zaterdag 14 juli 2018

Kairos, 7 June 2018 by .No on Concertzender

Once a month or just about once a month, Wo. listens to .No's radioshow broadcasted on Concertzender. The music is nearly always an adventure for Wo.'s ears and stimulates him to write down the ideas, feelings, associations, etc., etc., that come to him while listening. There's hardly ever a delay between the one and the other. So as such his pieces are not a review of the show nor the music. There is no room for contemplation. The only stop is when a piece of music has stopped before he had the time to finish his thoughts or to check whether his on the spot musings are actually correct, whether his ears were not deceived. There's only one downside, if you do not like to read his musings: he publishes them. There used to be a knob on your TV..... So here you go with June's Kairos.

The familiar notes and voice starts the show. Slow strings permeate the familiarity to take over within seconds. A more complex counter melody comes through and takes over as well. Somehow it is as if I'm listening partly to music coming from underneath the water for something like 50%. Sounds that are muted, unclear. A voice? An instrument? I can't tell what is happening underneath the violins for certain. Mysterious like Iceland is, or so I'm told.

Far more clear strings and a bell take over. Am I listening to something by Laurie Anderson I like? That is a novelty. The bell is very Pärt of course (I know thanks to Kairos). The melody is sad yet strong. As someone who has lost but never given up. Ready to take on the world, if need be. The repetition of the composition is its strength and weakness. It is stopped right in time as far as I'm concerned.

To be replaced by mystery and weirdness. As if the piano man is searching for a well-known melody. It is within his grasp but he can't find it. Like the proverbial word at the tip of the tongue that does not want to come out.

Tavener's exploration is quickly replaced by more strings and moodiness. 'Gnomic Variations' by George Crumb. I am listening to #10 and can't remember to have heard one before. This better be good, because I have a feeling I will get to hear more variations in the near future. This one is over 10 minutes long. a church bell starts ringing out. It is a few moments before I realise it is the church on the other side of the tracks and not a part of a gnomic variation. The strings disappear and are replaced by atmospherics, so soft, the church bell coming through the open window at the back of the house takes over all. Is it a choir coming through the atmospherics? I can't tell. The violins return. I start noticing that this composition holds an inner beauty. One that may even be meant for me. So let me open up truly for a few minutes ...(Closing my eyes) ... Crumb sure knows how to play out a mood musically. There are hints at well-known Christmas carols without one coming through. I even seem to hear a mantle-piece clock strike the hour, without any resonance. Just dry sound. Yes, I can live with this music, totally. Just one question, .No. I'm listening for over 11 minutes and where's .... and there is the piano. Literally when I typed "listening". Answer given, but to name someone with such a small role in the whole?

No, I'm fooled. The piano isn't Ursula Kneiths, it is Matteo Myderwyk. So the question still stands, .No! The mood is continued between 'Gnomic Variation 10' and 'Tuzla'. I couldn't tell where the one went over into the other. 'Tuzla' must be a huge composition as this Kairos present four separate fragments in about 15 minutes. 'Tuzla', a town in Bosnia - Herzegovina if I remember correctly that played a role in the Dutchbat drama in 1995, is a subdued yet dramatic piece for orchestra and sporadic piano. Myderwyk presents himself more as composer here than as a piano player. The Excelsior Recordings label, famous for indie rock acts like Johan, Tim Knol, Daryll Ann, etc., comes up with something completely different here. And yes, it must be a special week. First the tranquillity of Jenny Van West captured me and now I'm finding my way through 'Tuzla'. Perhaps it is because my stereo broke down and I'm devoid of my (indie) rock lps and cds? Who will say. A child's piano is played, bringing me back from my revelry. With this mix of fragments .No has created his own 'Tuzla' it seems. Now that is revolutionary: a remix of a classical piece without resorting to beats. Chapeau, .No.

The motto of this month's show puts another thought into my mind. Has .No mixed the gnomic with Tuzla? As the final 'Tuzla' is not a fragment but a clear piano piece as I know Matteo Myderwyk? Just a thought, I'm not going to check.

The next composition is by Dustin O’Halloran & Adam Bryanbaum Witzie who celebrate the passing of a year with this music. There are worse reasons to create, so why not? A darker piano takes over. A piano as can be found in slow rock ballads. A song like 'Troy' comes into my mind and 'Big Log', but also a song that keeps escaping me that actually has a similarity in melody. Even a part of a melody comes to me. An instrumental or at least an instrumental part, slow, sonorous and with me for something like 40 years I'd say. And I just can't get past that one point, as it brings me back to the start of the fragment in my head each time. Where's the variation I need? In short, again I like what I'm hearing. (Yes, finally, Bowie, 'Warszawa'. There is no singing!)

I recall writing on Yom & Wang Li before. That was not a total joy. To my surprise I'm hearing a Paul Simon like folk guitar. So I had to recap. The short drone morphing from the "year feast" was it.

The guitar belongs to Peter Clijssen and his dialect sung song 'Bij De Rook Van Het Vuur'. Somehow I see a head drawn from lush sea clay, baked and hardened by wind and rain. As hard to crack nuts and other heads with. The melody is beautiful, the voice full of character. The accordion fills in a little space in the background, lending the song even more authenticity.

A droning sound morphs into the sound of a train passing by. The Kairos has a few coincidences as well. It is as if the proverbial wind in my thoughts on Clijssen are released through the music of Richard Bolhuis. A drone with all sorts of atmospherics around it continues, become ever more threatening. A sound as if giant waves are slowly coming towards the coast. The 58 extra meters of sea level coming towards our sub sea level country all at once.

Other music is coming to the rescue. The drone is there with us for a while, only slowly fading out, before Peter Broderick's piano notes take over. The melody is totally right for this Kairos. Again slightly sad, slightly melancholic with hint of a smile in the way some notes are held back for the faintest of moments. At the same time it is like there is something more than just the piano. It must be in the resonance of the strings captured in the room.

A droning sound returns. I have to pay attention as the Li's work is over before I can type. See, there's a melody coming in. A fragmented one. I can't even recognise Low Roar's '13' for what it truly is. A piano returns. Again slow, melancholic and present. Is it a part of the 'Silent Transformation'? According to the information provided below, the answer is yes. A short fragment follows as well.

The show ends somewhat more exotic with two compositions by the Haïdouti Orkestrar. A real change. A clear sounding trumpet takes the centre stage. Totally different from all what came by in this show before. The droning sound in the background is fitting though. It could be a church choir rehearsing on a long drawn note as well as eastern meditation. The cymbals and drone are straight from Pink Floyd. Listen to the drones before the dissonant lick in 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' comes in for the first time to understand what I mean. When the orkestrar starts playing a whole world of familiarities opens itself. Starting with De Kift, but also Greek Rebetika, gypsy music and who knows what not. The sadness drips from this music, yet is extremely danceable. A surprising feature on Kairos, but certainly a welcome one.


You can listen to this Kairos here:

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

00:06  Högni. Dragdu Mig. Album ‘Two Trains’. Erased Tapes Records eratp103.
01:58  Lauri Anderson. Gongs & Bells sing. Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet. Album ‘Landfall‘. Nonesuch Records 7559-79338-9.
04:03  John Tavener. The Last Sleep of the Virgin, for string quartet & handbells. Chiligirian Quartet. Album ‘John Tavener: The Last Sleep of the Virgin; The Hidden Treasure’. Virgin Classics VC5 45023 2. 
04:47  George Crumb. Gnomic Variations – Variation 10. Ursula Kneiths, piano. Album ‘George Crumb, A Little Suite for Christmas – Gnomic Variations’. Pianovox PIA 502-2.
15:32  Matteo Myderwyk. Tuzla (fragment). Album ‘To Move’. Excelsior Recordings. 
18:32  Matteo Myderwyk. Tuzla (fragment). Album ‘To Move’. Excelsior Recordings.
23:22  Matteo Myderwyk. Tuzla (fragment). Album ‘To Move’. Excelsior Recordings.
28:21  Matteo Myderwyk. Tuzla. Album ‘To Move’. Excelsior Recordings. 
30:18  Dustin O’Halloran & Adam Bryanbaum Witzie. We played some open chords and rejoiced for the earth had circled the sun yet another year. Album ‘A Winged Victory for the Sullen’. Erased Tape Records ERATP032CD.
36:17  Yom & Wang Li. Silent transformation – epilogue. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
36:49  Peter Clijssen. Bij de rook van het vuur. Anna & Peter Clijssen. Album ‘Vagantenkost’. Self-released. 
40:31  Richard Bolhuis. Halo. House of Cosy Cushions. Album ‘Underground Bliss‘. Outcast Cats.
44:22  Peter Broderick. Our Future in Wedlock. Album ‘All Together Again’. Erased Tapes Records ERATP 104.
47:08  Yom & Wang Li. Silent transformation – epilogue (fragment). Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
47:32  Ryan Karazija. 13. Low Roar. Album ‘Once in a long, long while’. Nevado Records 823674059620.
48:05  Yom & Wang Li. Silent transformation – epilogue (fragment). Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
52:19  Yom & Wang Li. Silent transformation – epilogue. Album ‘Green Apocalypse’. Buda Musique 860220
52:48  Haïdouti Orkestar. Mouwwal. Album ‘Doğu’. Tchekchouka.
55:20  Haïdouti Orkestar. Ya Ayn Moulayiitayn. Album ‘Doğu’. Tchekchouka.

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