Emily Cook & Dana Ma – “Cook​/​Ma” (Crucible, 2019)

Two great improvisers – Emily Cook (bass clarinet) and Dana Ma (electronics) – are playing together in “Cook​/​Ma”. The music is based on free improvisation, experimental music and electronics. Both improvisers like to experiment on various fields of musical language – their music is a mix of evocative ideas, passionate turns, eclectic stylistic pairs, specific or rare decisions, exclusive instrumentation and pleasant surprises. Modern musical language, vitality, huge range of expressions and moods is used here to make an expressive, bright and innovative sound.

“Cook​/​Ma” is based on synthesis of experimental music, innovations of contemporary academical music and free improvisation. Stylistic virages, contrasts between composed and improvised music, instant improvising and spontaneous solos are frequently used in this album and make it inspiring, free and dynamic. Both musicians have emotional and expressive playing manner – their own style combined together with masterful virtuosity, precise and fantastic playing technique, the best sound quality, creativity and innovative conceptions. Wide range of emotions is expressed here – from vitality, driving and crazy passages to moving trills, inspiring riffs, strange timbres, sonoristic experiments, ambient and abstract mood to dramatic culminations. Deep tunes of bass clarinet bring new colors to background and make the fundament of melody line. Emily Cook is experimentating on timbral and sonoristic section – rough, aggressive, abandonned or heavy clarinet tunes are mixed up with strange timbres, soft and meditative samples, deep and static bass line. Lyrical contemplations or monotnous minimalistic samples are changed by extremely dark and haunted pieces from time to time or go directly to moving, touching, tremendous and passionate solos. All kinds of timbres and sounds extracted here – rough, aggressive, tight, soft, sweet, romantic, dreamy, abandonned, ambient, vibrant and simply gorgeous tunes are used here and repeated silmunateously. Bass clarinet has a bright and independent melody line illustrated and accompagnied by all kinds of rhythms, tunes, ornaments and expressions. It has an inspiring and evocative sound. Wide range of electronics form another side of the album – ambient, glitch, drone, sonoristic experiments, synth and computer sounds, spectral, concrete and sonoristic music elements, amplifications, in-puts, field recordings and other elements are professionally mastered by Dana Ma. The electronics are contrasting to natural and expressive bass clarinet – here meets dynamic melodies, remarkable solos, deep haunted tunes, stable bass line and all kinds of modified sounds, synth tunes, electronics and its wide range of techniques. An exclusive instrumentation is made by using electronics and acoustics – musicians manage to create an astonishing and fresh sound by putting live, vital and expressive acoustics and synth modern electronics. Expansion of technical abilities, sonoristic experiments, research of specific or homa-made playing techniques or integration of radical and provocative musical decisions also are frequently used by both musicians. That makes an effort to inspiring, evocative and innovative sound.

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