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Pulses in the Centre of Silence
Pulses in the Centre of Silence

Pulses in the Centre of Silence

Composition Scores and Artistry Concepts


226 Pages, 8.25 x 11.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $59.00 (US $59.00) (CA $80.00)

Publication Date: March 2020

ISBN 9781928341963

Rights: WOR X ZA

Real African Publishers (Mar 2020)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: February 2020


This book is primarily a book of Carlo Mombelli's recorded works. However, you will find not only the lead sheets or scores of his compositions from the stories of his life but also chapters about his musical ideas and concepts and theories about performance, listening, learning and teaching, so that you can gain insight into where and how those compositions were created. The views expressed in this book are Mombelli's alone and come from his experience as a bassist and composer, and the music concepts apply to all instrumentation. He tends to write from the viewpoint of being a jazz musician and an improviser – even though he is not sure if his compositions fall into that genre, as he has never wanted to be stuck in a box. Mombelli expresses his feelings and thoughts on music performance and composition: things that he has learnt and believes in as they have worked in his life as a musician. However, there are many different concepts, many different ways to practise and learn, and many ways to perform and achieve your goals. And there are many different styles of music. Whether you agree or disagree with him, it's all good. He has placed his writings in this book under six headings: 1. Tone, Taste, Time, Ears and Technique 2. Passion, Patience, Perseverance and Practice 3. Composition and Improvisation 4. Originality 5. Learning and Teaching 6. Music Scores and Lead Sheets (over 100 compositions)


"This is a Mombelli 'Real Book' collection of scores from which other musicians can work and an insight into his opus, answering questions that South African music journalism rarely asks anymore. In that context, the title couldn't be more apt." —Gwen Ansell, New Frame

Disconcertingly beautiful. — The Jazz Times, USA Once in a while an artist comes along who produces music unlike anything you've heard. Avant-garde bass- focused jazz composition has rarely sounded so gorgeous. — Bass Player magazine, USA His music is unusually and unexpectedly fresh. — Jazz Man magazine, Paris, France Carlo Mombelli's music is that of a quintessential Prisoner of Strange. It's visionary, emotional and experimental in a society that doesn't applaud artistry and integrity. His music sits on the cusp of sanity, where madness and brilliance share space, where true art resides. Mombelli has found in his music the expressive soul of the developing world mixed with the technical profundity of the classical world. — The Sunday Independent Mombelli, now in his early 50's, is still very much in rude creative health. He is still pushing the limits of sound and writing challenging, beautiful work. As an educator, he is molding and mentoring the next generation of South African musicians. Carlo Mombelli is nothing short of a national treasure – you cannot argue with the depth, passion and inventiveness of his music. — The Mail & Guardian Hauntingly beautiful. — BBC Radio, London I Pressed my Spine to the Ground, Mombelli's latest recording, was chosen by BBC 3's Late Junction as one oftheir top 12 picks for 2016 and played on the BBC's Late Junction evening radio, London. Bassist Carlo Mombelli is something of a sage figure. As he approaches his 60th birthday, a time when many a musician has found their comfort zone and settled into it, he remains one of the most restlessly creative forces in South African jazz.— Dan Bilawsky, NewYork,

Author Biography

In his 40-year career as a bass player, bandleader and composer, South African Carlo Mombelli, who currently lives in Johannesburg, has bridged gaps between genres, musicians and audiences. A self-taught musician, he has recorded and performed at many respected festivals, including the Roma Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival, the Stockholm Jazz Festival, the German Moers, the Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris, and the On the Edge of Wrong Festival in Kristiansand, Norway to name a few, with, among others, Mick Goodrick, Charlie Mariano, Jeroen van Vliet, Malcolm Braff, Dejan Terzic, Jorge Rossi and Adrian Mears. He has also recorded for Enja Records with Egberto Gismonti, as well as with Lee Konitz, and has contributed music to and played in the 1989 tribute for Jaco Pastorius, 'Basstorius', that also features the bassists Mathew Garrison and Carles Benavent. Back home in South Africa, he can be heard as a bassist on many recordings with, among others, Marcus Wyatt, Afrika Mkhize, Simphiwe Dana, Sibongile Khumalo and Miriam Makeba. In addition to his over 100 recorded works and performances with his own projects, his composition commissions include more than 14 films, documentaries and animations including the 2018 full feature film Salvation, which features Mombelli's music for electric bass, voice and three cellos; music for a mobile game for the London gaming company The Secret Police; commissions for Zim Ngqawana's Zimphony Ourchestra (which Mombelli also conducted with Zim); commissions for the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet; piano music for the art film Exquisite Corps by Jonah Sack presented at the Jewish Museum in New York, and his piece for the Grammy Award-winning New York String Quartet, 'Ethel'. Carlo has been involved in music education for many years. Starting in 1998, he held a teaching post at the Richard- Strauss Conservatoire in Munich, Germany. Since then, he has taught and run ensembles at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and annually at the Jazz Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland. In 2015, he led the DKSJ All-Star Project with 13 Master's students studying jazz in Switzerland. Mombelli's Intergallactic Bass Programme is published by Real African Publishers and internationally by Hal Leonard. In 2018, the Swiss/Italian Euregio Large Ensemble spent the year performing Carlo's music at festivals around Europe. Mombelli is an NRF-rated Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.