“I wondered whether music might not be the unique example of what might have been — if the invention of language, the formation of words, the analysis of ideas had not intervened — the means of communication between souls.”
From In Search Of Lost Time, Vol. 5: The Captive & The Fugitive (1913-27) by Marcel Proust.
Enter the Elftet
NOT A LITTLE MOURNFULLY I cannot share the Elftet’s softly unfolding 8-minute+-track ‘Wings’ much as I would like to as it is only a demo and not even on social media so far. ‘Wings’ (a remarkably fulfilling piece of writing) arrives complete with its own compellingly floaty pastoral serenity and glimmering lost-in-thought vocal hovering over a shimmering Kenny Wheeler-esque ensemble blend that reminds me a little of the atmosphere conveyed on the 2013 album Mirrors. Just who are the Elftet, above, or what are they, more to the point, anyway? Their own pretty accurate description of what they do goes like this dwelling on a “wide palette of textures and colours, from traditional four horn writing to more contemporary classical music with the use of strings and vibraphone.” Further in the spirit of a Smash Hits what’s-your-favourite-colour type of investigative journalism I however do, pulling the rug from under my own feet, like the name. It is elf as in the German word for yes 11 and yep there are 11 of them on the track. Led by vibist/drummer/composer Jonny Mansfield, touring in Chris Potter's UK band soon, the Elftet have been around for 18 months, already receiving praise from the likes of vibes legend Joe Locke. Johnny tells me the Elftet are recording an album at Peter Gabriel's Real World studio come the early autumn. Gigs coming up include the Petersfield Music Festival on 24 March. SG