maandag 26 augustus 2019

Kairos 107, June 2019 on Concertzender

Is there a way to open this Kairos in an original way? Not this month. Wo. is running behind due to pressing other business and holiday and starts to catch up by listening to the last spring Kairos of 2019.

As the familiar intro sound of Kairos descends on me, I settle in for an hour of listening to music that is not found regularly on this blog. It starts wth deep male voices and a what? a drone flying and the buzzing sound caught on tape? Layers of "oooohhh" fill my head with mixed solidly behind it a synthesizer playing the exact same note.

African kind of singing takes over, followed by a female voice. It is my introduction to Lisa Gerrard in her collaboration with Pieter Bourke. Gerrard is known best as half of the Australian duo Dead Can Dance, a band that passed me by. 'Pilgrimage Of The Children' can put a person in a certain trance and as such is pleasant. As stand alone music it passes me by totally. It probably works best for me in this context.

A piano joins in, in the background a concersation that does not become fully audible. Eva de Roovere plays 'Lo' from her latest album 'La Loba'. Darker chords/notes are ended by a single high note. Creating a special effect in the music, a moment to look forward to.

Her song ends abruptly and is replaced by a drone. A female voice singing 'ooohhh' with behind it an electronic sound. This at times is so brittle. Although the music swells and declines like a wave on a tranquil beach. Through the music a woman breaths and then recites a text, whispering just as subtly as the music itself is. When static works its way into the brittle music, a change seems to be announced. Although nothing changes, Benjamin van Esser, is playing with the mind of the listener as he is with his music. Step by step the composition is taken apart, as if he took a scissor to the tape while expressing an inner madness that is escaping through all the seems. The female singing and reciting is taking on a frantic tone. Nothing is what it seemed any longer. An environment is created in which anything can happen, within the context created by Van Esser. 'Everytime I Hear Everytime I See' is a challenging composition. Parts of it could be the soundtrack of a horromovie, with ghosts and poltergeists occupying the whole neighbourhood. And yet, Van Esser manages to put the lid on everything in the second half of his work. Tranquility returns in the form a male voice droning 'ooohhh'., but there's no denying the disconcerting vibes occurring in the background. 'Everytime I Hear Everytime I See' is a disquieting piece of work. More 'Rosemary's Baby' than 'Ave Maria'.

When Lisa Gerrard returns I am ready for a change to get me off the 14 minutes by Van Esser, but have to brace myself for 9 minutes none the less. Gerrard starts off singing with a deep voice, with long notes and little words. The synths behind her playing long, single notes as well, allowing for very little variation in the music. When percussion joins in, the song comes alive, creating an eastern vibe. It seems that Gerrard is exploring world music on her album 'Duality', again with Pieter Bourke at her side. After a while, when simply no variation sets in, I understand that Gerrard really let herself be inspired by eastern music. The monotonous sound being exactly what keeps me away from it in daily life. This is not for me.

Luckily Jesse Mac Cormack returns to Kairos, I notice. Will this not be too out of place I wonder while Lisa Gerrard is filling up her nine minute slot? I will find out soon. Mac Cormack has been found on these pages before of course, to favourable reception. 'Give A Chance' is a song from his latest album, 'Now'. There is a small part in between the two I can't place. 'Give A Chance' is a haunted song that comes closest to the work on his two previous EPs. Where in general he steps away from his early work and certainly from his intensive live performances. Also in this song scary things are going on, so it certainly fits with what went on before. Sounds and music seem to burst from an invisible wall that is incapable of stopping the stream coming from behind it. Interesting is the right word to use here. What is it I'm hearing exactly? What is it meant to do? What does it do to my mind? All questions that go unanswered for now, as the next song draws attention to itself.

An acoustic guitar playing with a lot ambience around it like it is played in a large room with loads of resonance in it. 'Embrace The Spirit Of Love' indeed. The song is the epitome of straightforwardness compared to most other going on this Kairos, a point of rest.

And then, a English poem. Now that is something new. Father, mother, love. And a piano starts playing with a soft beat behind it. A composition that takes its time. There's obviously no hurry in 'Nocturne 3'. Slowly but surely Ben Lukas Boysen flashes out his composition with a synth, a single deep note on the piano, a cymbal note and perhaps even the exploding sound of an electric guitar but mixed deep into the background so that none of the earsplitting noise of the studio reaches the listener, just its effect. It is not the first time that I'm liking what I'm hearing from Boysen on Kairos.

All bad things come in threes, is a saying that has no foundation as most truths of this kind don't, though undeniably sometimes they do. So here's Lisa Gerrard again. No 'ooohhh' but 'aaahhh' and 'iiiieee', so there's a deviation from some things that went before on this Kairos. 'The Unfolding' is more of a church choir piece. Gregorian actually. Somewhere in between is 'Nocturne 3' again, but don't ask me where.

The change comes with a trumpet in 'November' of Trio Ramberget. The softly meandering background of the song is mixed with the garbage collection truck that has driven into the street. Oddly enough the sounds somehow seem able to mix, but as the truck moves closer 'November' is slowly but surely drowned out.

It is not until the banjo of Broeder Dieleman chimes in, the music wins out again. 'Groot Eiland' was released this spring and discussed on this blog extensively. The soft and brooding song sets itself apart softly but surely. Listening to the song again, I notice how the accompanying voices and music almost seem to be set apart from Toon Dieleman's voice and his banjo. It fits but not in an everyday way. It forces to listen to the music and find out how it works. Because that it does.

It is 'November' that returns and the garbage truck has nearly left my street. Silence seems to replace Broeder Dieleman but that is a deception. Droning sounds are battling it out in the background before the trumpet returns. Listening a bit more attentively to Trio Ramberget I notice two things. The first is that the musical minds of most of the people on this (and all) Kairosses work totally different from mine. Where's the sparkle of a great 3 minute pop song? It seems like it is not in them. The second is that in a way the music in 'November' could be a part of Sophie Hunger's universe, a singer-songwriter who features regularly on Kairos and I am a fan of. That's what a musically perceptive mind can discover as well.

Eleni Era's 'No One's Near' ends this month. The Berlin based Cypriot singer featured on this blog earlier this year. She's in the Sophie Hunger league. A singer-songwriter but very much with a mind of her own and willing and able to face up to and expand the limits that traditional songwriting throw in the face of the musician. I am certain that what we are hearing here in no way comes near to the first version Ms. Era came up with, but is the result of a search for what else could be done with the song. What we hear is a mysterious composition that, once again, suggests ghosts and, albeit, gentle poltergeists are in the vicinity. It seems I have found a theme for this month after all.


You can listen to this Kairos here on Concertzender:

This is the playlist of Kairos 107:

00:00  Edwin van der Hoeven. Resonance  meditation in 3rd chakra (several fragments). Album ‘Spirit of Love’. Colin Bates & Edwin van der Hoeven. LeaveForMorMusic.
01:54  Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke. Pilgrimage of Lost Children. Album ‘Duality’. 4AD-CAD 8004CD.
05:20  Eva de Roovere. Lo. Album ‘La Loba’. V2 Reords.
07:27  Benjamin van Esser. Everytime I Hear everytime I See. Album ‘I am Error’. LAK Unlimited.
21:45  Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke. Shadow Magnet. Album ‘Duality’. 4AD-CAD 8004CD.
30:17  Jesse Mac Cormack. Give A Chance. Album ‘Now’. V2 Records.
35:07  Edwin van der Hoeven. Guitar Theme from ‘Embrace the Spirit of Love’. Album ‘Spirit of Love’. Colin Bates & Edwin van der Hoeven. LeaveForMorMusic.
36:42  Ben Lukas Boysen. Nocturne 3. Album ‘Spells’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP085CD.
40:03  Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke. The unfolding (several fragments). Album ‘Duality’. 4AD-CAD 8004CD.
43:14  Ben Lukas Boysen. Nocturne 3 (fragment). Album ‘Spells’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP085CD.
43:22  Trio Ramberget. November (fragment). Self-released.
47:11  Broeder Dieleman. Groot Eiland. Snowstar Records.
51:45  Trio Ramberget. November (fragment). Self-released.
56:30  Eleni Era. No one’s near. Album ‘Rise Love’. Louvana Records.
Poem: Wilma Gijzen-Bakker

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