‘Typuhthâng’ from Vivienne Aerts

This is about women and chocolate: a musical exchange with 100 female musicians to empower female cacao farmers of Virunga State Park Congo.

Vivienne Aerts is a Dutch New York-based vocalist, conductor, and composer with a focus on electronics and multi-sensory experience design. She studied on a Fulbright and graduated Suma Cum Laude at Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA) where she worked with renowned jazz artists such as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, and John Patitucci. Since then, Vivienne has shared the stage with both national and international Jazz icons such as Lee Konitz, Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Peter Erskine, and Florian Weber.

Vivienne released her first album Roofgarden in 2009 and her second album Polaroid in 2012. Vivienne has been residing in New York City since 2015 where has performed at the Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Standard, Metropolitan room and Mezrow. Together with her husband she organizes events and performances under the name Vervool using jazz, haute cuisine, and modern art.

Typuthâng consists of ten tracks, four of which are described as soundscapes, with a focus on vocals and strings. The quality of the singing is superb with Viviennne singing with clarity, emotional connection and beautiful tone and phrasing. The musical accompaniment has a classical styling about it making very good use of strings but also brass and woodwind. The trumpet playing on the track ‘Silence’ by Nadje Noordhuis has the most wonderful tone and contrasts well with the string section. On ‘Concept Of Falling’ it is the clarinet of Hillai Govreen that adds tonal colour to the strings, and piano – well played by Ga Young Bae.

‘What Will We Be’ is in a gentle Cuban Bolero style that is more in line with the style of music I usually review for this blog. As with other tunes on this album nothing is hurried, the tune, the words unfold as the number progresses. The use of the flugelhorn and trombone gives the tune a warm inviting tone and makes this, for me, the standout track of the album.

This is not a jazz album, in fact I would say that in many ways it defies genre definition and I like that about it. This is a project album filled with wonderful sounds, tones, vocals and instrumentation. The ‘Soundscapes’, short as they are, are as fascinating as they are beautiful. Throughout we hear Vivienne Aerts’ vocals and they are delivered with strength, belief, and terrific phrasing. There are too many singers and musicians on this album to list but I would venture to state that are as committed to and believe in this project as much as Vivienne clearly does.

Typuthâng is released 3rd March, 2023

Tracklist: 1. Just Go – arr. Linnea Lundgren (vocal group with 26 Singers). 2. The Journey Begins – Soundscape #1. 3. You’re My Morning – arr. Camila Meza (sextet with voice, guitar, harp, cajon, bass, duduk, harmonica). 4. The Way You Touched My Hand – arr. Mariel Roberts (string quintet). 5. Meeting The Femmes – Soundscape #2. 6. Silence – Arr. Ines Velasco Montiel (small string orchestra ballad). 7. Concept Of Falling – arr. Ga Young Bae (jazz quintet with clarinet and piano). 8. Tasting The Chocolate – Soundscape #3. 9. What Will We Be – arr. Zahili Gonzalez Zamora (Cuban bolero for larger jazz ensemble). 10. Pygmy In Mundubiena – Soundscape #4.

Composition, production & editing: Vivienne Aerts

Arrangements: Linnea Lundgren (1), Camila Meza (3), Mariel Roberts (4), Ines Velasco Montiel (6), Ga Young Bae (7), Zahili Gonzalez Zamora (9).

Virunga sound samples: Pennie Taylor (1, 2, 5, 8, 10)

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