"They are phenomenal players, specialists in groove music, their sense of rhythm and time is unparalleled and they are able to cover all genres".
- Bill Laurance - Snarky Puppy
Vera van der Bie - violin, fx, vocals
Annie Tångberg - cello, fx, vocals
Rani Kumar - viola, fx, vocals
* Tom Trapp - spoken word (track 7)
Total time: 56:08
Original recording format DXD 352kHz.
All other formats are offered at NativeDSD.
"Without imagination, the world would be a duller place"
- Albert Einstein
West Side Trio is a string trio 2.0
On Alternate Realities, West Side Trio defies musical categorization by adding an endless innovative stream of colors and nuances to the idiom.
Exploring all the possibilities of the instruments they signify that a string trio is also; wood, voice, cables, effect pedals, and amplifiers.
In short their own musical world. But what I find the most remarkable is that; while investigating all these different avenues, they create a world where the tune is the most important; it’s never; "Look what a cool effect I’ve found" but always; "check how this sound enhances the mood of the music."
- Peter Bjørnild
"Chamber music from outer space"
- De Volkskrant
"Earthy music from another planet"
- Het Parool
"With Rani joining West Side Trio during the pandemic, we were all very eager to write new material for our upcoming album 'Alternate Realities'. There was no definition of what a "reality" consists of, so we let our imaginations do their thing: a moose stubbornly hiding in the forest, flying family members, living on another planet, flat-Earth conspiracies, shark-car hybrids and more.
We wrote 'Evolution' together, sending scores back and forth and watching the piece evolve organically from the opening theme, which is based on the word 'evolution' in morse code.
An electric string trio playing with lots of effects whilst improvising and singing is a challenging thing to get a natural sound out of. We're very happy with the way everything turned out. Thanks to Frans and Peter at Sound Liaison!"
- Vera de Bie
When creating the soundscape, we devoted significant time to achieving an ideal balance. We placed a Josephson C700S in the 'sweet spot' in MCO Studios’ Studio 2 before incorporating spot microphones. Our goal was to create a sound field that felt intimate yet retained sufficient depth to evoke a visual representation of the instruments. The advantage of this approach is the ability to visualize the trio in front of you, arranged from left to right between the speakers, as opposed to the more prevalent (and radio-friendly) format where the instruments are piled on top of each other. In some ways, we are old-fashioned. We may have listened to too many old jazz recordings, but as Louis Armstrong once said; ''The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the backyard on a hot night or something said long ago."
- Frans de Rond
Recording, mixing and mastering by Frans de Rond and West Side Trio. Produced by Peter Bjørnild and West Side Trio.
Recorded at MCO, Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on the 26th and 27th of March 2022.
Main 'One Mic': Josephson C700S
Vera - DI (violin), Audix SCX25a (vocals), DI (fx)
Annie - Josephson C700A (cello), Audix SCX25a (vocals), DI (fx)
Rani - DPA 4011 (viola), Audix SCX25a (vocals), DI (fx)
Micpre's: Merging Horus
Microphone cables by AudioQuest
Speakers: TAD Compact Evolution
Poweramp: Moon 760A
Mixing headphones: Hifiman HE1000 / Sennheiser HD800S
All power cables and power conditioners by AudioQuest.
Network switch by SOtM.
Cover design by Sonja van Hamel
Photos by Eddo Hartmann
Catalog Number: SL-1062A