The Squid's Ear Magazine

Abrahams, Chris / Clare Cooper: Germ Studies For Guzheng & DX7 (Splitrec)

The Australian duo of pianist Chris Abrahams (Necks) & Berlin harpist Clare Cooper in a series of 198 short improvisations performed on Yamaha DX7 and the 14th century Guzheng harp, presented with 198 illustrations in an unusual and obsessively rewarding project.

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Chris Abrahams-DX7

Clare Cooper-Guzheng

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Label: Splitrec
Catalog ID: 19
Squidco Product Code: 20294

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: Australia
Packaging: Digipack Double CD
Recorded between 2003 and 2008 by the artists.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Germ Studies is the inspired Australian pairing of renowned Sydney pianist Chris Abrahams, and Berlin-based harpist Clare Cooper – but if you're expecting a harmonic polyphony of harp and piano you'll be shocked by the alien landscapes that span the 198 tracks of this double disk.

The unlikely combination of 1980s Japanese synth and 1380's Chinese harp creates an ambiguous and ambitious music. Although stemming from a language borne of contemporary electro-acoustic improvisation – Germ Studies approaches the path from a very different angle – filled with wonderful, ecstatic and unexpected joys.

Chris Abrahams is perhaps best known for his work with the improvising trio The Necks. Clare Cooper is keenly interested in extended vocabularies on the concert harp and the guzheng.

Not content with the gargantuan output of 198 distinct pieces, Germ Studies goes a step further – presenting an A3 Wall Chart with 198 Germ illustrations, depicted in sinister and candid detail by colleagues and friends, from Otomo Yoshihide to Clare's mum.

More than a collection of improvisations by two imaginative musicians, Germ Studies is a defining document, presented with all the care and attention to detail that these complex, bizarre and beautiful pieces deserve."-splitrec

Artist Biographies

"Chris Abrahams was born in Oamaru, New Zealand but grew up in Sydney, Australia.

He became very active in the Sydney jazz scene in the early eighties playing with modern jazz groups including Mark Simmonds' Freeboppers and The Keys Music Orchestra. With Lloyd Swanton he formed the 60's modern jazz-influenced The Benders in 1982. During its day, the band released three albums - E, False Laughter and Distance.

In 1984 Chris recorded and released his first solo piano album - Piano, followed in 1986 by Walk.

In 1985 Chris became a founding member of the Sydney indie rock band The Sparklers. As a result of this, Chris began working regularly with the singer and songwriter Melanie Oxley. Chris collaborated with Melanie, writing songs and producing albums, throughout the nineties. There are five releases with her: Resisting Calm (1990), Welcome to Violet (1992), Coal (1994), Jerusalem Bay (1998) and Blood Oranges (2003).

Chris released a third solo piano album, Glow, in 2001. This was followed in 2003 by Streaming, and then Thrown (2004), Play Scar (2010) and Memory Night (2013).

Chris has collaborated, in both recording and performance, with many contemporary improvising musicians including Burkhard Beins, Mike Cooper and Anthony Pateras. He performs regularly in the improvising music scenes both in Australia and Europe."

-The Necks Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Acid Shower 0:16

2. Hungarian Earthquake 0:16

3. Ability 1:42

4. Bells Before Breakfast 1:13

5. Pulitzer 0:16

6. Knee Liquor 0:19

7. Mariah 0:15

8. Ma Night 3:51

9. Barrister Incident 0:19

10. Janis 0:08

11. Competitive Edge 1:49

12. Green March 1:50

13. Prejudice Stopper 0:08

14. National Velvet 0:09

15. Jogging 0:31

16. Spoon 0:10

17. Eating Own Shoulder 1:33

18. Ritard Closure 0:24

19. Farnham 0:05

20. Hazel Hawke 0:40

21. Bass Needle 0:37

22. They Left Food Out 0:08

23. Pretty Whack 0:13

24. Forcefield Pig (Skitter) 0:27

25. Thai Jelly 0:25

26. Uncommon Wealth 0:14

27. Four Million Dollars 0:05

28. Bing Crosby University 0:06

29. Pear Shaped 2:03

30. Magic Of Christmas 1:39

31. Crackle 0:04

32. Careless Whispers 0:17

33. Packer Whacker 0:16

34. Big Chill 0:56

35. Sounds Like Germs 0:38

36. Golden 0:12

37. Mingus Germs 3:43

38. Chivas Regal 3:55

39. Drunk Thunder 0:28

40. Three Strikes 0:27

41. Stolen Balloon 0:04

42. Bong Crosby High 0:06

43. Heck 0:19

44. Despair 0:11

45. Martian Vacation 0:26

46. Martian Chamber Music 1:05

47. Kid Man 0:06

48. Pierce 0:04

49. My Foolish Lung 1:42

50. Chlorine Justice 0:45

51. Banshee 0:28

52. Excited & Affectionate 0:21

53. Dive 0:12

54. Blue Lagoon 0:04

55. Kick It 2:16

56. Halley's Comet 0:27

57. Not Bacon Time 0:04

58. Whimper 0:05

59. Sad And Lonely 0:15

60. Australian Thriller 0:05

61. Pancake Assault 0:09

62. Rogue Appendix 0:20

63. Thrasher Dip 0:47

64. Blustery 0:09

65. My Sister 0:07

66. Chatter 0:12

67. Our Dawn 1:28

68. Triangle Crunch 0:06

69. Little Disco 0:21

70. Hoof 0:06

71. Cornflake Utterance 0:04

72. Electric Sewer 2:08

73. Bullets 0:05

74. Hurtful 0:49

75. Love, American Style 1:12

76. Mrs Ed 0:07

77. Even Better 0:04

78. Anthem For A Generation 0:46

79. Effort 0:32

80. Babe Rainbow 0:04

81. Elegant, Elegant 0:05

82. Bluster 0:07

83. Inspiration 0:14

84. Sealord 1:24

85. Friday 0:04

86. It's Alive 0:17

87. Bear Vs. Cyber W@Sp 0:44

88. Daylight Robbery 0:04

89. Da Da Da La 0:06

90. Peeling And Scratching 0:42

91. Mr. Chips 0:36

92. Loch Ness 0:23

93. Hendrix Gardener 0:34

94. Strum 0:04

95. The Blob 1:55

96. Song For Horst 2:15

97. Self Saucing 0:08

98. Gear Trouble 0:06

99. Call Waiting 0:10

100. Cowboy Scientist 0:51

101. Pay Review 0:47

102. Devon 0:12

103. Crackle Bounce 0:52

104. Ointment 0:10

105. Fonda 0:09

106. Rugby 1:58

107. Spalde Tragedy 0:19

108. Emspire Of The Son 0:06

109. The Long Finger 0:20

110. Green Blues 0:32

111. Mash Marathon 0:35

112. Memory Lane 0:12

113. Trouble 0:04

114. Cliff Hanger 0:04

115. Tron 0:04

116. I Beg Your Pardon 1:33

117. Rain Lover 0:24

118. Crispy Drama 0:38

119. Popper 0:10

120. Quality Wobble 0:04

121. Party Drugs 1:47

122. Wrongingly 0:36

123. Tennis 0:05

124. Scurvy 0:04

125. Knock On Wood 0:04

126. Lurch 0:39

127. Neutrino 8:05

128. Death Of Cyber Wasp 1:32

129. John Of Patmos 0:18

130. Knitting 0:08

131. Your Friend Billy Zane 0:42

132. Art 0:06

133. Shame 0:04

134. Spicy Pillows 0:38

135. Forbidden Plants 0:49

136. The History Channel 0:22

137. The Conch 0:11

138. Salty 0:18

139. Stingray 0:04

140. Acquired Taste 0:17

141. Blues Lick 0:04

142. Trolley 0:04

143. Salad 0:25

144. Deficit Disorder 0:12

145. Metal 0:43

146. Sting's Doorbell 0:46

147. Has Been 0:09

148. Facial Justice 0:29

149. Scottish Ending 0:38

150. Rope 0:08

151. Tumultuosity 1:38

152. Breakdown (Loud) 0:15

153. Crunchy 0:04

154. TAB 0:40

155. Knock Knock 0:07

156. General Pants 0:15

157. Polite Static 0:51

158. Drip And Purr 0:44

159. Mini Horror Film 0:11

160. Puncture 0:04

161. Bartok Island 0:16

162. Equestrian Non-Event 0:05

163. Ice White 1:00

164. Textured Animals 0:46

165. Gravel 0:07

166. International Furore 0:22

167. Our Rat Frank 0:23

168. Weichselplatz Zwei 0:11

169. Dots Make Tricks 0:06

170. Moist Roadtrain 0:25

171. Caramel Pylon 0:04

172. Bass Wobble 0:04

173. Take It To The Bridge 0:14

174. Worthless 0:07

175. Barney Miller 1:27

176. Lindenberg 0:12

177. Pale Face Adios 0:08

178. Deliverance Like 0:43

179. Colgate Chair 0:10

180. Slaughter 0:04

181. Never 0:04

182. The Con 0:52

183. Rattle 0:04

184. Get Grace Bussel 0:12

185. Puzzle Ring 0:42

186. Group Dynamic 0:21

187. Full Metal Guzheng 2:02

188. Real Keller 0:21

189. Progenetor 0:07

190. Traffic 0:07

191. Sequence Puncture 1:22

192. Ominous 0:51

193. Nice Ass 0:21

194. Winding Road 0:13

195. The Fight Pt. II 0:29

196. Jaw Dropper 0:53

197. At Risk 0:13

198. Angry Climax 0:37

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Piano & Keyboards
Cultural Musics from Around the World
Duo Recordings
The Necks
Australian Improvisers, Composers and Experimenters

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