“Troy Schafer’s approach to the violin ranges from cryptic elegance, with the avant-garde group Kinit Her, to outright scraping abuse at a recent Project Lodge solo set. His most recent release is the EP Scalping the Wraith, recorded with Portuguese multi-instrumentalist Paulo Chagas. The two came into contact when both were recording tracks for Italian composer Marco Lucchi’s compilation Broken Arpeggios (which Schafer calls “a contemporary investigation on the power of the arpeggio beyond its usual accompaniment role”).
Scalping the Wraith results from Chagas and Schafer’s trying to improvise despite the distance. “[We discussed] basic phrasing before simultaneously recording separate tracks without hearing one another, then slapping the takes together,” Schafer says.
The tracks, with titles like “Failed Wizardry and Drunken Mourning Over the Loss of a Pet Gerbil,” draw on both classical training and an extreme willingness to wander. Chagas’ assortment of woodwinds brings fluidity and melody to these experiments. Schafer’s violin produces a lot of groans and squeaks in contrast, but these are expertly controlled. Their separate parts may feel jarring, but Schafer and Chagas work themselves into an eerie kind of synch.”
February 2, 2012
“I once saw a short video of Troy Schafer performing solo with a violin, and what struck me the most was the degree of fury that was inflicted upon the wooden instrument, which almost collapsed under the pressure inflicted by Schafer. When I listen to this 3″CDr, and I have been listening to it for few months now, I can imagine the same fury happening there. This time he is accompanied by Paulo Chagas on flute and Bass Clarinet, and together they go from free Jazz improvisations into wreaking a complete sonic havoc which at times pierces my eardrums so deep with its sharp needles my brain almost bursts.
It might be interesting to witness the way in which these two artists work together, because as it sounds on this small E.P, they have a wonderful communication with each other. The sound is great, as well as the overall feel, and I can imagine them playing right here next to me. Automatically, as one of the tracks blasts through the room, I imagine Schafer on the verge of smashing his violin on the floor. I don’t know if he has ever done this, but maybe he should. Not an expensive one, a cheap one for practice, like the one I thought about buying for myself and never did.”
-Oren Ben Yosef
Culture Is Not Your Friend!
released November 15, 2016
Paulo Chagas – flute, bass clarinet
Troy Schafer – violin, sheet metal