The Perelman - Shipp Duo dazzles with two new albums in 2015
By Kato Bookbird
With the double CD release dedicated to the memory of Greek diva Maria Callas, Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp open a new chapter in their musical partnership. It is not just two improvising musicians with telepathic understanding of each other. It goes beyond that. There are many brilliant examples of saxophone-piano duets but this one is different. It is a kind of a new genre. The flow of music is so natural, so organic, there are not two but one mind at work. Click here to read the reviews.
Leo Records, press release. On "Complementary Colors," Perelman and his longtime collaborator, acclaimed pianist Matthew Shipp, explore the ties that bind the visual and the aural arts. In addition to his work as a groundbreaking improviser, exploring the outer limits of the saxophone’s tonal range, Perelman is also a prolific and respected visual artist, whose work hangs in collections across four continents; at the time of these releases, he was in Brazil, overseeing a major exhibit of his paintings and drawings in his native land. But for all that, Complementary Colors represents the first time he has sought to unite these two aspects of his artistic vision.
Perelman titled each track with the name of a color, which he chose after the recording. As usual in his music, these improvisations arose from literally nothing, with neither previous rehearsal nor any written music in hand; given this methodology, something as programmatic as a color-coded “concept” would be unthinkable. But the titles came naturally, since Perelman – by his own admission – experiences synesthesia, the sensory phenomenon by which some people “hear” colors, “taste” music, or “see” aromas, for instance. Up till now, this has primarily manifest itself in his canvases. “I paint using musical impulses, translated, and transmuted into the shapes and colors,” he explains. “When I paint, I feel my synesthesia is rhythmic; I visualize a rhythm and it’s very strong in me.” From there, the rest of the painting takes shape: “The rhythmic structure almost dictates what the colors will be; the rhythms in my paintings ask for the colors – ‘This should be a red,’ for instance.” But on Complementary Colors, he applied the process in reverse, allowing the recorded playbacks to dictate the titles, based on the hues and mixtures that came to mind. And apart from any crisscrossed sense or extramusical pigments, the music itself occupies the high plateau achieved by Perelman and Shipp on their previous release, Callas, on which they attained a new level in their already telepathic musical communication.
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