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album review- ‘ibid : spaces in between’ -keyna wilkins and shane carpini

Above: IBID’s latest album release – ‘Spaces In Between”. Cover drawing – Lyra Rosen. CD design by Yoko Koroda. Featured image: IBID are: Shane Carpini-drums and Keyna Wilkins – flute. Photo credit : Tawfik Elgazzar.

The album ‘Spaces In Between’ by the duo Ibid, consisting of Keyna Wilkins (flues and piano) and Shane Carpini, (drums) is a captivating, expansive musical experience. Their creative synergy shines through, with a rewarding variety of tone colours, shifting combos of instrumentation, and seamless mix across the track list  of stream of consciousness improvisation, structured improvisation, and composed works.

The launch of this album took place on Saturday, May 27 at the city venue Foundry 616, adding an exciting live element to the release. Ibid’s talented members have been developing this project, their inspired joint improvisation, and the arrangement of structured works through performances at various live venues for the past year.

One of the album’s highlights is the duo’s ability to effortlessly express themselves within the intimate duo format. Keyna Wilkins shifts her expressive voice from flute to piano with ease and equal ability to trace contours effectively and explore the capabilities of both her instruments. We see here getting beautifully involved  in the musical moment and never burdened by showy extemporisation that is self indulgent or laboured.

Shane Carpini shows himself through this project to be a drummer and clever creative able to instantly capture a chilled or more outgoing vibe  in his structured works which are solidly but unobtrusively maintained. And even amongst the heaviest characterised moments the space in between gestures supports the duo’s other wind or keyboard half by letting precious air in to his layering.

The album unfolds with a cohesive energy and dynamic contour, offering a pleasing contrast between tracks. Listening is rewarding if you pick the eyes out of the fourteen tracks and listen out of order. You can also enjoy the undulations by taking the journey in order – as I first gladly did.

And this is quite the sonic ride, due to the juxtapositions of tracks providing successive contrasts, and the momentum that results from organically evolving structures with newness of nuance, attack and species of build each time.

There are named, scene-setting or changing  improvisations which thankfully avoid sameness of delivery and act as tropes to the more structured compositions dealing with natural or emotional landscapes they surround ( Distant Starlight / Sunrise  /Riding Gravity /Voyage in the Void / Dance of Light /Hollow Spirits / The Expanse)

Above: IBID in live performance as part of this project culminating in the album ‘Spaces In Between’.  Photo credit : Tawfik Elgazzar.

These joint improvisations are also aptly named to support the feel  for this packaged album. They badge the concerns of outer space or environment often linked to Keyna Wilkins’ scored explorations (with pointed pictorial works such as ‘Stellar Parallax’ here and material from Bach’s Prelude in D minor BWV 875 sent spinning into the stratosphere with the flautist dazzling us with piano filigree). The latter work- ‘Prelude’ was originally heard on Keyna Wilkins’ album ‘So What Bach’ (2020).

The mood setting and soundtracking of human nature for non-impro compositions is also nicely provided by the impro-preludes to Shane Carpini’s slick creative offerings.

These works penned by the drummer have bold, characterised voice. Compositions such as ‘Hot Pot’ and Ulterior Motive’, ‘Haarmony’ ‘Orion’ and Divergence, are heard with firm hues and full textures to separate them from the impros.

These compositions give us a firmer voice speaking up with nice attitude in the tracklist. This contrast to sparser tracks works as nice punctuation along the album journey, whether played with flute or piano.

Ibid’s members live music-making background sees them play with great resect for atmosphere and for each other’s utterances. Anything more out of control and less sympathetic would be a chore to process over the fourteen tracks.

A neat new fresh celebration of space, spaces between human mood, thought or interactive sound is workshopped here. This album has an accessible chilled excitement. It is one that instantly reaches us in excerpt listening, or when we dive into the variegated soundtrack from start to finish. ‘Spaces In Between’ is a useful album that promotes the juxtaposition of capable, relaxed, well-paced extemporisation as well as performance of established scored pieces.

It is well worth the time to explore and share in this contrast as improvisation meets composition. Regardless of musical complexity or shape, the delivery lets much air and colour into the space between our grateful ears. And the intimate vehicle of a capable duo is seen as a winner across both recorded and live performance formats.



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