Marta Sainz: voice, dan bau; If, Bwana (Al Margolis): amplified detritus box, recorder, clarinet
Marta Sainz and Al Margolis (If, Bwana) met and performed together in Madrid, Spain for the first time in October 2014. That initial performance – she on voice/performance and he on laptop, was such a joy, that they both determined that they would work together again as soon as possible. That opportunity arose again in June 2015, when the duo did a brief tour in Spain, as well as going into the studio in Madrid – which is Sable.
On this recording of 3 improvised pieces, Sainz vocalizes as well as performs on an amplified dan bau – a Vietnamese single string instrument. Margolis makes use of what he calls a “detritus box” – one side wood, one side laminate, each half amplified with contact microphones – and all manner of detritus used to make sounds, as well as alto recorder and clarinet.
Through the use of her voice and body, Sainz’s performance refers to elements of German Expressionism and the theater of cruelty of Artaud: she is seeking to emotionally shock the viewer with their own experience, without the content and performance having a specific meaning intended in itself. Margolis shows increasing clarity of vision in his work – both as a composer, and on this recording, as an improvisor.
Together, they manage to fuse beauty and terror into something truly remarkable. This recording is a very special experience for anyone willing to travel the length of a terrifying way with these accomplished and visionary performers.