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Subtle Degrees: A Dance That Empties
“…music that is deeply rewarding. ****1/2” —Downbeat
A Dance That Empties (New Amsterdam) is Travis Laplante’s latest album-length composition, written for Subtle Degrees, a two-musician ensemble featuring Laplante (tenor saxophone) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). The duo’s sound evokes everything from contemporary classical, to avant-garde jazz; minimalism to technical metal and sacred world music. Laplante is also the founder/composer of saxophone quartet Battle Trance and the ensemble Little Women.
Extremely demanding, both technically and physically, A Dance That Empties’ raw, vulnerable instrumentation makes for an intimately emotional experience for both performers and listeners. The piece is the culmination of a very long musical relationship.
In 2001, when he was only 18 years old, Laplante played at New York’s Knitting Factory. Cleaver was in the audience, and invited Laplante to play together sometime. They soon did, “and I felt a very intimate and spiritual connection with Gerald that feels more alive than ever today,” Laplante says.