“One piano player. One percussionist.” With I Did That Tomorrow (2014), Rasa Daukus & Will Larsen as Tess Said So introduced their unique creative partnership, a vibrant collection of tracks that defied the apparent limitations of their chosen format. The same improvisational spirit, bold elegance, and impeccable musicianship that made such a resounding first impression on their debut shines just as brightly on Scramble + Fate which is released today on Preserved Sound.
“Rasa and Will wrote the tracks together in the same room at the same time; improvising, exploring, innovating, jamming, tweaking, feeding off each other’s ideas and looking for just the right combination, just the right sound. Sometimes searching for that perfect combination involved hours frantically exploring every instrument available in every combination (“Scramble”). Other times, they were grateful for the happy accidents that improvisation can bring (“Fate”)”
While the format remains thankfully unchanged, there is a noticeably different flow coursing through the new record. Whereas I Did That Tomorrow was, by design, more abstract and tangential, the tracks on Scramble + Fate share common threads that intertwine thematically and form a story arc which gracefully unfolds and dances, dips, & soars its way toward resolution.
Daukus’ piano is expressive and effervescent as ever whether painting in soft hues and wistful melodies or propelling the narrative with dazzling runs and sparkling arpeggios. In the meantime Larsen .is a one-man percussion orchestra covering a gamut of instruments providing a robust rhythmic framework as well as adding atmosphere, drama, and splashes of color. The results can be breathtakingly beautiful (“Be”, “If”, “4 Years”) or exhilarating (“Urgent Monday”, “The Lie Within”, “Moto Yama”). Once again, Tess Said So proves that convention and genres can be defied and yet remain eminently listenable.
Scramble + Fate is available in a limited CD edition hand-assembled by Preserved Sound (150 copies) or as a digital download.