English: Review PAPER PAIRS & TROMBONE by Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg

Ebba Jahn Video 
Paul Hubweber

28 Min.,2018


Review by Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg 

Jean-Michel van Schouwburg - Vocalist
The music and the image are paired here. In the gallery, each painting on paper (12 x 16 inches) is exposed next to the one with which it forms a couple because of the suggested movement, composition, colors, patterns and technique used.
Ebba Jahn, the artist, designed a parcour, a path for the trombonist Paul Hubweber to improvise his music in the moment against multiple pairs of paintings, structuring his thought and his musical action. A musical walk in the idea of Pictures at an Exhibition a composition by Modeste Mussorgsky.  
The musician, unaccompanied, therefore solitary, is free to conceive his improvisations or instant compositions inspired by what he sees and observes by appealing to his emotions, his references, his musical practice and his imagination. The exhibited works embrace a broad panorama of conceptions andinterests in what is defined as "abstract art"... oil, graphite, watercolor, vinyl, photo paper, repetitive and shifting patterns, entangled or delicate vegetation. It should be added that Ebba Jahn's film work is focused on improvised music and free jazz, which she brilliantly illustrated with the now classic 16 mm film Rising Tones Cross (1984).

Replaying these 28 minutes with closed eyes, we are struck by the coherence of 
each of the improvisations gradually coming together in a great sensitive and 
poetic work of the trombone, melodic, sonorous, resulting from jazz and his 
experience as a free improviser. 
In each piece played opposite a pair of paper, the trombonist chooses a particular
element of one of them (of the two!): Shape, color, texture, rhythm, space that 
he interprets by creating in turn frankly almost mimetic, elliptical, tangential, 
distant. We hear the blue color in its nuances, the pointillist detail, the movement
of the lines, the flow of the water tinted on the paper. 
Ebba Jahn projected his dreams, his struggles, his ideal and we hear the breath of
Paul Hubweber express the sap, the fruit, spread the seed in our auditory 
imagination; the viewer may guess at what element of the picture  the musician 
refers to. Free to all, the listeners, the painter, the musician and you who 
contemplate the video, to understand and interpret the evolution of this dialogue 
in time and space.
The visit of the Paper Pairs ends, summed up by a melody - an infinite ritornello that delivers Paul Hubweber's latest impressions of Ebba Jahn's exhibition and the emotion of the spectators, by placing himself at the back of the room and addressing the receptive and amazed audience. If each painting has nourished the work of the musician, his music reinforces the raison d'être of the Paper Pairs and transcends it.

Translated from French, also available on this blog.