woensdag 5 december 2018

Kairos 100, November 2018

What is a month on WoNoBlog without a Kairos review? A month Wo. has not emerged himself in the musical choices .No presents him with on his monthly radio show on Concertzender. The numbers add to 100. So a felicitation to .No is in place. 8 1/3 year is a long time in making a radio program. Longer than this blog exists, circa 5 2/3 years and much longer since Wo. decided to write about the show on a circa monthly bases. The oldest review is from August 2014, meaning this is the, and unfortunately coincidences do not exist, 52nd time Wo, shares his inner feelings on things Kairos with the readers. Oh, what would it have been nice if this had been the 50th...

The familiar music and voice sound out, making room for a highish voice against a synth bedding. Familiar?, yes, recognised?, no. It is Low Roar's 'Without You', an album that I haven't played for too long. The delicate voice and music, recorded in Iceland where Ryan Karazija lives or at least lived at the time of recording. The song is of such frailness, that do not touch is a well-heeded advice. Beauty in music does not take huge approaches, the suggested emptiness of 'Without You' is more than enough.

Slowly 'Without You' morphs with something else. More is happening underneath Karazija's voice. It proves to be 'Whooper Swan'. Eric Vloeimans' trumpet takes the lead over a bittersweet whole composed by Sytze Pruiksma. A trumpet bringing the trumpet in Ypres, commemorating Flanders' Fields, to mind immediately. Something so sad flows from the tone and the melody. Like Vloeimans is carrying the whole weight of the world on his shoulders and barely coping. 'Conference Of The Birds' the album is called. If everything on it is as beautiful as 'Whooping Swan' it is a killer album.

As Kairos continues with two fragments of 'Reade Skries'. ,No provides me with a deeper insight into Pruiksma's work, here with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Again this sadness, meandering like a slow moving river. Slow but deliberate, consuming all in front of it. It may be the mood I'm in this afternoon -waiting on others to act before I can continue my share of the work- as this touches me no little.

Pruiksma is a self-taught composer from Friesland. Inspired by nature and birds his work contains a majestic self-control. A restraint that allows it to shine in ways unattainable for others who do not possess this character trait.

A third composition by Pruiksma comes by. Now from the album 'Tracks', containing bird noises. I suppose from the sanderling, like the compositions title. Here .No gets his rocks off as playing 'Sanderling' is not enough. We hear the Estonian lyrics sung by violinist and singer Maarja Nuut from her Ruum collaboration 'Muunduja'. The house next door to mine is being, beyond, renovated. One of the men at work there mixes in some heavy hammering as well. 'Sanderling' is a different piece of cake. More "classic" Kairos. Sounds, soundscapes, not a "real" melody in sight. Something .No appreciates and I for nearly 100% do not. The way Maarja Nuut comes in, is just so well done. Oddly enough there are fragments in the noise Pruiksma builds up, reminding me of U2. Edge can build up to a guitar solo like this (and from next door a drill chimes in).

This year, I Am Oak has released a single and it comes by on Kairos. 'Will I Wake' is a piano based song with strings behind it. Soft, breakable, ever so delicate. The followers of this blog have read about the song before, so I'll refrain here and continue. Always a nice interlude on Kairos this band is though.

Wait a minute, the violins continue into the next song. So are there strings in I Am Oak or is .No at work? 'Will I Wake' is replaced by 'Sattva', a title reminding me of Kula Shakers' 'Tattva', but that is all. Dmitry Evgrafov's 'Sattva' could not be further apart from the neo-hippie song from the 90s. Slowly this composition unfolds itself. Slow notes are played over a bed of strings, mixed deep into the background, then rising to the front, more a mood than a song. The slow notes constitute the melody of which there is more than one. Yes, I like what I'm hearing.

A soft piano takes over. Again the slow boat to China sails over calm, tranquil waters. Annelie takes her time to play her notes. A creaking noise and a woodblock make up the rest of the sound. This composition is s o  s l o w, one could easily fall asleep. True meditation on music, hovering over the thin line between consciousness and unconsciousness. Falling in and out of it. Sleeping and waking in seconds. The mood has got me though, so I'm enjoying every second of 'A World' from her album 'After Midnight'. No J.J. Cale or Eric Clapton to be found here.

Although the end is somewhat faster or maybe because it is, .No takes us away to Jorg Verhoeven. I have heard this before or something like it on Kairos. The dark sounds of the bass clarinet has taken control of Kairos. Again slow played notes, long held, deeply serious. It is as if the whole room reverberates, a faucet drips water, breathing and a sound I can not put a name to. The things on the instrument that are pushed in to create notes, whatever they are called? It may well be and can all be heard on this recording. The recording is so delicate, so all-consuming, everything surrounding the instrument is brought in to create this effect. 'Original Green 8' it is called. Just Verhoeven going at it in front of a microphone. It ends abruptly, yet continues just as sudden. 9 minutes is a bit long, yet the effect is certainly there. Meditation on music is possible with 'Original Green 8'. At the end the percussive effect gets a bit much though. I still haven't a clue what it is I'm actually hearing.

After nine minutes I'm glad Maarja Nuut & Ruum return. The vocal intro matches the percussive effect of Jorg Verhoeven. The high voice singing in the incomprehensible Estonian brings a very modern form of folk music. In essence traditional folk in 2018 presented in a totally modern way. The muted guitar notes add a percussive effect as does the plucked violin. The voice hovers like a ghost in the background, before it slowly fades back in. There's a sound effect in there that makes it all totally estranging. I'm sure it is .No making the ghostlike, ethereal song a little more eerie.

A trumpet? Would Eric Vloeimans be returning to this Kairos? A bird is heard, so chances are Sytze Pruiksma has a fourth contribution to the Kairos. 'Nightingale' is indeed from the first album mentioned above by Pruiksma. The solemness is provided by the HaFaBra Orchestra once again.

When a piano takes over, Annelie is allowed to continue where she remained with 'A World'. In 'Of' the faster notes, accompanied by the bass notes of the left hand are in the front seat. When I write faster, this is relative to the extreme laidbackness of the previous composition. Still no J.J. Cale or Eric Clapton in sight. Although certainly the former artist could be on Kairos one day with one of his laidback songs.

A violin moves in at the exact right pitch. It has nothing to do with Annelie but is there by the will of .No. It is the violin of Maarja Nuut. Another album I was able to point .No to that found its way to the program. There's a full review on this blog. One of those albums taking me out of my comfort zone and dropping me somewhere else in unknown territory. Yes, like this program does each month. 'Muutuja' is instrumental and gets darker and darker while the song progresses. Almost as if a hyped up bass clarinet of Jorg Verhoeven is mixed in and the violin is looped to be looped again and spinning out of control, near totally.

It all ends with a song from another album recently reviewed on these pages. Queen of the Meadow's 'Ashes Adele' comes by. The delicate, there is that word again, singer Helen Ferguson harmonises beautifully with herself accompanied by a piano. Her voice(s) filling my whole head. One of my favourite songs of the album 'A Room To Store Happiness'.

Let me close with declaring 'delicate' the theme of the 100th Kairos and by expressing my personal appreciation: Let's go for the next 100!


You can listen to this Kairos here:


This is the playlist of November:

00:08  Ryan Karazija. Without You. Low Roar.
Album ‘Once in a long, long while’. Nevado Records 823674059620.
03:02  Sytze Pruiksma. Whooper Swan. Sytze Pruiksma, Eric Vloeimans, HaFaBra Orchestra.
Album ‘Conference of the Birds’. LÂN 3.
06:57  Sytze Pruiksma. Reade Skries (two fragments). Sytze Pruiksma, City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Album ‘LÂN’. LÂN 1.
12:21  Sytze Pruiksma. Sanderling.
Album ‘Tracks’. LÂN 2.
Combined with three fragments from ‘Une Meeles’ by Maarja Nuut & Ruum.
Album ‘Muunduja’. 130701 Ltd. CD13-30P.
20:31  Thijs Kuijken. Will I Wake. I Am Oak.
Single. Snowstar Records.
22:44  Dmitry Evgrafov. Sattva.
Album ‘Comprehension of Light’. FatCat Records CD13-27P.
27:28  Annelie. A world.
Album ‘After Midnight’. Sony Music Entertainment/DGR.
31:41  Jorg Verhoeven. Original Green 8.
Album ‘Meditation Bass Clarinet’. Self-released.
40:31  Maarja Nuut & Ruum. Kuud Kuulama.
Album ‘Muunduja’. 130701 Ltd. CD13-30P.
44:27  Sytze Pruiksma. Nightingale. Sytze Pruiksma, Eric Vloeimans, HaFaBra Orchestra.
Album ‘Conference of the Birds’. LÂN 3.
46:37  Annelie. Of.
Album ‘After Midnight’. Sony Music Entertainment/DGR.
49:10  Maarja Nuut & Ruum. Muutuja.
Album ‘Muunduja’. 130701 Ltd. CD13-30P.
54:46  Queen of the meadow. Ashes Adele.
Album ‘A Room To Store Happiness. Tiny Room Records TR027.

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