Anouck Genthon, violin & Ed Williams, guitar, harpsichord
AND is an Anglo-French improvised music duo exploring the outer limits of sound, silence and musical communication on Western Classical instruments. After performing, touring and recording together for several years (including as a trio format with percussionist Tom Malmendier), Anouck Genthon and Ed Williams have honed a delicate, sensitive and cathartic approach to improvising that encompasses their collective musical memories across European Baroque, Contemporary Classical, Electroacoustic and Touareg traditions.
Recently the duo work on a new project, a semi-improvised performance of Ed Williams’ Decomposition of the Siciliana from J S Bach’s Sonata IV. The original duet’s part of the Largo has been discarded and the continuo part allowed to flourish to become a different kind of duet in itself, involving the original instrumental pair of Harpsichord and Violin. Acting like enzymes breaking down organic matter, the performers collaboratively weave an improvised tissue of timbres, intervals and silences that emerge from the diffraction, repetition and savoring of the original score’s notes. This calls to mind the image of string figures described by Isabelle Stengers: “…but knowing that what you take has been held out entails a particular thinking “in-between”… with the demand that you not proceed with ‘mechanical confidence’… two pairs of hands are needed, and in each successive step, one is ‘passive’, offering the result of its previous operation, a string entanglement, for the other to operate…” (Stengers, 2011).
Live @ Attacca festival, Hochschule für Musik Basel, Ackermannshof, in June 2023.