Friday, August 13, 2004

Mephista - Unknown Location 5/15/03

Mephista is a band featuring one of my favorite drummers, Susie Ibarra, along with Ikue Mori on electronics and Sylvie Courvoisier on piano. I've been curious about their music for a while, but I haven't been able to track down their disc, so I was happy to get this concert in a recent trade.

Their music is quiet, patient and open spaced for the most part, proving that music doesn't have to be loud to explore and be experimental. Bubbling electronics play off against piano and light percussion. The music grows slowly with intensity, you really need to have a lot of patience with this music which demands and rewards close listening - an audience recording of a concert doesn't really do justice to the sonic textures the band is creating.

Susie Ibarra is a wonder throughout, using both sticks and brushes to create a variety of rhythms and textures that flow within the context of the electronics and piano. The level of group improvisation is high with each of the musicians attuned to one another as they sculpt their improvisations. I'm really looking forward to checking out their CD, this is a fascinating band.

Send comments to: Tim