United We Sound

Andrew Raffo Dewar
Interactions Quartet

It’s always a surprise when some experimental music sounds improvised when composed and vice versa. In the case of Interactions Quartet, specifically in ‘interactions 1-6’ (2009), we are confronted with a very nice piece of written “improv” music and as a listener you are really curious as to what the score looks like. It sounds like an interaction between the musicians, playing with question and answer method, yet there lacks an organisation in the tension, and particularly with the interaction modes it sounds expected. The music is nice to listen to compared to some “real” improv music. ‘Interaction 2’ is evidently scored, with a jazz like theme, in which the musicians suddenly play as one united band, rather than spreading around the sound, scratching and beeping, rattling about. There is also something else that is quite relevant to this music: the soprano sax is placed in the front of the other instruments. I understand it is the composer who plays the sax, which adds another timbre to the composition but its importance over the other sounds in the long run is arguable. The music has a certain challenge in itself, the composition is after all comprehensible, however if we propose to the musicians to play together, as “purely” improvisation, in a similar context, what will be the “real” difference?

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