Jazzfest Berlin Outer Spaces
Witch ’n’ Monk with LUX:NM and Jim Black: “FLUID FORMATIONS”
This newly Berlin-based duo deploys for Jazzfest Berlin free improvisation to build endlessly twisting, otherworldly art songs and partners with LUX:NM and Jim Black to improvise on abstract video scores and to present new arrangements of songs from its recent eponymous album.
Witch ’n’ Monk is the duo of singer-guitarist Heidi Heidelberg and Colombian flutist Mauricio Velasierra, recently relocated to Berlin from London. On its recent album for John Zorn’s Tzadik label the group used free improvisations as a raw material, editing and sampling to produce a rhythmically complex universe drawing upon global sounds, but with an intricacy recalling vintage prog-rock. Yet the richly varied, charismatic singing and melodic invention of Heidelberg and the zigzagging, multi-layer flute patterns of Velasierra eschew empty bombast in favour a fizzy, otherworldly atmosphere marked by pop precision. In a special two-part performance the duo will collaborate with the Berlin contemporary music ensemble LUX:NM and the instantly recognisable drumming of Jim Black. Half of the concert will feature group improvisations based on a series of 3-D video scores created by Swiss artist Florian Japp that mix footage of flora and fauna with computer-generated abstractions inspired by the natural world, among other things reflecting the intersection between the latest discoveries in microbiology and indigenous cosmologies from the Amazon. The second half of the programme will focus on new arrangements of songs from the album, translating the crunchy guitar licks, throbbing grooves and stacked flute lines for the extended winds-and-strings line-up with LUX:NM.
This concert is part of Jazzfest Berlin Outer Spaces
Mauricio Velasierra flutes, charango
Heidi Heidelberg vocals, guitar, violin
Ruth Velten saxophone
Silke Lange accordion
Florian Juncker trombone
Zoé Cartier cello
Vitaliy Kyanitsia piano
Jim Black drums, percussion
Martin Offik sound design
Florian Japp video