Sylvie Courvoiser is an award-winning pianist, composer and improviser who has appeared on over 50 albums. Mary Halvorson is an American avant-garde jazz guitarist – known for her broad stylistic approach, touching on everything from flamenco, rock, noise, to psychedelia. All About Jazz dubbed her “the most impressive guitarist of her generation”.
Searching for the Disappeared Hour marks the second collaboration for these two singular musicians. Their initial collaboration 2017’s Crop Circles was recorded after a single concert (at New York’s now-defunct Cornelia Street Café) and found them repurposing existing compositions for the duo context. By contrast, the music on Searching for the Disappeared Hour was composed expressly for the duo, taking stunning advantage of the chemistry and familiarity forged during tours of Europe and the States in the intervening years.
“I think this album is much more developed,” Courvoisier says. “When I wrote pieces for Mary, I really thought about all the possibilities of the guitar. And her music has pretty tonalities, great melodies and a very clear sense of harmony and melody, so I love to darken it.”
“We both have an affinity towards darkening things,” adds Halvorson, “which is great because you can start with a joyous melody and there’s all kinds of room to mess with it. We’re both really open to that. And Sylvie is great at adding harmonies and filling stuff in, so I was happy to leave space for her to do her thing, not only in the improvised sections but also within the written parts.”
You can watch a video clip of Sylvie and Mary performing at the Handelsbeurs Concert Hall in Ghent below: