dinsdag 13 september 2016

Kairos, June 2016 by .No on Concertzender

In June Concertzender broadcasted another Kairos show made by .No, Wo.'s partner in this thing called WoNo Magazine. About once a month Wo. listens to .No's selection of music in which often he is more than not exposed to music he has never heard before and most likely would never have been exposed to. In fact he even listens to contributions that he hardly recognises as music in the way he understands it. This leads to thoughts, musings, associations, recollections and even small stories he shares with the followers of this blog.

"Kairos, a meditation to present day music", is the familiar, somewhat odd introduction to the show, I notice. Present day? Some compositions are ages old, although the recordings are modern or several decades old at most. Later I discovered we do go back this month to a recording made in the late 1950s.

The show starts with Lyenn and his album 'Slow Healer', an album that was reviewed this spring on this blog, a post that triggered hearing the music on Kairos. The many layered composition is about trying to find. The phrase "show me the way" is repeated over and over.

When an organ note holds on for a few seconds I realise we are in for the change. The note comes through Lyenn's last notes and moves into 'By And By' from the Dutch band Luik. Another album that I'd say could only have been released on Snowstar Records. More atmosphere than music and still extremely beautiful. Despite that there is a full band setting, live one ought to be able to hear a pin drop in the audience. Otherwise there would be nothing left. The delicate guitar solo notes worm itself through the organ/harmonium, drums and bass. Luik is close to I Am Oak in everything, but just a tat more down to earth as far as this floating music can be thus.

'Chanson Exotique?' That reminds me of a movie I once saw in New York City that I forgot the name of, but something like Exotica. I remember the desolation, no scenes. Something with a lapdance club? I seem to want to put Jeff Bridges in there, but have no way of knowing any more and there's no need to look it up. The dark sounding violin with the harp playing deeper notes exhumes some of this atmosphere. It is music that touches me on this afternoon when I feel I have not slept enough, feel a bit lazy and tired, without it hampering me. I find this is the right music to listen to.

The high singing that follows is no surprise after what I heard just before. It lands in the place opened by Larissa Groeneveld's cello, so not a violin, sorry. The music sounds like it could have been made for a Hollywood movie of the 40s or 50s and even early Disney movies. The singing is more classical though. So what am I listening to? 'Sea Slumber Song' sung by Janet Baker with the London Symphony Orchestra behind her. I hate this sort of singing, usually, but not at this moment, although there comes a point in which I hope Baker does not outstay her welcome.

Lyenn returns with a second song, 'In Reveries'. Although we switch from classical to singer-somgwriter pop (dreampop?), for lack of a better description, the mood remains intact. Fredrick Lyenn Jacques sings high, with an acoustic guitar and a lot of atmosphere behind him in the form of an occasional bass note and the room he's in. Until more instruments move in. A banjo, strings and the song fleshes out to what brings the late St. Thomas to mind, the Norwegian singer who took his own life some years ago.

The switch to Ravel is a small one. By then I have found the common theme for this month. It is in the music. These are all people when making their music forget that when the sky drops upon us, we finally all will wear blue hats. 'Adagio assai uit Piano Concerto in g' is so melancholy, so soft spoken, so beautiful that it completely takes me by surprise. This piece of music could have been in any movie as well as be part of all sorts of interludes in rock records. This does not change when the Philharmonia Orchestra joins pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. Ekseption did something like this in its adaptation of Bach's 'Air'? Marillion, Yes? My guess is almost that they heard this music. The soft violins under any romance scene in old black and white movies? Here you have the source. It is the piano that is off sorts every once in a while, almost disharmonious, before being reigned in again or tames the orchestra. Yes, I'm pleasantly surprised here.

Although today is a bit of a autumny day, the Indian summer in general is working out well. It's a bit strange to hear a song on snow on oranges, if I translate the French right. This choir miniature by Maurice Ohana is sung by female voices only. A piano takes over and again it has this melancholy, meditative quality that is all over this Kairos. Back to the Rothko Chapel and Eric Satie's 'Gnossienne No. 3' played by Sarah Rothenberg. The soft notes are played delicately, even when the pressure on the keys is a bit harder. The choir was only a short relief from the piano. The door that was opened by the cello and harp is still wide open.

Peter Broderick composition 'What Was Found' is far more modern. The delayed, I think guitar, sound is mixed in with strings after a soft introduction. The composition has a touch of sumptuousness around it, as if there's more than I can hear. The music stops for the poem by Willem Wilmink. No mixing this month.

Taylor Deupree produces some quaint sounds after which Matthew Bourne plays his piano in 'The Greenskeeper' from his album 'Montauk Variations'. The notes are so sparse that it is impossible to hide. Each notes reverberates for a long time filling the space available in a lazy lingering fashion.

Lyenn's third contribution, 'Vaguely Lit' takes over and fits so well. The pace is so slow that there is only one way to listen to this music: total surrender. Nothing else will let it reach the listener. You listen or not, there's no alternative. And that is what almost all other compositions have in common this month. There's no way in between. Once you are listening, there's nothing else for a whole hour. Again I am caught by the quiet desperation and resignation of Lyenn's songs.

A composition by Henrik Gorecky is next. There is a bell that I recognise from Pärt, but not as upfront and it goes away. The title is 'Tranquillo', another description that could fits this month's Kairos. This is the first composition that does not really touch me, if I leave out Deupree. Yes, it is tranquillo alright, but there is also something disturbing (my late Sunday afternoon reverie) in the music. Especially when we move into the composition. Compared to all that went before, the violins get me out of my listening mood like nails on the blackboard. Shudders down my spine. Something not quite right is going on here, so I leave it alone for Lyenn's final contribution to this Kairos, 'Keep It Still'.

For whom Gurecki's bell tolls I may never find out, but I do not particularly care, I have to say. Strange sounds come out of my speakers over which Lyenn's voice comes out. Like a trip to the ghost house at the fair as a child. Anticipating the scare around the next corner was almost scarier than the skeleton or fake spider webs themselves. That is what Lyenn's doing here. No longer a normal song more the sublimation of Mark Linkous' 'Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot'.

Nils Frahm again closes a Kairos with an excerpt from one of his songs. No urge to singing along this time though. 'I Would Like To Think' is all his own, but take care and listen up, as it is over before you know it.

There is one comment left. Why does .No praise himself in the introduction to this Kairos on the Concertzender's website, when it obviously ought to go to


although I am sure he meant well.

You can listen to the June 2016 Kairos here:


This is the full list:

00:15 Frederic Lyenn Jacques. Show me the way.
Album ‘Slow Healer’ vanLyenn. V2 Records Benelux
03:58 Lukas Dikker. By and by.
Album ‘Owl’ van Luik. Snowstar Records)
09:30 Hidayat Inayat Khan. Chanson Exotique, lento.
Larissa Groeneveld, cello; Gwyneth Wentink, harp.
Album: Chanson Exotique (STEMRA 200692).
13:30 Edward Elgar. Sea Slumber-Song uit Sea Pictures Op. 37.
Janet Baker, alt; London Symphony Orchestra; dirigent: Sir John Barbirolli.
EMI Classics 3 67918 2.
18:29 Frederic Lyenn Jacques. In Reveries.
Album ‘Slow Healer’ van Lyenn. V2 Records Benelux.
22:24 Maurice Ravel. Adagio assai uit Piano Concerto in g.
Arturo benedetti Michelangeli, piano; Philharmonia Orchestra; dirigent: Ettore Gracis.
Philips Classics 456 901-2.
31:37 Maurice Ohana. Neige sur les orangers.
Calliope, Choer de femmes; Dirigent: Régine Théodoresco.
Album ‘Métissages’. Calliope Cal 9406.
32:46 Erik Satie. Gnossienne No. 3.
Sarah Rothenberg, piano.
Van album ‘Rothko Chapel’. ECM NEW SERIES 2378 4811796.
36:03 Peter Broderick. What was found.
Van album ‘Music for Confluence’.
Erased Tapes Records Ltd. ERATP036CD
38:20 Taylor Deupree. Rusted oak (fragment).
Van album ‘Shaols’. 12K1060.
40:25 Matthew Bourne. The Greenskeeper.
Album: Montauk Variations. BAY 77CDP (LC 12877).
43:14 Frederic Lyenn Jacques. Vaguely lit.
Album ‘Slow Healer’ van Lyenn. V2 Records Benelux.
46:58 Henryk Gorecki. Tranquillo uit Kleines Requiem 1993.
Schönberg Ensemble olv. Reinbert de Leeuw.
Philips 442 553-2 55:32
Frederic Lyenn Jacques. Keep it still.
Album ‘Slow Healer’ van Lyenn. V2 Records Benelux
58:43 Nils Frahm I would like to Think (fragment).
Van album ‘The Bells’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP021CD
gedicht: Willem Wilmink

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Dear Wo., sorry for the .No/.Wo mixup. We are used to other people mixing US up, but I do agree it's a bit worrying one of us is getting so confused he cannot tell us apart.

    .No (?)

  2. Yes, it rather is. The former sort happened only recently when someone walked up to me and said 'Hi, Wino' and did not even understand it when I looked at him questioningly.