Positive Knowledge: Oluyemi Thomas: Bass Clarinet, Saxophone, Percussion; Ijeoma Thomas: Voice, Percussion
When Thomas performs, his aim is to reach up towards the ceiling, to gauge the nature of the room, in terms of its acoustics and its human inhabitants. Although he moves through a broad range of instruments, including saxophones, musette, flute and various percussion pieces, it's the bass clarinet that occupies most of his concentration. "My main and great spirit guide on the bass clarinet has been, and still is, Eric Dolphy," he says. "His tone is so sweet, poetic, meaningful, soulful and clear. Listening to Mr. Dolphy at first made me want to find my own vocabulary system as he did, but Eric showed me it can be done emphatically. Bass clarinet and saxophone, I love them both because they both speak and sing the ancient/modern language-tunes. But the bass clarinet has that floor-of-the-ocean tone that I really adore."
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