- Nir Erez
Solo by Xenakis in Israel Festival
"Throughout the evening, familiar pieces will be played alongside new ones – Debussy’s Syrinx, Motets by William Byrd and Heinrich Isaac from the Renaissance, Fantasias by Henry Purcell of the Baroque period, as well as a variety of twentieth century pieces and contemporary sound design. Some of the pieces are calm and quiet, while others are virtuoso and challenging, yet all aspire to push the boundaries of the instruments and the instrumentalists which play them.
Volkov invites us to a different kind of listening, one in which time and space play a central role. Placing the instrumentalists in different corners of the theatre, he creates surprising interplays of sound and space, turning the concert into a unique experience of great depth and complexity."
When Ilan Volkov called me and asked me to to take part in his site-specific musical experience , I couldn't resist. The opportunity to face Keren by Ianis Xenakis, what is considered among the most difficult pieces ever written for solo trombone, was far too tempting for an orchestral player like me to say No to.
Since then, I have invested more time practicing on this 7-minute piece than I ever did on any other composition, needing to face intellectual, physical and mental boundaries on a daily basis.
Last week I even had the privilege of working on it with Benny Sluchin, the trombone player whom Xenakis' dedicated "Keren" to.
I have received a genuine taste on the intentions and subtleties of this unusual composition, with challenges and extremities that are equal to very few.
Next month I will be recording both Xenakis' Keren and Slama's Haram, the two solo works I have been working on during the past year.
here's Sluchin's original recording from 1986:
Xenakis "keren" for trombone solo,