One thing that cannot be denied about Maria Faust: she puts everything into her music. The Estonian composer and saxophonist pours both physical and emotional energy into her works. That is what her intense, at times suffered, performance at the Jazzkaar festival suggested. Her latest musical endeavor, Jazz Catastrophe, drew inspiration from the difficult times we have been through and are still living collectively for the last two years, as she explained at the end of what seemed to be a musical suite.
The music took off slowly with Maria warming up on her sax and the Danish rhythm section – made by Lars Pilgaard on guitar and Anders Vestergaard on drums – meandering loosely until they all eventually converged into one of the few lyrical moments of the evening.
The red lights inside the Fotografiska space anticipated in fact the upcoming chaotic movements where each musician seemed to have his own agenda as in an improvised jam – although Maria was leafing through the pages of her score from time to time – and in that apocalyptic chaos the music worked best.
Like in a cathartic meditation on the current state of things, Maria panted and gasped with her alto sax as well as her voice, whether she followed the stomping or chased the galloping of her bandmates. The tidal movement of the music, bursting into extended volcanic eruption of sounds that would return to quieter places to find some peace of mind, could be defined as an aural description of a tormented soul.
After thanking the audience for being there, Maria kicked off the encore of the evening: another storm of sounds that first zig-zagged through the air, then morphed into some sort of roaring tapestry charged with electricity, which finally vanished to relieve the listeners’ ears.
Ornette Coleman, the inventor of free jazz, once said: “I was invited to a congress about beauty, and I was there to represent ugliness”. While someone could have left the venue perplexed or doubtful about the aesthetics of such a concert, it is clear that Maria lives for music and through it channels her feelings unfettered.
Maria Faust Jazz Catastrophe
April 29th at 19.45, Fotografiska
Maria Faust – alto saxophone
Lars Pilgaard – guitar
Anders Vestergaard – drums
Check out the concert photos here.