The Alvaret Ensemble
There was a Hard Times article recently that carried the headline 'Audience Just Sticking Around to See How Drummer Incorporates That Gong'. I must confess I felt that in spades when I had the privilege of seeing a rare Alvaret Ensemble performance at the 2013 Denovali Swingfest. The array of instrumentation that lay on stage was intimidating & all used to full and vibrant effect.
The Alvaret Ensemble is another one of the myriad projects that feature the Kleefstra bro's - an unstoppable force in the minimalist world. Consisting in full of Greg Haines, Jan & Romke Kleefstra, and Sytze Pruiksma. They make Neo-Classical music with an infusion of poetic spoken word in the Frisian language (as is the case with most if not all Kleefstra projects). Their debut self titled LP on Denovali was recorded at the famous Grunewald church in Berlin (home to the recordings, among others, of Dustin O'Hallorans Verloben.) I managed to chat with the band after the performance and they waxed lyrical about the improvisational nature of that recording session - which also featured Martyn Heyne and Nils Frahm (although to my distress I learned that all the recordings with Nils Frahm were left out of the LP). Certainly, a band that pleases everyone who dives deep enough into the sonic output to uncover the true beauty found in its depths.