zaterdag 29 december 2018

Kairos, 6 December 2018 by .No on Concertzender

After the festivities in last months deliberations by Wo. on the radio show .No produces for Concertzender called Kairos, we return to business as usual. Of course 100 is a random number, but people like to celebrate special occasions and 100 is a nice round figure. 101 is not. It is the beginning of a new cycle so to say. So let us follow Wo. in his train of thoughts while listening to the music on the Kairos of December 2018.

So, onwards with the series: a meditation on modern music. A high voice chimes with the echoes of an ancient cathedral. The troubles latter day musicians go to to artificially create bathroom reverb on their voices is created instantly in the old homes of our Lord. The voice is supplanted by a violin and more like and stringminded instruments. Playing a melody, some harmonies and counter melodies. Together they slowly create the image of a cascading waterfall. Level for level it drops ever downward. The water not caring, nor feeling what we humans would under the same circumstances, knowing what could await us at a lower level. The melody holds this coldness, distance within it. Michael Price has left wild emotions outside of his composition 'Willow Road'. Only now reading the title, it could be about a country lane with trees on both sides slowly bending to the wind, uncaring for their respective fates. The voice returns morphing into the next contribution.

Sytze Pruiksma returns after debuting in Kairos 100 with four pieces no less. 'Waad' is an experimental composition. Almost like a morse signal from a ship at sea. A language I do not understand. Is it a distress call or just an ordinary message? There's no way for me to tell. What I do not understand is that the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra is part of this album. Where is it? Certainly not present in 'Waad'. This is 100% electronics with at most an electric bass guitar playing the dark notes. Creating a dissonant in the last part of the composition. Nearing non-music 'Waad' is. Not really for me, but certainly not harsh or unpleasant.

Slowly Eastern music moves in. A percussive instrument and some sort of flute. Although this seems more North African, I can't help to see a cobra coming out of a basket in rapture of the music and oblivious of the audience watching. Anouar Brahem returns, at least I'm near certain, after a certain period to Kairos. In 'Diversion' he plays traditional music that is worthy of meditating on. There's a calmness in the rhythm and soothing notes from the flute. They caress the mind while sinking ever deeper towards the thin line between consciousness and sub-consciousness. The line between lucidity and sleep.

Again one of those mixes that seem incredible. Yes, the instruments change, but the mood and pace do not. And yet 'Lake Serenade' by Manu Delago has started. Wherever this lake is, it must be beautiful there as Delago paints a most beautiful and tender musical picture of this lake. One to visit for sure.

The background changes once again, so do the instruments. However, if meditating on this music, I am sure the meditator would hardly have noticed the change. The mood is darker, the notes drawn out now, the instruments much tighter together. Yet there is still a form of serenity interlaced with a slight tension, some unease. KJ Rothweiler first comes by with 'Sile' and then 'Caro' where a piano plays a repetitive motive for a while, before variations start to interact with the main theme. The album 'Ex' may have things past as a theme. The melancholy dripping from the piano notes, recorded as if in a large room or hall, certainly suggests a longing for those things. Rothweiler was not in a happy mood when composing 'Caro'. More like he lost her forever. 'Caro' is a composition that needs constant attention. If not, you will have lost interest quite soon. Alone with a headset on will work best.

Michael Price also gets a second helping in this Kairos. Again from his album 'Tender Symmetry'. 'Shade Of Dreams' again starts with a high voice, singing alone before strings start an accompaniment. This is serious stuff, that much is clear. The singing is at the edge of what I can bare, yet clearly affecting me. My mood becomes so sad. The feeling just sweeps over me.

When a sad and lonely trumpet takes over. Eric Vloeimans and Sytze Pruiksma play another bird named composition, 'Nightingale'. This is so beautiful. Slowly the orchestra winds itself up to a climax, but the sound fades away.

Just sounds and noises, like a grumbling troll on a far away mountain, announcing mayhem that may just about strike sometime soon. We are in Norway with Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad. This is not music, not real singing. There are voices and noises. All extremely experimental. A fragment and a five minute piece called 'Steamsaw'. Yes, somebody has been composing here, but it is beyond me to what purpose. Certainly not to please me. But, who knows, perhaps for millions of others and at a minimum .No., as he has given Trondheim Voices a place in his program.

Maarja Nuut & Ruum, who I can claim having tipped .No on, return for the third month in a row. The Estonian violinist and singer collaborates with electronic artist Hendrik Kaljujärv, a.k.a. Ruum, for her album 'Muunduja' (Shifter). Now I know one word in Estonian and that is "järv". This is the pond or small lake outside a village that most villages in the Estonian countryside have. Her sharp voice has taken the place of the Norwegian non-singing voices. Just repeating and repeating the same melody over electronically treated sounds and supplanted by a harsh sounding violin.

When an acoustic guitar comes in House of Cosy Cushions takes over. Richard Bolhuis' work by now can be called a permanent feature of Kairos. Not always agreeing with me though. This is not the case with 'Bleed The Need'. This barok sounding song knows only minor changes in melody, but has a clear connection to the music of U.K.'s Modern Studies, a band I rather like. There's a folk element, hidden in the darkness, on the edge of the song.

KJ Rothweiler gets a third helping this month. Again dark notes wash over me. An organ with treated sounds that come to me if having to travel through waves, moving unexpectedly making me have to wait until the wave and thus the sound finally reaches me after having bumped into other waves and objects near the beach. 'Room' has a layer of mystery in the song, because of this time alternating effects. Intriguing and easy to listen to.

'Fermatinio' is up next. A private recording by Tilo Baumheier and Michael Stratz. A bass and a flute slowly playing out a song. There is a jazz element because of the bass, not unlike the jazz pieces on previous Kairosses by the trio with the Polish name, Jan something. Just like it this music is not mine, yet it is not hard to acknowledge beauty when I hear it. The way the two instruments interact are quite pleasant.

The way the piano moves in is classic .No. For a second or so it is as if a third instrument is added to the duo, before the other two fade away. By now I'm listening to a piano tale called 'Now You're Gone'. The sadness is just as deep as described above in KJ Rothweiler's 'Caro'. Roger Spees' melody is soft and lingering. Notes are sparse, long held, but above all sad. There's no joy when she's no longer around.

The piano changes mood unexpectedly. It is not a surprise that Spees is no longer playing. Pieter de Graaf returns to Kairos with a melody that holds joy and melancholy all in one. No piano tale but 'A Minor Story'. De Graaf certainly catches me with this composition. It is so multi-layered, intrinsically beautiful. The warmth that comes from it could be life saving, I am sure.

It ends with a small joke of less than two seconds, I let you figure out that one for yourself.


Playlist 20181206 2300 Kairos 101 s
00:06       Michael Price. Willow road. Album ‘Tender Symmetry’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP112CD.
06:34       Sytze Pruiksma. Waad.Sytze Pruiksma, City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Album ‘LÂN’. LÂN 1.
11:50       Kudsi Erguner. Diversion. Kudsi Erguner & Lassad Hosni. Album ‘Conte de L’incroyable Amour’- Anouar Brahem. ECM 1457 1779874.
17:14       Manu Delago. Lake Serenade. Album ‘Parasol Peak’. TPLP1450CDP.
19:30       KJ Rothweiler. Sile. Album ‘Ex’. DRONARIVM RD-54.
21:35       KJ Rothweiler. Caro. Album ‘Ex’. DRONARIVM RD-54.
27:53       Michael Price. Shade of Dreams. Album ‘Tender Symmetry’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP112CD.
30:15       Sytze Pruiksma. Nightingale. Sytze Pruiksma, Eric Vloeimans, HaFaBra Orchestra.
Album ‘Conference of the Birds’. LÂN 3.Sytze Pruiksma.
31:41       Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad. Berlin Memorial (fragment). Album ‘Rooms & Rituals’. Grappa LC49093.
32:37       Trondheim Voices+ Asle Karstad.Steamsaw. Album ‘Rooms & Rituals’. Grappa LC49093.
37:52       Maarja Nuut & Ruum. Une Meles. Album ‘Muunduja’. 130701 Ltd. CD13-30P.
42:49       Richard Bolhuis/House of Cosy Cushions. Bleed the Need. Album ‘Haunt Me Sweetly’. Outcast Cats CAT 0C01.
46:26       KJ Rothweiler. Room. Album ‘Ex’. DRONARIVM RD-54.
49:56       Tilo Baumheier & Michael Stratz. Fermatinio. Private recording.
52:43       Roger Spees. Now you’re gone. Album ‘Piano Tales’. Zijnsmuziek PT250409.
56:16       Pieter de Graaf. A minor story.Album ’Prologue’. DGR Music.
59:46       Trad. Dag Sinterklaasje (adapted fragment). VOF de Kunst. Album ‘Sinterklaasfeest met VOF de Kunst’. WSP CD16137.

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