dinsdag 12 februari 2019

Kairos 102, 3 January 2019 on Concertzender

Another year gone by and here is the first Kairos of 2019. Wo. takes up his task once again to listen to the choices .No presents the world with by way of his radioprogram Kairos on Concertzender. Although it seems that through the past four years plus something he is amusing himself somewhat more, probably through getting used to the sort of music he hears, pleasant and unpleasant surprises always lay in wait. So where does .No venture in this Kairos and will Wo. follow? Undoubtedly.

The familiar, yet unknown music sounds out, the slightly whiskey tainted voice does his voice over. A few seconds later the fun starts. A by now familiar name follows, Ólafur Arnalds. Behold, I am even running into this name in my newspaper. Lo, in a two page interview with Nils Frahm no less. Names that would have been meaningless to me were it not for Kairos. The soundscape is over before I've finished typing my introduction.

Already I'm listening to KJ Rothweiler. No barking dogs allowed though. 'You', is a rather removed composition. I wonder whether I would be pleased if it was about or composed for 'me'. All sounds are mixed in a way as if they all come from a distance in a very large hall or church. Somewhat blurry as if windswept or through a wall where part of the sounds goes missing. Like hearing people speak but being unable to pick up any words (that are not meant for me any way, yet so distracting). I have a hard time attaching to what I'm hearing, as in not.

A new soundscape takes over. A digital choir moves in and out over a soft drone in the background. It is Michael Price's 'Sandham' from his album 'Tender Symmetry'. The choir becomes more real. Wordless singing. As .No has not mentioned the title of this composition, I asked Shazam. No, no recognition, but the electrical sawing next door might have aided here. The tranquillity of this composition and the sawing is a bizarre mix, but one I'm dealing with right now. (A poem about groceries is told near the end.) (And, the title misunderstanding stems from a missing dot between Price and Sandham.)

The piano of Annelie also finds a place again on Kairos. Softly she tinkers away, while ever larger pieces of whatever are cut in two in the room on the other side of my wall. 'Quiet' it ought to be but alas is not. At least the radio with the Dutch 'songs of life' is silent now. Annelie plays her extremely slow notes slowly taking me over. I notice that this sort of music is released more and more it seems. The ultimate reaction to modern life? It may well be. Anyone who surrenders to compositions like 'Quiet' surrenders to the music and leaves all else out. No messages, apps, emails, no whatevers, just pling, pling, pling on a piano. And it is enough. There is a place for Led Zeppelin's 'Rock And Roll', to name just an example, though a very good one, and 'Quiet'.

I'm am pulled out of my reverie by voices like a siren's wail. After 'Quiet' it sounds like the equivalent of scratching of nails on the blackboard. A sound from the past, I guess. Trondheim Voices sings its wordless melodies. Some like witches, others like angels from cathedrals. Weird is the word here. Why create beauty to distort it with ugliness? It is an effect of course, but the right one? It made it into Kairos, so perhaps I'm wrong here.

Rothweiler comes by again twice. 'Sile' as only a fragment, 'Caro' for nearly six minutes. Although I would not be surprised if the two songs are somehow mixed. The loop underneath continues for a while and is joined by a beautiful piano motive that is answered by a darker one. The same answer over and over, the basis of 'Caro'. It is quite possible to get under the spell of 'Caro', a simple matter of letting go and go with the flow of the piano part or let yourself be caressed by the undercurrent waves. A few times I have the impression 'Caro' is over, yet returns again and again.

When it is really over, there is no doubt left. A high singing lady takes over and the quiet lapping of the undercurrent is truly gone. A holy song by Johan Duijck sung by the Flemish Radio Choir comes by next mixed into 'Sile', KJ Rothweiler's undercurrent. The singing is too high for my taste, the undercurrent quite impressive. Truly like waves upon the beach.

'Zilverspa' is a song from Broeder Dieleman's first album 'Alles Is IJdelheid'. At his show in The Hague, .No and I attended last November we, i.e. the audience, were allowed to sing along with the band. The community singing was so impressive. A man, a guitar, it is all 'Zilverspa' needs. Yes, more comes in later. Soft, delicate, fragile. This is a song that can break if not handled with care. Broeder Dieleman is a unique person in Dutch popular music, a tower of strength all by himself. A song to bring tears to your eyes.

'Selene''s piano notes come next. Ben Lucas Boysen is a familiar name by now. His album 'Spells' must have been heard fully on Kairos. Dark piano notes, a dark mood is 'Selene''s. Boysen is playing without much light. At best a faint dusk on the horizon before dark descends again. Luckily there's beauty in darkness and it is easy to spot in 'Selene'.

O.k., folks. Tie up, as the next contribution takes almost all of the rest of Kairos. Nearly 20 minutes are reserved for 'Glacier Looming' by Rocókon. Glacier Looming? That suggests music for eternity. Music in which nothing much happens, except the slow drip of water melting from the eternal snow. A droning sound, a sparse note here and there. Tucking into the atmospheric music I am reminded by the beginning of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', one of Pink Floyd's absolute master pieces. Yes, this could be the beginning of a progrock adventure, except that I doubt it will be. Birds' song is heard, most likely the mash up with Sytze Pruiksma's 'The Sounds And Science of Bird Migration'. (The workforce next door packed up for the day, now somewhere in the house dance beats have come awake, mixing with the deep sounds of 'Glacier Looming'.) Nothing much happens in this composition, yet within that time and space encapsulating nothingness a lot goes on. Small melodies are developing, a beatlike sound moves in, totally isolated from all around it, and out. There's always a drone or two involved. Harrold Roeland is not packed for time. He takes it and expands on it. The birds assist to enliven the glacier, like they might do in real life as well, soaring over the peaks in migration. Well, what to make of 20 minutes of this slow, meandering music? Not my cup of tea. I notice I'm too restless to truly surrender to it today. In another mindframe it might well work as there is nothing against what Roeland presents here. Just not for me today. When it becomes more exciting, it is .No mixing elements of the final song into this one.

Luckily it all ends with a track from Sophie Hunger's latest album, 'Molecules'. It took a long time before the LP entered my home as the first copy had a scratch. Coincidentally I played it with a headphone on yesterday evening and decided I was listening to a superb album. The switch to Berlin and electronics worked very well for Ms. Hunger. 'She Makes President' is the first song on the album. Totally un-Kairos perhaps, yet the sound is so nice after 20 minutes of 'Glacier Looming'. This song is direct in a totally dreamy way. Beats driven, yet totally melodic. A grand opener to the album, a fantastic way to close this Kairos. Sophie Hunger is one of the most important European artists in the 2010s with a lot of promise for the 20s, says


This is Kairos 102's playlist:
00:04      Ólafur Arnalds. Frá upphafi. Album ‘Dyad 1909’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP 019CD.
01:20      KJ Rothweiler. You. Album ‘Ex’. DRONARIVM RD-54.
06:37      Michael Price Sandham. Album ‘Tender Symmetry’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP112CD.
11:39      Annelie. Quiet. Album ‘After Midnight’. Sony Music Entertainment/DGR.
17:11      Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad. Sardin cluster. Album ‘Rooms & Rituals’. Grappa LC49093.
20:00      KJ Rothweiler. Sile. Album ‘Ex’. DRONARIVM RD-54.
20:37      KJ Rothweiler. Caro. Album ‘Ex’. DRONARIVM RD-54.
26:24      Johan Duijck. O Salutaris Hostia (from Cantiones Sacrae in honorem Thomas Tallis op.26). The Flemish Radio choir / Johan Duijck. Album ‘Johan Duijck Cantiones Sacrae’. PHAEDRA DDD 92058.
28:55      KJ Rothweiler. Sile. Album ‘Ex’. DRONARIVM RD-54.
30:56      Broeder Dieleman. Zilverspa. Album ‘Alles is IJdelheid’. BEEP 020-2012.
35:39      Ben Lukas Boysen. Selene. Album ‘Spells’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP085CD.
37:53      Rocókon / Harrold Roeland. Glacier Looming. Album ‘Generative Landscapes 1’. Self-released (see: https://harroldroeland.bandcamp.com/album/generative-landscapes-1-3).
Combined with fragments from Sophie Hunger (She Makes President from the album ‘Molecules’) and from Sytze Pruiksma (Red Knot from the album ‘The Sound and Science of Bird Migration’).
56:22      Sophie Hunger. She Makes President. Album ‘Molecules’. Two Gentlemen

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