From Joëlle Léandre’s archives / © Koho Mori

Lauren Newton / Joëlle Léandre


Lauren Newton finds it essential how music materialises through the freedom of improvisation. »The voice has its beginnings in sound and my music evolves from there«, she says. Her vocal style is extremely wide – from vocalisation to noise, occasionally employing words for their musical content. Once a “talented jazz singer” over time she has evolved into one of the most fascinating experimentalists on the scene. In this duo, her consistent, solid and extremely powerful voice perfectly matches the determined originality with which Joëlle Léandre points her double bass towards inimitable “spontaneous composition”. It's all about those scarce, fleeting moments and details which simply have to be seen/heard “alive”. Indeed, the musicians jointly master the broad diapason between the worst drama and ultimate humour. Joëlle Léandre was often said to “play like the greatest improviser-soloist” (Derek Bailey, Cecil Taylor, Roscoe Mitchell), and her distinctive sound, her infernally clear internal musical logic actually persuades and enraptures that part of an audience who would usually turn up their nose to “improvisation”.

If you want to draw someone into the magical world of improvisation, then you should definitely take them to a concert by this duo. The moments when the double bass explodes with incomparable imagination and the exceptional voice of Joëlle Léandre joins her colleague in a special vocal combination are absolutely the best that can be heard in contemporary music – the ultimate performing passion, a spectrum of unexpected diversities we happily call a concert; music in the most noble meaning of the word when the performance is over in the blink of the eye whilst its “sediment” lingers for a long, long time - sometimes for ever. And we would like more of something like this. “Let sound be what it is”, the great teacher John Cage once said to the inquisitive Joëlle Léandre when she practised listening to the world around. Let us surrender to the high abstraction to touch our most concrete musical preferences when the great ladies of the new music take us to the hustle and bustle of brilliant and unique mutual collisions. (Miha Zadnikar)

Before and after the concert, Maja Matić (Slovenia) will worm up the dance floor with a DJ set.

Lauren Newton: voice; Joëlle Léandre: voice, double bass.

Organisation: City of Women & the Defonija Music Series; In collaboration with: Klub Gromka.

Date and time of event: 
Oct 10th 22:00
Place of event: 
Klub Gromka - AKC Metelkova City