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Change ensemble is a dynamic group of artists dedicated to developing and performing new work that lies outside of genre-specific categorisations.
The ensemble is formed by outstanding musicians with very diverse backgrounds that range from contemporary classical to jazz and pop. Some of the members are regarded as the most creative performers and composers of the Dutch jazz and improvised scene, and some other members perform regularly with internationally renowned orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony, Ludwig Orchestra and Metropole Orkest.
The group works primarily on conceptual album-based projects with a unique instrumentation that brings a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical and non-classical traditions, resulting in works unrivalled in their beauty, imagination and complexity.
The ensemble is led by composer Rodrigo Faina, who deeply believes in presenting excellent and emotionally communicative music, which transcends conventional and outdated genre distinctions.
The ensemble’s projects reflect Rodrigo´s interests such as literature, dance, film and his diverse musical background.
Different roots, the ensemble’s first album, is inspired by Rodrigo Faina´s adolescence and childhood in Argentina, where the literature of Julio Cortazar and Jorge Luis Borges went hand in hand with jazz music and played a fundamental role in Rodrigo´s life.
Each piece is inspired by literature and organically incorporates some form of improvisation. The album’s music evokes feelings and sensations that remain with us after having read each story, and aims to take us to a fantastic place that exists only in the composer’s mind.
Sound, space and a certain autumnal lyricism are the real common thread through the entire album, and some pieces arouse a deep feeling of nostalgia that some listeners might associate with tango music.
The instrumentation of most of the album is clearly rooted in jazz music. One could say that the ensemble is some kind of extended big band, although the characteristic orchestral writing takes the listener to unexpected places.
NEW ALBUM OUT NOW !!
Different Roots – Rodrigo Faina and Change Ensemble
Digital Album. Includes high-quality audio in WAV and Mp3 + Digital Artwork and Album Cover. Physical copies can be acquire from the Bandcamp site.
Different Roots Personnel:
Fanny Alofs – Voice
Marieke Franssen – Flute
Ilse Eijsink – Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Lars Wouters – Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Paul van der Feen – Soprano, Alto Saxophone
Kees Krabben – Alto Saxophone
Iman Spaargaren – Tenor Saxophone
Nils van Haften – Soprano, Tenor, Baritone Sax (Soloist on If I’ to live)
Stefanie Liedtke – Bassoon
Marc Kaptijn – Trumpet, Flügelhorn
Gerard Kleijn – Flügelhorn (Soloist on At night)
Erwin ter Bogt – Trumpet, Flügelhorn
Victor Belmonte – Trombone, Bass Trombone
Daniel Quiles Cascant – Trombone
Dave Kutz – Tuba
Guillermo Celano – Electric Guitar (Soloist on A room full of people)
Folkert Oosterbeek – Piano, Rhodes
Clemens van der Feen – Double Bass
Marcos Baggiani – Drums, additional percussion
Jasper Le Clercq – Violin
Nina Hitz – Cello
Rodrigo Faina – Conductor, Electric guitar
Bonus track personnel: Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley
All compositions by Rodrigo Faina
Produced by Rodrigo Faina
Recorded by Erik de Reus at Studio de Reus, Rotterdam
Edited and mixed by REX at Rex studios, Madrid
Mastered by Manuel Pajaro and Rodrigo Faina
Artwork and cover design by Blanca Bonet
“Faina has proven to be a master at transcending or, in other words, ignoring genre boundaries. His work is so authentic and unpredictable that it is impossible to pinpoint a specific musical reference. Think of a kaleidoscopic cross-fertilization of Donald Byrd Band & Voices, Robert Moran, Miles Davis, John Barry, Arvo Pärt, Zappa, Boris Kovač and John Adams, although I could name many others. These Different Roots are all grounding in the same soil, a fertile soil from which an astonishing amount of mesmerizing beauty is harvested in an exciting, cinematic and poetic way”. Read more.
JAN WILLEM BROEK – THE SUBJECTIVISTEN (NL).
“And now for something completely different! (…) Jazz, classical-contemporary music and literature. Rodrigo Faina and Change Ensemble ties it all together with a superb interpretation and wonderful improvisations, as Guillermo Celano’s guitar solo on “A room full of people”, wow! Rodrigo Faina and Change Ensemble know how to be both energetic and perfectly calm and mysterious. A great example how inspiration for good music can emerge anywhere”. Read more.
“Faina jumps all limits in favor of beauty, the most intimate sense of beauty. (…) The Argentinean musician Rodrigo Faina is accompanied by a prestigious ensemble of soloists who have fused their sounds at the service of his exuberant artistic imagination, which is not afraid to take risks, in a record with South American perfume and universal projection”. Read more.
MIGUEL GARCIA URBANI – MAS JAZZ MAGAZINE (ES)
“Faina’s grand themes float by like huge, tottering banks of cumulus, while spoken passages from books by Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortazar, narrated in a voice reminiscent of Laurie Anderson, lend a curiously dreamlike feel”. Read more.
DANIEL SPICER – THE WIRE (UK).
“At an imaginary point of intersection where memories, roots, creativity and the literary works of Borges converge, the majestic album by Rodrigo Faina & Change Ensemble rises majestically.
Rodrigo Faina, in his fascinating Different Roots, has evoked his memories and musical roots to shape his own art through a consecratory, profound work of undeniable aesthetic qualities”. Read more.
SERGIO PICCIRILLI – EL INTRUSO (US)
“Through the almost 50 minutes of gratifying duration of the album, Faina masterfully achieves an esoteric alchemy between Neue Musik, jazz and tango. During this period the listener remains immobile, hypnotized in an infinite space, absorbed in the contemplation of a wonderful and incredible transmutation from which it is impossible to escape.
Faina’s aesthetic leads to an emotional, lyrical and ineffable state of mind that keeps us in suspense (…) There is a very peculiar dreamlike gesture in the pieces that makes them absolutely beautiful, genuine, and because of the improvised material, unrepeatable.
But it is useless to look for concrete influences. Just as the effigies of passersby fade into the urban landscape, turning into unrecognizable shadows in the design of the album cover (…) That’s how subliminal is Faina´s tireless search until he finds the relationship between poetry and music. The roots of his creativity transcend specific names and musical trends, to deliver a sensual and infinite splendor”. Read more.
JUAN CARLOS TELLECHEA – MUNDO CLÁSICO (ES)
(*****) “This entire project shows off a singular compositional voice. Rodrigo Fania draws from multiple genres to create music of grandeur and beauty that effectively blends in elements of unease and uncertainty. It is a jazz-classical hybrid of rare richness and one of the most compelling releases of the year so far”. Read more.
JEROME WILSON – ALL ABOUT JAZZ (US)
“This album is proof of the beautiful music that is being made under the radar in The Netherlands.
The Argentinean composer and guitarist Rodrigo Faina cannot be pigeonholed (…) In his music we can hear tango influences, but they do not appear in an obvious or forced way. Faina processes them with a substantial amount of modern classical, film, rock and jazz music in an absolutely unique mix that sounds immediately fascinating”. Read more.
HERMAN TE LOO – JAZZFLITS (NL)
“There is something elusive in these sounds, something that “exceeds”, a vague sensation of unexpected musical voluptuousness, of semantic slippage: The position of the South American artist Rodrigo Faina could be summed up by the definition of the contemporary, contained in an illuminating text by the philosopher Giorgio Agamben: “…The contemporary is he who firmly holds his gaze on his own time so as to perceive not its light, but rather its darkness. All eras, for those who experience contemporariness, are obscure. The contemporary is precisely the person who knows how to see this obscurity, who is able to write by dipping his pen in the obscurity of the present”. Read more.
NICOLA BARIN – PERCORSI MUSICALI (IT)
“The spiritual setting of Opening leads to Deep, Dar and Blue, a first action scene in slow motion with wordless singing and cymbals as anchor points. From here on the color palette becomes more and more varied. A Room Full of People is a turning point of epic grandeur with a thoughtful and shocking crescendo structure full of improvisation effects (the guitar solo!). The absolute queen piece. (…)
Different Roots, conceptual album or playful listening? Both, and it works thanks to the composer’s inventiveness and the ensemble’s masterful performance”. Read more.
GEORGES TONLA BRIQUET – JAZZ HALO (BE)
“Rodrigo Faina is an Argentinian composer and guitarist who has delivered a beautiful record (…) He knows perfectly how to make use of the sound possibilities of the large and diverse orchestra in an often surprising way. It is delightful how delicate echoes of Argentinean tango resound in his compositions, with that typical melancholy in the melodic lines. And it is also extraordinary how Faina can make so much happen at the same time, and still make the music sound like a whole”. Read more.
MISCHA ANDRIESSEN – TROUW (NL)
“As in a chess game, the Change Ensemble displays a wide spectrum of timbre possibilities, explored by Faina in a creative and elegant way, balancing the rigorously written compositions with the improvisations that emerge from it”. Read more.
ANTÓNIO BRANCO – JAZZ.PT (PT)
“With an instrumental cast on the border of a jazz big band and a classical orchestra, an almost insatiable space was created, where it was possible to include all types of improvisation to the melodic vault; from free collective forms, often wild, to captivating individual solos instruments over chord changes. And there was enough space left for colourful chords and rich-timbre instrumental passages with the full ensemble, often divided into minimalist figures.
In his changeable moods, the New Tango (whose symbol, Astor Piazzolla was born exactly one hundred years ago), cinematic drama, and the sound of a hard bop big band are perfectly mixed.
For me, the strongest album so far this year !” Read More
JAN HOCEK – HIS VOICE (CZ)
“Different Roots crosses many boundaries and categories. Within this context, Faina proves to be a composer who dares to confront his progressive ideas in the way a composer of contemporary music conveys his visions. This artistry is an important element of the artistic beauty that Different Roots evokes.
Rodrigo Faina has succeeded in letting his emotional world encompassing the past and present resonate in a music that forges an subtle alliance between authoritative Western and South American musical expression, philosophy and literature. The CD title Different Roots says it all. Rodrigo Faina has followed innumerable people in their forging of diverse music cultures. With varying results. However, Rodrigo Faina’s attempt is rock solid. His weld between music and culture is one of a kind because of his modesty. Simply because it gives greatness to this special album”. Read More.
RINUS VAN DER HEIJDEN – JAZZNU (NL)
(****) “Faina has created a unique work with Different Roots, one which fuses together elements of both European and American (North and South) traditions. Jazzy spontaneity, western classical rigour and the wistful lyricism of Argentinian music make for a magical and a close-knit whole”. Read more.
HRAYR ATTARIAN – ALL ABOUT JAZZ (US)
(****) “Faina’s clay creations are difficult to describe because of the diversity they offer. Spoken texts and unison wind passages are just as available as trumpet, drums and guitar solos; sometimes with rock elements or close to film music, tenderly lyrical and dreamy. A 50-minute recording that breaks down genre boundaries”. Read more
CONCERTO – CHRISTIAN BAKONYI (AU)
We are facing an impressive work that knows how to relate emotions and memories with the roots, creativity and literary value of two exceptional writers like Borges and Cortazar (…) A cloudy cover and interior do not allow to guess all the musical quality that this album treasures, and that deserves a meticulous listening.Different Roots is an extraordinary and surprising album that has made me discover a captivating composer.Read more
I. ORTEGA – DISTRITO JAZZ (ES)
“Faina’s music is rooted in jazz but his orchestrations for the Change Ensemble transcends simple genre categorizations. «Different Roots» sounds nostalgic and associated with tango music, but also unorthodox and borrowing compositional strategies from modern composers like Arnold Schönberg and Anton Webern, and even art-rock and pop, with enough space for improvisation. (…) An imaginative, complex suite that swings with poetic and sometimes abstract images, suggests gentle dances and tells dramatic cinematic stories”. Read more.
EYAL HAREUVENI – SALT-PEANUTS (DK)
“It is fascinating as Faina develops melodic themes with a rich display of color, creating an intricate and evocative texture against which solos can be heard. This setting itself may capture a listener on its own such as the haunting beauty of Deep, Dark and Blue.
A recording that may be difficult to pigeonhole but very rewarding to an attentive listener”. Read more
RON WEINSTOCK – JAZZ& BLUES REPORT (US)
“Different Roots, a powerful and evocative album that escapes categorization”. Read more.
MAXIMILIANO LUNA – MUSICA CLASICA BA (AR).
“Sonic expositions that use the different timbres of a rich instrumentation to provide the listener a full and fascinating experience”. Read more.
DEBBIE BURKE – JAZZ AUTHOR (US).