With the hearts of revolutionaries and the minds of scholars, Three Part Invention use tools from jazz, rock, avant-garde, world and classical music to fashion a sound and sensibility which is pure twenty-first century. On their debut classical crossover CD, “Improvisations on Bach,” these graduates of Juilliard, Yale and Harvard play traditional instruments -- violin, cello and piano – in a distinctly fresh sound combining their grounding in the classics with their love for contemporary rhythms, harmonies and styles.
While a chamber music group with the violin/cello/piano lineup would properly be called a “piano trio,” Three Part Invention is a bit more like a jazz trio since the roles of bass and drums are often ingeniously played by the violin and cello. But there is no precedent for the instrumental dexterity, improvisation, creative interplay and pure fun that Silverman, Friesen and Aaberg exude as they expand the chamber form in music that is both immediate and profound.
Using works of Johann Sebastian Bach as a launching pad, the trio makes full use of the rich harmonic language music lovers associate with classical music, while taking improvisational liberties with the melodies and inserting rhythmic energy from rock, jazz and world drumming into the mix. “Pretty good basic material” is how the group dryly describes Bach’s music, while simultaneously displaying their obvious reverence in new versions with wide-ranging stylistic references from bossa nova to New Orleans stride.
Three Part Invention is a harbinger of chamber music groups to come. Each member has earned credentials as classical musicians, each took an immediate turn toward popular styles and, over time, each has created unique musical statements synthesizing their diverse musical paths. As their influence is manifested through their work, through their students, and through the work of like-minded artists like Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, The Turtle Island String Quartet and others, the profile of the contemporary musician is being forever altered. As part of the cutting edge, Three Part Invention embodies the essence of contemporary imagination and creativity while honoring and expressing the nobility of the human experience.
"I really love the CD...having studied Bach my entire life, I find it so refreshing to hear these pieces with a fresh take...comforting and invigorating."
- Angella Ahn, Violinist
The Ahn Trio