New CD – “ACT ONE” – Wizmart Records, 01/31/2014
Always dynamic and open to many directions, the music of House of Mirrors evokes images of a Medieval maze, drawing the listener in with the irresistible force of a hurricane. You will find yourself in the midst of a sonic garden surrounded by a myriad of tones and timbres creating, recreating and multiplying themselves, only to be fragmented and re-sequenced like the devilishly intricate DNA of a wicked demon. Sophie Tassignon and Peter Van Huffel’s soundscapes reflect the meeting point of century-old tradition and spontaneous impulsivity. Their multifaceted music speaks of the world outside ourselves and the one within us, alluding to “The Innerworld of the Outerworld of the Innerworld”, the legendary early novel by famous German author Peter Handke. Outside, the rustling of the leaves forebodes an enemy sneaking up on you, while at the same time there is a serenity that will take your breath away. Inside, you will find jazz and early 20th Century chamber music in the vein of Schönberg and Webern, as well as contrapunctual and free improvisations that pays hommage to the heroes of free jazz like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker or Alexander von Schlippenbach. The old stones in the garden form a path that will lead you to the meeting of long-forgotten tales of Eastern European folk melodies and the entertaining, jazzy feel of Bert Brecht and Kurt Weill’s era. There you will hear the myths and fairytales coming from the highest treetops and the deepest, darkest underground caves where the spirits of the Earth reside.
The focal point of the emsemble is Peter Van Huffel’s saxophone and clarinets, his seemingly endless array of ideas, and the mesmerizing vocals by Sophie Tassignon. Her crystal-clear voice can effortlessly alternate between sweet and venomous, the sound of an evil witch or an innocent young girl, a mother or a child, weaving fascinating tales in every thinkable language. A hard-hitting bass dancing the pas de deux with the piano will tingle the listener’s ears like icicles and then curl like coils of smoke from a burning cigarette while melodies unfold, harmonies expand and rhythms dance in an explosion of sound with debris made of jewels. Alongside Sophie Tassignon and Peter Van Huffel plays bassist Miles Perkin and pianist Julie Sassoon – each not only a virtuoso in their own right, but also a strong inventive force. Together, they form the creative hothouse that warms and illuminates this house of mirrors.
House of Mirrors is never afraid of the challenges that silence bears – and their brilliant instinct for spontaneous flashes of inspiration is not on any music school’s curriculum. It’s the art of fascinating, unpredictable being-in-the-moment that makes their music so profoundly beautiful. Sophe Tassignon and Peter Van Huffel’s compositions dissolve, rotate and evaporate like delicate clouds in the blazing desert sun. This music will move with you, within you, towards you, and keep on surprising you as it manifests itself into almost tangible structures, only to burst like a bubble and disappear into the great, dusty nowhere.
Click to enlarge: