Improvised Music from Japan

Liner Notes of the CD Altered Egos

written by Patrick Scheyder

The East has always been musically very intriguing to me.

One day I was in Munich, where I was playing a concert at a festival with two other musicians, and it just so happened that Lauren Newton was in the concert hall listening to us. After our performance, she came backstage and said, "I want to play with you!" And a few months later, in Zurich, we performed, I think, one of the most delicate, terrific and strange improvised concerts I ever played.

Five or six months later, I was in Lithuania--Vilnius, to be exact (the "Far East"). I was searching for colleagues who share my concept of totally improvised music--that is, without tonality, modality or patterns--just sound. Very soon, Vladimir Tarasov was introduced to me, and after five minutes of playing together we understood that he wasn't playing drums and I wasn't playing piano, but that we were playing music! I might say, to paraphrase Mendelssohn: music without words.

When we have the possibility of communicating at the same level of research, not the same ideas (that wouldn't be as interesting) but in the same way, in the same world of ideal sensibilities, we are happy. In this trio we are content to build that kind of world. We build every second, because it's improvised and we cannot trust in a music score. The score is the trio itself, so fragility is our world.

Those kinds of circumstances are very realistic, I find. Like being on the street where I can decide to walk or to stop, here I can decide to play or to allow silence, because I want to or because I need to. The main artistic decision in this case is to decide for the benefit of the music, for something very immaterial. So how does one decide for something that seemingly doesn't exist, except if one can decide that it exists! If God made humanity and animals and all, and if politicians can decide what is best for humanity and even animals, then I can confirm that God is very fragile since he is taking care of everything, including sound. All that improvisation, all that creation and constant growth, which exists in constant instability, it lives, it works, it disappears, it mesmerizes....

We never speak of these things in our trio. I only know that this common attitude is able to bring us toward tangibility of what we believe to know, see and hear. Perhaps that is what we call music.

Patrick Scheyder, May '98