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Majkowski, Mike

Bright Astonishment Of The Night

Majkowski, Mike: Bright Astonishment Of The Night (Bocian)

A fragile and powerful album of double bass from Australian-born, Berlin-based Mike Majkoswki, in two long works that use repeating structures that morph over time, one demonstrating the beautiful tone of the bass, the other effected and punctuated with thick harmonics.

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product information:

Label: Bocian
Catalog ID: BC MAJ2
Squidco Product Code: 22671

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: Poland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in Berlin, Germany in July, 2014.


Mike Majkowski-doublebass

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Artist Biographies:

"Mike Majkowski is a double bassist / composer born in Sydney, Australia. Currently based in Berlin. Active in the fields of improvised, composed and exploratory music. Performs as a soloist + with a number of collaborative projects (some of which are featured in this site) mike is currently exploring the spectral qualities of double bass resonance, examining deliberate frequencies and circumstantial resonance. His music also explores the relationship between physicality and sonority, with the aim of creating a sense of stillness." (

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track listing:

1. Sleep And Oblivion 48:30

2. Ultramarine 18:00
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"I hear the room emerge. I hear the double bass emerge. Over the course of an hour (divided into two long-form pieces), Mike Majkowski traces an image with sound alone. As each tone swells into wooden chamber of his instrument, or splashes gracefully against the walls of the studio, I learn more about the space and its inhabitants: the bright, buoyantly reflective surfaces of the room, the luxurious warmth and elegant shape of the double bass, the generous emptiness that cradles Majkowski on each side. His execution is deliberately simple, centring on a handful of gestures (sleek strands of bowed string, vigorous thumbed pizzicato notes, flurries of tremolo) that ripple through the air and surge gently through solid material. After each gesture Majkowski waits patiently for the decay to subside, examining the way the sound blooms as promptly recedes. During these moments - when Majkowski and his instrument have ceased moving - I feel a strange kinship. We both sit in curious stillness. We both just listen.

One thing becomes increasingly clear throughout Bright Astonishment Of The Night: the instrument is beautiful. In fact, Majkowski's gestures are merely the point of musical instigation, or the first domino to be pushed - each slide of the bow triggers a cascade of overtones and internal resonances, colliding and subdividing into a chorus of refracted vibration. Each time he connects with the instrument I hear this hidden world in greater detail, leaning further into the forks of frequency and encountering yet more, gradually approaching a zoomed, microbial perspective of Majkowski's acoustic setting. In fact, I find myself so fixated on the construct of individual gestures that I almost neglect to acknowledge the beautiful surface-level harmonies that run through the second of these two pieces: the wide smiles of major key, the asymmetric dissonances, the cycles of harmonic tension and relief. It's a rich and thoroughly three-dimensional work."-Attn Magazine

Get additional information at Attn Magazine
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Stringed Instruments
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Solo Artist Recordings
Australian Improvisers, Composers and Experimenters

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