazing deep listener, eminent New York musician, drummer Paul Motian (1931-2011). He was a master of encrypting his 

deep listening dynamically into imperishable gestalt. Fantasm, a paradigmatic piece here, is fed by heterogeneous sources but unified by composer and composition carrying and keeping its secrets. Mat Maneri used to play in Motian’s bands a lot, nourished and nourishing.  


On this album nothing sounds like ordinary strings. It has dark moods not fading into ordinary melancholia, contains limping dances into lightness, wondrous fusing dissolving in finale of quiet grandeur, uncatchable creep up shadows, splintering bop and bright solitariness per exemplum. Concentrated. Enjoyably disturbing. 


Henning Bolte, Amsterdam, October 2014

Total Time  54:34