“Reizigers” features the timelessness of travel by musicians who give themselves up to the lure of the music and follow their hearts to full communion with the soul and the spirit, like those fateful people of Hamelin.
Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg; Bela Bartok, Aram Khachaturian gently collide with the beautiful restlessness of the Manouche in the gilded, contrapuntal arena of Johann Sebastian Bach and the realm of the harmolodic expansionism of Ornette Coleman. Strange bedfellows, yet not quite as all are linked by six degrees (or less) of separation with the two contemporary musicians of note who have decocted their music into an art of their own. None of the music of those great composers is explicit, yet everything they invented is suggested in a singular manner by the Dutch classical guitarist, Herman Schamp and the Manouche/Flemish gypsy musician and preternatural genius, Tcha Limberger; all of this on the incredibly rich and subtly beguiling record, Reizigers (Travelers in translation). This is a worthy follow-up to an early duo record simply entitled, Standards (Self-Produced, 2010) where the two guitarists revisited and dramatically re-imagined the music of Django Reinhardt, Joseph Kosma and Jimmy McHugh.
Reizigers is timeless travel by two musicians who emerge from a programmatic vanishing point only to cut a wide swathe across the musical topography of a hundred years and infinitely more, travelling in many more ways than one. They invent melodically as they proceed from one complete history of ideology to another; they develop harmonically rich tracks from out of the blue, it would seem, surprising even themselves, and meander like rivers in spate—sometimes making Medusa-like rivulets of sound as musical ideas push forth for new directions. Rhythmically they are astounding, reaching deep into the realm of the great growling bass, strumming while they suggest the rapid-fire staccato of snare drums. Occasionally Limberger will drop a bomb-like dark note on a bass string, like a blast to the bass drum, or Schamp will scatter his notes like rim-shots to timpani and tom-tom. So complete are these two musicians and orchestra-like is their harmonic richness that the improvisations begin to develop like celestial concertos, and fugues and rondos—without the form, of course, but certainly imitating the dynamics that have informed such musical forms from the pens of great masters.
The question, then, is: are Tcha Limberger and Herman Schamp great masters, or at least imitating the art of the great masters? The answer seems to suggest the latter and in many more ways than one. The breathtaking impressions of “De Morgen,” “De Regen” fill the senses with the irresistible hope and the splendors of natural physicality. “Stil” rolls, sways and rumbles with the dichotomy of the roaring motion of a still life. “Reizigers” features the timelessness of travel by musicians who give themselves up to the lure of the music and follow their hearts to full communion with the soul and the spirit, like those fateful people of Hamelin. Fugues break down into endless improvisations; rondos awaken in the future. Even the guitar is re-imagined as an instrument of telling narratives and marvelous versatility in the hands of two new masters—Tcha Limberger and Herman Schamp—musicians with so far apart in ideation that they could only be spectacular together.
Tracks: Der Morgen; De Regen; Stil; Verlangen; Feest; Reizigers.
Personnel: Tcha Limberger: guitars; Herman Schamp: classical guitar, guitars.
Tcha Limberger – Website: www.myspace.com/limbergertcha
Herman Schamp – Website: www.hermanschamp.be/
Release date: November 2011
Reviewed by: Raul da Gama