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In Inventio accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier and nyckelharpa player Marco Ambrosini propose a programme of great imaginative reach. Their album title references Bach’s “Invention No 4”, and inspirations from Bach and from Biber (specifically the Rosary or Mystery sonata) – and from the lyrical cadences of Pergolesi – flow into a musical journey of remarkable invention. From the unique instrumentation onwards, this is an inventive project at all levels. Throughout, the blending of instruments is fresh and evocative as the French-Italian duo follow a path from ancient to modern music, finding new sound-colour combinations and, frequently, dissolving demarcations between improvisation, arrangement and composition.

Matinier and Ambrosini are musicians who cover a lot of ground as a matter of course, their musical curiosity open to pan-idiomatic experiment as well as investigation of the regions where the genres meet. One of Matinier’s early recordings was entitled Confluences, and confluences may be engineered or discovered. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of following the implications of the music. The accordionist particularly enjoys the challenge of the duo: “It allows great freedom, an immediate reaction, a total dialogue, an appreciation of silence and of time.” The duo with Marco Ambrosini is in existence since 2008. Other duo partners have included bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons, and clarinettist Michael Riessler. In such contexts – and in his work with the groups of Brahem and Couturier – Jean-Louis Matinier has taken the accordion far beyond any ‘folkloric’ frame of reference. Born in 1963 in Nevers, France, Matinier studied both classical music and jazz, and attracted national and international attention as an outstanding soloist in the Orchestre National de Jazz at the end of the 1980s, when it was under the direction of Claude Barthélemy. Since 1999 he has accompanied chanson legend Juliette Gréco on concerts around the world. Matinier can be heard on ECM recordings with Anouar Brahem (Le pas du chat Noir, Le voyage de Sahar), François Couturier (Nostalghia, Tarkovsky Quartet) and Louis Sclavis (Dans la nuit), as well as Sounds and Silence (music for the film of the same name).

Marco Ambrosini was born in 1964 in Forli, Italy. He studied violin, viola and composition at the G.B. Pergolesi Institute in Ancona and at Pesaro’s Rossini Conservatory. One of very few nyckelharpa players working outside the Swedish folk tradition, he took up the instrument in 1983 and has since become one of its most outstanding exponents, shaping a new role for the instrument in baroque and contemporary music. Ambrosini has played on more than a hundred albums. He is the co-founder of the early music consort Oni Wytars. In addition to work with Matinier he has played in diverse contexts with Michael Riessler, Valentin Clastrier and many others. Marco Ambrosini can be heard on ECM recordings with Rolf Lislevand (Nuove musiche, Diminiuito) Giovanna Pessi/Susanna Wallumrød (If Grief Could Wait) and Helena Tulve (Arboles lloran por lluvia) as well as the Sounds and Silence anthology.

Inventio was recorded at the Auditorio of the Radiotelevisione Svizzera in Lugano in April 2013, and produced by Manfred Eicher.

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