DEK Trio (Ken Vandermark / Elisabeth Harnik / Didi Kern)
Burning Below Zero
One of Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark's regular trios while in Austria, DEK is named for the letters of the 1st name of Vandermark, drummer Didi Kern and pianist Elisabeth Harnik, drawing inspiration from free improv, free rock, & cross-media projects of each member.
Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 139CD
Squidco Product Code: 23792
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in concert at RAJ in Klagenfurt, Austria, October 2nd, 2014, by Klaus Leesemann.
Ken Vandermark -reeds
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1. RAJ One 29:01
2. RAJ Two 25:01
3. RAJ Three 4:20
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Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
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"DEK Trio is a new improvised music trio that features Austrians Elisabeth Harnik (piano) and Didi Kern (drums), and American Ken Vandermark (reeds), who have been performing together since September of 2014, both in Europe and in the United States. In 2016 they were featured as part of Vandermark's residency at the Stone in New York City. Their music has a wide range of influences, coming from sources based in Harnik's work as an internationally acclaimed new music composer, Kern's profile on European rock scene, and Vandermark's two decades of work at both home and abroad, touring, recording, and collaborating with dozens of world renowned musicians as diverse as Getachew Mekuria and John Tilbury. The end result of these backgrounds and the open ended musical curiosity of the group is an extraordinary group aesthetic, inclusive and expressive and instantaneous."-Trost
"DEK stands for the first names of Austrian drummer Didi Kern and pianist Elisabeth Harnik and Chicagoan reeds player Ken Vandermark. Since Austria, and especially Vienna, have become one of Vandermark main stops during his busy touring schedule, establishing ongoing collaborations with local musicians was only natural. Vandermark performs there on a regular basis, records in the fine studios there, works with a local label, Trost, and collaborates with others local musicians such as Christof Kurzmann in the Made to Break quartet.
DEK Trio began to work in September 2014 bringing together a wide range of backgrounds and influences. Harnik, known as a new music composer and free-improviser who collaborates with double bass master Joëlle Léandre, fellow Chicagoan reeds player Dave Rempis, is a member of the Plasmic and Barcode quartets and the interdisciplinary Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose project which is inspired by the work of Gertrude Stein. Kern has worked with alternative Austrian bands as the noise-rock trio BulBul and the genre-defying Broken.Heart.Collector and collaborated in recent years with Mats Gustafsson (check their Eissalon (Live), Rock is Hell Records, 2013); Vandermark charges this trio free-improvised interplay with his diverse experiences, ranging from the intricate minimalism of AMM's pianist John Tilbury to Afro-beat of late Ethiopian sax player Gétatchèw Mèkurya.
The trio debut album was recorded live recorded shortly after its establishment on October 2, 2014 at the RAJ hall in the southern Austria town Klagenfurt. The three "RAJ" free-improvisations highlight the organic, instantaneous interplay of this trio, expressive and powerful one, open-ended and curious. On the opening, extended "RAJ One", Kern keeps challenging Vandermark's rhythmic attacks and subtle sonic searches with fast-shifting rhythmic ideas and colors spiced with healthy doses of humor, detail and invention while Harnik frames their muscular, game-like interplay in a structured narrative, introducing into it delicate sounds extracted from the piano strings. The following, extended "RAJ Two" suggests a more "burning" interplay, way beyond zero, where each musicians feeds the other with intense energy in an intensifying cycle. This pieces stresses the versatile, rhythmic sensibility of the DEK trio, moving freely from driving-stormy eruptions to gentle, lyrical touches. The last, short "RAJ Three" is a cathartic outcome of the expressive energy of this great trio."-Eyal Hareuveni, Free Jazz Blog
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• Show Bio for Elisabeth Harnik
"Elisabeth Harnik, free-lance composer and pianist, was born 1970 in Graz and lives in Gams (County of Styria/Austria). She studied classical piano and later - with Beat Furrer - composition at what is now the Univer sity of Music and Performing Arts, Graz.
The "repertoire" and it's extensions in composition and improvisation is her central focus. Harnik works within an electro-acoustic inspired sound-world, using unique preparations and extended techniques.
Performances include: Easterfestival Graz 2002, Hörfest Graz 2003/04/05, Styrian Chamber Music Festival 2003, Klangmühle Orth an der Donau 2005, Munich Ope ra Festival 2006, Mozart- Year Vienna 2006, Paul Hofhaimer Musiktage 2006, Composers' Forum Mittersill 2008, Haydn Year 2009, Festival 4020 Linz 2009, Sou ndings Festival London 2010, Opera Graz, Musikprotokoll/Steirischer Herbst 2011, E_MAY Festival Vienna 2011/2012, Klangspuren Schwaz 2012, Transart Festiv al Bozen 2012, Wien Modern 2013, Estonian Harpsichord Society Festival 2014, A udio ArtFestival Pula 2014 a.o.
She has worked with renowned artists and ensembles such as the Ensemble Zeitfluss Graz, the Ensemble 09 Linz, the Ensemble MusikFabri kSüd, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, the Klangforum Vienna, the Ensemb le "die reihe" Vienna, the Ensemble Kontrapunkte Vienna, the ensemble Reconsil Vienna, the Ensemble PHACE Vienna, the Ensemble Platypus Vienna, the Hay dn-Trio-Eisenstadt, the Trio AMOS Vienna, the Trio EIS Vienna, the Thürmchen Ens emble Cologne, the Fidelio Trio London, the Cantus Ensemble Zagreb, the Ensemble mise-en New York and various national and international soloists.
She received a great number of rewards and prizes, most recently she was Artist in Residence at the OMI International Arts Center New York 2010 and Composer in Residence 2013 at the IZZM in Ossiach/Austria. In addition to her work as composer she appears as improvisator at various national and international festivals such as the V:NM-Festival, the Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon, the Nickelsdorfer Konfrontationen, the Artacts Festival St. Johann, the Music Unlimited Festival Wels, the Soundgrube Vienna, the Comprovise Festival Cologne, the Beethoven Fest Bonn, the A L'ARME! Festival Ber lin, the Jazz & More Festival Sibiu, the Alpenglow Festival London, the All Ears Festival Oslo, the Umbrella Music Festival Chicago, the Okka Fest Milwaukee, the Musi cacoustica Beijing, the SoundOut Festival Canberra/AUS a.o."-Elisabeth Harnik Website (http://elisabeth-harnik.at/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Elisabeth-Harnik_Bio-English.pdf)
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• Show Bio for Didi Kern
"Didi Kern, the human rhythm machine of Bulbul, Broken Heart Collector, Fuckhead, Wipeout, Die MŠuse, Wenzl Dnatek (among others), feels at home in almost any genre: noise, rock, techno, free jazz - you name it."-Elevate Website (https://elevate.at/websites/2013/art/artist/didi_kern_philipp_quehen/)
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• Show Bio for Ken Vandermark
"Born in Warwick, Rhode Island on September 22nd, 1964, Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. In 1989, he moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990's onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley). His current activity includes work with Made To Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy; in addition, he is the music director of the experimental Pop band, The Margots. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur prize for music."-Ken Vandermark Website (http://kenvandermark.com/2013/10/made-to-break-biography/)
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