Composer - Player - Audience

Inner Bird
For Alto saxophone and Drum Set

I often wonder questioning what happens deep inside the musical soul while improvising. To which extent the action-reaction instincts are eternal, are coded with primal gestures which are only dressed with “fashionable clothing” or are styled by nature. Even without a conclusive answer, the question alone raises interesting comparison points between musicians from different Epoque and distanced corners of the musical realms, not only in the improvisation context. For example, who would be the soulmate (living in the 20th century) of Monteverdi? If Paul Mccartney would be sent back (in time) to an earlier period, to who’s music his music would be like? Can we even speak of such transcendental characteristics – beyond time and culture?

The inner Bird is an observation on the music of charlie parker, an attempt to undress the gestures to see the raw material they conceal – and then redress them, in another context. The way this score is written is inspired by the Omnibook (the collection of parker’s solos), its graphics, and the freedom and flexibility given to the players create a chain of interpretations. A chain initiated by parker’s recordings, which in their turn are interpretations of existing songs, throughout this piece and to the interpretational dimension added by its performers.

Igal Myrtenbaum

Inner Bird
For Alto saxophone and Drum Set by Igal Myrtenbaum (2018) 12 min.

Igal is a “difficult” composer; he has intricate thoughts that branch out and meet flashes of distant similarities that strands into mental lattice producing musical pieces. Igal’s works are usually not that easily played technically speaking. Still, more than they are “not that easy” to play, it is even harder to grasp his ideas and deliver them in ways I’m accustomed to and confident in. i.e., as I know very well of Igal’s ability to define and purify ideas and delusions, I feel that I am responsible for the almost impossible task of going on a golden path, very spontaneous yet extremely precise. Even the slightest deviation or momentarily lost focus will make the whole thing in ruins, and then I will fail to represent him and his piece…

But Igal, my friend, all those things of “representation” and “ego” and “piece” as an artifact one can own and represent and other themes outer to the artistic deed, he is just not into it. Therefore, it is a privilege and a thrill, every time, by an old or new piece, be carried with him, and to spend some time in the higher spheres of doing, and intention, and of letting go of plenty of things which are (too much) down to earth.