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Saturday, 24 November 2018

Phronesis : Solos aren't really their thing

Reflections on hearing Phronesis in Cambridge (November 2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


24 November

Reflections on hearing Phronesis (@phronesismusic) at Cambridge International Jazz Festival 2018 – a gig at The Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge,
on Saturday 24 November 2018 at 7.30 p.m.

In the first set, the band gave us four numbers (or 'songs'), the third of which (Jasper Høiby, leader and bass-player, suggested) was from 2014 (and which had been heard played at The Stables in 2016), but they were all in such extended forms that one was almost aware of 'Four seasons in one day' (to quote Crowded House).

By which is meant, almost necessarily, that the instrumentalists are all 'playing the long game', painting 'a bigger picture', whereas the solo is most usually a period taken out of a shorter treatment of a song, which does not necessarily have or need an overarching feel in which such individualism, rather than the compact work of the trio, is going to feel out of place*.

They will no sooner have excitingly stepped up into an energetic, faster gear** than drop down or away, and the trick in the hearing is, when it happens, to enjoy the acceleration into that movement, but accept that it is part of a whole, in that Phronesis perform songs that are fundamentally quite modular, or moody – or modular***.


However, it is something more loose than that*, as if the structure of the song is modelling-clay that can be shaped by the interaction of the members of the trio as they go, by listening to each other, and also looking out for each other’s signals. The things that communicate themselves in this music at its height - which is already of an unbelievably and highly reliable special quality - are that everyone enjoys the others' playing, and a strong sense of freedom and of play, which can easily move between the very melodic and the strongly rhythmic.

We had tight and virtuosic drumming from Anton Eger (@AntonEger), as one will remember when the band were at Cambridge Jazz Festival in 2016, and saw the erect and observant Høiby (@jasperhoiby) centre stage, at times casting looks back and forth between Ivo Neame (@Ivoneame) on piano, and Eger. Harmonically, and in terms of the figurations and inflections that he can adeptly work with, Neame seems like a mirror to and for Eger, and Eger for Neame, with Høiby (using the bow more often than two years ago) in the role of using his playing and presence to mediate and direct, at the cross-roads of patterned communications, and gauging with Eger and Neame when to extend a section, when to move – which they always do so smoothly – to another passage, another facet, another feeling.


This is not jazz that is pretending to be clever. It just is clever, in the sense of being good and of quality, but does not even require of us to congratulate ourselves for being there to listen (or for listening to it). It takes us to places, maybe not real ones, in the band's sound-world, and, as the new album is called, perhaps tells us We Are All ?

With the three of them, deeply bowing at the front of the stage in The Mumford Theatre, who could doubt that they had given their all, and that we had truly been with them, in - and because of - the music !


End-notes :

* Another musical example, if in the world of what has been written out, might be where a chamber work is in movements, but - without a break - they are run together, such as Ravel's Sonata in A Minor (Op. Posth.) ?

** Colour coded by the principal lighting of the back, velveteen curtain, behind the band, as blue, red, and sub-marine green (the encore was purple, then red), the three songs of the second set all had this synergistic short moment, when the trio took off together, in tempo and intensity :

Perhaps we most immediately sense how alive their creativity is in this type of sound, but it is there to act as a contrast to much else that is going on in the song, such as when they are relishing a repetition or noodling with the possibilities of tossing a fragment around, yet almost without exception conveying the feeling of being both experimental and able to cope with the play-offs that they create, the interplay on which they thrive.


*** Which is not to say that they are blocks of material in, say, a Boulezian sense, where playing one determines whether one will or will not play another (e.g. his Piano Sonata No. 3), or, within a set of reels or jigs, where a group such as Lau might take a pre-arranged, short common rest - a little like the heart 'missing a bit, or a jump-cut in the cinema - and then directly juxtapose the tempo and rhythm of what went before with those of the new.




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The #UCFF Tweets about Cargo (2017)

The #UCFF Tweets about Cargo (2017)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


25 October


The #UCFF Tweets about Cargo (2017)




April McIntyre’s (@AprilMcIntyre’s) review for TAKE ONE is here








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Four #UCFF Tweets about Searching for Ingmar Bergman (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


26 October

Four #UCFF Tweets about Searching for Ingmar Bergman
(
Vermächtnis eines Jahrhundertgenies) (2018)








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)
Some #UCFF Tweets and a link about The man who killed Don Quixote (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


25 October


Some #UCFF Tweets and a link about The man who killed Don Quixote (2018)






More, by way of a comment, on Rosie Applin’s review for TAKE ONE (@TakeOneCinema)…





Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Friday, 9 November 2018

Five #UCFF Tweets that start with More Human than Human (2018)

Five #UCFF Tweets that start with More Human than Human (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


30 October

Five #UCFF Tweets that start with More Human than Human (2018)









Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Two #UCFF Tweets about Rafiki (2018)

Two #UCFF Tweets about Rafiki (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


30 October

Two #UCFF Tweets about Rafiki (2018)









Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Three #UCFF Tweets about Colette (2018)

Three #UCFF Tweets about Colette (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


1 November

Three #UCFF Tweets about Colette (2018)








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Four #UCFF Tweets about The Silence of Others (2018)

Four #UCFF Tweets about The Silence of Others (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


31 October

Four #UCFF Tweets about The Silence of Others (2018)









Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Four #UCFF Tweets about Roma (2018), Surprise Film at Cambridge Film Festival 2018

Four #UCFF Tweets about Roma (2018), Surprise Film at Cambridge Film Festival 2018

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


2 November

Four #UCFF Tweets about Roma (2018), Surprise Film at Cambridge Film Festival 2018









Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Cambridge Film Festival 2018 : Seen by #UCFF at #CamFF

Cambridge Film Festival 2018 : Seen by #UCFF at #CamFF

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


2 November

Cambridge Film Festival 2018 : Seen by #UCFF at #CamFF


Day 1 ~ Thursday 25 October

(1) 4.45 - Cargo (2017) : Emmanuel (91 mins) - Catch one film before...

(2) 8.30 - Opening Film : The Man who killed Don Quixote : Screen 1 (132 mins + Q&A)


Day 2 ~ Friday 26 October
(Voi1 2*) 1.30 Fortuna (2018??) Arriving too late for the start, instead...

(3) 1.45 - For the Birds (2018) : Screen 2 (90 mins)

(4) 4.00 - Searching for Ingmar Bergman (Vermächtnis eines Jahrhundertgenies (2018) : Screen 1 (95 mins)

(5) 6.00 - Letter from Masanjia (2018) : Screen 2 (75 mins)

(6) 8.00 - Jean-François i el sentit de la vida (Jean-François and The Meaning of Life) (2018) : Screen 2 (90 mins + Q&A)

(7) 10.15 - The Seventh Seal (1957) : Screen 2 (96 mins)


Day 3 ~ Saturday 27 October

(Extracurricular 1) Punting with Leon ‘Letter from Masanjia’ Lee [who took to it like the duck of the simile, and quickly took the pole]

(8) 2.00 - Miss Dalí (2018) : Screen 1 (165 mins + Q&A)

(Void 2*) 5.15 - Marquis de Wavrin : From the Manor to the Jungle (Marquis de Wavrin : Du manoir à la jungle) (2017) : Screen 3 (85 mins)

(9 ?) 8.30 - The Blot (1921) : Emmanuel (93 mins)


Day 4 ~ Sunday 28 October

(Extracurricular 2) Punting with Ventura ‘Miss Dalí’ Pons [who took to the Cam straightaway - taking it in, visually and photographically]

(10) 2.0 - If…. (1968) : Screen 1 (111 mins + Q&A)

(11) 5.45 - Júlia ist (2017) : Screen 2 (96 mins)

(12) 9.15 - Nancy (2014) : Screen 3 (86 mins)


Day 5 ~ Monday 29 October

(12½) 12.45 - 3 Days in Quiberon (2013) : Screen 1 (115 mins)

Then, as it falters, instead...

(13½) 2.30 - Roobha (2018) : Screen 3 (91 mins + Q&A)

(14½) 7.15 - The Free Life (La vida lliure / A Life of Freedom) (2017) : Screen 2 (90 mins)

(15½) 8.45 - Gentlemen prefer Blondes (1953) : Screen 3 (91 mins)


Day 6 ~ Tuesday 30 October

(16) 12.00 - Visionary Landscapes : Snow (1963) + A Year along The Abandoned Road (1991) : Screen 1 (8 + 12 mins)

(16½) 1.00 - Burning (2014) : Screen 2 (148 mins)

Insufficiently interested, despite (extra) wine, to stay the course for so long,
so abandoned in favour of lunch, then…

(17½) 4.00 - The Archive (2018) + Feline (2018) : Screen 2 (12 + 78 mins + Q&A)

(18½) 6.20 - Rafiki (2018) : Screen 2 (82 mins)

(19½) 10.00 - More Human than Human (2018) : Screen 3 (79 mins)


Day 7 ~ Wednesday 31 October

(20½) 12.45 - The Silence of Others (2018) : Screen 1 (96 mins)

(21) 3.00 - Birds of Passage (2018) : Screen 1 (125 mins)

Too fatigued to continue with this one, so a break before re-watching…

(22) 6.00 - Roobha (2018) : Screen 2 (91 mins)

Missing the Q&A to catch the last hour of...

(22½) 7.30 - From Cairo to The Cloud : The World of Cairo Geniza (2018) : Screen 3 (92 mins)

(Void 3*) 9.45 - Gwendolyn (2017) : Screen 3 (85 mins)


Day 8 ~ Thursday 1 November

(23½) 10.30 - Malcolm is a Little Unwell : Screen 3 (introduction + 80 mins)

(24) 12.45 - From Cairo to The Cloud : The World of Cairo Geniza : Screen 1 (92 mins + Q&A)

Seeing the first thirty minutes, and then coming back for the Q&A...

(25) 3.00 - The Image Book : Screen 1 (84 mins)

(26) 5.00 - Colette : Screen 1 (111 mins)

(27) 8.00 - Closing Film : Monsters and Men (2018) : Screen 1 (96 mins)

(28) 10.00 - Surprise Film : Roma (2018) : Screen 1 (135 mins)


End-notes :

* I.e., by 'Void', there was no realistic prospect of watching the film, or of continuing to watch it to the end, with the resources of energy available...




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)