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Cover

Lars Seniuk / New German Art Orchestra

Pendulum

  • Type CD
  • Label Mons Records
  • UPC 4260054555765
  • Catalog number MR 874576
  • Release date 24 April 2015

About the album

The multi-award winning New German Art Orchestra, whose members all belong to the young German jazz elite, is one of the best big bands in Germany. Under the direction of 25 year-old composer, conductor and trumpet player Lars Seniuk. The musicians, all of whom bring their own individual sound to the ensemble, blend together into a homogeneous and unique orchestra that interprets a varied repertoire, from classic big band music to avant-garde soundscapes.
"For me, a big band is like a large instrument, with an inexhaustible wealth of sound, that I can play. From delicate to bombastic and gripping, from rugged to soft and warm; everything is possible. I love tickling everything out of this ensemble!" said Lars Seniuk.
The young bandleader and composer Lars Seniuk is considered both a high-flyer and an exceptional talent within the German jazz scene. With his outstanding musicality, he knows how to play all the "keys" of a big band like the New German Art Orchestra,
and pulls out all the stops when making use of this great ensemble.
Lars Seniuk makes the most of the rich colours and versatility within this extraordinary band, and he loves the contrasts. He explores new and abrupt sounds, stretches the tonality to its limits, only to immediately gather everything together into an absolute, almost minimalist tranquility; an immersion into introverted, melancholy and wonderfully delicate soundscapes.
The composer and the orchestra require each other in many ways; they are a mutual inspiration and motor. "On the one hand, I am completely free in my compositions and arrangements because I know that all of the musicians play at the highest level, both musically and technically. I can try new things and write very demanding, difficult-to- play passages, because I know that the musicians of the NGAO will realise it vividly and perfectly. On the other hand, I have the right soloists in the band who will fit perfectly into any particular composition. And because of that, I can write some tailor-made pieces for the soloists" said Lars Seniuk.
With the current release Pendulum, Seniuk and the New German Art Orchestra again demonstrate the homogeneity and veritable elasticity of their interpretations, as well as their love of highly complex themes.
Pendulum is the musical essence of a debate around an existential and philosophical range of topics. Questions on happiness and the reasons for it all, the connections between the cause and the objective underlying it. Man as a causal organism. The pendulum works as a valid symbol for this causality.
The state of happiness is experienced fleetingly, and can only be relived through constant movement and continual development. Only within the brief moments balanced between searching and finding does that crystalline state of happiness become perceptible to us. Exactly like a pendulum; it does not remain stoically at its point of rest, but rather moves around it. It is in constant motion, exploring extremes in its amplitude, only to return to its opposite position. Through this constant movement, balance arises.
For Lars Seniuk, the principles of the pendulum, the multiplicity and diversity as well as the balance resulting from these dissimilitudes and extremes, are ubiquitous. They are, on many levels, a part of his view of life.
His music is an expression and reflection of this:
"Constant progress is important for me. To respect traditions yet to always keep writing is a central theme. In addition, the presence of two opposites, the contradictions, the extremes, are for me the starting point and basis of all balance; also, or especially, in music. My compositions on Pendulum draw on it."
The amalgamation of cognition and intuition, intellect and sensibility (Narcissus and Goldmund), super-ego, ego and the id (Freud's Delight), complexity (Perceptions of Reality) and melancholic simplicity (The End Of Something Special), as well as
progression (Prometheus) and lived and expanded tradition (Goldmund) are the philosophical templates for a brilliant and yet finely engraved orchestral sound.
A captivating listening experience that perfectly combines modern big band jazz with influences from contemporary music and the jazz tradition. 

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01-06-2015 Jazzpodium