Eve Risser | Experimental Sound Studio | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Eve Risser All Ages Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Mon., May 9, 7:30 p.m. 2016

Plenty of improvising pianists explore sounds that come from tinkering around inside the body of their instrument, whether that means placing an object within to change the timbre of a particular string when struck, or directly attacking the strings with hands, mallets, or in the case of Cor Fuhler, powerful magnets. But to my ears, no one has developed those techniques like French pianist Eve Risser, who spent the bulk of her early years studying classical flute but returned to her first instrument after falling in love with the music of Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, and Thelonious Monk. Though she initially didn’t feel confident of her conventional technique, she’s proven herself via work in France’s Orchestre National de Jazz and her quirky improvising quartet New Songs (with vocalist Sofia Jernberg and guitarists David Stackenäs and Kim Myhr). But she’s found a ripe avenue for expression inside the piano as well, firmly establishing her own sound on the 2012 album En Corps (Dark Tree). On that trio session with bassist Benjamin Duboc and drummer Edward Perraud she generates a fascinating flow of alternately frictive, ringing, and rumbling sounds, dispatching any sense of novelty with the power of her playing. Even more astonishing and original is last year’s solo album Des Pas Sur la Neige (Clean Feed), on which Risser uses a veritable tool kit of devices, including an EBow, to assemble an otherworldly profusion of haunting, sustained sounds—alternately ethereal, sepulchral, and jarring. Tonight she’ll perform solo and play duets with bassist Jason Roebke.

Peter Margasak

Price: $10, $5 students and members

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