"Karoujite" is a Japanese term translating to scarcely, describing the minimalist attitude that Chilean guitarist Cristian Alvear and Japanese percussionist Seijiro Murayama approach this hybrid of composed and improvised music, using a focus of repetitive structures with slight variation to create a hypnotic and entrancing set of music.
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Catalog ID: P217
Squidco Product Code: 24211
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in Mishima, Japan, on October 8th, 2016, by Shincihi Watanabe.
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1. A peine 1 15:46
2. A peine 2 15:24
3. A peine 3 10:06
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
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"In this recording entitled Karoujite (a japanese word meaning "scarcely"), Cristian Alvear and Seijiro Murayama are deeply involved in a minimalist and repetitive mode of playing. Each of them focuses on continuously playing the same chords on the guitar, and rubbing the cymbal or hitting the snare drum. Listeners are invited to discover a kind of nonlinear and nearly static music. They can feel a sort of time expansion, with spaces full of multiple interacting frequencies vanishing and rising again and again. Cristian Alvear is a prominent Chilean guitarist working mainly within the field of contemporary experimental music. He is known for performing works written by Wandelweiser composers such as Antoine Beuger, Jurg Frey and Michael Pisaro. Seijiro Murayama is a japanese percussionist who has been working, as an improviser, particularly in France with Jean-Luc Guionnet, Pascal Battus, Stephane Rives and Dedalus Ensemble."-Potlatch
"Before coming together in this duo, the Chilean acoustic guitarist Cristián Alvear and the Japanese percussionist Seijiro Murayama were both well-established Potlatch artists. Alvear has built a reputation as a performer of compositions by Wandelweiser members such as Jürg Frey and Antoine Beuger, as exemplified by his fine album of Michael Pisaro pieces Melody, Silence (Potlatch, 2015). Seijiro is represented on the label by a pair of 2011 duo albums alongside French improvising saxophonists, Window Dressing with Jean-Luc Guionnet and Axiom for the Duration with Stéphane Rives.
However, knowledge or experience of the pair's previous releases is unlikely to fully prepare anyone for what they will hear on Karoujite. The album title (which translates from Japanese as "scarcely") and its cover (which repeats one small photograph of the musicians again and again) may be intended to drop hints about the content. The album has three tracks, running for just over forty-one minutes. Recorded in Mishima, Japan, in October 2016. they are titled "À Peine 1, 2 & 3," which indicates that they should be considered as parts of a greater whole. With reassuring consistency, "à peine" translates from French as "scarcely," which is fitting as the word applies to several aspects of the duo's music on the album.
So, for extended periods the playing features much repetition, meaning it scarcely develops or changes. The repetition does not resemble that produced by a tape loop or loop pedal, but sounds far more human and less metronomic or robotic. As Alvear plucks the same note over and over, there are slight differences in his timing and attack that are scarcely detectable. Behind him, Seijiro's subtle percussive scrapes on cymbals are just varied enough to prevent the music sounding static, but are totally in keeping with the guitar's repetitions. Neither guitar nor percussion would stand alone, but together they work well.
This is not music that can "just be on"; it needs to be given full attention to be properly appreciated. When time and attention are invested in it, the music handsomely repays the investment, giving a great deal back and revealing ever more subtle detail with each listen. The three tracks have elements in common but are distinctly different enough to be individually identifiable. Together they combine to create a listening environment that is by turns engaging and mesmerising."-John Eyles, All About Jazz
Get additional information at All About Jazz
• Show Bio for Cristian Alvear
Chilean musician dedicated to the performance, premiere and recording of new music. He serves as co-curator of the Experimental Music Festival Relincha, in Valdivia, Chile.
Since the beginning of his career he has been constantly performing in the main auditoriums and concert halls of his country, as well as international festivals and concert venues. In recent years he has concentrated its efforts in performing educational concerts in rural areas of the Los Lagos region, in Southern Chile.
His work has been published by edition wandelweiser records (germany), irritable hedgehog (usa), cathnor (uk), rhizome.S (france), potlatch (france), 1000fssler (germany), lengua de lava (mexico), caduc (canada), melange editions (japan), b-boim records (austria) and erstclass (usa)."-Cristian Alvear Website (http://www.cristianalvear.com/p/bioeng.html)
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• Show Bio for Seijiro Murayama
"Percussionist Seijiro Murayama was born in 1957 in Nagasaki, Japan. He started performing improvised music in 1972, under some influence of Vinko Globokar and musicologist Fumio Koizumi. After graduated from Tokyo University in 1982 in Urdu studies he toured the USA with Keiji Haino as part of the seminal psychedelic band Fushitsusha. Returning to Japan after a period in NYC he continued playing drums and electronics in K.K. Null's noise/rock band A.N.P. (Absolut Null Punkt), while further exploring free improvisation. A relocation to France in 1999 led to collaborations that extended into dance, theatre and performance as well as ongoing partnerships with musicians Jean-Luc Guionnet, Eric Cordier, Michel Doneda, Mattin, Lionel Marchetti, among many others. After over a decade in Europe he relocated back to Japan in 2013.
His artistic principal is to work with the idea of the plural or inter-disciplinary relationships between music and other disciplines of art: dance, video, paintings, photos, literature etc. In this way, he collaborates with musicians, composers, and sound artists. Improvisation is always the major concern for him, even if it is not his artistic goal. His approach is based on the attention to space and place, to the energy of the audience and to the quality and perception of silence on various levels."-Fort Process (http://fortprocess.co.uk/seijiro-murayama/)
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