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Hug, Charlotte & Fred Lonberg-Holm: Fine Extension (Emanem)

Violist and vocalist Charlotte Hug met Fred Lonberg-Holm in Zurich, 2009 to make these concert recordings, a duo taking stringed instruments into unique and irrepressible territory.

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product information:

UPC: 5030243501229

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 5012
Squidco Product Code: 13821

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock foldover
Digital concert recording by Christian Wolfarth at WIM Zurich on March 30th, 2009.


Charlotte Hug-viola and voice

Fred Lonberg-Holm-cello

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track listing:

1. Part One 26:45

2. Part Two 20:29

3. Part Three 5:33
Related Categories of Interest:

EMANEM & psi

Improvised Music
Stringed Instruments
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

Excerpts from sleeve notes:

"It takes two.

Two gears, two springs, two mechanisms. Two strings, two hands, two people.

The activity of calibrating requires two parts, a variable and a standard. Through the relativity of comparison (here's a gear, here's another; how do they fit together?), components can be adjusted to function properly, to run smoothly and mesh in perfect tandem. That's the way a machine can be fine-tuned.

The Charlotte Hug / Fred Lonberg-Holm duo is a machine of sorts. Not, of course, in the sterile, robotic, functional sense, but in the sense that together they enjoy a rare kind of calibration, a fine-tuning that one hears infrequently in improvised music, only from the very best collaborators. That they are string players means they come equipped - and burdened - with a lot of baggage, the kinds of classical associations from which it can be difficult to break free. The fussiness of intonation and phraseological inflexibility that one associates with everyday string players is nowhere to be found in Hug's incisive, spectral viola, or in Lonberg-Holm's rich, earthen cello.

When they play together, they become a unified machine, not because they do the same thing or play in unison, but precisely because they each have a part and they play it. And they play it together, as if the music was coming from a common place or meeting in a common place, part of a crystal clear operation the logic of which is fine-tuned in the moment of its unfolding, by means of listening and responding and initiating. And more listening. They have the reliability of a Swiss watch, its innards all working towards the single goal of keeping time, but in this case it's not mechanistic in the same way, the parts are all constantly changing, morphing, the one little gear is growing bigger or shrinking or getting more teeth or differently shaped cogs, so the other gear has to adjust immediately to keep up the proper torque.

Some Oulipo writers have insisted that any system, any procedure designed as a constraint for writing, needs to 'creak' a little. That is to say, it has to swing, to give a bit; the gears have to change shape, if only to keep things interesting. There's a lot of creaking going on here. Listen as Hug goes low, laying down a growling drone, meanwhile Lonberg-Holm squeaks and pops up top. Intensity and excitement, fission energy compacted into a chamber twosome.

Exactitude without fuss, and with a bit of creak - that's fine-tuning. A good reminder: It takes two."-John Corbett

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