Jan 23 2015
It was in an 11th Century church in Avinyó, Spain that saxophonist Marcel-li Bayer recorded his solo work, 1680. It is a quiet affair, reflecting the solemn environment in which the music was created. Many tracks sing out the briefest melodic gem, just a concept, an idea of something that could blossom into something more… and then it is gone and the next has begun. It is a beguiling plume of ideas.
Some of this music was planned in advance… a rough outline, a definitive structure, a fleeting thought. Much of this music was improvised. Even the song titles follow this pattern… one is dedicated to a friend who lives in a forest, another was inspired by a sculpture of a saint found in the church where this album was recorded.
Some pieces, like “Proemi” and “This Is Our Last Call,” are mere drones, whereas the fluttering motions and higher registers of pieces like “Efectes Timbrats” reveal heavenly aspirations in their melodic intent. Tracks like “La Catifeta” have the same goals in mind, but simply take their time in achieving them.
“Le Drapeau Noir” and “Babangida Samurai” dance for the entirety of their brief duration. “La Tête de la Course,” on the other hand, proceeds with a crisp determination.
“Kiss Me Like You Miss Me” is the closest thing to song form on this recording, whereas “I, mentrestant, en Claudi s’abraçava al seu Daguerrotip” is a lovely solo looking for a song to call its home.
“Azuwe Namba” possesses a wistful quality, as would a streak of nostalgia that incites smiles instead of melancholia. The rare instance of ferocity displayed by “L’Erotica del Poder” contrasts nicely with the tuneful “Avant la Lettre.”
An absolutely sublime recording.
Your album personnel: Marcel·lí Bayer (soprano, alto, tenor & baritone saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet).
Released on Discordian Records.
Music from the Barcelona scene.
Available at: Bandcamp