Jeff Morris feat. Ulrich Maiß & Eric KM Clark – “WITH STRINGS – Live Sampling in Counterpoint” (Ravello, 2019)

“WITH STRINGS – Live Sampling in Counterpoint” is the newest release of “Ravello Records” and “Parma Recordings”. Album was recorded by Ulrich Maiß (electric cello) and Eric KM Clark (violin). Both musicians have fascinating and modern style, innovative sound and are filled with evocative, fresh and marvelous ideas. Their music join together free improvisation, the newest tendencies of contemporary academical music, electronics, innovations of computer and electronics devices, modern ways of composing and inventive instrumentation. Both musicians are famous and original players – they put brave, noisy, ambitious and frantic experiments in every way of their compositions. That makes an effort to fresh, bright, powerful and luminous sound. All music of this album was composed by Jeff Morris. It’s a second release of this original and talented composer – he had already made a great debut on 2018, when “Interfaces: Jazz meets electronics” with Karl Berger and Joe Hertenstein was released. Jeff Morris is talented composer, who has interesting, wide and passionate composing style. Rare and exotic combos, eclectic synthesis of styles, marvelous and effective instrumentation, basics of composing ways of contemporary academical music, who meet the ancient music of Renaissance and Baroque counterpoint, early polyphony, strict and regular classicism, wild and free romantism and post romantism, expressionism, post-expressionism, impressionism and various styles of modernism. This huge stylistic variety is the key of Jeff Morris music. Here together meets avant-garde jazz and strict polyphony, sonoristic and concrete music, synthetic and unusual sounds of electronics, primitive minimalism and difficult, wide and rich musical language, experimental music and other elements. Composer can masterfully mix up the bright and strong accents, without any force or effort. The elements rest the same and save his own character and sound, what’s the most important thing of all. The music of Jeff Morris is modern and innovative, but still has dozens of ancient music intonations, wild and free improvisations or experimental music tunes. The traditions and innovations meet here all together and make splendid, bright, passionate and expressive sound.

“WITH STRINGS – Live Sampling in Counterpoint” has all the main elements of Jeff Morris playing and composing style. All the compositions are written for electric cello and violin. Acoustics instruments are brightly illustrated by electronics. The compositions have their own character, composing technique, wide and rich musical language, expressive, passionate and bright expressions and simply marvelous instrumentation. Serialism, dodecaphony, sonoristic and concrete music, field recordings are joined with counterpoint of Baroque and Renessaince, traditional playing techniques, expressions and ways of composing of various centuries. Primitive and simple minimalism also is remembered – where’s the episodes, who are based on repetitive, eclectic and static series of rhythms or melodic excerpts. The main principe of composing is based on contrasts between absilutely different things – electronics, live samples and strict counterpoint. Jeff Morris manages to fuse these two uncompairable things simply effective and innovative. Special effects, weird tunes, strage sounds, intonations of sounds machine, computer and electronics devices, fields recordings, sonic system’s experiments, alterated and modified timbres are connected together with expressive, emotional, sensitive and imaginary melodies of violin. The difference between electronics and acoustics is masterfully demonstrated, as well as organic and marvelous combos of these two groups of instruments. The musical pattern is wide and rich – it has huge and colorful musical language, large knownledge of playing techniques, styles and expressions, rare combos, exotic and eclectic pairs, independent and solid polyphonic melodies, sharp harmony and all types of rhythmics. The composer without any force goes through different moods and expressions, who are especially emotional and strong. From subtle and lonely tunes it goes to repetitive and depressive mood, ambient and rough, harsh and aggressive excerpts or dramatic, expressive and tremendous culminations. It’s impossible to predict, what’s going to happen next – composer plays with contrasting and different playing techniques and tunes. He manages to find rare combos, dive in fascinating and innovative experiments, expand the technical abilities of instruments or expressions. Silent, abandoned, primitive or ascetic music can suddenly burst on terrific and scandalous culminations with shrieky, low and long during tunes, dizzy passages, bright and expressive melodies or rigorous and luminous pieces. It’s a real pleasure to listen to this music – both musicians create the best quality of sound, inspiring, engaging and effective musical language, bordering dynamics, impressive instrumentation and original interpretation of compositions. Precise and virtuosic playing technique joins with fantastic virages, dizzy and charming passages, wide range of electronics and special effects, sound experiments, inventive and organic decisions, home-made instruments, experimental and shocking ways of playing and rich expressions. All that makes tremendous and innovative sound of this album.

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