Ekkozone is a wonderful music ensemble founded by the Danish percussion player, composer and vibraphone player Mathias Reumert in 2013. Its repertoire spans from contemporary classical music to jazz and World music. The band consists of a quartet or more members depending on the venue and project and we watched it with its five members in the 1st of November evening at Borusan Music House.
Ekkozone’s members were Hélène Navasse on the flute, John Ehde on the cello, Raphaël Aggery on percussions (marimba, vibraphone, piano, drums) as well as Anders Kann Elten and Mathias Reumert. The opening piece was “Rain Tree” by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, who also composed the score for Akira Kurosawa’s movie “Ran”. They played this piece as three percussion players and I felt like we were in a forest under the vibraphone and marimba rain when I closed my eyes due to the acoustics caused by the high ceilings of the venue. Rain drops left and right, first slowly then faster and faster… The flute and the cello joined in on the second piece and they played an Astor Piazzolla tango whose title I cannot recall now. I reminisced about Astor Piazzolla & Gary Burton’s “The New Tango” as a fan of the vibraphone and Gary Burton; what a marvellous album that is, I will note that down here. They performed a piece by the Danish contemporary music composer Ole Buck after that. The pieces were more minimalist near the end of the concert and afterwards they played Hungarian composer György Ligeti’s “Hungarian Rock”, composed in 1978 for the harpsichord. I thought that if this rhythmic composition from 1978 were to be played with the guitar in 2018, we would be stepping in a Mary Halvorson-esque world, or the Scofield & Abercrombie duo. Even only drums and guitar would be great, maybe somebody took this step, I took a note down to research further into this.
I could say that elegant layers and textures piling on top of each other dominated the concert in general. Even though these textures were rhythmically different on occasion, they never clashed with each other; they complimented and completed one another. It seems easy to do but this actually requires mastery. I think the notice that says “Play Loud” on the back of their album cover is a testimony to this polyphonic harmony. I am happy to have listened to these 5 musicians, who had incredible techniques, with their great musical choices appropriate for the venue. For those who have missed the concert; they released an album in 2018 in which they perform Steve Reich compositions in two different sextet formations. Also we should mention that the new season at Borusan Music House has started and their November schedule is filled with great performances. Take a look and you will find a concert you will enjoy for sure. Continue to support live music. Stay grooving!