その装丁及び内容の良さにて当店では人気レーベルとなっているフランスIIKKI。四季それぞれに合わせた楽曲の出版を展開すべく立ち上げたサブレーベルLAAPSの第一弾作品がコレ！！ピアノ、詩の朗読、パーカッション、ギター&エレクトロニクスからなる4~5名の即興プロジェクトThe Alvaret Ensembleによる、まさしく"冬"にぴったりな楽曲集。バイオリン&チェロ奏者をゲストに迎えオランダの小さな教会にて夜の時間帯にのみ三日間行われたスコアやディスカッションなしの完全即興。現場に漂う空気、静謐でありながらも一音一音の強い存在感、そして良い違和感を加える朗読、やはりIIKKIファンなら絶対にハマる一枚です。
The Alvaret Ensemble is the improvisatory collective based around Greg Haines (piano), Jan Kleefstra (voice, poems), Romke Kleefstra (guitar, bass and effects) and Sytze Pruiksma (percussion). ‘Ea’ is the group’s third album, after releasing the acclaimed self-titled double debut and the second album ‘Skeylja’ in respectively 2012 and 2014. ‘Ea’ was recorded over three nights in a small church in the Netherlands. As usual the group invited other musicians to join, as they did on the first two albums and also during their live concerts. On ‘Ea’ the group is expanded with the Polish violist Olga Wojciechowska and Portuguese cellist Joana Guerra, that became permanent members since the recordings.
Just like on previous recordings The Alvaret Ensemble began to play without scores or discussion. The setting in the church, recording at night and the prominent role for the string section results in an album that comes closer the ‘Alvaret’s’ first album than to Skeylja. Again there were hours of recordings, which took the group months again to compile and mix the album. Release dates were even postponed, as some first editions of the album were eventually rejected by the band itself, to start the whole process over again. At long last the group came to the double album ‘Ea’ and gave it a new home on the new record label Laaps. In reviews the Alvaret’s debut was stated to be tender, quiet and restrained; an introspective album, which stark beauty was perfect for winter, when color has been leeched from the landscape and all has been laid bare. ‘Ea’ might fit that description perfectly. Even better, maybe.