Stunning solo debut albumfrom Melbourne based musician Aviva Endean. Aviva is a clarinet player, improviser, composer and performance-maker. Her work with sound spans a wide variety of performance contexts including experimental and improvised music, creating immersive sonic environments, new chamber music, band projects, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Cinder : ember : ashes is Aviva’s first solo release and marks a move towards a more introspective sound. A collection of both composed and improvised recordings, the album offers a selection of liminal, ethereal and elusive resonances. Distinct and refined instrumentations set up a framework of unique sonic environments, which then become a landscape for Aviva’s slowly morphing and contemplative improvisations.
Several tracks explore a veiling of the clarinet, placing another sonic force alongside the instrument which then works together with the clarinet in a symbiotic relationship. In ‘apparition : above’ Aviva uses the skin of the timpani as a resonant chamber which alters, distorts and beats against the tone of the clarinet and amplifies its resonant frequencies into a swirling and glissing halo of sound. ‘vapour : between’ transfigures the tone of the clarinet through a miniature pocket-sized amplifier, the sound of the clarinet distorted and fragmented in a playful and rhythmic trance-like meditation. The umtshingo (harmonic flute) reveals itself in ‘undulations : behind’ through a multitude of subtle effects and feedback, through which the listener may eventually distinguish the beautiful simplicity of this instrument.
In part, this album took inspiration from the musicologist Andrew Killicks’ concept of ‘holicipation’—a term he coined to describe solo musical practices that are not rehearsals, not practicing for something, but are playing for oneself. The playing is ‘holistic’ in the sense that it constitutes audience, composer and performer, and has no investment in a musical future, but instead finds nourishment in the present. Aviva’s introduction to this term from the musicologist Cara Stacey (who also introduced Aviva to the umtshingo, featured on the album) inspired a refocusing of Aviva’s practice in a more introspective, meditative approach to solo playing, in parallel to her heavily collaborative artistic practices. As it happened, some of these solo explorations eventually developed into pieces that she chose to share with the world, but the process of ‘holicipation’ none the less constituted a vital part of this music’s formation.
Sofa is extremely proud to present this landmark record of collective music making. It is presented with a beautiful artwork by video artist Kjell Bjørgeengen.