vrijdag 3 november 2017

Kairos, October 2017 by .No on Concertzender

Once a month Concertzender broadcasts the radioshow that .No meticulously puts together. A music show that often takes Wo. to uncharted musical territories, like a seaman aboard a ship discovering the still unknown ends of the world. Never knowing what comes next. Never knowing whether the surprise is nice or hideous. Never knowing when fresh food and water will be found. Once again Wo. charters his discoveries for this blog. Let's see what he has found for us all to learn from.

This Kairos is dedicated to a colleague of .No and a former colleague of mine, Stef de Vries. Stef has written for WoNo Magazine in the past and was a great lover of music, especially Americana and to be more specific, Neil Young. My commemoration of Stef was published in Spetember, read here: http://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2017/09/in-memoriam-stef-de-vries.html. I am about to start listening to .No's commemoration, including that impressive raga that was played during the service for Stef in The Hague.

The familiar introduction seems to last longer than usual. .No has mixed some wind into the words, coming from an album called 'Green Apocalypse' by Yom & Wang Li. Over before I know it, because the music morphs into 'In Winter. Burrows'. So a song about hibernation? The violins are enough to keep any sleeping primate from its sleep and get it out of its lair. Kate Glavey's music is not for me. Too many prickly parts and too little melody.

Yom & Wang Li return with a song called 'The Dream Of A Tree'. I notice that the instruments changed, but that is about it. The mood becomes eastern, the basis remains prickly though. What might be a mouth harp is giving it its all in the background, in fact as a sort of percussion, while in the front a woodwind instrument is being as busy as possible. The label that released 'Green Apocalypse' may be called Buda Musique, this form of musical expression is making me feel very uneasy. . No must really like it. I notice that this 6 minutes is not the last I'm to be exposed to the two Lis. The Prologue to 'Silent Transformation' is up and more to come.

Slow piano notes, by now a trade mark of Kairos, take me out of my negative reverie and sooth my raw nerves. Matthew Bourne plays 'Candela (for Sasca Heeney)'. A violin and a cello interact with the piano. They are allowed to slowly fill the holes that the quietly played piano leaves between the notes. Gracious is how I would like to describe this composition, with a hint of sadness. All the more effective as it is placed between the Lis.

With 'Flower Diary' the duo returns. This time around however they seem to strike a more contemplative tone. Alas, not for long. The clarinet becomes extremely busy. The drone in the background does its best to level this out. It is not before too long that the clarinettist cannot keep himself in check and goes all out again. When the droning instrument leaves the drone and an interplay between the two instruments starts, to my mild surprise I find it of interest to follow what is playing itself out here. The pretext of relaxation has been left behind by the Lis. It makes their music a lot less irritating. Five and a half minute is a bit long though.

Having had the Epilogue and the Prologue it is time for all 31 seconds of 'Silent Transformation' itself. Some more static and that seems to be it.

A woman's voice takes over in a Broeder Dieleman style. Is this Finnish I'm hearing? 'Peterburi' the song is called by Sänni Noormets. The voice is quite melodic, without going for extreme variations. A ukelele keeps up a very basic riff that is eclipsed by a whole range of instruments, before they are all cut off. I can't say I find this music beautiful. Something of a godsend after nearly 15 minutes of Yom & Wang Li Sänni Noormets certainly is.

"When the rain comes" The Beatles sang on the flipside of 'Paperback Writer'. It comes in the form of a song by Poppy Ackroyd. Sparse piano notes over a sound made by something that appears to be turned around by hand. Strange though the combination is, it does work, in a way as if the piano player is on top of a beltdriven machine. Something like that.

Finally a guitar in a more familiar setting. I've heard so many different sorts of music by House of Cosy Cushions by now. So why not an alternative rock song? Male-female singing over an ominous setting that is not brought to a conclusion of some sort. I find that 'Wings' does not need a climax. It is fine as it is. Small, gentle and modest, but most important, a good song.

Aarghh, a harp. What is up next? Gwenaël Kerléo with 'Tir Na Nog'. Listening a little bit in I'm taken back to the more earthly parts of Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'. So I can live with this composition for a while anyway, even it is because I'm remembered of an album that I got to know so long ago.

An old hand of Kairos returns, Limburg's master guitarist Hans Kockelmans. 'Pour Anne. Prélude 503' meanders softly like a brook through a forest. The water rushes through the small waterway towards something bigger, further away, out of sight. Without a worry for the unknown. The delicate phrasing is over before I know it.

A piano with some urgency behind it takes over. A high male voice sings in a language that I just don't seem to get my ear around. The title suggests English, the name Ásgeir Icelandic. The music is a mix of the eternal landscape of Iceland and the business above of modern life. The piano and the strings are mixed with modern beats and effects, creating something other worldly. This has been done before. It's the name that eludes me. 'Fennir Yfir' is an intriguing piece of work. I just have a hard time adjusting myself to it.

.No provides me with a second chance. 'Nothing' from the same album 'Afterglow' comes by. Again Ásgeir creates an atmosphere that has me guessing where I've heard this before. Although this song is much bearer that its predecessor, something extremely modern is mixed into traditional folk/singer-songwriter music or better the tradition is cut out of the whole. I'm under a suspended verdict here. I just do not know what to think of it at the moment.

The raga that was played at the funeral service of Stef de Vries is up next. Although shorter than played there, it grips me again like it did then. 'Sri Argala Slotram' by Khrisna Das is a mix of modern music and traditional Indian music that just works so well. See if you can hear what major hit song from the 80s is mixed into the traditional music. The title begs for something I am grateful for,  each and every day, to have found in my life. (I will admit to the fact that I was so entranced by the song at the service that I remember singing along to the lyrics, like many others were doing softly, without ever noticing what I was singing. The atmosphere was so special that I missed the obvious totally.)

'Kavkasia' by Minco Eggersman returns to Kairos. This time the song 'Holy Ground' is selected by .No. A jazzy outing of the sparsest piano chords and some saxophone notes. Silence is a huge part of this composition with perhaps some birds singing through the open window. This is the softest song on this show by far. So melancholy at a time every one is in bed or should be. To my surprise a church organ enters the whole, the saxophone shoots up, waking the world like the rising sun.

Sänni Noormets returns again, but this time with Leana Vapper – Dhoore on the latter's album 'Saar'. An acoustic guitar drives the song, with some strings entering the whole for the chorus where two female voices harmonise in the for me totally unfamiliar language. The song holds a combination of rusticity and being haunted. A strange combination that leads to unrest.

Traditional folk is up next. 'She Moves Through The Fair' by Alan Stivell. With a melody that reminds me of Simple Minds' 'Belfast Child' Alan Stivell takes us through his love life and the loss of his love, who comes back in his dreams. The whole mood is as serious as the lyrics tells it to be. All the instruments are traditional, including what I expect to be a hurdy gurdy.

It all moves out of focus for a stern piano that ends this Kairos. The final minutes are for Poppy Ackroyd. His fingers on both hands move over the keys graciously. No surprises here, just a beautiful interplay between his right and left hand.


You can listen to this Kairos here:


This month's playlist:

00:00    Yom & Wang Li. Silent Transformation – Prologue. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
00:15    Kate Glavey. In winter. Burrows (Kate Glavey, John Haggis, Tommy Keating, Alec Brown Gerry Madden, John Kent, Colm Heylin). Album ‘In Winter’. Self-released.
03:14    Yom & Wang Li. The dream of a tree. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
08:56    Yom & Wang Li. Silent Transformation – epilogue. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
09:27    Matthew Bourne. Candela (for Sacha Heeney). Album ‘Isotach’. Leaf BAY 105CD.
12:59    Yom & Wang Li. Flower Diary. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
17:31    Yom & Wang Li. Silent transformation. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
18:01    Sänni Noormets. Peterburi. Estbel (Sänni Noormets, Leanna Vapper – Dhoore, Ward Dhoore, Hartwin Dhoore). Album ‘Saar’. Nordic Notes NN092.
22:00    Poppy Ackroyd. Rain. Album ‘Sketches’. One Little Indian Records TPLP1413CD.
24:37    Richard Bolhuis. Wings. House of cosy Cushions. Album ‘Haunt Me Sweetly’. Outcast Cats records CAT 0C01.
26:39    Gwenaël Kerléo. Tir Na Nog. Album ‘Terre Celte’. Diffusion Breizh ‎– DB 13.
30:21    Hans Kockelmans. Pour Anne, prélude 503. Hans Kockelmans, guitar. Private recording.
32:49    Ásgeir. Fennir Yfir. Album ‘Afterglow’. One Little Indian Records TPLP1319CDP.
37:33    Ásgeir. Nothing. Album ‘Afterglow’. One Little Indian Records TPLP1319CDP.
38:53    Krishna Das. Sri Argala Slotram (fragment). Album ‘Kirtan Wallah’. Krishna Das.
45:15    Minco Eggersman. Holy ground. Album ‘Kavkasia’. Volkoren 73.
49:38    Leana Vapper – Dhoore. Kivid. Estbel (Sänni Noormets, Leanna Vapper – Dhoore, Ward Dhoore, Hartwin Dhoore). Album ‘Saar’. Nordic Notes NN092.
52:59    Alan Stivell. She Moved Through The Fair. Album ‘Master Serie – Alan Stivell’. Polygram 846 648-2 PY899.
57:04    Poppy Ackroyd. Light (fragment). Album ‘Sketches’. One Little Indian Records TPLP1413CD.

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