Alternativ Quartet: Romanian group releases new albums with tour, photo exhibition
Alternativ Quartet, a group known for its post-rock, alternative and experimental compositions, will perform in Bucharest, Iași and Cluj as part of a tour marking the release of their two new LPs: Deocamdată suntem and Departe de solstițiu.
The group, made up of Marcel Hosu, Silviu Petrina, Bogdan Hopu, and Alex Prigoană, is releasing new albums after a relatively long hiatus. Their previous album was released in 2019, when they last performed in Bucharest.
The new work redefines “both their style and presence, expanding their performance with multiple collaborations and a fresh production.” The albums, which are characterized by an expansive production and are "more contemporary in their composition," see the group’s work take “take a significant turn from guitars towards synthesizers, brass instruments, vintage organs and classical percussion, which lend the 14 tracks a dense, monumental sound.”
The group was formed in the late 2000s in Bistrița/Cluj-Napoca and has since released several albums mapping their ongoing development as both musicians and lyricists. As its members are currently based in various cities and countries (Prigoană lives in Germany, while Hosu has worked from both Cluj and Paris), the group has gotten accustomed to overcoming geographical distances, which are not paramount, Marcel Hosu, the soloist of the group, says.
The release of the new albums is accompanied by a photo exhibition with works by Italian Matteo Scarpa, which will be open at the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) in Bucharest until December 13.
His works make up the visual part of the new albums. Scarpa works exclusively in an analogue format, using a 1933 Rolleiflex Old Standard and a 1950s Leica IIIF. “I essentially capture moods, or at least I try to. The need for catharsis through photography. I’m searching for dream-like, sensual experiences, not always visible outside a careful exploration of photography,” Scarpa explains.
The collaboration with the Italian photographer began after they saw some of his photos on Facebook in the feed of a Sighișoara artist they worked with. “This photo, which is also on the album cover, resonated with us. We felt we had to talk to him and ask permission to use the photo and purchase it. We found a very open, surprisingly warm person who gifted us the photos and refused any kind of payment,” Hosu explains.
The group also produced a photo book with Scarpa’s works, Le Grain - a way of expressing their gratitude to the photographer. Scarpa’s photographs will also be shown in Cluj. Meanwhile, Le grain will be available for purchase at the tour venues and further distributed in local bookstores.
The tour proposes an immersive experience, accompanied by video projections and a brass ensemble from the Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic for each of the three concerts, set to take place at the National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR) in Bucharest on December 5, at the Palace of Culture in Iași on December 8, and at Casa Tranzit in Cluj-Napoca on December 14. Tickets are available in the IaBilet network.
More on the recent releases here.
(Photos courtesy of Core Agency)