Spring Roll[s] – filled with a good portion of musical skill and a variety of sounds

21. April 2019
Celina Mehlich

20th of April 2019, 7:51pm – at Punane Maja the spectators wait patiently for the French quartet Spring Roll who is currently on tour through the Baltic States. Some seats remain free, and people of different generations can be seen.


Sylvaine Hélary (flute), Antonin Rayon (piano, synthesizer), Hugues Mayot (tenor saxophone, clarinet) and Bruno Chevillon (double bass) appear on stage in casual clothes, and without further ado put the music to the foreground showing their pure talent.


The quartet performed four compositions by pianist Antonin Rayon, flutist Sylvaine Hélary and an American colleague, Chris Davies, including improvisations. All the pieces were about a quarter of an hour long.


The band created a unique sound, characterized by playing with tempos, timbres and resulting dissonances. Interspersed harmonic warm lines of individual instruments contrasted with fast passages, glissandi, dissonant tone sequences and sounds, which were improvised in an unconventional way by air draughts from the wind instruments or rustling on the double bass. The synthesizer also brought exciting sounds to the sound backdrop that created an excellent surrealistic picture.


On one hand, the avant-garde new music could be understood as melancholic but also excitingly and captivatingly; partly even spooky and creating goose bumps that one could see from the bound looks of the spectators. The music fits perfectly into a detective movie that makes the audience riveted to their seats. Mixed with quieter, contemplative passages, the music invited listeners to dive into different worlds at the same time. Without pulse or metre the musicians told different stories with their instruments resulting in many moods. It was sophisticated high quality music performed by exceptionally gifted musicians.


Contemporary music fans as well as those who look for something different and far away from mainstream, Spring Roll concert is a way to go. Alléz-y!


April 20, Punane Maja


Sylvaine Hélary (flute)
Antonin Rayon (piano, synthesizer)
Hugues Mayot (tenor saxophone, clarinet)
Bruno Chevillon (double bass)


See concert photos here.