maandag 27 november 2017

Kairos November 2017 by .No on Concertzender

Slowly the end of the month is neigh, so it's time to take up the challenge again: Kairos. Several weeks after .No's show is broadcasted on Concertzender Wo. clicks on the link and emerges in the nether world of music. A world full of atmosphere, (modern) classical music, church music, new age and what not. Almost anything, but hardly a guitar in earshot. The instrument Wo. loves a lot. If there is anything like a request song on Kairos, it is this month. Guitars galore, you will notice him writing, but we'll get to that. First, Wo. has to wade through other music and who knows?, perhaps he's surprised.

The familiar sound of the introduction comes by and is followed by ... a guitar? Yes, two even, slowly interplaying with a dark piano and sounds. Kate Glavey returns to Kairos with a moody piece that is accentuated by the dark piano note, keeping the time. The guitars sound soft, two sounding full and round, with a third playing thin notes. A harmonium or something like it plays high notes. Three minutes into the song the tension rises, but nothing much happens. Everything collapses to let a drum enter. Brushed skins, a thrash, beautifully recorded. There's a faint hint of a folk song in the instrumental track, that I find to like a lot. A cello adds darkness and then a surprise: Kate Glavey sings, albeit with a treated song, like she's singing from the great beyond.

'Cistern' is an album we've heard before. .No's ear is uncannily accurate again. The violins could actually be a continuation of 'Eoin'. Burrows'. Yes, there is a gap between the songs, but that gap is part of Jherek Bischoff's composition. The theme just keeps coming back and back. 'The Sea's Son is playing for over two minutes before a piano enters the repeated motif. The piano is the sign for the orchestra to start flashing out. It plays louder and instruments are added. I will never play 'The Sea's Son' again, but this is so intriguing. The reticence of the pianist who could play on in the silences but never does. The ever so sleight variations in the motif. Six minutes is long though.

.No is playing with my mind again. The opening notes of each Kairos come by again, mixing with what turns out to be 'Isothere' by Matthew Bourne. The secret of the intro is still not revealed, d***. Slow piano notes come by. The music resonates slowly through the open spaces. Notes are played sometimes answered ever so softly by a single dark one. Bourne needs ever so little to make a huge effect. A note bordering on dissonant gives me a fright. Some strings enter, modesty itself. Boldness lies in a single note in 'Isothere'.

'The Sea's Son' returns for one fragment only, fitting into 'Isothere' somehow.

The next song, 'Freedom', comes from the album 'Heiress' by Novo Amor and Ed Tullett. Ali Lacey, who is Novo Amor, sings with a high, soft voice. Tullett responds with a darker one in the background. The music is minimal, close to a none song, more atmosphere than melody. I truly liked Heiress as the duo creates something special, a mood that is not so much pleasant in it self, yet pleasant to roam around in. It opens a world of its own, where I can rest in, relax in with only one task: shut out the world and listen to all the small nuances, just like in 'Freedom'.

Arvo Pärt recently visited pope Francis and quite rightly so. The man is writing church music for most of his life. Some recognition is his due. This composition has something to do with canons it seems: 'Prayer After The Kanon'. But which one? Women and men's voices intermingle with lots of echo behind them giving the impression of space. This is very far from my bed, yet it is not difficult to hear the beauty and sincerity in the composition that needs nothing but voices, rising and falling, swelling and ebbing. It seems to me it is an honour to sing in the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and undoubtedly sings a lot written by Estonia's most famous composer. There is, however, something like too much of a good thing and it is proven by this Kairos.

After over 11 minutes we return to the horrible duo of last month, Yom & Wang Li. Only for seconds. "Like the waves out on the beach". Jim Morrison enters my head at the beginning of 'Silent transformation – prologue'. Electronic sounds like waves roll through my ears and ...

... are replaced by a piano. The Kairos listener is introduced to 'Hex' an album by Bark Psychosis that was re-released recently and reviewed on this blog. A song that has nothing to do with pop or rock music, until a drum enters and splits the mood in two. There's something of Genesis in 'The Loom' and of Simple Minds in the percussion. So a strange hybrid is assembled on this album from the early 90s. The mood is tense, like something very unexpected will happen. Something like a change to Brazilian carnival music. Of course this doesn't happen, it just seems like it could.

It is that Ying & Yang characters that is the surprise though. Mixed into 'The Loom'. New age punk. Is there something like that in the world? If there is I have found it in 'Underground Storm'. What to make of this weird experiment? This is musical madness. There's no other word for it. Man, am I glad it's over. Come to think of it, ying and yang? No there's no harmony to be found here, just highly disturbing things. No Kairos for me in sight with the Lis.

Bark Psychosis returns with a 9 minute piece called 'Pendulum'. The two guitar notes, repeated, sound like a sped up pendulum, swinging and swinging. 'Pendulum' is moody, experimental. Slowly the pendulum is derailed by a second guitar. Time is altered into another dimension, accentuated by sweeping keyboard and guitar sounds. 'Pendulum' is the kind of song to disappear in. If you don't you'll never get to appreciate the deeper layers in the song. The small surprises and the obvious effects. This has nothing to do with classic rock but everything with expanding what exists already in search of something new, something different. Does Bark Psychosis succeed? Perhaps not totally but it tried hard, with some great effect.

Ha, there's them birds again. Mixed into 'Pendulum' as if Bark Psychosis left the window of the studio open and likes it so much, they kept the bird's singing.

House of cosy Cushions returns with a fragment of 'Black Cat Dance'. The shock is rather great. From the tranquillity of 'Hex' to the jazzy outing with strange noises. In this context it comes like something of a shock. Like a black cat crossed my trail, dancing. The former I do not care about particularly, the latter surely surprises.

Folk returns to Kairos with Estbel. Accordions play together, one high, one low. A near cheerful jig is played. It isn't though. The mood is subdued, a song in a minor key. There's not that much to say about. It does everything that makes people dance in places like Ireland, except that it's just not happy. Confusing, isn't it? Just like 'Poti Kolm' is.

The finest is kept for last. Nothing but, perhaps, the finest pop single of 2017. With its latest album 'Another Place' Maggie Brown is contending for first spot of best album of 2017 in my book. 'Hail To The Rain' is the flagship of that album. The tight rhythm guitar, the supporting organ, the soft voice. The Byrds like lead guitar notes that joins the melody, just before the heavenly chorus chimes in. All this returns with a firm drum behind it. When the counter melody joins in, I'm in pop heaven. Guitars, fine singing and a melody to die for. 'Hail To The Rain' was the first song I heard this spring from the album and just knew it would be fantastic. Unfortunately for you, the song is faded out, so you miss the heavenly "pa pa pa" part. I'm sure you can find it on Spotify or Maggie Brown's website. What are you waiting for?


Playlist 20171102 2300 Kairos 88
00:13   Kate Glavey. Eoin. Burrows (Kate Glavey, John Haggis, Tommy Keating, Alec Brown Gerry Madden, John Kent, Colm Heylin). Album ‘In Winter’. Self-released.
06:13   Jherek Bischoff. The sea’s son. Album ‘Cistern’. LEAF.
12:58   Matthew Bourne. Isothere. Album ‘Isotach’. Leaf BAY 105CD.
18:34   Jherek Bischoff. The sea’s son (fragment). Album ‘Cistern’. LEAF.
18:51   Novo Amor (Ali Lacey) & Ed Tullett. Freehand. Album ‘Heiress’. To be released soon via All Points.
21;46   Arvo Pärt. ‘Prayer after the Canon’ from ‘Kanon Pokajanen’. Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, dir. Tõnu Kaljuste. Album ‘Kanon Pokajanen’. ECM NEW SERIES 1654/55.
32:24   Yom & Wang Li. Silent transformation – prologue. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
33:09   Bark Psychosis. The Loom. Album ‘HEX’. Circa ‎– CIRCD 29.
38:10   Yom & Wang Li. Underground storm. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
41:04   Bark Psychosis . Pendulum. Album ‘HEX’. Circa ‎– CIRCD 29.
50:42   Richard Bolhuis. Black bat dance (fragment). House of Cosy Cushions. Album ‘Spell’. Outcast Cats CAT 0C002CD.
51:45   Hartwin Dhoore. Poti Kolm. Estbel (Sänni Noormets, Leanna Vapper – Dhoore, Ward Dhoore, Hartwin Dhoore). Album ‘Saar’. Nordic Notes NN092.
56:42   Maggie Brown. Hail To the rain. Album ‘Another Place’. Self-released.

You can listen to the November '17 Kairos here:

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