Repetition of the same dream
Clara de Asís & Mara Winter
Another Timbre, 2020
Five works for flute, percussion & electronics.
Created during quarantine from Covid-19 in Basel, Switzerland.
Commissioned by Another Timbre.
Recorded by Clara de Asís at Kartäuserkirche, Basel, in March 2020.
Mixed by Clara de Asís.
Repetition of the same dream (53’26)
1 – Still water (12’05)
2 – Wind that walks (12’11)
3 – Repetition of the same dream (2’28)
4 – Present omission (5’35)
5 – A passage through (20’57)
Mara Winter – flute
Clara de Asís – bowed objects, percussion & electronics
Tracks 1, 2: Composed by Clara de Asís and Mara Winter
Track 3: Composed by Clara de Asís, based on a modal improvisation by Mara Winter
Tracks 4, 5: Composed by Clara de Asís
Cover painting: detail of Maybe somewhere else by Luisa Blignaut.
John Eyles, All about jazz, Sept. 25, 2020
The chaos brought about by the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown hit the livelihoods of most musicians, causing real hardship, difficulties and anxiety for many. The Another Timbre label took action to assist them in several practical ways; it distributed over £3,000 from sales during the pandemic to many musicians whose work it released; in conjunction with other organisations, it put together special playlists and podcasts which were sold via Bandcamp, with the proceeds going to musicians. Finally, and most relevant here, Another Timbre paid four musicians to create new works while in lockdown—the “quarantine commissions.” The French-based, Spanish contemporary composer-performer Clara de Asís was one of the four, and the resulting album, Repetition of the Same Dream, was the first to be released.
As the likelihood of lockdown in France loomed, Clara de Asís travelled from Marseilles to Basel, home of the American-born-and-educated flautist Mara Winter, a mediaeval and baroque specialist. The two had met in late 2019, played together and clicked; by March 2020 they had formed their Discreet Editions label. When de Asís arrived in Basel, Winter had just acquired a new bass flute which she played on all the music here. In contrast to her previous Another Timbre album, Do Nothing (2018), de Asís did not play guitar, opting instead for bowing objects such as bells and bowls, percussion and electronics. Of the album’s five tracks, two were composed jointly by de Asís and Winter, one by de Asís based on a modal improvisation by Winter, and two by de Asís alone. The music was all recorded in Kartäuserkirche in Basel, a church with interesting resonant properties ideally suited to the music, and a key ingredient of these recordings.
Right from the start, it is not difficult to hear why these two clicked; the music they produce together is neither historical nor experimental but contains traces of each. As Winter has commented, “We discovered that we had some commonalities between our two aesthetics. Soon after meeting we began to cultivate a sound together.” On the opener, “Still Water,” both play long notes which overlap and complement one another, the two strands being clearly distinguishable. With the resonances provided by the recording space, the music has a haunting, ethereal quality which is very appealing.
“Wind That Walks” features sounds that are reminiscent of wind, creating an atmospheric and textured soundscape. The album’s shortest track, also its title track, showcases Winter alone on a mellow, atmospheric piece which all but steals the show, vying with the twenty-one-minute closing track, “A Passage Through,” for that honour; again, it is Winter’s bass flute which grabs attention and holds onto it, with de Asis’ composition providing an ideal showcase for it, particularly when there is call-and-response between the two. A stunning album that one would not immediately guess had been recorded during lockdown. More, please.
Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily, Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical, August 2020
French sound artist Clara De Asís and Swiss flutist Mara Winter took advantage of the COVID-19 quarantine, holing up together to make a series of meditative pieces that were partially developed late in the evening within a resonant pedestrian tunnel. The pieces were later recorded in a 15th century church in Basel that was temporarily shut down. These loose texture-rich compositions, redolent of isolation and rumination, use breath and bowing as primary tools, but rather than embracing toothless drones the musicians allowed biting tones to enter into the mix. See “Still Water,” where De Asís produces sustained high-pitched sounds to blend with and disturb the sere, sporadic puffs blown by Winter. It’s hard to tell who’s doing what on “Wind That Walks,” but Winter’s ghostly harmonics, placed distantly in the mix, seem to deliberately haunt hovering sheets of white noise produced by De Asís, suggesting an almost cozy insularity within a barren, wind-swept landscape. That’s answered by the brief title piece, in which a pensive flute melody is shadowed by elusive rustling sounds. “Present Omission” opts for much greater tactility, a rolling sea of friction produced with everyday objects like a brush, beans, and a metal bowl. “A Passage Through” concludes the album with Winter moving through four discrete sections that create different patterns using a handful of pitches and split tones.
Squidco, September 2020
During pandemic lockdowns, flutist Mara Winter and experimentalist Clara de Asís explored locations of natural resonance to capture this mix of composition and improvisation, delicate and detailed recordings of diverse intent, using harmonically rich tones and textures that resonate in mysterious and haunting ways, beautiful dream-like secrets and reveries.