zaterdag 12 december 2020

Kairos 121, September 2020 Concertzender

Our Wo., since the last Thursday, is running behind for four months, Yes, his excuse is that there's so much music being released "and what about all those singles that come our way?". It is all true, but nevertheless it's time to start cracking where Kairos is concerned. So, he's set to work and here's the September instalment. It does start in a rather worrying way though.....

What? Has the world shifted a few degrees on its axle or have I entered a parallel universe?

I open Kairos and those familiar opening sounds are absent, the dark voice announcing the show is gone. As if Marty McFly returns from the future and Biff is mayor and worse.

What I do hear are major atmospheric sounds that continue for about two minutes and morph into a subdued song sung over sparse piano notes, atmospherics, including absent music and sounds, and a piece of percussion that I would have to time accurately to find out what it is doing. I am listening to Crystalline Reflections, but not really, as I thought to recognise Fink's voice in there. That appears to be the case. .No has mixed the two songs in his inimitable way. 'Bloom Innocent' is a fabulous track combining modern alternative music with folk music of old; beyond recognition, I may add. Electronics also become a part of Fink's music, creating a modern hybrid. 'Bloom Innocent' is an impressive song.

Don't ask me what .No exactly is doing here. At some point the modern beats are mixed out of atmospheric singing at a point in time in the show that doesn't mention something else. So is it Claude Debussy already? The description in the playlist suggests it, but I have no clue. The eerie sounds, both singing and music, are ghostlike, not from this world. High up as if aiming to go beyond what I'm able to hear. When a piano joins in and a soprano to, I have firm ground underneath my feet once more. This must be 'Rondel Chinois'. A soprano? If it's not the tv series, usually the music is not for me and 'Rondel Chinois' is no exception. It all comes close to fingernails on the blackboard. A sound that has disappeared in the classes of the 21st century. Not too long from now nobody will know what I'm talking about.

Somewhere in between something Russian must have been part of this Kairos, but I can't make head nor tails of the playlist this time around. I have the impression there are a few mistakes in the timing of the tracks. So what am I listening to? A serious piece of electronic music, with some percussion that may or may not be part of the original recording as it is so far detached from the serious, long-drawn out chords. So perhaps the synth sounds is Sunmoonstar's 'жил-был (Once upon a time)' and the percussion Meloman's 'Eliquis'? I have no way of knowing. It is a listening experience though as music is mixed in a way, at least that is my strong impression, that only existed in the head of .No before we hear it in this Kairos.

When the mood changes and another composition starts containing long drawn out synth sounds it must be that 'En Passant I' by System Morgue has started. The timeline falls back into place it seems. 11 Minutes to go, I notice. This is totally modern music but in a peculiar way it is sacral. Totally fit to be played in a church as music in between when the organist is ill. There's a hint of a choir, sampled, in one of the sounds hovering in and out of the whole. If I wanted to, I could totally surrender to the sound, but can't. I'm in reporting mood after all. It is so easy to imagine being carried by the sound. To drift on it and let the mind relax or take over and present whatever it wants to present from the conscious or unconscious. To from there go with the flow.

A female voice of a modern folk track enters my flow. Music like a forest brook, trickling past branches, rocks and pebbles ("water all around you", is sung at the moment of writing), sounds out. All sorts of things happen in the music, just like obstacles water encounters in the bedding of a small brook, changing the sound and rhythm of the stream. 'You Are Not An Island' the song by Vanishing Twin is called. I can't help noticing how much happens around the singer. She sings a traditional folk song. The acoustic guitar accompanies her like folk of old. it is from that moment onwards that the producer or band members take off. This makes it a totally different song. Not unlike Jane Weaver did recently on her albums, though they tend to be even more electronic.

The trickling music disappears and a gate to hell seems to open. Unintelligible language and dark, dark, distorted spoken words sound out. No panic, no bedlam, but dark and potentially dangerous. So what am I listening to? In the playlist this should still be Vanishing Twin but certainly is not. Is it Lárus Sigurðsson's 'Snirt' already? I have no way of telling. Hell's language is replaced by slow piano notes and slow atmospheric sounds. As if capturing the wind sweeping over a desolate landscape. The vulcanic plateaus of Iceland?

Strings move in. Extremely serious, so fitting the previous music. I read the word 'Motet' once again. I have no idea what it means, I notice. So I stop the music to look it up. "A short piece of sacred choral music". The name Bach is also presented by Google. Does this help me? Not really, because what is choral music? It has nothing to do with a choir, what I would expect. The City of London Sinfonia plays the dark, slow moving piece by Barry Guy, if related to Buddy, the apple could not have fallen further from the tree, in an absolutely intriguing way. No, this is not my music, but I do hear the inner beauty of the composition. It holds an inner light within that dark, brooding whole and it does come out and reveal itself.

The opening act of Kairos returns with another soundscape. Having more or less forgotten the first, to my freshman's ear it could be the same one. It's like watching a movie of a desert, perhaps like 'Paris. Texas' opens. Now it's 35-40 years ago that I saw the movie last and remember that endless desert, with nothing happening. Until Harry Dean Stanton is zoomed in on. 'Life In Slow Motion' this song is called and it is an apt title. I can see people moving, endlessly slowed down, dancing with waving arms. The music could have accompanied video art I saw about ten years ago in a Gdansk church where a man disappeared underwater ever so slowly to return ever so slowly. In real time he would have drowned a thousand times over. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the artist, although I have encountered other work by him a few times since.

Sytze Pruiksma returns to Kairos with a work where Morse code seems to be the starting point. What to make of this? I would not go as far and call it music. For .No it is also an opportunity to throw in a soprano in the back ground for a few seconds. (Yes, Debussy again, I guessed right.) A bass guitar enters, laying a dark sound underneath the Morse code. Some eerie sounds, like electronically treated calls of sea gulls are there and the soprano once more. The bass comes in darker and darker. The soprano could have been meant to be there by Pruiksma himself, it sounds so organically.

Slowly we move into the final section of the show. Lisa Gerrard sings in an oriental way. The music underneath her voice is mysterious. The mystery of the Orient presented in a way of 100 years and more ago, when almost nobody would ever set foot there and the other way around. .No works a few sounds in as well. Next up a firmer Oriental rhythm kicks in and the song gets body. 'The Human Game' certainly has two sides to it. The intriguing thought accompanying this song is that Gerrard and Pieter Bourke have managed to capture that old-fashioned mystery about the Orient in a totally modern production. Perhaps even 30 years ago it was still impossible to make a song sounding like this and yet I can imagine Mata Hari dancing to it in the clubs of Paris in the first decades of the 20th century. Capturing that mystery nobody was familiar with, including Mata Hari herself most likely. Interesting combination, isn't it?

The shifting universes I started off with and all the confusion within the programme may be explained by the fact that this Kairos ended at 57 minutes and a little, implicating that the first almost three minutes are missing. Perhaps the world is alright after all. The next Kairos review will enlighten all.


You can listen to this Kairos here:


and listen to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

This is the Playlist:

00:00 – 04:10  Crystalline Reflections. Flat Heaven. Album ‘Always Higher. Pantheon.
00:24 – 00:34  Fink. Bloom Inncent (fragment). Album ’Bloom Innocent’. R’Coup’D/DGR.
01:06 – 01:17  Fink. Bloom Inncent (fragment). Album ’Bloom Innocent’. R’Coup’D/DGR.
01:53 – 02:04  Fink. Bloom Inncent (fragment). Album ’Bloom Innocent’. R’Coup’D/DGR.
02:44 – 02:56  Fink. Bloom Inncent (fragment). Album ’Bloom Innocent’. R’Coup’D/DGR.
03:31 – 10:02  Fink. Bloom Inncent. Album ’Bloom Innocent’. R’Coup’D/DGR.
09:49 – 10:01  Fink. Bloom Inncent (fragment). Album ’Bloom Innocent’. R’Coup’D/DGR.
10:02 – 10:12  Claude Debussy. Rondel Chinois (Fragment). Marius Dillard, text. Mady Mesplé, soprano; Dalton Baldwin, piano. Album ‘Claude Debussy, the complete works. Warner Classics.
10:02 – 10:12  Fink. Bloom Inncent (fragment). Album ’Bloom Innocent’. R’Coup’D/DGR.
10:08 – 13:58  Sunmoonstar. жил-был (Once upon a time). Album ‘Картины’ (paintings). Pantheon.
11.03  – 11:13 Claude Debussy. Rondel Chinois (Fragment). Marius Dillard, text. Mady Mesplé, soprano; Dalton Baldwin, piano. Album ‘Claude Debussy, the complete works. Warner Classics.
13:42 – 16:54  Claude Debussy. Rondel Chinois. Marius Dillard, text. Mady Mesplé, soprano; Dalton Baldwin, piano. Album ‘Claude Debussy, the complete works. Warner Classics.
16:33 – 16:40  Meloman. Eliquis (fragment). Album ‘For The Sun’. Same Difference Music SDM07.
16:43 – 22:28  Meloman. Eliquis. Album ‘For The Sun’. Same Difference Music SDM07.
21:58 – 30:12  System Morgue. En Passant I. Album ‘En Passant’. Pantheon.
29:09 – 36:41  Vanishing Twin. You Are Not An Island. Album ‘The Age of Immunology. Fire records.
35:43 – 35:55  Fink. Bloom Inncent (fragment). Album ’Bloom Innocent’. R’Coup’D/DGR.
36:27 – 39:51  Lárus Sigurðsson. Snirt. Album ‘We Are Told That We Shine’. Volkoren 65.
39:29 – 42:20  Barry Guy. Motet from ‘After  the Rain’ (fragment). City of London Sinfonia; Richard Hickox. Album ‘Ancora!’. NMC D032.
42:16 – 48:55  Crystalline reflections. Life in Slow Motion. Album ‘Always Higher’. Pantheon.
47:31 – 53:08  Sytze Pruiksma. Waad. Album ‘Lân, the sound of a landscape’. Self-released.
49:49 – 49:59  Claude Debussy. Rondel Chinois (Fragment). Marius Dillard, text. Mady Mesplé, soprano; Dalton Baldwin, piano. Album ‘Claude Debussy, the complete works. Warner Classics.
52:13 – 52:23  Claude Debussy. Rondel Chinois (Fragment). Marius Dillard, text. Mady Mesplé, soprano; Dalton Baldwin, piano. Album ‘Claude Debussy, the complete works. Warner Classics.
52:37 – 59:57  Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke. The Human Game (slightly adapted by Wino Penris). Album ‘Duality’. 4AD-CD 8004 CD.

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