vrijdag 29 mei 2015

.No's May Kairos, Concertzender 7 May 2015

Each month .No airs his radioprogram Kairos on Concertzender. Each month Wo. digs into this show and shares his thoughts. Often a wondrous world of esoteric music opens itself or neo-classical music or any other form of music Wo. is totally unfamiliar with. In those instances he shares his feelings and emotions. This month is a bit different. Wo. played an unofficial role in this program as you will notice. Here we go with this month's Kairos.

It is not every month that Kairos opens with a song I know, better, have in my possession, twice. In the Dutch, original version by Broeder Dieleman and on that beautiful 7" record that Snowstar Records released on Record Store Day. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy sings Tonnie Dieleman's 'Gloria' in English. I have written enough on that release and refer you to it by this link: http://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2015/04/three-glorias-bonnie-prince-billy-and.html. Still a wonder of beauty this recording, including the cover of this single.

The rustic atmosphere of 'Gloria' remains. Nils Frahm, an artist I can call myself familiar with these days, recorded a song so relaxed that I have to force myself to stay awake at this particular moment. I'm feeling a bit tired at the moment and this music does wonders. The lightest of percussion accompanies the extremely sparse piano notes Frahm plays. Seconds between them with only resonating piano strings left. .No is playing with us towards the end. There are notes interspersed in Frahm's song that sound sharper and higher. They really do not seem to belong and my bet is on Lubomyr Melnyk's piano. Together with Peter Broderick on violin, Melnyk plays a beautiful composition called 'A Warmer Place'. Dark, trinkling notes, notes that remind me of the first, heavy drops of ice melting, alternate with higher ones, that could well stand for the beginning of the brook that descends from the mountain. Following its path down around large boulders, the single notes that sound every once in a while, but down it goes. The composition with its 9 minutes is just too long to keep my full attention, but beauty is within it. No doubts here.

The mood changes to something more dark with 'She tells her love while half asleep'. This dark, brooding singing and playing isn't to my taste. Undoubtedly it is technically well sung and played by Polyphony, led by Jaqueline Shave; the Britten Sinfonia; Stephen Layton, conducting, but it just doesn't get to me. More the other way around. During the end of Morten Lauridsen's composition, with lyrics by Robert Graves, and the beginning of the next composition a poem by Anita Frenks comes by. A variation on the prince and his horse. It doesn't end well for one of them I can tell. The new composition is George Crumb's ‘Canticle for the holy night’. What to make of this? And the next? Peter Andersson's 'Death in the body but made alive by the spirit' could have been the same composition if the text sheet of Kairos hadn't told me something different. Both compositions are more sound experiments, embedded in musical shapes that more resemble music than "are" music. No head, no tail, no chorus, no verse or all verse? There just isn't much for me to hold on to. There is a faint hint of a choir of voices in the electric sound mist. As if I pass a church in the fog, I can hear faint singing, but can't for the life of me figure out where it's coming from, let alone that I can discern a church or other building in the total, misty, moist darkness.

The next band I at least have heard of. I even think I have a copy of one of the records somewhere, but I never managed to get through a whole album and totally forgot about it until now. Deep, dark electric guitars sound out over a sound that seems to come straight out of a submarine movie, let's say 'Das Boot'. Sigur Ros is the band, from Iceland and fairly famous. 'Svefn-g-englar' is a live version, I think, hearing an audience at the start of the song. "Sleeping Angel", it means. Jonssi, with his strange high voice sings indiscernible sounds over the music, that just slowly goes forward with the guitar erupting every once in a while like an Icelandic volcano. Yes, this is beauty.

'Lion' by Chris Rose is so much more down to earth compared to 'Svefn-g-englar' that the contrast is huge. Still, .No's ears have not fooled him. The two songs really go together well (and just wait until the composition with the bass gamba starts. .No had me there again. When is Rose coming back, I kept thinking.) With just a guitar Chris Rose comes close to the effect of a whole Sigur Ros. The guitar style comes close to Jeff Buckley's. Sorry, Chris, the singing doesn't get close though. 'Lion' is a song that becomes typical because of the alternated low and high voice of Chris Rose; a trick that reminds me of some of the work of Alt-J.

Listening again, I did hear the change between 'Lions' and Bart Peters' 'Improvisatie met basgamba'. Not the first time though. I was surprised not hearing the guitar any more, but that was all. When are the guitar and voice returning, I kept thinking, until I knew .No had me again. I realised that I was listening to a home recording, unreleased. Again dark and brooding, but of clear and instant beauty again. How can it be that no one is able or willing to release this music, I wonder, hearing some of the things that I've heard before on this month's Kairos? Peters' composition touches me and has this mysteriousness that makes me want to explore his composition. It really stands out in this month's Kairos.

Silmus was away for a few months from Kairos, but is back with the title track of its album 'Shelter'. It totally fits with the previous two songs. Gert Boersma's piano carries the composition before an electric guitar takes over, playing repetitive patterns. 'Shelter' is less contemplative than other compositions I remember by Silmus, but all is relative with the kind of music the band plays.

The speed goes up somewhat next. Almost to non-Kairos speed. I'd say. 'Sans peau', a composition from the album 'SWOD' (Stephan Wöhrmann & Oliver Doerell) is upbeat, with the bass, when present, coming straight out of Air's 'Moon Safari'. That's where the comparison stops. SWOD is much more experimental. Tapes and strange noises come with the territory, but I definitely like this. There's a song, a melody sounding through the other things they are doing. So quite okay.

The mood goes down again with 'Hamningberg' a composition by Rune Lindbaek en Cato Farstad. The sun is switched off again here or might be trying to get up, but not winning just yet. The spirits of the night still have the upper hand here. 'Hamningberg' could almost have been on a Pink Floyd album. Something more bombastic would have happened sooner or later, probably the first, but I like what I'm hearing and .No variates to the next song right in time for me. Still, the central melody is appealing and makes me delve deeper in all the other things going on around it.

George Crumb comes back for less than two minutes with ‘Berceuse for the infant Jesu’ from the same album, ‘A little suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979’. This is the only time that I would have made a different order in the selection, I think. The next song would have fitted better, although the silences in the "Child Jesus" fit the beginning of the next one perfectly. So perhaps not anyway. 'Love, when you don't want it' is the best song coming from Belgium in 2014. Yes, I raved about it last year and haven't changed my position in any way. There may not be a lot of people that have heard of Lighting Vishwa Experience, but that ought to change soon. Jazzy, relaxed, a musical meditation, a love song, perfection. Read it all here: http://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2014/08/love-when-you-dont-want-it-lighting.html. 'Love when you don't want it' is not the sort of song one'd expect in Kairos, but it fits so well.

Broeder Dieleman closes this months Kairos with a composition, in translation, of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, thus circling this month's Kairos. The b-side of 'Gloria' is another beautiful song of which there were a great many this month. Perhaps my favourite Kairos so far and not just because I was able to whisper some suggestions into certain ears. I have experienced some great music this month to which I would have never been exposed were it not to .No.


You can listen to this Kairos here:


1 opmerking:

  1. On Twitter we received a thank you note from The LVE; "Thanks WoNoMagazine!". Always nice to know that our efforts are appreciated.