dinsdag 31 januari 2017
Kairos, January 2017 by .No on Concertzender
The familiar sound starts and morphs into an experimental pling plong, to translate the Dutch "piep, knor" expression, of piano notes. Some harmonic others definitely less so, out to shock my ears. Anna Backerra is not out to please, well at least me, with her 2nd piano sonata. Maarten van Veen does his very best, I can hear that.
And there is that .No magic again. From the part-dissonant sonata I am taken effortlessly into the atmospheric sounds of Larus Sigurdsson. 'Snirt' it's called this composition. Now "snirt" has something to do with snow and dirt (Snirt) if I'm correct. So something unpleasant, I take it. And here I'm listening to the effortlessly flowing, atmospheric composition of Sigurdsson, who, again, calls forth this mystical land Iceland in his music. Like he has been doing for the past few Kairosses now. Further on in the song the dirt moves in. You will know when you listen what I mean. Like a storm sweeping the landscape.
The change is abrupt. Again a piano. .No is on a piano trip for a while now. 'Flight From The City', by Jóhann Jóhansson. Again someone with a Scandinavian name and again it is the atmosphere that is all here. The piano plays a certain sequence of notes. It could be a loop even. Around it more and more strings are added, slowly building an exodus. From a single person to a host of people? I can imagine that is exactly what happens when people take freight. Now flight is also associated with aviation, but I'm of the impression that in here flight is used as in fleeing. The poem is told over the start of the piano loop. Well done, .No and voice-over.
We return to Ukranian contemporary music sounding like written in the Middle Ages again. The title is 'Farewell' and as far as I'm concerned .No may take this literally for the next Kairos. Christopher Wilke is very proficient on his lute, but I have heard enough. What is nice to know, is that there is still a market for this sort of music. It's being made and it's released for those who love to listen to it. .No obviously is one of those people.
From lute to piano is only a small step for a program like Kairos. We are on a mental trip as it were. Being led by the music. A very elementary piano, I could play this, I think, with behind it a choir, treated digitally. When it slowly fades away the piano takes over with something darker behind it. Still single notes played at a slow pace, making an extremely simple sounding melody, but it is of extreme beauty. And then a full band kicks in, man, I'm in heaven. Progrock in Kairos? Why not. It is Ben Lukas Boysen, again also, with his 'Nocturne 3' from the album 'Spells'. And I'm not even a real prog fan, far from even, but this is very good. The change in the music is simply breathtaking. It is not the first time Boysen moved me, so it's time for a full-length review some time in the near future.
The piano continues into the next choice. Busier, more forthright and present. Nick Muhly plays 'A Hudson Cycle'. The first part is fluent and fierce. Then he moves into a sequence that puzzles me. It is as if the part is too hard for him to play. Like he has to think with each chord what keys to press down. A nice effect, but also estranging. What is the impression Muhly wants to make here?
A guitar takes over and Mantra percussion. Yes, Mantra percussion. That is sort of the moment that I stop listening. Sorry Michael Gordon, but I can't make chocolate of these annoying sounds. It just doesn't do anything for me. It last 9 minutes to. Luckily there's some variation entering the mix in the form of synth sounds. In the beginning nice and fleeting. The further the composition develops the more haunting it becomes. If I were meditating right now, I'd most likely be confronting my inner demons, full on, which at times has its merits, I admit. Face them and deal with them, then carry on, with ...
The two moods, Dieleman and Gordon, fit, strange but true. There's a drone in the background, a banjo and bowed guitar or violin. Tonnie Dieleman chanting his lyrics of the sea, eternity and the tree of life.
The more traditional sounds of violins take over from Dieleman's harsh sounding Sealand's bowed instruments. The difference could not be more extreme. .No's other hero Arvo Pärt is on. His 'Psalom' is soothing, non-disturbing almost non-evasive. As smooth as music can be. Perhaps this is the first time that I hear something from Pärt that doesn't irritate me after a few minutes. At the same time, so little happens. In that sense his composition is minimal. Just when I write this the mood changes. A threatening undercurrent is added to the composition. At first I thought we had moved to the next item, but then the violin motif returns. So something does happen after all. Yes, beauty. Inner and outward.
This is not a love song? It can't possibly be. Yet it is. Pauline Oliveros sings 'A Love Song'. From how it starts, it is not the kind that Romeo won the heart of Julia with from underneath that Verona balcony. A little less romantically inclined person may be won over and even that I doubt strongly. An old organ leads the way for the wordless sounds of love that Oliveros showers over us. A Scotsman in full musical regalia underneath that balcony can only be more drastic that this ode.
'Ich Bin Das Brod Des Lebens'. Now I've heard that phrase recently being sung, but that was in 'Jesus Christ Superstar', by Ted Neely, live. Here, there's a large choir with a host of different voices, by Orpheus Vokalensemble. The voices lead me through different emotions. If in a church or cathedral, this would be a treat to be present at.
We end with a song lifted from You Tube. Yes, people, nothing stops .No from presenting you what he would like you to hear. I am fairly certain that I've heard this before: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's 'Nigra Sum' and now I know where. This was a .NoWordsNeeded a while back on these pages. I even see the video in my mind's eye. Totally not my music, but I'm captured by the beauty of this composition. If Ekseption was still around today (alive), they could make this song rock, I'm sure. Rein van den Broek and Rick van der Linden really would have found their way here. For now I have to enjoy the version of Bruce Dickey, Elisabeth Reed and Hanneke van Proosdij.
This is the music played this month:
Playlist 20170105 2300 Kairos 78
00:12 Anna Backerra. Piano sonate, part 2.
Maarten van Veen, piano.
Opname in eigen beheer.
01:55 Larus Sigurdsson. Snirt.
Album ‘We are told that we shine’. Volkoren 65.
04:58 Jóhann Jóhansson. Flight from the city.
Album Orphée. Deutsche Grammophon 0289 479 6021 8.
11:29 Roman Turovsky. Farewell.
Christopher Wilke, barokluit.
Album ‘De Temporum Fine Postludia’. Polyhymnion CD 001
15:34 Ben Lukas Boysen. Nocturne 3.
Album ‘Spells’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP085CD.
21:50 Nico Muhly. A Hudson Cycle.
Nico Muhly, piano.
Album ‘Speaks volumes’. HVALUR1.
24:54 Michael Gordon. Timber [Squarepusher Remix].
Michael Gordon / Mantra Percussion.
Album ‘Timber Remixed’. Cantaloupe Music CA21121LP
33:25 Broeder Dieleman Nehallennia.
Van album ‘Uut de Bron’. Snowstar Records.
39:49 Arvo Pärt. Psalom. (Litany).
Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra; Saulius Sondeckis, dirigent.
Bum ‘Litany’. ECM NEW SERIES 1592 44 810-2.
46:23 Pauline Oliveros. A love song.
Album ‘The Well And The Gentle’. hat ART 2020.
50:45 Worfram Buchenberg. Ich bin das Brot des Lebens uit ‘Vier Geistliche Gesänge’.
Orpheus Vokalensemble; Gary Graden, dirigent.
Album‚ Lighten mine eyes’. Carus 83.454.
55:18 Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Nigra Sum.
Bruce Dickey, cornetto; Elisabeth Reed, barokcello; Hanneke van Proosdij, orgel.
Voor zover bekend niet uitgebracht op cd of vinyl.
Gedicht: Erna Speek.
You can listen to this month's Kairos here: