woensdag 1 maart 2017

Kairos, February 2017 by .No on Concertzender

Each month .No has his radio show Kairos broadcasted on Concertzender. Each month Wo. listens to what .No airs and expands his musical experience by the brainful. Not seldom he is in for a surprise with no way of telling which way the musical wind blows nor how his mood during the listen session influences his perception of said music. Let's see where all this took him during this month's Kairos.

The well-known introduction passes and, of course, solitary piano notes come by. Dreamy, as if from far away. Although, solitary? There are some bass notes involved on a contra bass. Where in Nighthawks At The Diner territory again. Late, no latest night music. When nearly all have gone home. except for these two musicians who have no true home to go to. A cigarette dangling from the lips, a lone light beam accentuating the curling smoke that hurts the eyes. The player oblivious of it all, playing his soft impromptu notes, followed by the bass. Looking for a new melody? Just playing away? There's no way to tell. No haste, time in abundance and a few night cats in the club. Drinking their last drinks.

Listening to the Ignacy Jan Wisniewski Trio musing my thoughts, something extremely weird seems to have happened. Another composition, by Anna Backerra, was mixed into the music. And I never even noticed?! WTF?! Is .No this good?

It is even stranger! By the time I notice this, reading the playlist, the Ignacy Jan Wisniewski trio has returned with a different composition as well. I noticed that percussion entered, but it could have been the same composition as far as I'm concerned. It's just that the trio seems to hit on a theme they like and start expanding on it. The few notes that are played over and over on the piano sound simple, but are beautiful. It allows for soloing in a most elementary way. The pace is picked up by the drummer and bass player, while the pianist keeps doing his thing. The smoke still curling into his eyes, blinking all the time, not giving up, because he knows he's on to something good.

Next up is one of .No's heroes and one that all but one time never touched me in any way, favourably. Arvo Pärt's deeply resonating cello is mixed with the jazzy drumming of Wisniewski's Trio. An extremely slow composition unrolls itself before me. The piano is after the intro, more the lead instrument. It all sounds like a calm before a storm. As a part of a piece called 'Lamentate' this music does what it promises. Lamenting it does. A very quiet despair comes with the notes played. Inward sorrow, "quiet desperation is the English way", drifts into my mind.

The move into the next song is again so subtle. A modern bass enters the picture, not unlike Pink Floyd's, strangely enough, for a very short period. As if the composer guessed my thoughts before I did, before I even ever heard this music. Dark, brooding, extremely slow again. Pauline Oliverios' 'Lear' is a soundscape disguised as a song. The instruments are more modern, but fit as a sequence to Pärt's composition like a glove. This is meditation alright. The drone being that near subconscious state that a brain hovers on. The lead tones the thoughts that pop up, conscious or subconscious. Who knows? The thoughts that are allowed in or to be discarded as they try to push in every day. 'Lear' goes on for about 10 minutes (and still is only a fragment), but in the right mood, this is so beautiful. At the right moment Pauline Oliveiros allows for total resignation to her music. Makes a mind go through ages in a matter of seconds. Eternity in the palm of your hand.

Life returns with a French song from Switzerland. Sophie Hunger's rendition of Noir Désir's 'Le Vent Nous Portera'. Now Hunger is my favourite Swiss artist for some years now. One of the songs in which the flügelhorn features, as it does in some of her songs. This is a tremendously beautiful ballad, that gets a subtle, fleeting rendition by Sophie Hunger and her band. It's 2017. If we're lucky there may be new work by her under way.

'Dart for piano' the next composition is called. All of a sudden I have a view of these beer-bellied, primitive noises shouting, dart throwing men behind a piano. I could be mistaken of course, never judge before sure, but somehow I do not see how this relaxed, atmospheric piano sounds played by Gabi Sultana, come out as a result of a darter behind a piano. Still, there is a similarity. Both are able to be in a trance like concentration and have mastery over mind, fingers, muscles and eyes. So who knows?

A bass cuts in and a drum. Even an electric guitar. All very atmospheric. It could be I Am Oak or another Snowstar Records artist, but it is not. Codes In The Clouds is on one of .No's other favourite labels, Erased Tapes. The fragment is extremely short. Before I got my mind around it I already hear a female voice joining it all, changing the tune.

Back to Iceland with Larus Sigurdsson. This time with a composition that could well have been composed for a church. 'Entry Through The Wolf Door' suggests something different. And do they have wolves on that faraway island? I would say no. The mood is again so serious. Lamentation as this month's theme? It may well be. I tend to close my eyes to follow what's going on here. Again. Writing and listening do not go together, really. As I an;t tupe vlinly. (See if you can figure that out.) Slowly more elements are added to the sound. Let in and let go of one by one.

I hear an acoustic guitar enter and a soft drum. Ha, Snowstar Records is on board this Kairos any way. Ian Fisher returns with a song from his latest album 'Koffer', called 'Thinkin' About It'. His German Americana works a miracle in this song. The arrangement is so subtle. A slide guitar, a few piano notes is all to give this song so much atmosphere. Again lament for what's been is the theme. Fisher has just the right voice for this mood. Sadness is something he can lay in his voice without any problem.

And next we move into the church realm any way. Gabrieli Consort is not an unfamiliar choir on these pages. In Herbert Howells' 'Requiem Aeternam' the choir's voices melt, blend, move over and through each other. Again I notice the eternal voice of cathedrals. Voices that have sung there since the Middle Ages. Making use of the acoustics, giving the listeners the impression to listen to the voice of angels or even the Lord himself. A spell that worked for centuries.

Before I know it I have left he Gabrieli Consort behind me and am listening to 'Lux Aerterna' by A Capella Amsterdam. It is hard to notice the difference. The mood changed slightly, that seemed all to me.

"Is that the way the story ends?". Chuck Deely's story ended on 9 January of this year. At the end of Kairos we hear the most famous street musician of The Hague play one of his own compositions. From the cds he sold on the street. Always playing Bob Dylan or some hero from the 60s or 70s and now listen to this. It may not be original. Fact is that Deely was talented, but hard on luck. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong life most likely. 'Nice Guys Never Win'.

And for once I return to the beginning. What have I (not) heard? Yes, that's what you get from writing and listening. Musing on a thought probably and the clear change is there. After which the piano music takes over. It's the jazz that has disappeared to come back again later. The "experiment" is clearly still there in Backerra's composition 'First Touch' played by Maarten van Veen. When the bass takes over it could be the move into a new experiment. You fooled me, .No.


You can listen to this Kairos here:


This is February's playlist:

Playlist Kairos 2 feb 23.00 / 11 PM CET

00:01  Ignacy Jan Wiśniewski. Proanek. Ignacy Wiśniewski trio. Album ‘Jazz Shirim’. Wood and mood.
02:11  Anna Backerra. First touch. Maarten van Veen, piano. Opname in eigen beheer.
03:54  Ignacy Jan Wisniewski. Port (fragment). Ignacy Wiśniewski trio. Album Jazz Shirim. Wood and mood.
14:29  Arvo Pärt. Pregando uit Lamentate. SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Andrey Boreyko, dirigent; Alexei Lubimov, piano. Album ‘Lamentate’. ECM NEW SERIES 19304763048.
19:18  Pauline Oliveros. Lear (fragment). Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Panaiotis. Album’Deep Listening’. New Albion ‎NA 022 CD.
29:21  Bertrand Cantat (tevens tekst), Denis Barthe, Jean-Paul Roy, Serge Teyssot-Gay. Le vent nous portera. Sophie Hunger. Album ‘1983’. Two Gentleman, twogtl 009-J.
32:29  Benjamin van Esser. DART for piano and electronics. Gabi Sultana, piano. Voor zover bekend niet op album uitgebracht.  Zie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRyGrD4GzFc
38:11  Codes in the clouds. We were alive, together. Album ‘As The Spirit Wanes’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP027CD.
39:39  Larus Sigurdsson. Entry by the wolf door. Album ‘We are told that we shine’. Volkoren.
44:39  Ian Fischer Thinkin’ about it. Album ‘Koffer’. Snowstar Records.
48:56  Herbert Howells. Requiem Aeternam (3) uit Requiem. Gabrieli Consort o.l.v. Paul McCreesh. Album ‘A Song of Farewell’. Signum Records SIGCD 281.
53:31  György Ligeti. Lux Aeterna. Fragment. A Cappella Amsterdam, Daniel Reuss & Susanne Van Els. Album ‘Ligeti Lux Aeterna’ hm Gold edition HMC 501985 
55:59  Chuck Deely. Nice guys never win. Album ‘Shelter from the storm’. Uitgave in eigen beheer Chuck Deely.

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