Trio HLK on Ubuntu Music
Trio HLK is the union of three distinct, forward thinking musical personalities.
At the centre sits drum and percussion virtuoso Richard Kass. He is a powerful, polyrhythmic engine whose multi-limbic facility affords him a wealth of textures and multiple layers of expression, unimaginable (and certainly unplayable) for most drummers. He executes rhythms at more than one tempo simultaneously, which often draws comparison to electronica and computer generated music. The standard drumset is augmented with numerous bells and chimes, hugely expanding the range of sounds.
Guitarist Ant Law plays a bespoke extended range electric guitar with 8 strings and a variety of effects, creating ambience and sonorities. This, the only electric instrument in the ensemble, provides a contrast to the acoustic elements from the piano and drums. He is known mostly as a jazz musician, but his interests and musicianship spread further and wider than that, and influences from heavy metal and elsewhere shine through at times.
At the helm sits classical pianist and composition mastermind Richard Harrold. From a young age Harrold was immersed totally in contemporary classical music. This led him to study composition in London (at the Royal Academy of Music) and in New York (at the Yale School of Music). His approach encompasses recomposition and decomposition as much as pure composition itself. His harmonic realm is the border between tonality and atonality, and there is a strong sense of rhythmic and melodic development throughout his writing.
A belief in the high art of improvisation and intrigue with the infinite art and science of rhythm is what brings H, L and K together. Together they address ambitious improvisational frameworks which often resemble contemporary classical music more than jazz. Their music features dense, complex rhythms and textures, and virtuosic improvisation. Their pieces are strewn with temporal distortions, modulations, implied modulations, rhythmic tricks, and harmonic ambiguities. Whilst they reference a huge and disparate range of styles, their sound distils these styles, unifying them with a unique instrumentation and fearless approach. Audiences and critics inevitably confuse the meeting point of the composed and the improvised, an effect achieved by countless hours the band has spent practising together. The resulting music operates on a number of levels, making it accessible and cerebral. Trio HLK's music sounds genuinely fresh, and genuinely new.