Lapis is a flute/piano duo featuring pianist Stefan Paolini and flautist Barry Seroff. Collectively, their experience runs the gamut of contemporary music; from austere classicism to free jazz to brutal death metal, and everything in between. They have seprately performed on stages ranging from Lincoln Center to CBGB’s, from the Blue Note to the Burning Man festival. In their work together, this range of influences is filtered through their experiences both as classical players and improvising musicians, creating a unique sound world, often utterly different from the stereotype of the piano/flute duo.
While influences are taken from an array of different sources, the connective tissue lies in two genres- classical and improvised music. Unlike much improvised music, which is primarily concerned with textures, Lapis Lazuli creates pieces with distinct themes that are developed over the course of the improvisation. The harmonic language draws strongly from the Russian school, with healthy influence from Shoenberg and Metallica thown in for good measure. From this jumping point, works will often expand towards the outer reaches of the sound spectrum, with the flute creating dense multiphonics one typically associates with a saxophone, the piano seamlessly weaving in and out of extended technique to create hitherto unheard tone colors. Their work is also often programmatic, creating tapestries of emotion through imagist conceptions.
This idea is most fully explored on their debut record ‘A Path Toward Solace’, which features sonata-styled pieces that create vignettes of life and love in their various incarnations, ranging from idyllic to obsessive throughout the course of the album. Released on OKS Recordings of North America, the album is available on Itunes, CDbaby, and assorted record stores near you.