André Vida
Minor Differences
CD/booklet (E179)

 

Belgium £13 (including postage)

Europe £15 (including postage)

Rest of world £17 (including postage)

A revised and redesigned version

of The Loom, originally published in

2013 in a limited edition, is included

with the CD.

 

Edition of 300 copies


“Holding the feeling of what I’d done 

in my immediate memory, I started 

the loom. Moving from one thread to 

the next, filling out the larger patterns. Shaping figures formed of twenty-

one and nineteen breaths, colliding,

all framed by five bass key clacks. Stopping and restarting, the grace of synthetic time carrying the shuttle back and forth. Not hearing the entirety of it, experimenting with the feel of it, until 

at the end of those days, some shape hanging on my wall, a grid, and an orchestra of minor differences.”

—André Vida, The Loom

André Vida is a saxophonist, composer and lyricist. He has developed a series 

of practical approaches to improvisation using restrictive outfits, animated

graphics-based score installations and self-made instruments. His solo saxo-phone pieces are a synthesis of these areas of improvisational research, combining body, instrument, song-forms, and voice.

 

In this case, the pieces are made in the moment and memory, with shifting time matrices. Over the course of a two-minute walk, some four tenors and four baritones
move in pace from 307 beats per minute to 153 bpm, while on the other side of

the street another sixteen sopraninos 

and sopranos make their way through 

the traffic lights and blindfolded cross-walks walking at an inverted progression. One gets faster as another slows

down, continually shifting up and down, at opposing positions and tempi. The harmonic downbeats and amalgams of these compositional choices are made over repetitive sets of recording passes. Always deaf to the final result but holding it as long as the building allows.

 

andrevida.com

 

Review

A high register flourish of saxophone noises are the first sounds to greet you; these give way to flutterings, cloppings, clackings, parpings and one or two held notes generated in a lower tone. A barely articulated melody skates over the surface before disappearing altogether and then — almost as soon as 202a for 25 Saxophones has begun — it’s over before it can develop. This is a typical modus operandi for all 15 of the saxophone based works — most of the tracks average out at about three minutes in length. But there is clearly a structural process at play in Vida’s approach and it

has much to do with the elision of various elements. Minor Differences is united 

not only in terms of sound and all of its organisational elements, such as rhythm, melodics and tone, but also the ways in which the sound is produced, how the musician moves within the framework 

of pace itself. Minor Differences comes with a revised version of Vida’s essay, The Loom — and this certainly helps to situate what you hear on this CD in a larger picture. While Vida’s awareness 

of time and space is not itself an unusual approach — it's common to virtually 

all gallery based sound art — what is remarkable here is how well the 15 pieces sit together. There’s an astonish-ing multiplicity of meshed textures and solo saxophones, the latter all over-layered and used in various ways: for example, Padmehum for 14 Saxophones is a mantra for miked- up sax keys without the involvement of breath; and Soppfroggy for 10 Saxophones is a slow and laboured lub-dub of a beat. What 

you hear on a CD and what you see in 

a gallery are not necessarily the same but Vida’s conception of an expanded music is to be applauded.

 

Louise Gray in The Wire

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