Formed in Berlin in 2014, Parak.eets is an unconventional experimental music ensemble comprising Ute Wassermann, Richard Scott and Emilio Gordoa – three highly singular voices from the thriving Berlin improvised music scene. The combination of analogue modular synthesizer, prepared vibraphone and extended vocal techniques makes the trio’s sound unique.
Like many birds, all three musicians are natural mimics: Scott’s analogue synthesizer often sounds like voice and percussion, Gordoa’s vibraphone treatments and other percussion call to mind both voices and electronics, while Wassermann’s hybrid instrument of voice with a variety of bird whistles blends so exactly with this sound world that it is sometimes a shock to remember that what we are hearing is a human voice. All three go beyond how their instruments normally sound into other worlds, populated by the multifarious sounds of other instruments, birds, mammals, insects and other organisms that are harder to identify.
One pleasure is that they often come together to form something like a composite sound environment; parallels with forest and jungles and other natural habitats seem inevitable and it is surprising when, out of this, highly virtuosic bursts of contemporary music announce themselves. The music morphs, forever changing its shapes and surfaces. It delights in the surprise of letting go of one moment in order to embrace the next. There is a sense of generosity in this music, an openness of all the musicians not only to each other but to the potential of sound in general. The trio is able to negotiate many twists and turns, continually open to new possibilities and combinations. If the overall sense is one of playful and joyful exploration, the listener is left in no doubt of the seriousness and musicality exerted in every moment.
Sound Anatomy SA008/Creative Sources 343
CD and download: www.soundanatomy.bandcamp.com
Recorded in Berlin, 12 and 13 January 2015
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Richard Scott
Image by Philippa Jeffery (digital)
Design by Clarke Robinson (digital)
Design by Carlos Santos (physical)
Ute Wassermann is known as a vocal soloist and composer/performer and for her extraordinary, many-voiced and extreme vocal sound-language, which she has brought into contemporary music in diverse ways. She defamiliarises the sound of her voice using bird call whistles, palate whistles, speaker objects or field recordings. A particular interest is the development of compositions for spaces with unusual acoustic qualities. She has performed as a vocal soloist in the area of contemporary and experimental music in festivals in Europe, Australia and Asia. She is an integral part of the Berlin and London experimental music scenes, performing regularly with ongoing collaborators like Speak Easy (with Phil Minton, Martin Blume and Thomas Lehn), John Russell, Alexander Kolkowski, Els Vandeweyer, Michael Vorfeld (percussion and lights), Birgit Ulher and others, and is a member of the Berlin-based composer/performer ensemble Les Femmes Savantes. She has given premieres of works composed specially for her voice, for example by Richard Barrett, Chaya Czernowin, Henning Christiansen, Hans-Joachim Hespos, Matthias Kaul, Michael Maierhof, Michael Finnissy, Cathy van Eck, Simon Steen-Andersen and Andrew Noble, as well as performances of works by Salvatore Sciarrino, John Cage and others.
Richard Scott is a composer and free improvising musician working with analogue modular synthesizers and alternative controllers such as his own self-designed WiGI infra-red controller developed at STEIM, the Buchla Thunder and Buchla Lightning. He has been composing and performing improvised music for over 25 years, producing, performing and recording with artists such as Evan Parker, Twinkle³, Edward Barton, Clive Bell, Olaf Rupp, Robin Hayward, Richard Barrett, Gustavo Aguilar, David Ross, BARK! and Grutronic. He studied improvisation with John Stevens, saxophone with Elton Dean and Steve Lacy, Action Theater improvisation with Sten Rudstrom and electroacoustic composition with David Berezan and Ricardo Climent. His work has been featured on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and at the International Computer Music Conference, London Jazz Festival, BEAM, Bratislava NEXT Festival of Advanced Music, SARC Sonorities Belfast, Berlin Interaktion Improvised Music Festival and MANTIS Electroacoustic Music Festival in Manchester. He was a long term artistic resident at STEIM in Amsterdam, a lecturer in music at Lancaster University and co-curator of two underground experimental improvised and electronic concert series in Berlin: AUXXX Berlin and Basic Electricity.
Emilio Gordoa is a Mexican musician, composer and vibraphonist who lives and works in Berlin and Mexico City. He is involved in numerous projects, including many related to experimental music, noise, free jazz, improvisation and contemporary music. He is redefining the vibraphone as a sound source, treating it with preparations and extended techniques, and is a busy composer as well, writing scores for a variety of ensembles, theatre and documentary films. His recent projects include SOEL electro-acoustic quartet, Mano Morta, LEEM and MOvE (with Adam Pultz Melbye, Dag Magnus Narvesen, Achim Kaufmann and Harri Sjöström). Emilio has worked and recorded with artists such as John Russell, Tristan Honsinger, German Bringas, Misha Marks, Tobi Delius, Liz Allbee, Remi Alvarez, Chris Cogburn, Clayton Thomas, Klaus Ku?rvers, Tony Buck, Alexander Bruck, Juan Garci?a, Bonnie Jones, Harri Sjo?stro?m, Frank Paul Schubert and Daniel Ott. He has performed at venues and festivals around Europe, including the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Klangkunstprojekte in Leipzig, Art Sound Festival Berlin, CSW (Contemporary Art Museum of Warsaw) and Mopomoso at the Vortex in London.