vrijdag 20 juli 2018

Kairos, 5 July 2018 by .No on Concertzender

Running behind a little has consequences for Wo.. Only a few days after writing on the June edition of Kairos he's already at it with July. Again he emerges himself in the often more esoteric musical tastes, yes, certainly plural is required here, of .No and tries to come up trumps. Luctor et emergo is an appropriate proverb for his challenge every once in a while. Last month it turned out to be smooth sailing. How does he fare in July?

Come the familiar sounds, yet they are replaced by a modern, yet retro sound. An electric guitar, rhythm and a Phil Spector like sound, without the wall. This is early 60s, late 50s teenage girl love angst. The music is by a debuting band called Donna Blue with the song 'Baby'. Short, sweet, although slightly unimpressive. I can't help feeling that 'Baby' could have been somewhat better. On the other hand it captures high emotion in an effective undercooled, if not slightly desperate way. So who knows, I may warm to this song anyway.

There's no fancy mixing going on. In fact the turn to 'The Spirit Will Not Share The Guilt' by Peter Andersson is radical. Pure silence. Did it take me minutes to figure out Bowie's influence in June's Kairos, here it is instantly. The few deep keyboard notes are 100% 'Warszawa'. The rest is a host of noises, with a choir holding long alternating notes. The end of 'Baby' returns in an ingenuous way in between the noise, as if a radio station fades in and out, from long before digital radio. The noise of Andersson is slowly replaced by the minimal piano of Sten Erland Hermundstad. 'The unknown Song' holds slow piano notes, with all sort of stuff going on in the background. A violin holding the starting note of Bach's 'Air', in the version of Ekseption that is, sort of long. (Then something strange happens. The program blocks and is not willing to continue. I've never encountered this before. Perhaps .No, Concertzender or Mr. Hermundstad has enough of my musings. Who knows what is being surveilled on the Internet? Let's try again and see what happens before arriving at drastic conclusions.)

And here we go again.

The next piano is by Pieter Nooten, who released an album this year called 'Stem'. The next ca. six minutes are filled with experimental sounds, not unlike, and here I go again, the start of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' by Pink Floyd. Perhaps it's time to mix that in for once, .No? The beginning certainly fits Kairos. 'Fieldz' mood changes by fast played percussive instruments, bells and such, that contrast with the long held sounds and atmospherics. A piano hovers somewhere over and in the music. It is busy, creating unrest. While one note is being pounded ever louder and louder. Becoming more pronounced by the minute. But so is all else. All of a sudden it all crashed down, another Pink Floyd trick on the same album, leaving only the atmospherics and the bells. Do I like this? I can't really tell. 'Fieldz' certainly fascinates me.

A classical guitar weaves itself into the whole, but so does a flute. So what am I listening to? The Trio Leandro, that does not hold a guitar. Only flute, viola and harp. This intricate composition by Harald Genzmer gives all instruments its moment. At times they are almost going at each other instead of creating a mutual strength. Something like Donald Trump at a meeting with allies. This is certainly well played, but not for me. Most notes take directions where I do not want to go, I find. And that's fine of course.

Ryan Karazija, better know as Low Roar, returns to Kairos. His soft toned album 'Once In A Long, Long While, that was recorded in Iceland, must by now nearly have come by in its entirety. 'Gosia' is another song so delicate it stands in fear of breaking. Yes, those familiar with this soft pop genre may recognise influences from others. I find them non-consequential in the face of this delicacy. The minimal melody in the song lifts the melancholy in a nice way, creating beauty.

Pieter de Graaf returns to Kairos to. His album 'Prologue' is obviously liked. In my review of the album I wrote that a good song is a good song. Even when the composer does not write songs in the pop traditional way. I find it easy to listen to De Graaf. His slow played notes could be a part of great rock songs.

The mood changes slowly and House of Cosy Cushions kicks in with a threatening hum. The mood changes a few shades to dark. .No has explained to me recently how much he admires Richard Bolhuis literally painting the whole picture of the artist, conceptualist and musician. It just does not reach me. I do not hear anything beyond the droning music that is presented here.

Gilbert Isbin also returns after several months. Again playing a composition by Stathis Skandaldis. The soft lute playing is solemn and contemplative. There are intricate bass melodies accompanying the lead notes, showing how accomplished Isbin is as a lute player. I immediately see the Middle Ages in front of my eyes when I think of a lute. The music of Skandaldis only hold these elements because of the sound. The melody is more sombre that anything shown in movies with lutes or in British folk. That puts this song apart.

Next is a more modern sound, but one that so easily fits together. Those following this blog will remember my jubilant review of 'Live At Jazz Middelheim' by Chantal Acda and Bill Frisell. I am pleasantly surprised to hear it in Kairos as it fits extremely well. It is surprising how close Isbin's 'Amber' is to 'Our Memories'. It is the modern guitars that warm me to 'Our Memories' so much easier. That is a surprising piece of insight I'm presented. 'Our Memories' is the kind of song that can make a person cry when he or she is hearing it. Beauty!

Some more Pieter Nooten. Now with 'Variation In F#' from 'Stem'. Instruments come in and go out of the recording like they are all just doing something, while a chugging sound keeps things together. In the end they all fit together, undoubtedly because they are playing around the F# chord. I would have enjoyed a little more structure. That comes in through a piano playing structured notes. There's one snag. with all these new mixing techniques in Kairos going on, I can't be sure any more what I am hearing. The piano has some similarities to 'Tubular Bells'. All else certainly has less so.

A German woman speaks a few words. The song itself changes so slowly that I can't be sure who's piano is playing. Only when the leitmotiv changes I can determine that now I'm listening to 'Gemein' for real. The music part that is. Before I know it another piano comes in, while 'Gemein' and the white noise surrounding the spoken word German keep going. The piano chords played now are very slow and wide apart. It is Michael Pisaro with 'Silent Cloud'. A violin drones underneath it, filling the second long gaps between the piano chords. Human breathing, sequenced, fills some spaces also, before we return to silences. This is the kind of music that I do not find my way into. I can't figure out what there is to enjoy. The repetitiousness, the droning, the sheer emptiness. Not just of tones but of emotions, of joy. That slightly changes when a woman start singing and blackbirds join, .No's blackbirds that is (or Broeder Dielemans' of course).

A choir comes in. Solemn as choirs go. The Britten Sinfonia plays a Morten Lauridsen composition, 'She Tells Her Love While Half Asleep'. A large piano interlude feels different from the choir, but then who knows how Lauridsen composed this work. As always I am impressed by all the different tones a choir can produce through arrangements.

Something different sets in while the choir fades away. A plucked string, some hiss. Music down to the very bare essence, to when mankind had found out how to string a bow. Probably by accident, hearing a faint noise when plucking the string of a bow by accident, or that and having the bow close to a cavity, creating resonance. Ben Lukas Boylsen slowly adds more and more to 'The Veil'. Going way beyond what a primitive person could ever imagine. Boylsen does show what effects can be reached in music through fairly minimal effects and some echo. The sound is like it was captured all through a huge room by using the room almost as an instrument. The way 'The Veil' is built up, is really well done. A beautiful and modest, yet impressive ending.

The Li's end this Kairos. What do I have to brace myself for next? Yes, you are right, so far they have not produced my favourite Kairos contributions. There's one major plus: They are at the end this time, so I can simply turn it off when too hard to endure. A Jew's harp like instrument is joined by a clarinet. A mix of eastern and western sound. Certainly mysterious because of the Jew's harp. But music, no, I don't think so. And then an explosion as if David Guetta or Armin van Buren joins the Li's. The mouth as the beat. Lucky for me, things stop here and the Li's leave my life. Perhaps for good, who knows?


You can listen to the Juli 2018 Kairos here:


00:12  Donna Blue. Baby (single). Snowstar Records.
01:49   Peter Andersson. The spirit will not share the guilt (fragment). Raison d’être. Album ‘The Stains of the Embodied Sacrifice. Cold Meat Industry CMI 202. 
04:36  Sten Erland Hermundstad. The unknown song. Album ‘The minimal piano Series Vol I’. Blue Spiral Records BSR 015.
07:36  Pieter Nooten. Fieldz. Album ‘Stem’. Rocket Girl RGIRL115.
13:44  Harald Genzmer. Notturno from ‘Trio für Flöte, Viola und Harfe’. Trio Leandro. Album ‘Trio Leandro’. NCA/Debut 60158-207.
17:55  Ryan Karazija. Gosia. Low Roar. Album ‘Once in a long, long while’. Nevado Records 823674059620.
21:55  Pieter de Graaf. City 40. Album ’Prologue’. DGR Music.
23:40  Richard Bolhuis. Weaving Choir. House of Cosy Cushions. Album ‘Underground bliss’. Outcast Cats.
25:38  Gilbert Isbin. Amber. Stathis Skandaldis, luit. Album ‘Stathis Skandalidis plays Gilbert Isbin’. Tern Records, Tern 007.
29:07  Chantal Acda & Bill Frisell. Our Memories. Album ‘Live at Jazz Middelheim’. Glitterhouse GR 945CD. 
33:08  Pieter Nooten. Variation in F# Minor. Album ‘Stem’. Rocket Girl RGIRL115.
38:22  Stephan Wöhrmann & Oliver Doerell. Gemein. SWOD. Album ’Drei’. Towerblock CD 049.
39:41  Michael Pisaro. Silent Cloud. Album ‘Tombstones’. Human Ear Music HEMK 0026.
45:51  Morten Lauridsen. She tells her love while half asleep, from ‘Mid-Winter Songs’. Polyphony / Jaqueline Shave / Britten Sinfonia / Stephen Layton. Album: ‘Lauridsen Choral Works’. Hypérion CDA67580.
49:53  Ben Lukas Boysen. The Veil. Album ‘Spells’. Erased tapes Records ERATP085CD.
55:34  Yom & Wang Li. The dream of a tree (fragment). Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220

Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:


Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten