The duo of pianist Chris Abrahams (The Necks) and clarinetist Kai Fagaschinksi (The Magic I.D.) in an improvised album of open works that take unusual twists and turns in sonic subtleties.
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Catalog ID: monoLP011
Squidco Product Code: 16816
Packaging: Vinyl LP
Recorded by Chris Abrahams on October 23rd and 28th, 2009 at Arthur Rother's kitchen in Berlin.
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A1 - The Role of the Sun Lay at the Heart of the Problem
A2 - A Reconstruction of the Sequence of Events Which Has Brought It into Being
A3 - The Land that Wields It Does Not Bear Down as Hard
A4 - Snakes and Eagles
B1 - ...and those Melodies Proved to be Invulnerable Again
B2 - Schnecken und Igle
B3 - Eternity is a Long Time
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
sample the album:
"How do you run a duo when both of its protagonists are living at two opposite ends of the planet? Well, it's not that dramatic. For many years Chris has used his European tours as a springboard for extended stays in Kai's hometown of choice, Berlin. After appreciating each other's work for quite a while they began collaborating at a friend's piano-armed kitchen in 2007.
While Chris is best known for his distinctive repetitive piano playing as a member of The Necks, Kai has focused in recent years, more on "compositional" projects like The International Nothing and The Magic I.D.. Within their duo Chris and Kai are taking a bit of an off-road ride. Their approach here is rather open and improvised - without much of a hidden conceptual motive.
When Chris sits in front of the Russian upright piano he interacts with it on its own terms - respectful of the evolution of its mechanics. And yet sometimes, bypassing the keys altogether, he pushes the hammers at the strings with his bare hands - a slap in the face to Bartolomeo Cristofori! At times it seems like Chris is trying to find new dimensions in "unvanity", but his sparse repetition can also be evocative of powerful, distant emotions.
Subtle multiphonic modulation and tiny, noisy textures are Kai's way of expressing things from the bottom of his heart, but on this album it seems he wants to pull out the grand melodies, too. You may watch him with some worries walking now on these high heels. Well, he stumbles a bit, but he doesn't fall and there might even be some dignity in fearless stumbling.
Together the two create uneven yet strangely smooth dialogues, where, allowed by the omnipresent transparency, foreground and background meet each other on eye level. The word 'absurdity' comes to mind in describing the symptomatic odd shifts Chris and Kai undertake during the course of their improvisations. Having a close ear on the resulting music one could question whether freedom and pigheadedness are really contradictory qualities. Overall, there is a feeling of a late work... coming too early.
*1961 in Oamaru (New Zealand)Chris lives in Sydney. He is perhaps best known for his work with the trio The Necks with whom he has released sixteen albums and toured extensively. He has also released seven solo albums as well as albums with numerous collaborators including Roil, Mike Cooper and Lucio Capece. He has written music for both radio and film including the score to the Australian feature film The Tender Hook (2009).
clarinetist | composer/performer | nightwatch *1974 in Dannenberg (Germany)Fagaschinski focuses on a subtle musicality of sound and noise phenomena. As an autodidact he has developed a personal language on his instrument based on a delicate use of multiphonics. His music is rooted in abstraction including an insidious expressivity and a pre- melodic quality. Kai does both - improvising and composing. He prefers to work in long-term collaborations.
He is currently most involved with the following projects: The International Nothing (clarinet duo with Michael Thieke), The Magic I.D. (song project with Margareth Kammerer, Christof Kurzmann and Thieke), Los Glissandinos (with sine wavist Klaus Filip), Musik (with Burkhard Stangl), The Dogmatics (with Chris Abrahams), and Berlin's 24-piece Splitter Orchester. He has played concerts all over Europe, North America and Asia. The Sacrifice is his 11th album release as a co-leader."-Monotype
• Show Bio for Chris Abrahams
"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 (http://www.thenecks.com/bio)
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• Show Bio for Kai Fagaschinski
"The Berlin-based clarinetist and composer/performer focuses on a subtle musicality of sound and noise phenomena. As an autodidact he has developed dubious manners on his instrument. His music is rooted in abstractness, including increasingly an insidious expressivity and a pre-melodic quality. He works on the borderline of composition and improvisation, with a preference for long-term collaborations.
His projects are The International Nothing - clarinet duo with Michael Thieke (cd: Mainstream, ftarri 2006 / less action, less excitement, less everything, ftarri 2010 / the dark side of success, ftarri 2014), los glissandinos with klaus filip (cd: Stand clear, creative sources 2005), the magic i.D. - Song Project with margareth kammerer, christof kurzmann & michael thieke (cd/vinyl: Till my breath gives out, erstwhile 2008 / i'm so awake - sleepless i feel, staubgold 2011), duo with Burkhard Stangl (cd: Musik - ein portrait in sehnsucht, erstwhile 2009), the dogmatics with Chris Abrahams (lp: The sacrifice for the music became our lifestyle, monotype 2012), here comes the sun with gunter schneider & barbara romen (cd: Here comes the sun, mikroton 2012), Kommando Raumschiff Zitrone with Christof kurzmann (cd: First time ever i saw your face, quincunx 2006), duo with Bernhard Gal (cd: Going round in serpentines, charhizma 2005), rebecca with michael renkel (cd: Rebecca [two variations], charhizma 2003), No Furniture with Boris Baltschun and Axel Dörner (cd: No furniture, creative sources 2003), and (exceptionally) solo.
Kai has been the commander of Raumschiff Zitrone from 2000 to 2006, joined by christof kurzmann in 2002. Recently both commanders have been retired and closed the legendary raumschiff zitrone which has presented concerts of countless international artists. In 2001 he co-initiated together with gregor hotz and conrad noack berlin's experimental music platform www.Echtzeitmusik.De.
Kai was artist-in-residense at quartier21 (part of museumsquartierwien, vienna) in 2004. As a result of fruitful collaborations and good friendships vienna feels like a second home for him."-Kai Fagaschinski Website (http://kylie.klingt.org/bio.html)
^ Hide Bio for Kai Fagaschinski
Dogmatics, The (Abrahams / Fagachinski)
The Sacrifice For The Music Became Our Lifestyle [VINYL]