The art of improvisation is a difficult one—there are so many concurrent factors affecting each performance that no single act of rhythmic inventiveness ever resembles any prior iteration. But when an artist maintains a clear direction throughout their spontaneous expression of sound, there is a vibrancy and momentum that is only felt during these moments of impulsive creativity. Recently pianist/sound designer Shinya Sugimoto and electronic artist Jeremy Young convened at Microscope Gallery in New York City to create a warped but moving ode to the power of jazz and static.
Built around 4 movements, these songs combine the fluid notes of Sugimoto’s piano with the clattering soundscapes that Young improvises to remarkable effect. As each piece is drawn out by the ingenuity and restless vision of both musicians, the music begins to take shape, with Sugimoto’s gentle progressions calmly forming the foundation on which Young creates his atmospheric bouts of sound and clamor. They’re not interested in anything resembling melody so much as they are the feeling and resolve that each track affords them. An eerie mood permeates these songs, but we’re drawn in despite our reservations and lack of familiarity with the material—and that is the true mark of great improvisers.