Alfred Vogel, Sylvie Courvoisier


VÖ am 19. April 2019


Why not do everything differently? Break with all expectations? Or even better, switch off everything remotely associated to the expected and replace it with curiosity, empathy and an unconditional will to openly communicate. Move from the familiar in to the unknown. These are maxims that should of course go without saying in any kind of improvisation. But alas, this is seldom the case. In every truth that manifests itself in word, image or sound, lays an underlying, deeper truth that needs to be guessed at, felt and transcended. It is here, on this threshold, that art begins. It is here that ‘PULSE’ can be felt.

Sylvie Courvoisier, the Swiss pianist and long term resident of New York and the Austrian drummer Alfred Vogel had never played together prior to meeting to record their first joint Album ‘Pulse’. Neither knew what to expect. They entered a huge room that wanted to be filled. With sound. With imagination. With pulse. So, they began to play. With each other, around each other in a devoted pas de deux of spontaneous ideas. Intuitively, a series of dynamic sound sculptures evolved which, when listened to retrospectively, reminded of the art of the master of dynamics Alexander Calder and led to each of the eight pieces being named after one of his works.

Having forgotten to bring along his bag of drum sticks, Vogel was forced to make do with new equipment which led to him taking a much more minimalistic and transparent approach than we are used to hearing from this bundle of energy. Courvoisier, with psychoacoustic sensitivity, triggers expectations on the grand piano only to divert them at the last moment. Her playing is like a powerful whisper on the keys.

Sensitized to each other to the extreme, the two poles palpate each other and transmit what they hear to their fingers via tendons, nerves and muscles until it is finally translated into sound. Or not. On "Pulse", Sylvie Courvoisier and Alfred Vogel have proven themselves to be authorities of dynamic transformation.


Alfred Vogel


Sylvie Courvoisier