RAJESH MEHTA - trumpet, custom-designed bass trumpet, hybrid trumpet with various extensions, mutes and objects
VOJTĚCH HAVEL - cello, viola da gamba tenor (tracks 1 to 10)
IRENA HAVLOVÁ - viola da gamba alto, prepared piano, Tibetan bells and singing bowls (tracks 1 to 5, 9, 10)
1 Untitled 5:49
2 Untitled 6:12
3 Untitled 7:34
4 Untitled 3:03
5 Untitled 3:41
6 Untitled 3:56
7 Untitled 4:01
8 Untitled 3:00
9 Untitled 5:01
10 Untitled 3:11
Rajesh Mehta Solo Improvisations
11 Untitled 5:14
12 Untitled 2:51
13 Untitled 2:22
14 Untitled 2:22
15 Untitled 2:57
16 Untitled 2:09
17 Untitled 3:13
18 Untitled 2:46
19 Untitled 2:30
CD Hermit Foundation – AV 011797
Time and Space - Liner Notes
The improvisations on the CD A Day in Benedict were recorded at the beginning of October 1997 in two chapels in the Plasy Monastery in the Czech Republic. Rajesh Mehta's "ragas for trumpet" and improvisations with Vojtech and Irena Havel, recorded over the course of one day, are the distillations of three years' of the trumpetist musical experiments within the St. Benedict Chapel. The improvisations were created specifically to set the chapel's acoustic qualities into full play.
The meditation chapel, planned to be the main chapel of a never-realized church was dedicated to the founder of the Benedictine Order. It is an oval space designed in the Baroque style around 1711 by the convenes architect Jan Blazej Santini-AichI. The work on the chapel and the entire convent were eventually completed under the supervision of K. I. Dientzenhofer in 1739. The chapel rises to a height of 25 meters and is 12 meters wide. Its architecture and acoustics were designed to amplify liturgical singing and the spoken word, and its interior is among the treasured gems of the Czech Baroque.
Within the chapel, the whisper of each tone echoes over and over as the sound winds up the elliptical cylinder of the cupola and disappears into the heights of its upper dome. The St. Bernard Chapel, the smaller of the two, located at a corner of the convent, has a briefer tonal echo and clearer acoustics. This is where the CD's improvisations with a prepared piano was performed..
Mehta uses three types of trumpets and extends their timbres and ranges with added elements (extensions, mutes, paper, water, tubes, and other objects). Vojtech and Irena Havel experiment with the sound and harmonies of stringed instruments (violoncello and viola da gamba) broadening their registers with glissando, flageolets, aliquot tones and percussion. In the recording, Tibetan singing bowls and bells were added to round out the tonal colors. The improvised dialogue among three musicians was inspired by the chapels' sound and spaces. The music that you hear is purely acoustic, played and recorded without playback or electronic devices, and set to the compact disk without digital or analogue corrections in the studio..
In a typical architectural space, the ringing vibration of lips, breath, brass and stringed instruments, the crash and clang of wood and metal objects function primarily as distinct, simultaneous units: their sounds are heard at the very moment they are made. In spaces that reverberate with echoes, the multiplication of the duration of tone, as it gradually disappears into the spiraling virtual distance, disorients our common perception and experience of time and space. The nymph Echo, residing within the convents' chapels, offers a natural polyphony and dialogue among the musicians' instruments and a hyper-serene inner sound-scape. Baroque architects' sensitivity and knowledge of the harmonic relationships within architectural space is unveiled and animated by the sensitivity of this contemporary music. Mehta's solos and improvisations with the Havels, ranging from delicate whispers to deeply vibrating tones, communicate within various levels of perception and weave together co-mingling layers of sound and time..