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Penumbra CD003

Photo: Susan Fox

VAN'S PEPPY SYNCOPATORS features the acoustic improvisations of violinist Terri Kapsalis, guitarist John Corbett and multi-instrumentalist Hal Rammel. Terri Kapsalis joined the freely improvising duo of Corbett and Rammel (heard on THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS) in 1992, bringing to the trio her abilities as a writer and experience in theatre performance. Five of the fourteen improvisations on this disc include texts written and read by Terri Kapsalis, scripted words which interact with the instrumental improvisations in a multitude of ways.

Scripted words and improvisation. As two distinct concepts they appear to be antithetical. The first - hard and fast, static, unchanging. The second - free and easy, limitless. Perhaps scripted words may be better aligned with the musical instrument itself - both are material (black and white, wood and strings), containing an alphabet of potential meanings and sounds, the hollow chamber of the letter "o" or a violin's belly. Written words can lead to a second pairing - spoken words and sound improvisation. Through the improvised enunciation of sound and word, new discoveries are continually made about the instrument/language's potential. Conjoining these two and performing them for audiences, John Corbett, Hal Rammel and I experiment with scripted word/sound improvisations in addition to our purely instrumental endeavors.

- Terri Kapsalis


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