Lookback: Electric Umbrella #3

Improvisation is not just another musical genre. It is a radical approach toward musical structure and human communication. Though all of the musicians who performed on this show previously played together with at least a few of the others, the two trios we presented on this occasion are guaranteed to be 100% untested, having never existed before in these particular configurations. The musicians all share a curiosity for mind-altering encounters, but also the discipline needed to make some sense of all the moving pieces they will inevitably be confronted with. For the audience, the experience was surprisingly accessible: all you needed to do is to leave your expectations at the door.

First Set
Locally global (and vice-versa): Montreal and North Bay, Canada – Kaatsheuvel, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, NL

Johanna Monk (also curating this edition) combines the extended techniques of the avant-garde and the harsh brutality of pure sound with a melodic sensibility that betrays her roots in folk music, while incorporating content-based prose, poetry and storytelling with creative music and visual performance. Aaron Lumley is an exploratory musician who embraces the huge sonic and expressive power of the acoustic contrabass, working primarily in the fields of free jazz, post-rock and 21st-century composed music. He plays on gut strings tuned in fifths, one octave lower than a cello, for their raw tonality and deep resonance. Onno Govaert’s drumming displays a combination of unbridled energy, sensitivity, fearless decision-making and orchestral awareness: projects include Cactus Truck, the Stadhouders/Govaert/De Joode trio, and regular stints with Ab Baars, Wilbert de Joode, Marta Warelis, Michael Moore and Kaja Draksler.


Second set
Globally local (and vice-versa): Malle, Wilrijk and Brecht, Belgium – Terneuzen and Rotterdam, NL

Martina Verhoeven became musically active as an electric bassist in the acclaimed band “3 Seconds Of Air”. Soon after that, she switched to double bass before finally devoting herself almost entirely to the piano, where she has become a fierce and unique performer. Dirk Serries is a veteran experimentalist, active since 1984, who has focused on free improvisation on guitar since the beginning of the 21st century and has previously played with Martina, as well as with Friso Van Wijck. Friso is quite unique in the world of drumming, also fully immersing himself in the refined and abstract world of free improvisation. We can therefore expect that this first meeting of these three musicians (drums, double bass and guitar) will be a quirky, profound and sophisticated musical experience.