donderdag 31 maart 2016

Kairos, January 2016 by .No on Concerzender

Photo by Astrid van der Meys
Each month Wo. delves into .No's radio program. He is still lagging some months behind, but hey, he made it into 2016! This month there are some, by now, familiar names for the Kairos listener, but also two extremely long compositions that take you on a meditative trip; if you let them that is. This is a Kairos to really just sit down and listen. Of course that is always the deeper meaning behind the program, but this one is really good for an hour of relaxation. The Magical Mystery Kairos? It may well be.

A familiar voice opens the music on Kairos. This time she sings in her Swiss German dialect: Sophie Hunger. Accompanied by just her piano, she lays a little magic on the world. 'D'Red' is a beautiful song. When the band comes in it is in a late night jazz style. So soft and subtle, with Hunger's voice right on top of it all. I can't state enough that Sophie Hunger is one of the largest talents in Europe at this point in time. Her mix of music is mesmerising in which dozens of years of music comes together in an oeuvre that is more and more original by the year.

'D'Red' morphs into a modern classical composition with a clear sounding cello playing darker notes. The harp in the background does not perturb me in any way. This is the sort of accompaniment that works for me. The music floats. When I close my eyes I would be totally at rest with 'Chanson Exotique, lento' by Hidayat Inayat Khan. The two musicians, Larissa Groeneveld, cello and Gwyneth Wentink, harp, play beautifully and interact, making the song come alive.

Sophie Hunger played Tivoli-Vredenburg on 6 December 2015 and opening the show was Jesse Mac Cormack with a very idiosyncratic performance that touched me despite his musical antics. So it is no surprise to find music by him in this Kairos, as .No and I were there together with Mrs. No and Wo. present as well. In the song 'He Knows' I can't find nothing that reminds me of the show. McCormack didn't shun a single trick to go against the grain in sound, chords, in his singing and performance. 'He Knows' is a singer-songwriter song in which he harmonises with himself in a clear voice and playing just guitar. Later in the song some other instruments are allowed in. Together it is a beautiful, very clear song.

.No has this trick with music. While McCormack is still playing his guitar, a choir comes in and it fits. Not that Jesse would ever have contemplated this combination and neither would the Eric Whitacre Singers. The singers move into the a capella Whitacre composition 'Oculi Omnium'. High singing ladies and sonorous gentlemen. The poem of the month by Marion Snoek is laid over the final deep hums of the song.

What happens yet is a bit beyond me, but we are listening to a fragment of 'Klankhealing 29' by Gary Barnham. Little bells and tinkles that move into another cello and harp piece. 'Asturiana' from ‘Seite Caonciones populares Españolas’ by Manuel de Falla. Groeneveld and Wentink play this somewhat darker composition well, but it is somewhat dissettling I notice, compared to the contemplative restful moments before.

Another Kairos veteran returns next, Douglas Dare. He accompanies himself on piano in 'Caroline'. I truly like this song. There's nothing else to say in this song about a woman who writes page after page for the singer. Were it not that things start happening in the song. Is it .No doing some of his soundscapes? My guess is yes.

The next mixed-in song is not something fluent. Simply because it is so different. Broeder Dieleman's humming that is the accompaniment of 'Lovenpolder-Boerengat'. The song is about a hamlet that disappeared for the future, a chemical plant, where his grandfather used to live. All sung is the local dialect of Zeeuws Vlaanderen. The song is an excerpt from Dieleman's latest album called 'Uut De Bron', that is one piece of work of songs, soundscapes, experiments and spoken work. A total triumph. 'Lovenpolder-Boerengat' holds that all within it and shows what a piece of work 'Uut De Bron' is. And birds of course.

'Timeless prayer' by Anders Holte is the next composition. A deeper voice sounding like recorded in a cathedral sings over the final tones of Broeder Dieleman, taking over. Slow, the total unhasting in music. There are faint sounds in the background and a constant drone. Holte's voice reminds me of Jon DeRosa, but aims more for the eternal than the worldly passions. Modern church music is how I would describe 'Timeless Prayer' if asked. Again music to become totally relaxed with. To fall asleep with and be called back by another sung phrase. A full 18 minutes Anders Holte takes his listeners on a trip that is meditative, contemplative and a full surrender if one allows him/herself that pleasure. There could be nothing else if you close your eyes and let it all go. (When you're at work, like I am reviewing this Kairos, unfortunately there is almost no end to the composition.)

Broeder Dieleman returns with another song from 'Uut De Bron', 'Omer Gielliet'. Again a drone composed of voices over which Tonnie Dieleman sings. The text is about a 95 year old priest remembering what inspired him to become a priest, walking through a field as a boy. That's all it took. "At first I drank from the tab and now straight from the source". There you have the title of the album 'Uut De Bron': "from the source". The production takes more and more lines from the text and mixes them all together, over that drone to which a little is added or taken away. The voice of Dieleman goes around and around in my head from all sides and angles.

Januari 2016's Kairos ends with snippets of William Basinski, some sounds that are looped and barely a minute of Howard Skempton's piano that sooths ever so much, but is too short to really have an effect and wash Broeder Dieleman's voice out of my head.....


You can listen to this Kairos here:

This is the playlist:

00:10      Sophie Hunger. D’Red. Sophie Hunger & band. Album: 1983. Two Gentlemen Records, twogtl 009-J
03:11      Hidayat Inayat Khan. Chanson Exotique, lento. Larissa Groeneveld, cello; Gwyneth Wentink, harp. Album: Chanson Exotique (STEMRA 200692).
07:12      Jesse Mac Cormack. He Knows. Jesse Mac Cormack, gitaar en zang. Album: Crush. Secret City Records 6 80341047002 3.
11:36      Eric Whitacre. Oculi Omnium. Eric Whitacre singers. Album: Water Night. DECCA 2796323.
14:38      Gary Barham. Fragment uit klankhealing 29 november 2015. Opname in eigen beheer.
14:48      Manuel de Falla. Asturiana uit ‘Seite Caonciones populares Españolas’. Larissa Groeneveld, cello; Gwyneth Wentink, harp. Album: Chanson Exotique (STEMRA 200692).
16:59      Douglas Dare. Caroline. Album: Whelm. Erased Tapes Records ERATP 057CD.
21:30      Broeder Dieleman. Lovenpolder Boerengat. Broeder Dieleman. Album: Uut de Bron. Snowstar Records/eigen beheer.
29:35      Anders Holte. Timeless prayer. Anders Holte, zang. Album: Lemurian Home Coming. uitgegeven in eigen beheer.
47:37      Broeder Dieleman. Omer Gielliet. Album: Uut de Bron. Snowstar Records/eigen beheer.
56:37      William Basinski. Fragment uit dlp 1.1. William Basinski, tape & computer. Album The Disintegration Loops. Musex International (bmi) 2062 (2013 Temporary Residence reissue).
58:56      Howard Skempton. Campanella 3. John Tilbury, Piano. Album: Well, Well, Cornelius. Sony SK 66482

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