Singularity, a recording by Swedish alto and soprano saxophonist Per Gärdin and Vasco Trilla, percussionist from Barcelona, represents a timbrally varied and often subtle take on the saxophone-percussion duet. Most of the titles of the album’s tracks derive from Greek terms descriptive of different rhetorical tactics; this seems appropriate, since the various techniques on display in the music themselves can be thought of as devices deployed within a well-thought out sonic rhetoric.
The album is structured as a long, cyclical arc that takes it from a quiet beginning through a slow buildup in intensity and back to a restrained denouement. Whether playing quietly or more assertively, Gärdin integrates extended techniques into his lines. For example, on Apodeixis, he explores overtones, key clicks and multiphonics; the somewhat harsher Singularity features whistles and overblowing. On Antistrophos and Pistis I and II he plays more conventionally, but with an expressionistic urgency. Trilla is equally creative with his palette of sounds, offering strummed chimes on Enthymeme I, washes of gongs and scraped membranes on Antistrophos, and sparsely tolling timpani on Enthymeme II. When he moves to drum kit, as he does on Pistis I and II, he plays with no less a sense of color than he does in less conventional settings.