Homburger-Guy Duo

Homburger - Guy Duo

MAYA HOMBURGER baroque violin
BARRY GUY double bass

Since he began working closely together with Swiss-born baroque violinist Homburger – they met on an Academy of Ancient Music tour in 1988 – Barry Guy has been bringing his musical interests closer together. Once kept distinct and separate, they are now allowed to spur each other, to alternate, or intermingle. In its November 2005 issue Down Beat magazine notes that “Barry Guy’s collaborations with baroque violinist Maya Homburger create a conduit through which music from the 17th century and earlier can mingle effortlessly with contemporary music that privileges improvisation”.

„Sehr alte und sehr neue Musik, Festgeschriebenes und Improvisation, ungewohnte Instrumentierung, konträre und doch bei genauem Hinsehen gar nicht so entfernte Spielweisen verbinden sich in dieser sehr klaren, transparenten Musik zu Meditationen von irisierender Schönheit. Aus den Polen schmilzt etwas tatsächlich Neues, das rätselhaft bleibt, aber alles andere als hermetisch ist...“ (alte Kirche Romanshorn)

Das Duo Homburger Guy beweist, dass Musik keine Beschränkungen kennt, vorausgesetzt, dass man bestimmte Genregrenzen respektiert: Der Gewinn liegt im klugen Kontrast, nicht im nivellierenden Einerlei. Neue Kompositionen, Improvisationen und barocke Meisterstücke fügen sich zu einem musikalischen Erlebnis. (aus einer Kritik im Bund)

Maya Homburger und Barry Guy gelingt der Brückenschlag zwischen Alter und Neuer Musik in einem Projekt, das die Werke von H.I.F.Biber, J.S. Bach und Györgi Kurtág mit den modernen Kompositionen und Improvisationen Barry Guys zusammenbringt, wobei die Gemeinsamkeiten von Alter und Neuer Musik (in der Kunst der Variation und Improvisation) und deren Unterschiede (in der Klangkonzeption, Harmonik und Rhythmik) virtuos in schöpferische Spannung versetzt werden.

Selection of programmes

MAYA HOMBURGER / (baroque violin)
BARRY GUY / (bass)

H.I.F. Biber (1644–1704) / "The Annunciation" from the 1. Mystery Sonata
György Kurtág (* 1926 ) / "Hommage à J.S.B."
Barry Guy / "Celebration" for violin and improvising bass
Barry Guy / “Five Fizzles for S. B.”Bass Solo
György Kurtág / “…féerie d’automne…” and “thus it happened“
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1623 – 1680) / Chaconne in g minor for Violin und B. C. (1623 – 1680)
Barry Guy / “Tales of Enchantment” for violin and bass

Programme with interval :

Veni Creator Spiritus / Hymne (9th century)
H.I.F. Biber (1644–1704) / "The Annunciation" from the 1. Mystery Sonata
György Kurtág (* 1926 ) / "Perpetuum Mobile”
J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750 ) / Allemande from the d minor partita BWV1004
Barry Guy / “Peace Piece” Bass Solo
H. I. F. Biber / "The carrying of the cross“ Mystery Sonata IX with Interlude by Barry Guy
Barry Guy / "Tales of Enchantment“ for violin and bass


Barry Guy / "Celebration" for violin and improvising bass
György Kurtág / “…féerie d’automne…” and “thus it happened“
J.S. Bach / Adagio from Sonata in g minor BWV1001 (with sordino)
György Kurtág /“Elegie” (arr. for violin and bass by B. Guy)
Barry Guy / "Five Fizzles for S. B." for solo bass
H. I. F. Biber / "The Crucifixion" Mystery Sonata No X

Programme - Kurtág at 90

Veni Creator Spiritus / Hymne (9th century)
H.I.F. Biber (1644–1704) / "The Annunciation" from the 1. Mystery Sonata
György Kurtág (* 1926 ) / "Hommage à J.S.B."
J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750 ) / Prelude and Adagio from e minor Sonata BWV1023
Barry Guy / “Peace Piece” Bass Solo
H. I. F. Biber / "The carrying of the cross“ Mystery Sonata IX with Interlude by Barry Guy
Barry Guy / „Aglais“ for solo violin with improvising bass
György Kurtág / “Hommage à John Cage”
György Kurtág / “Thus it happened” for piano solo - arranged for violin and bass by B. Guy
J.S. Bach / Adagio from Sonata in g minor BWV1001 (with sordino)
György Kurtág / “Elegie” for piano solo - arranged for violin and bass by B. Guy
György Kurtág / “Hommage à Eberhard Feltz” , based on Samuel Beckett’s “Roundelay” (1976) ,
Version, Vl and Cb for Maya Homburger and Barry Guy

Other possible programme including pieces with pre-recorded tape

H.I.F. Biber (1644–1704) / "The Annunciation" from the 1. Mystery Sonata
Barry Guy / "Interlude" Improvisation for solo bass
J.S. Bach / Adagio from Sonata No.1 g-minor
Barry Guy / "Immeasurable Sky" 4 songs for baroque violin and double bass
Barry Guy / "Dakryon" for bass, violin and tape
Barry Guy / "Still" Improvisation for solo bass
Barry Guy / "Ceremony" for baroque violin and tape

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Bach Meditation

As opposed to “performing” in a normal concert situation, I would like to explore Bach’s wonderful solo pieces TOGETHER with the audience, who is free to come, stay, and go during the three to four hours. My hope is, to reach deeper into the music and experience transformations, revelations, which result from a particular concentrated LISTENING on both sides.

MEDITATION is also the practise of peacefulness and gentleness.



Maya Homburger

Short Biography (for a longer biography please visit the section "Maya Homburger")

Maya Homburger originally moved to England to join various ancient music ensembles and became one of the leaders of John Eliot Gardiner's "English Baroque Soloists".

Ever since meeting the composer and solo bassist Barry Guy - on the occasion of an extended concert tour with Christopher Hogwood’s Academy of Ancient Music in 1988 - she has devoted her time developing her own personal style on the baroque violin as well as managing Improvised and New Music projects and running her own CD label MAYA recordings.

The idea to perform baroque solo works in the context of free improvised music and newly commissioned pieces sparked off the Homburger/Guy Duo and together Maya Homburger and Barry Guy have given concerts in many major Jazz, New Music and Baroque Music Festivals all over Europe and in Canada.

Her speciality are performances of H.I.F. Biber's Mystery Sonatas as well as chamber music and cantatas by J.S.Bach.

After living in Ireland for nine years where they contributed both to the early as well as the contemporary music scene, they moved to Switzerland in 2006. The close connection to Ireland however remained : From 2011-2017 they organised their own music and art festival in Ireland : Barrow River Arts Festival (BRAF) and they perform regularly in various Irish festivals and concert series with the ensemble "Camerata Kilkenny".

Recordings include a. o. the Duo CDs “Ceremony” (ECM) and “Dakryon” (MAYA Recordings). The recording of the complete set of H. I. F. Biber's (1644-1704) famous Mystery Sonatas for violin and basso continuo has also been released on the MAYA label as well as a series of three solo violin CDs with J.S.Bach's Sonatas and Partitas BWV1001-1006 paired with Barry Guy's works for solo violin, called the "Butterfly Series" : “Inachis”, “Aglais” and “Lysandra”. Another ECM recording is “Folio” where she appears as violin soloist together with the Munich Chamber Orchestra. The latest Homburger/Guy Duo CD has appeared on the Intact Records Label and is called “Tales of Enchantment”. She also appears together with the Barry Guy New Orchestra (BGNO) as soloist on the Intakt CD "Amphi" and in various recordings with the Blue Shroud Band.

Maya Homburger plays on three baroque violins which are all in original, historic condition: Antonio dalla Costa, Treviso 1740, Samuel Thompson, London 1720, Thomas Perry, 1780 Dublin.

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Barry Guy

Short Biography (for a longer biography please visit the section "Barry Guy")

Barry Guy is an innovative bass player and composer whose creative diversity in the fields of jazz improvisation, chamber and orchestral performance and solo recitals is the outcome both of an unusually varied training and a zest for experimentation, underpinned by a dedication to the double bass and the ideal of musical communication.

He is founder and Artistic Director of the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and the BGNO (Barry Guy New Orchestra) for which he has written several extended works. In 2014 he founded the “Blue Shroud Band” to perform his composition “The Blue Shroud” based on Picasso’s painting “Guernica” with texts by the Irish poet Kerry Hardie.

His concert works for chamber orchestras, chamber groups and soloists have been widely performed and his skilful and inventive writing has resulted in an exceptional series of compositions.

Barry Guy continues to give solo recitals throughout Europe as well as continuing associations with colleagues involved in improvised, baroque and contemporary music.

His current regular ensembles are the Homburger/Guy duo, the Parker/Guy/Lytton trio, TARFALA (with Mats Gustafsson and Raymond Strid), two new trios : BEYOND with Jürg Wickihalder (sax) and Lucas Niggli, (perc.) and “FREE RADICALS” with Peter Evans (tpt) and Agusti Fernandez (piano) as well as various piano trios: AURORA (with Agusti Fernandez and Ramon Lopez) HEXEN (with Paul Plimley and Lucas Niggli) and the longstanding trio with Marilyn Crispell and Paul Lytton.

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Maya Homburger, war jahrelang eine der Konzertmeisterinnen von John Eliot Gardiners “English Baroque Soloists”, hat sich aber nach vielen Jahren in England und Irland wieder in der Schweiz niedergelassen. Ihre Spezialität sind Aufführungen von H.I.F. Bibers Rosenkranzsonaten und J.S.Bachs Kammermusik und Kantaten. In Duo Konzerten mit Barry Guy konzentriert sie sich auf die Kombination von Alter und Neuer Musik bis zur Improvisation - ihre erste Duo CD “Ceremony” erschien auf ECM, die CD “Dakryon” mit guest artist Pierre Favre, percussion auf dem MAYA label und die Duo CD “Tales of Enchantment" auf Intakt Records. Die Gesamtaufnahme von H. I. F. Bibers berühmten Rosenkranzsonaten findet sich ebenfalls auf dem MAYA label , sowie eine Serie von drei CDs mit J.S.Bachs Solo Sonaten und Partiten gepaart mit Barry Guys Kompositionen für Solo Violine “Inachis”, “Aglais” und “Lysandra”.

Maya Homburger spielt auf drei Barockgeigen die sich alle im Originalzustand befinden: Antonio dalla Costa, Treviso 1740, Samuel Thompson, London 1720, Thomas Perry, 1780 Dublin.

Barry Guy , zählt zu den innovativsten Kontrabassspielern und Komponisten. Durch seine kreative Vielfältigkeit und mit seiner Begeisterung für das Experimentelle wurde Barry Guy zu einem wesentlichen Neuerer der Improvisierten Musik. Seine Suche nach dem Ideal der musikalischen Kommunikation liess ihn 1970 zum Gründer des berühmten London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO) werden, für das er auch einen Grossteil der Kompositionen schreibt. Später folgten das Barry Guy New Orchestra (BGNO) und die Blue Shroud Band. Als Solist hat Barry Guy die Technik für das Kontrabassspiel radikal erweitert und neue Massstäbe gesetzt. Musiker wie Evan Parker, Jürg Wickihalder, Agusti Fernandez, Paul Lytton, Marilyn Crispell, Lucas Niggli, Ramon Lopez und Mats Gustafsson und viele andere schätzen ihn als langjährigen Partner in den unterschiedlichsten Formationen und Projekten.

Neben der Improvisation nimmt für Barry Guy aber auch die Komposition einen breiten Raum ein. Ausser den grossangelegten Orchesterwerken für seine Jazz Ensembles komponierte er unter anderem für das City of London Sinfonia Orchester “After the Rain” (1992) und Concerto for Orchestra - “Fallingwater” uraufgeführt in London im Oktober 1996, für das Hilliard Ensemble “Coup de Dés” (aufgenommen auf CD für ECM), für Fretwork “Buzz” und für das Cello Ensemble der Academy of St.Martin in the Field “Look Up”.
“Folio” sein Werk für Streichorchester und Solo Barockvioline, Violine und Kontrabass erschien auf ECM. “Time Passing…” mit der Camerata Zürich und den Solisten Anja Pöche, Savina Yannatou und Matthew Brook auf dem Maya Recordings Label. Seine Solo Werke für Violine sind auf den CD Einspielungen von Maya Homburger zu hören, umrahmt von den Sonaten und Partiten von J.S. Bach.


Bach Meditation in Vantaa, Finland
Maya Homburger and Barry Guy make meditative magic in Vantaa, by David Karlin, 16 August 2016

I had not been planning on reviewing this concert, which closed this year's BRQ Vantaa Festival. The idea of a three hour Bach "meditation", people encouraged to come, go and eat during the proceedings, yoga mats provided, and the Bach "explored" by mixing it with Kurtág, various other modern pieces and free jazz improvisation all sounded a bit radical for me. Worth a try – after all, if push comes to shove and I get given one piece of music to take to my desert island, it would probably be the D minor partita – but all a bit too weird for a review.

But I feel I have to, because the concert worked its magic on me in ways that I completely failed to expect. Including the free jazz and the yoga mats – and may I just point out that I'm a fan of all sorts of jazz but have generally loathed the free variety, and that I don't do yoga.

There were some fundamentals working here. Maya Homburger played the Bach sonatas and partitas quite superbly on Baroque violin. My favourite performances in the past have been the modern violin, romantic, slightly folk-dance infused variety: I've often found the strictly Baroque HIP versions a bit dry. Homburger blew me away with her commitment: when she went for a phrase, she mounted a vivacious attack on it, followed by exquisite care over the precise shape of the phrase. And she went for most of the phrases in the whole very long evening. It redefined my understanding of how you can get intensity out of a violin without using a big, romantic sound.

The second fundamental was the acoustic of St Lawrence's Church. I chose to sit up in the gallery, where the timbre of the violin was about as good as I've ever heard a violin sound, a seductive mixture of warmth and clarity. The double bass, played by Homburger's husband and long time duo partner Barry Guy, sounded just as good and, of course, the registers are so different that they didn't get in each other's way.

Having decided not to review the concert, I stopped following the programme pretty early on, and also went off to lie down on one of the yoga mats and close my eyes. I couldn't tell you which of the fill-in pieces were Kurtág, which were Cage, which were Guy's own compositions or improvisations (in all honesty, I don't know much Kurtág anyway). What I can say is that the way the pieces were assembled worked on me completely. I entered the sort of trance like state that when the familiarity of the Bach came, I was utterly spellbound. And I found Guy's bass playing simply joyful, as he used every trick in the jazz player's book to conjure different soundscapes from the instrument.
I left the concert two and a half hours in (it was getting late and it had been a long day), having reached a state of utter bliss. I'm told that it went on for another hour, including audience request encores. I cannot begin to imagine how Homburger has the stamina. And I now want to listen to some Kurtág.
(© David Karlin)

Review by Eyal Hareuveni of the CD "WITHOUT BORDERS"

Without Borders... was inspired by a humble hope to rectify an urgent worldly problem - the plight of displaced refugees making their agonizingly slow walk to a more hopeful future. This title also represent beautifully the essence of this meeting between master double bass player Barry Guy, baroque violinist (and Guy’s partner) Maya Homburger, and Slovenian drummer percussionist Zlatko Kaučič, a meeting that dissolves the borders between contemporary composition and improvisation, between free-improvisation and real-time composition.

Kaučič invited Guy and Homburger to perform in Ljubljana on March 2016. The three musicians found out immediately that they shared many interests and concerns, and not only musical ones. Kaučič told Guy and Homburger that he lives close to one of the “corridors” where refugees cross on their way to Northern Europe. Soon, Guy, Homburger, and Kaučič decided to share the resonance of their awareness with the essential relief work of international agencies “whilst many politicians turn their back on the problems”. This album was Inspired also by a poem of Herman Melville - which is also used as a text for Steve Lacy’s “Art”, interpreted here: “In placid hours, well pleased we dream of many a brave unbodied scheme”.

The program is divided between re-arrangements of Guy compositions and free improvisations. The brief and intense “Shadow Fragment” and the extended “The Seeker and the Search”, originally pieces for violin and bass written for a project of New York-based artist Elana Gutmann, capture the unsettling atmosphere of this album. The three musicians shift constantly between a tense, dramatic interplay to a moving, compassionate chamber one. Kaučič improvised percussive work with Homburger interpretation of “Celebration”, originally composed for a solo violin, charges it with disruptive urgency. Kaučič joins Guy for another interpretation, “Peace Piece”, one of Guy’s most beautiful compositions, originally written for a solo bass. Here his contribution is more economic, adding subtle colors to the gentle, lyrical motifs of this composition.

The four “Footfalls” improvisations of Guy and Kaučič suggest even further the chaotic, intense inner turmoil experienced by the refugees. These improvisations correspond somehow with Samuel Beckett play by the same name, featuring an aged pacing woman in tattered nightwear dramatizing deterioration over four parts, each separated by chimes which grow fainter in each sounding. Kaučič idiosyncratic sonic palette, based on his unique instrumentation- ground drums, home-made instruments and zither - fits perfectly with the imaginative vocabulary of Guy and his original sense of invention. There are times when both sound as lost in each other’s restless, dramatic sonic universe - especially on the last, the, more reserved and cinematic “Footfalls IV”. Both become a newer, unified sonic entity that can expand or elaborate on any idea in an instant, transforming it to an altogether different motif.

The last piece, the cover of Lacy’s “Art” (from his album Momentum, 1987) does justice to this wonderful composition. “Art” offers music in its highest form and performance, arresting and provocative, even without Melville inspiring poem recited by Irene Aebi, “music to open up thoughts” as Guy suggests in his insightful liner notes.

Tales of Enchantment

From the liner notes by Bill Shoemaker
Maya Homburger and Barry Guy span more than a millennium to join "Veni Creator Spiritus," the 9th Century hymn Mahler appropriated for his epic eighth symphony, and Guy's seven-part tribute to Max Bill, a founder of the concrete art and design movement. What Homburger and Guy achieve is rather stunning, as they seamlessly bridge an ethereal paean to the Holy Spirit and a vividly abstract contemporary composition inspired by an artist who sought to create works free of symbolism – and sustain a reverent tone throughout the sequence.
These exchanges between past and present – and between media – are parenthetical to the album's framing tale, Homburger and Guy's ongoing exploration of the dynamism between composition and interpretation, a journey for which they are uniquely credentialed. Between them, they have performed with most of the principal ensembles of the period instrument movement, which led them to outlier views about the applicability of Baroque-era thinking about articulations, colorations, and pitch relationships to contemporary music.

Aus den Linernotes von Bill Shoemaker

Über mehr als ein Jahrtausend spannen Maya Homburger und Barry Guy einen Bogen von "Veni Creator Spiritus," dem Hymnus aus dem 9. Jahrhundert, den Mahler in seiner epischen 8. Sinfonie verwendete, zu Guys siebenteiligem Tribut an Max Bill, einem Begründer der Konkreten Kunst. Was Homburger und Guy erreichen ist erstaunlich, nahtlos schlagen sie eine Brücke vom ätherischem Loblied auf den Heiligen Geist zu einer lebhaft abstrakten zeitgenössischen Komposition, inspiriert von einem Künstler, der Werke frei von Symbolismus schaffen wollte – und wahren dabei einen ehrfurchtvollen Klang über den gesamten Verlauf.
Diese Wechsel zwischen Vergangenheit und Gegenwart – und zwischen verschiedenen Medien – bleiben der Rahmenhandlung des Albums untergeordnet, nämlich Homburger und Guys anhaltende Erforschung der Dynamik zwischen Komposition und Interpretation, eine Reise für die sie auf einmalige Weise qualifiziert sind. Zusammen haben sie mit den meisten der führenden Ensembles auf dem Gebiet der historischen Aufführungspraxis gearbeitet, was sie zu einer grenzüberschreitenden Sicht bezüglich der An-wendbarkeit barocker Auffassung von Artikulation, Koloratur und Tonsystemen innerhalb der zeitgenössischen Musik geführt hat.

Reviews can be found on the Intakt Records website : www.intaktrec.ch/rev202-a.htm

By Stef (The Free Jazz Collective)

Often in improvised music, rawness and muddiness and even some roughness and extended techniques are essential to the music. Sounds have to collide in order to form something new. On the other end of the spectrum you have classical music, with its incredible attention to the purity and accuracy of the sound.

Nobody but British bassist Barry Guy has been able to combine both in his music. The technical precision of Barry Guy on his five-string double bass (possibly only equalled by Miroslav Vitous) and of his partner in life, baroque violinist Maya Homburger, enable to unify both ends of the spectrum like few others can.

They've played together on a variety of albums, some of which were reviewed earlier on this blog. Like on other albums (Aglais, Inachis, Dakryon, Star), the compositions are either classical or by Barry Guy himself, and by doing so offer an interesting image of pure music, in which genres are no longer of importance, making the overall emphasis on feeling and esthetic even stronger.

The album starts with "Veni Creator Spiritus", a 9th Century hymn, followed by Guy's eight part "Hommage to Max Bill", a Swiss artist and designer, then follow some Biber compositions, the Swiss composer and violinist whose work is among Homburger's favorites, and she has played his oeuvre on many occasions. The central piece is by the Hungarian contemporary composer György Kurtág, around which the album's structure is mirrored.

Guy's compositions add a strong contemporary feeling to the music, full of distress, suspense, danger and anger, aspects that are often lacking in classical music, and that complete the more detached abstract compositions by Biber.

Like with their previous albums, you wonder at the absolute beauty of the playing while at the same time you can be surprised by the boundary-breaking approach in Guy's compositions-improvisations, but also by his introduction of - somewhat iconoclastic - improvised moments in the classical pieces. I'm sure classical purists will call this a disgrace and jazz and modern music afficionados will call this approach conservative, but the truth is : this is a truly great and cohesive album, regardless.

Absolutely impressive and pretty unique. In my opinion one of the best albums of the year. And even if the duo has done this before, they've clearly outperformed themselves on "Tales Of Enchantment", and the title couldn't be more precise.

Ceremony ECM1643 New Series

"This remarkable disc features the work of baroque composer Heinrich Biber plus five of Guy's compositions, including one for several violin lines overdubbed in whirring, swirling conversation. Guy has been developing his revolutionary double-bass vocabulary over 30 years; this isn't a jazz record but there is a sober freshness in its dialectics of old and new, premeditation and spontaneity, rich orthodox sonorities and abstract sounds. If free jazz fans need reassuring, Guy's darting, humming, thundering pizzicato bass solo on the track Still is as familiar as it is surprising."
John Fordham ,The Guardian

"Barry Guy is one of our national treasures. He's a performer with a phenomenal command of the registers, timbres and techniques of the bass, an accomplished and imaginative composer, and a highly inventive improviser. All these virtues are displayed without a trace of swagger on this superb CD ... This music has a stark elegance, a directness, and an emotional honesty ... I mustn't ignore Maya Homburger's contribution. Whether solo, in duet with Guy, or in septet with multiple tapes of herself on Ceremony, her playing is technically impressive, beautiful to the ear, and gloriously expressive."
Barry Witherden, Classic CD

"Barry Guy's credentials as a musical polymath – double-bassist, composer and improviser – are well-known. Here he teams up with the baroque violinist Maya Homburger to offer a selection of his own music that celebrates the art of that master violinist-composer of the 17th century, Heinrich Biber. The opening movement of Biber's first Mystery Sonata forms a prelude to this disc. Guy's music is static and meditative, yet as far removed from minimalism as it is possible to be. He enjoys exploring colour and texture, challenging his own and Homburger's fabulous techniques, providing space for improvisation, drawing upon the idiom of contemporary jazz. At the heart of the recital is Ceremony, a complex work for multitracked baroque violins, beautifully played by Homburger; it's followed by Still which exploits to the limits the possibilities afforded by a double-bass played pizzicato. I find the disc deeply alluring, a fascinating synthesis of different styles, eras and approaches. It's beautifully recorded, too."
Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times, London

"Guy's Celebration is a challenging solo piece for Baroque violin, played by Homburger with intelligent musicianship and stunning technical facility. The two absorbing duos for violin and bass are both effective. Immeasurable Sky explores intriguing combinations of bowed and percussive sounds, while Breathing Earth brings the disc full circle. Incorporating free quotations from Biber it involves some remarkable role-swapping, Homburger, for example, holding a pedal note while Guy indulges in his innovative, eye-opening improvisatory skills."
Robin Stowell, The Strad

"Barry Guy versteht sich seit längerem nicht nur als Instrumentalist, sondern auch als Komponist. Ceremony beginnt mit einer Bearbeitung von Bibers Verkündigung aus der ersten Rosenkranz-Sonate. In der Folge gesellen sich Guys eigene Arbeiten hinzu. So entsteht ein gewollter Kontrast zwischen Alt und Neu. Kein Crossover, sondern ein exemplarisches Nebeneinander, dessen Berührungspunkte zunächst im rein Klanglichen zu suchen sind. Wunderbar leicht, im obertonreichen Spiel beinahe transzendierend Maya Homburgers Barockvioline (von Antonio dalla Costa, 1740). Dann aber auch in sich gekehrte Schwebungen, ein Horchen, gezackte Linien, rhythmische Exaltationen. Schließlich offenbart sich ein Zusammenschluß: Breathing Earth wartet noch einmal zitierend mit Biber auf und schlägt so den Bogen zurück. Und das ist ein wunderbarer Schluß für diese zauberhafte CD."
ilman Urbach, Fono Forum

‘As both composer and performer Guy proves himself a master of atmosphere and a confident manipulator and originator of some fascinating sound-colours. The flavour of the pair’s performances is deeply meditative and utterly concentrated, as though the disc had been made after a period of isolated retreat. It is music that has a curious sense of impetus, one which gives the impression of uncanny stillness. Though it is definitely of its own time, it resonates with the same exploratory flavour, joining technical brilliance with spirituality, that Biber cultivated to such enticing effect three and a quarter centuries ago.’
Stephen Pettitt , BBC Music Magazine

DAKRYON MCD0501, Maya Homburger, Barockvioline, Barry Guy, Bass, Pierre Favre, Perkussion

Auf dem zweiten Album für Barockvioline und Kontrabass, das an die ECM-New-Series-Duo-CD “Ceremony” anknüpft, hier aber noch mit dem ebenfalls wunderbar inspiriert agierenden Pierre Favre als Gast, werden Barockmusik (H.I.F.Biber), zeitgenössische Musik und freie Improvisation so dicht, überzeugend und empathisch miteinander in Korrelation gebracht, dass eine neue Art faszinierend vitales musikalisches Gesamtkunstwerk entsteht. Phänomenal!
Johannes Anders

von Roland Spiegel, CD aktuell in "Leporello" Juni 2005

Ein Bass-Virtuose, der aus der Free-Jazz-Szene seit den sechziger Jahren bekannt ist und sich auch als Autor von zeitgenössischer E-Musik einen Namen gemacht hat – und eine Barock-Violinistin, die unter anderem in den Ensembles von John Eliot Gardiner und Trevor Pinnock gespielt hat sowie eigene Gruppen leitet und als Solistin renommiert ist: Der Engländer Barry Guy und die Schweizerin Maya Homburger geben seit Jahren zusammen Konzerte und haben bereits 1999 ein gemeinsames Album veröffentlicht ("Ceremony", ECM 1643). Jetzt ist wieder eine CD dieses ungewöhnlichen Duos erschienen, das hier für einige Stücke durch den Schweizer Schlagzeuger Pierre Favre erweitert wurde. "Dakryon", altgriechisch für "Träne", heißt die CD, die auf faszinierend stimmige und feinfühlige Weise unterschiedliche Genres ineinander aufgehen lässt. Sie bietet zugleich enorm sinnliche Hör-Abenteuer und zutiefst vergeistigte Musik.

Ein Begriff, der auf dieses Duo absolut nicht passt, ist "Crossover". Im Booklet-Text nimmt Barry Guy selbst dazu Stellung: "Leider wird das Wort meistens auf reichlich seichte Darbietungen angewandt, die ein Genre durch ein anderes ,aufpeppen' sollen, um das erste genießbarer zu machen. Dies lehnen wir kategorisch ab." Es gehe ihnen darum, "dass unsere Interpretation die Würde des Originals respektiert und uns doch genügend Freiheit lässt, um herauszufinden, wie sich die Musik am besten zum Sprechen und Singen bringen lässt." Und genau das gelingt Homburger, Guy und Favre auf fesselnde Art.

Die CD enthält zum einen Kompositionen von Barry Guy, wahlweise für Violine und Bass, Bass und Schlagzeug oder für alle drei Instrumente; zum anderen etwa Dario Castellos frühbarocke "Sonata Seconda" für Violine und Basso continuo von 1644 und Heinrich Ignaz Franz Bibers Mysteriensonate 10, die in den 1670er Jahren entstand. Das Aufregende dabei ist, dass die zum Teil extrem unterschiedlichen Stücke, die manchmal bruchlos ineinander übergehen, in ihrer Abfolge auf der CD völlig organisch wirken – als sei es ganz selbstverständlich, sie in einem Programm zu spielen.

Beim Beginn mit dem Pfingsthymnus "Veni Creator Spiritus" umwirbelt und umflirrt der Bass etwa Maya Homburgers zarte Violinstimme, nimmt Töne wie einen Faden auf, um diesen dann in vielfältig schillernden Flageoletts improvisatorisch fortzuspinnen. In Castellos Sonate und bei Bibers Mysteriensonate übernimmt Barry Guy die Funktion des Basso continuo, gestaltet diesen aber durch eine hoch differenzierte Bogentechnik als ein Spiel ständig überraschender Klangfarben. Und diese kommen manchmal dem schroff-schönen Klang-Ideal von auf Alte Musik spezialisierten Ensembles verblüffend nahe. Kein Wunder, denn Barry Guy ist auch auf diesem Gebiet keinesfalls ein Außenseiter; er hat jahrelang fest in Christopher Hogwoods Academy of Ancient Music gearbeitet.

Ernsthaftigkeit und höchstes Spielniveau sind zwei wichtige verbindende Elemente zwischen den drei Interpreten sowie den Stücken dieses Albums. Maya Homburger spielt ihre verschiedenen Violinen (unter anderem einer Barockgeige von Antonio dalla Costa aus Treviso von 1740) mit feinsten Klangnuancen und interpretiert die Stücke – darunter auch Bibers "Passacaglia" für Violine solo – mit großer Innigkeit des Ausdrucks; sie wählt denn auch eher langsame Tempi. Und auch Schlagzeuger Pierre Favre setzt nie auf äußerliche Effekte oder gar auf rhythmische Wucht, sondern öffnet Klang-Räume.

So überzeugt hier einfach jeder Moment: Wenn auf Castellos Komposition Barry Guys durch Favres Schlagzeug erweitertes Bass-Solo "Peace Piece" folgt, wird man nicht von einer Welt in die andere geworfen, sondern spürt denselben Geist. Gerade bei Aufnahmen wie dieser wird übrigens klar, warum ein Londoner Kritiker Guys Musik "eine Naturgewalt" nannte: Sein Bass-Spiel ist hier ein Wunder an Intensität und zugleich lyrischer Zartheit. Ein größeres Spektrum an Klängen und Ausdruck lässt sich mit einem einzigen Kontrabass wohl nicht erzielen.

Eine "Forschungsreise" nennt Barry Guy diese Aufnahmen auch: Eine CD, in der es für Hörer mit ganz unterschiedlichen Vorlieben enorm viel zu entdecken gibt – und die die jeweiligen Musiksprachen nicht aufweicht, sondern sie gegenseitig intensiviert. Barock und Free Jazz beleben einander hier – statt mit "Crossover"-Manier glatt- und totgebügelt zu werden. Und es ist sehr wahrscheinlich, dass es zurzeit nirgendwo andere Interpreten gibt, die diese Welten auf einem so hohen Niveau aufeinander treffen lassen können.

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Vancouver concert:
"Western Front continued the momentum with the debut of Maya Homburger and Barry Guy in a duo concert that was sublime, the sound of the baroque violin and contrabass creating a powerful blend ... The work of the duo struck the right balance between prepared music and improvisation, Homburger's presence (like her partner's) so completely concentrated in the music while playing, one begins to think about the refinement of bones in the human hand."

"His duet with violinist Maya Homburger simply sang with virtuosity, expression, musical pose, grace and in Guy's case athleticism, as he bounded around the length and breadth of the instrument's fingerboard, body and tuning pegs, attacking the strings with all manner of percussion beaters and several species of brushes."
The Herald, Glasgow, May 2000

"Le samedi débuta par une des plus belles presentations: le duo de la violiniste suisse Maya Homburger et du bassiste anglais Barry Guy .... Les musiciens furent convaincants, sérieux sans arrogance, parfaits sans timidité déguisée; une fantastique performance."
Improjazz, Fevrier 2001

"... He and baroque violinist Maya Homburger – who plays with a warm, sweet and lively sound, whether performing baroque or contemporary music – craft an extraordinary and marvellous strangeness throughout their programme of works from the 17th, 18th and 20th centuries."
Stephen Pedersen (Halifax, Nov. 1999)

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Technical rider

1 bass amp and speaker of high quality for example Gallien Krüger or similar.
1 playback system for DAT tape or CD player for the piece with violin and tape (Ceremony)
1 microphone for violin and small PA system (size of the system obviously depending on the hall, church size etc.)
1 small table for Barry to put his bows, sticks, brushes etc.
2 music stands


CEREMONY ECM 1643 (1999)
DAKRYON MAYA Recordings MCD0501 (2005)
CELEBRATION AUD01203/2003 with Walter Prati, cello
BUXTON ORR Chamber Music for Strings, Toccata Classics, TOCC0103 Homburger / Guy Duo a.o. (2012)
WITHOUT BORDERS Listen Foundation FSR05 (2017) with Zlatko Kaucic, percussion