Donemus Records released a new album by Rara Avis. An intriguing project. Their way of music-making has evolved into a form of totally improvised chamber music…
Rara Avis, founded in 2017, consists of Jodi Gilbert (voice), Tineke de Jong (violin) and Albert van Veenendaal (piano). The highly imaginative and acrobatic singing style of Jodi, the classical training and curiosity of Tineke, and Albert’s pictorial musicality have made this trio evolve into a group that specializes in a multifaceted form of improvised chamber music.
They find inspiration in a wide variety of texts including the eternal wisdom of the 14th-century Sufi poet Hafez, the poems of the Japanese poet Yosa Buson, a novel from F. Scott Fitzgerald, humorous modern newspaper headlines, and a Handbook of Roses. Other texts are composed on the spot, or written by Jodi Gilbert. In the midst of a lockdown period that many will never forget they found mental space and time to record the album “How Do I listen”, named after a poem by Hafez.
During the recording sessions they discovered that a totally free form of improvisation suited them best at that moment, whereas they previously also used compositions combined with improvisation.
Thankful for that discovery, they are now looking forward to using a multitude of forms expressing the multitude of their musical backgrounds. Jodi’s wide vocal spectrum, Tineke’s love for modern classical composition, and Albert’s ability to build cinematic musical structures on the (prepared) piano lead to the world of Rara Avis, a rare and wonderfully strange world of transparent sounds and universally poetic texts that fly like a bird through the soundscape.
Recorded at Splendor Amsterdam by Albert van Veenendaal and Chris Weeda on October 17, and November 5, 2020; Mixed and Mastered by Chris Weeda at Studio Rapenburg, Amsterdam
Listen to this album on Bandcamp.