The name “Radical Cycle” is in part a reference to the “cycles” of art songs that classical composers (Schubert and others) would write.
In this exciting and original project, Dani and Sageev Oore have integrated their diverse musical backgrounds, especially in classical music, jazz and klezmer music, to create a piece that lies somewhere in the territory between classical and improvised music. (There was a strong tradition of improvisation in classical music before the era of audio recording.) They have taken pieces, mainly art songs for voice & piano– by composers including Brahms, Charles Ives, Schubert, Bartok, Schumann, Puccini, Alban Berg– and completely reconstructed them into a single coherent “cycle” for piano and soprano saxophone. Sometimes a piece opens up into an improvisation and then returns to the starting point, sometimes they superimpose two songs on top of each other, sometimes the songs elide or dovetail into one another, and sometimes they follow the score exactly.
While the techniques and structures are sophisticated and subtle enough to be of significant interest to an experienced listener, one can easily enjoy their reconstruction of these beautiful songs without knowing or thinking about any of this background; it flows naturally and organically.
In some ways it’s like a total remix created completely acoustically without any electronics, and where the goal– of the compositional structure itself, and even of the improvised parts– is to uncover essential elements of the songs themselves.