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Wide Pointillisme – With Matthias Müller

Photo: Guilherme Rodrigues. Müller/Dyberg residency at Au Topsi Pohl In March 2022. Concerts In duo and with Steve Heather, Rieko Okuda, André Vida, Joel Grip, Willi Kellers and more

‘Intersecting musical lines reveal their constituent points on alto saxophonist Mia Dyberg and trombonist Matthias Müller’s half-hour improvised duo, Wide Pointillism. Dyberg is prolific in the duo format, releasing Circumscription with pianist Marina Džukljev and Naboer with pianist Rieko Okuda in 2020, alongside her trio releases. Last year, Müller documented the development of his distinctive style on his second solo recording, Acud/Bunker, and released a duo with multi-instrumentalist Pierre-Yves Martel, Dis-Drill. They’ve recorded together previously on Scope, from cellist Guilherme Rodrigues’ large Red List Ensemble. Both musicians maintain a reputation of remaining comfortable in a range of contexts, from fairly straight-ahead bands to textural soundscapes generated from extended techniques. Wide Pointillism is closer to the quieter, conceptual strain of echtzeitmusik, though not so unconventional as to obscure the identities of the instruments.

The music often plays to the title, utilizing these typically melodic instruments as rhythm machines to play pulses that can appear as lines at scale. A trombone line punctuated with silences reduces further to a flutter. A sustained sax tone distorts into peaks and valleys, like raw data around a curve, to become just the points by way of tongue slaps. Müller varies pressure to create discrete peaks in an otherwise continuous flow of sound. Dyberg employs what sounds like a metal mute to spotlight the jagged ends of vibrations during a sustained buzz. They both use objects against the instruments like a slow guiro for more pointillistic playing. The instrumental lines usually feel parallel but, as they disintegrate to points, can sound intertwined, contrapuntal. At one point, the trombone provides a backbeat for some virtuosic saxophone doodling; at another, roles reverse, and the saxophone lays down an urgent chopsticks for resonance-mimicking, circling glissandos from the trombone. The sound is recognizably saxophone and trombone, but with a healthy dose of textural variation from extended techniques. Dyberg’s melancholic intonations and Müller’s musical sniffs and valve-releasing-steam exhalations continue to serve as a kind of watermark for their styles. ‘ Keith Prosk, harmonic series

Released January 9, 2021

Mia Dyberg saxophone
Matthias Müller trombone

Recorded in Berlin 2020
Production by Müller / Dyberg

Matthias Müller was born 1971 in Zeven, Germany and starting playing trombone in the local brass choir at the age of 10. From 1994 to 1999 he studied jazz-trombone at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, where he also made his first steps into improvised music. His CD „Bhavan“, which was released in 2004, was produced by Chicago based musician and journalist John Corbett. In the same year he moved to Berlin and has since been regularly playing with internationally recognized improvisers such as John Edwards, Mark Sanders, George Lewis, Johannes Bauer, Jeb Bishop, Tobias Delius, Olaf Rupp, Sofia Jernberg, Eve Risser, John Butcher, Nate Wooley, Clayton Thomas, Michael Vorfeld, Axel Dörner, and many more. He is a member of the 24-piece improvising ensemble, “Splitter Orchester“, and was also a member of the “German-French Jazzensemble“ under the direction of Albert Mangelsdorff. In addition, Müller is also active in the field of contemporary music and writes music for theatre and dance pieces. He has toured Africa, Asia, Australia, North America and many countries in Europe, having played on numerous festivals, and released more than 40 CDs of his own projects, including a number on his own label „MaMüMusic“. His playing style is characterized by an extraordinary range of unconventional and partly self-developed techniques which stretch the boundaries of sound and improvisation while staying true to the musical process. “Müller’s musicianship is outstanding, he commands his instrument extraordinarily well using all kinds of mutes and circular breathing as well as extended techniques like overtones and overblowing.”Martin Schray, Freejazzblog 

The berlin-based saxophonist Mia Dyberg plays in the fields of Jazz and free improvisation. Her unique melodic expression emerges from sound experiments & scandinavian melancholy. She composes for Mia Dyberg Trio which plays free jazz inspired by Burroughs. Clean Feed Records released Ticket! which was reviewed by jazz magazines such as 4 stars in Downbeat Magazine [USA].  She is a steady member of the dadaistic improv-collective Klub Demboh, playing with Axel Dörner and Tristan Honsinger every Monday. ‘Mia Dyberg is a saxophonist who is well inside the free improvised. But not without having “head and tail” in what she does. Dyberg’s playing is controlled and easy-to-grasp. She has full control of the free but also has a good sense for jazz history’ – Jan Granlie, Salt Peanuts.