Asian Fields Variations marks the first time that clarinetist Louis Sclavis, violinist Dominique Pifarély and cellist Vincent Courtois have recorded as a trio. Sclavis summoned the project into existence, but this is a democratic group of creative equals: “I proposed that we make a real collective, and each of us composes for the programme.” For a ‘new’ group, it has a lot of pre-history: Sclavis and Pifarély have played together in diverse contexts for 35 years, Sclavis and Courtois for 20 years, but they retain the capacity to surprise each other as improvisers. “We’re drawing also on a lot of different playing experiences, and we’re continually bringing new things to the project. We keep going deeper.” The album was recorded at Studios La Buissonne in Pernes-les-Fontaines last September, with Manfred Eicher as producer, and it is issued on the eve of a major French tour. International festival dates follow in summer 2017.