Buiten Dienst

BUITEN DIENST (Winus)… (Jan Hocek) (Jan Granlie) (Erno Eisinga) (Ken Waxman) (Ben Taffijn)

“Well, get on board and throw yourself into the mercy of the Rio-based and now in Amsterdam living saxophonist Yedo Gibson, the classical trained pianist Nora Mulder now moving into the field of contemporary music and the Brasilian grown contrabassist Renato Ferreira. As they take over the steering wheel they drive us through new worlds of sound emerging from European contemporary music. So buckle your seatbelt Dorothy, ‘cause Kansas is going bye-bye.

Sometimes we want to escape the highway. Especially when a Trolleybus is steering us in its own path and even derails from that on occasion. And why not. The music we hear, appears as a kaleidoscope, only the colourful paper shavings have been replaced by pitches that enable us to experience a richness of imaginary. The trio proves that instruments might not sound the way they were intended for. When you put a piece of wood between the strings of a double base, you are manipulating the instrument and thus creating a different sound format. When you play a saxophone and then drag it over the floor, it sounds alienating and that’s exactly the intention of the so far absurdistic appearing musical theatre experience on the Trolleybus.

So hop on one the more recent lines of the Trolleybus that will get you on a more unexpected part of the musical scape. Lines 1 to 4 as well as 6 and 7 and last but not least 9 and 10 are about to depart. Ah, but alas! They are out of service and heading for the terminal. But wait! Something’s stirring: Brbrrbrrrrbrrrr – a stroked double base and a rattle, a short shimmering of a play of keys. The first travellers are being picked up at the busstop of line 1. Schäflopp, schschsch – Flötentöne und ein Plinkplankplonk auch ohne Monk After a short trip we already embark on line 2, accompanied by a growling base and a nervously imposed piano. Is that not a saxophone purring somewhere? Ah, now its growling violently. The piano creates caesura here and there. We boarded at 1:41 and at 3:56 it’s all over already. Together with the other nocturnal animals we leave the bus to join the other flimsy night-revellers. In their own very particular way Yedo Gibson, Nora Mulder and Renato Fereiro take care us.

Do we hear some turmoil? What happened on line 3? Then all is calm again. The saxophone is part of the cause. Now the bass is complaining and the saxophone seems to be displeased as well. Krackkrackkrack, schschssch – do we have engine trouble? Silence. What do we do? Are we changing lines again? No, it’s just a small stutter of the engine and the ride on line 3 continues. After that line 4 and 9 are waiting for us. From somewhere we hear the clacking of the chassis, a sound-signal that seem to underline that one might be wise to step out of the way of the Trolleybus when travelling by foot. Isn’t that a clock we hear ticking? A displaced sound in times of integrated clocks in smartphones on this exceptional ride.

Clacking and squeaking, squeaking and clacking – somehow Yedo Gibson is displaying an air of agitation. In addition, an aroused family of ducks seems to be crossing the street, or at least Yedo Gibsons saxophone play seems to suggest something along those lines. It seems that Trolleybus rides with this trio from the Netherlands is eventful to say the least.

On top of that a storm seems to be heading our way, just as we embark on line 6, carrying us home. The motor of the monster-machine is pounding with old age. Bass and piano outbid eachother in their tone colours. Only one last ride on line 11 and we will have reached our goal.

Whoever wants to travel with the Trolleybus as to relinquish the mainstream. Be prepared for a tonal adventure in every (auditive) sense. Free improvisation instead of written music up until the last bar are our guardians on this tonal adventure with Yedo Gibson, Nora Mulder and Renato Ferreira.”        ferdinand dupuis-panther


Uncompromising improvisations from Trolleybus –

Saturday night 7/8 September, Cantina, Groningen

It’s a well-know phenomenon in sport – an athlete succeeds in jumping higher than one and half metres (or whatever, maybe they already jump higher), and you’ll see that in the same season, in other parts of the world, seven more sportspeople also go over 1.5 metres.

It’s the same in music. For ten years jazz musicians skirted around totally free improvisation. Then a handful of reckless spirits embraced it, and the floodgates were opened. In 2013 you’re unlikely to come across shocked listeners walking howling out of improvised music concerts. On the contrary: the overwhelmingly youthful audience in the cellar on Groningen’s X street watched amused and fascinated as soprano saxophonist Yedo Gibson performed ‘People in the Toilet’, bubbling and gurgling in a tub of water. A sort of cross between Handel’s ‘Water Music’ and ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ (Kenbrovin/Kellette), but then thoroughly blended together. The attention didn’t even wane when the leader of Trolleybus whispered at the water in very soft and very high overtones.

The set was full of uncompromising improvisations from beginning to end. It began with an exhibition of abstract soundscapes, built up from bowed double bass figures (Renato Ferreira), loud piano clusters hammered directly onto the strings (Nora Mulder) and the modest sound of Gibson’s sax valves. Then Ferreira picked up his tenor sax, spoke prophetically “all my reeds are broken”, and produced chunks of sound that made it clear that his instrument was not made from an orderly amalgam of copper and tin, but from 100% granite.

On a couple of occasions the band let the sound die away, so that only the murmur of people in the adjacent bar permeated the concert space. Upon which Gibson baptised the improvisation ‘People in The Other Room’ – the babble (“it’s my first goddam exam next month!”) was clearly a hindrance in the shaping of his own spectacle.

Only one piece had a score, on Nora Mulders’ mobile phone. For this composition Mulder strapped an accordion to her thighs, since she claims that as pianist she can’t play the thing, and moved the bellows back and forth according to the instructions on the screen. This was in all ways an illustrative piece, dedicated to actress Famke Janssen, better known as Xenia Onatopp, which apparently is Georgian for ‘lethal thighs.” In any case it was somewhat safer than Mulder’s piano playing, since she displayed a tendency to accentuate the notes by jumping up and down, ignoring the fact that the ceiling was only 1.9 metres high.

Eddy Determeyer – 16th September 2013




Mating rituals and a recorder monster in the Bimhuis                  Improvised music is always exciting, every single time, for the musicians as well as for the audience. It is music without the certainty of a score or rehearsed songs. Improvising as a trio has a special aspect to it, especially when there is no traditional rhythm section as in “bass and drums”: What to do? All three play the same groove? Improvisers in general don’t like that too much. So the obvious thing to do is a “two against one” game. But who will be the troublemaker? Or do all three of them want to have that role? Music isn’t a sport, but there is indeed some competition involved. Though that is only annoying when ego’s are too big. Anyway, plenty of reasons to go to the Bimhuis to listen to Bouge Trio and Trolleybus!  <read the review about Bouge Trio at >           Pianist Nora Mulder might be of the same generation as Isabelle Duthoit from Bouge Trio, but Trolleybus as a trio isn’t. With bassplayer Renato Ferreira – sometimes also on tenor sax – and originator / reed player Yedo Gibson, Trolleybus is part of the new generation improv bands as I described earlier in Gonzo #110. The difference between Trolleybus and the Bouge Trio is clear with Trolleybus describing itself as restless, unmanageable even. Like the Bouge Trio the three musicians of Trolleybus start together. They also listen to each other carefully. But their playing is characterised by sudden stops – and just as suddenly they go on again. It is angular: run and stand still, Yedo Gibson all of a sudden decides to imitate the sound of a seldom heard frog for a few seconds, while Nora Mulder bends over the grand and moves her hand over the strings as if she wants to produce ripples in the water.                                                                   It’s always fascinating, there is never a dull moment: Yedo puts a sax mouthpiece on a sousaphone and plays this special sounding instrument, Nora puts an accordion on her lap, attaches it to her thighs and plays the instrument by rhythmically moving her legs while her thumbs and fists play the keys.  In the meantime they really blow, bow the bass and play the piano very well, but the distractions are great. Like all of a sudden there is a howling noise in the back of the hall; is someone vacuum cleaning? Is something wrong with the airco? No, nothing of the sort: it is air being blown into an enormous, 20 meter long snake made out of blue plastic garbage bags, taped together, reaching all the way around the stage. Just like The Rolling Stones who once had big blow-up pinups and the Beastie Boys who had a meters high blow-up penis. The Trolleybus Snake has several dozen recorders attached to it’s head. And yes; they whistle along; a recorder monster! Then another, much longer snake appears, this time made out of grey garbage bags. Trolleybus are still playing, but everybody in the hall is looking around. Its as if the clock is turned back to the sixties or seventies. A “happening” it was called back then. And what’s next? Then we have The End. It’s an evening where you conclude with satisfaction that nothing can stop this damned strange music.                                              Peter Bruyn, 7th Februari 2013

silly trolleybus

“Non Dondolarsi” is a very amusing CD. It initially makes an impact with the original presentation of its handmade sleeve – an artisan cut & paste piece of work – individually made for each cover. However this alone is not necessary to make writing a review of the release of this CD by Trolleybus worthwhile. The music in itself is sufficient, because even though very playful, it is absolutely greater than the jokes. They must be best friends, pianist Nora Mulder, reed player Yedo Gibson (EKE, The Royal Improvisers Orchestra) and bass player Renato Ferreira who, like Gibson, also comes from São Paulo. These three musicians don’t push each other to the edge, but really play together. The music is spontaneous and coherent, even though the musicians sometimes tell their own individual story. This is especially clear at the beginning of the title-song, where, with each of them persistently playing their own way, the music becomes coherent as well. At other times it is clearly audible they are listening carefully to each other, when the musicians move around  together without looking for extremes. They even dare to pause for a while in a specific intensity, letting the listener be aware of a certain sound. Even more fun is when they don’t move together, like at the end of “Kip Nugget” where Gibson roars heavily on his baritone and Mulder and Ferreira seem to ignore him totally. This game results  in “Non Dondolarsi”  – a CD comprising 4 tracks containing 30 minutes of amusing and musically outstanding improv. Gibson is the most flexible of the three: hyper mobile on soprano, special effects on tenor, blowing overtones or making ticking clock sounds. In “Kip Nugget” he produces cartoonlike voice effects and, when he plays inside the piano, so the strings spontaneously start to resonate, he brings ethereal elementsinto the music. Mulder plucks inside the piano at various times, but is especially noticeable when she plays with the more traditional sounds: Monk-like capriciousness in her melodic line in “Non Dondolarsi”, or in the chords which later  become more and more dissonant in “Kip Nugget”, while her use of little objects enforces the playfulness of the group. Ferreira, understandingly doesn’t have such a colourful palette, but still manages to conquer his territory, partly because his colleagues don’t press too much on the sound. It is also because of this that the music of Trolleybus can develop spontaneously while clear moments of coordination puncture the free progress. Some collective stops, a handful of seconds of “real” jazz or “not just togetherness” in rhythm: everything is possible, all things may and can be done. And it is this informality that makes “Non Dondolarsi” such an unpretentious and successful CD.                                     Koen van Meel, 13th August 2012

De Volkskrant: “From Kart to Camper”    by 7090 / Trolleybus     “We hear beautiful combinations of contemporary and improvised music and appealing conversations.”                                                                The anaconda is enormous, at least 30 or 40 meters. Slowly it crawls nearer, you kick it but it doesn’t make any difference.  It grows up to the ceiling and back down again, the audience becoming entangled in its black body. In the distance, hellish quasi-Arabic jeers. This is just one scene during from Kart to Camper, an absurdist musictheatre-animation-roadmovie taking place over the span of two nights. The anaconda is made out of garbage bags, inflated to life by a wind machine, the music coming from an air pump attached to a soprano saxophone. Creative, imaginative and above all, hilarious. Many things unfold during this (until now) one-time project of pianist and cymbalist Nora Mulder, organized together with wind player Yedo Gibson. The constant music of her two bands 7090 (usually playing contemporary composed music) and Trolleybus (playing free improvisation) is accompanied by hard work in the background: the kart (a little racing car) that entered the hall at the beginning of the first evening must be transformed into a camper. We are in the middle of the pit, diesel fumes included. With poker faces, the constructors enter, bringing in planks, wood, tools.  This scenery is accompanied by a beautiful duet on violin (Bas Wiegers) and trombone (Koen Kaptijn). Even more curious combinations will follow: repetitive drumsticks on the violin and double bass (Renato Ferreira) result in a wonderful improvisation of high quality, while in the background, the sound of an electric saw without any rhythm or melody. Mulder picks up the accordion and attaches it to her thighs. She is moving her legs slowly, for the audience it is intimate and uneasy. She moves faster, giving all she has and seemingly injuring her hamstrings: a physical endurance. Instrument and instrumentalist can hardly breathe. In the meantime, on her right, others are working on a mysterious construction. It turns out to be part of the live animation, wonderfully designed, coming to life through a camera built on a skateboard. Not knowing where to look, you are taken out of your comfort zone. We hear beautiful combinations of contemporary and improvised music and appealing conversations, like the Wikipedia monologue about the trolleybus with musical commentary. Also fun: an underwater hooting experiment.  The trombone turns out to do especially well. The Camper is beautiful. Helmets on, engine sputtering to life, everybody enters. Within a few seconds, the vehicle drives off and leaves us behind in confusion.Not often can you experience these sort of evenings.                                                                                                                          Tim Sprangers, 28th June 2012                                                                      “A free-spirited trio. That is what you can call Trolleybus, consisting of one Dutch and two Brazilian musicians. The debut album is called ‘Non Dondolarsi’, which comes packaged in covers that are handmade by the musicians. The content is equally surprising and unpredictable. Pianist Nora Mulder has her roots in both classical and improvised music. She is part of Cor Fuhler’s band Corkestra, Anne LaBerge’s Field of Ears and her own ensemble 7090. Saxophonist Yedo Gibson and bassist Renato Ferreira, both from the Brazilian metropolis of São Paulo, play in the Royal Improvisers Orchestra (RIO). A band, based in the Netherlands, that focuses on free improvisation with baroque, punk, rock, jazz and electronics as its main ingredients. Ingredients that are also to be found in ‘Non Dondolarsi’. Besides the instruments mentioned – mostly prepared – , all kinds of objects are exalted to instruments. Seemingly chaotic, but in the pool of creativity of this the trio, there is actually a line to discover. Surrounded by sound, voice, rattling and even silence, the musicians are looking for interaction. Mulder whips the piano strings, Gibson’s sax occasionally roars in a Colin Stetson manner.  The four pieces on ‘Non Dondolarsi’ (in translation ‘do not swing’) can be heard as a compelling story in which tension span emerges as quickly as it  decays. A story based on sound that stimulates the fantasy.The Listener can go in all directions and will never be bored.”                                                            Erno Elsinga, 12th April 2012         


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