September 1, 2015
1. Mutual introduction
Dutch musician-composer and bandleader Ab Baars performs on tenor saxophone, clarinet and shakuhachi. He focuses mainly on Ab Baars Solo, Baars-Buis, Fish Scale Sunrise, Perch Hen Brock & Rain, Ab Baars Trio, Duo Baars-Henneman and the ICP Orchestra. His wife Ig Henneman is also a Dutch musician who performs on viola and writes compositions for orchestras, ensembles, soloists, including pieces for film and theater. As an improviser, she mainly focuses on the Ig Henneman Sextet, Duo Baars-Henneman and Perch Hen Brock & Rain.
We met Ab and Ig during this year's edition of Konfrontationen festival from Nickelsdorf (Austria) and when it got dark outside we sat down, under a tree, to discuss certain aspects of music and the universe surrounding it.
So, what would you say would be some good introductory albums into free improv for the kids who haven’t listened to anything yet? Can you think of some good ones as a good introduction?
Ig Henneman: Wow, that’s a good question.
I mean …there are kids who don’t even know this thing exists.
AB Baars: That’s difficult.
Ig Henneman: Maybe... do you know the “Perch Hen Brock and Rain” record? It will be out soon. That’s with Ingrid Laudbrock and Tom Rainey. Him on drums and Ingrid on reeds and Ab on reeds and shakuhachi.
So it’s not out yet.
Ig Henneman: It’s not out yet. But that’s totally free improvised music. Nobody is the bandleader; nobody takes initiatives. For me, that’s the best example to listen to. It’s... still when we listen back to the first concert - that’s the concert we want to bring out, in Finland - it’s totally amazing what happens, like making compositions and grooves and colors. What we did also now (i.e Konfrontationen Festival 2015) with that combination of people, just going out on stage.
What if someone would like to start listening to your work (i.e Ig Henneman), what would you say is a good introduction, one album? Can you think of a good one?
Ig Henneman: Hmm, maybe my first album, it’s from 1991.
What’s it called?
Ig Henneman: Ig Henneman Kwintet - In Grassetto. But it’s still... I could listen back to it and it’s really… the things I worked on until now. It is probably a bit more specific direction... Maybe I can pass the question to you (i.e Ab Baars), with the best introduction to your work.
...for someone who hasn’t listened to any Ab Baars.
AB Baars: Well, I think the trio CD we made with Misha Mengelberg would be a nice introduction.
What year was that?
AB Baars: That was 2008. It was Ig Henneman, me and Misha Mengelberg, and it’s all improvised, but there is a great knowledge of form, of melodies and of going in, going out. I really like that disc.
*photo credits: Uli Templin