from the press

Dark Music Days Festival in Reykjavik

 

Mustekala – Kulttuurilehti

http://mustekala.info/sivusilma/a-dense-crepuscular-gathering-myrkir-musikdagar-dark-music-days-reykjavik-26-28-1-2017/

 

A Dense, Crepuscular Gathering: Myrkir Músíkdagar / Dark Music Days, Reykjavík

26.-28.1.2017

Text: Lauri Supponen

 

The North American protagonist in this tale of the Inter-Atlantic at the Dark Music Days is exclusively Robert Dick, who came to the festival

with his duo partner, the German pianist and improvisor Ursel Schlicht. Together they presented a groovy programme of pieces led and

conceived by both artists, as well as a collectively written suite THE GALILEAN MOONS as the centre-piece of the gig. In a marvelous way, the

music of this duo embraces the dual nature of this – in the end rather elusive – Inter-Atlantic music, but also surpasses it stylistically. These

were great jazz-pieces. I was bobbing my head to Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat (introduced as ”that’s the way the cookie crumbles”), which was

composed of scales of compound 5ths, both played and sung into the massive bass flute in F. A generous amplification made sure that the

sound kept its body throughout in the dry acoustics of the Kaldalón chamber hall. THE GALILEAN MOONS was a carlsaganesque

circumnavigation of the moons of Jupiter, their different temperaments imagined by the artists. It was also a work showcasing four different

flutes out of the seven that Dick had brought with him. Io has low tongue rams on bass flute – with carefully placed mikes – and brushes on

piano strings to evoke earthquakes and volcanoes, Europa inhabits a high, icy world with precarious, heavily amplified whistle-tones on the

piccolo. There’s something quite satisfying in letting oneself go along a naïve programme. In a way, it brings back a time when cinema didn’t

exist yet, and music had to do the job of the image as well.

New York City Jazz Review – March 2017

Robert Dick and Ursel Schlicht on the Interpretations Series at Roulette, NYC

 

Schlicht and Dick are both masters of expanded technique — the piano’s strings getting as much attention as the keyboard and a bevy of flutes from piccolo to subcontrabass were employed with vocal and percussive approaches broadening their expected reach. The central piece of five and the title of their latest disc The Galilean Moons (NEMU) consisted of four parts, punchy thwacks to metallic howls and vocal chuffs demarcating the room, and the duo closed with the partly-recited “Dark Matter”, subcontrabass flute towering as Dick declaimed Dadaist texts.