Using an imaginative set of piano preparations, Auckland, New Zealand pianist Hermione Johnson draws unusual timbral and tonal qualities from the prepared piano, deftly improvising with dexterous technical skills to create unusual rhythmic and timbral environments, each a marvelous, miniature universe of unexpected voicings, evoking gongs, guitars, kotos, &c.
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Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR 1116
Squidco Product Code: 29671
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Tracks 1-5 recorded at the Auckland Unitarian Church, in Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand, on June 10th, 2019.
Track 6 recorded at the Audio Foundation, Auckland Central, New Zealand, on September 18th, 2019.
Hermione Johnson-prepared piano
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• Show Bio for Hermione Johnson
"Hermione Johnson is a pianist from Auckland, New Zealand. Her work centers largely on extended and prepared piano techniques, focusing on the timbral qualities of the instrument, and drawing out a range of voices with contrasting patterns and phrases in different registers. Her prime focus is free improvisation, and with this she has been a significant force in the New Zealand experimental music scene. She performs regularly in Wellington, Dunedin and Auckland with local musicians including Riki Gouch, Ro Rushton-Greene and Jeff Henderson. She has featured in Dunedin's Lines of Flight Festival, Wellington's Pyramid Power Festival, played the NoWhere Festival in Auckland, the Nownow in Sydney, and the SoundOut in Canberra. Internationally she has played with Andre Vida, Tony Buck, Peter Brotzmann, and Yoshida Tatsuya.
As a musician she works across several genres - playing piano for ballet classes and pipe organ for the Methodist church, synthesizer solos as Ogadon and in the duo Drorgan with drummer Ben Holmes. She also plays candlelight piano for Ron Gallopoli. She has featured in et al's 'For the Common Good' improvising a score by Samuel Holloway, created music for Zahra Killeen-Chance's 'The Fallen Mystery' and her organ and piano work has featured in films such as Gabriel White's 'Around the Margins', Damian Golfinopoulos's 'Circle of Willis', and James Ashcroft's 'Coming Home in the Dark'.
Hermione holds a Masters in Composition and an Honours Degree in Piano and Pipe Organ from Victoria University of Wellington."-Sounz (https://sounz.org.nz/contributors/1802)
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1. See My Permanent Face 9:03
2. Swallowed Hand 5:24
3. Chuck 4:00
4. Papered Thigh 4:49
5. Waving From The Shore 6:53
6. Tremble 27:56
sample the album:
"Auckland-based Hermione Johnson's Tremble evokes the sound of a large Indonesian gamelan orchestra via the insertion of small chopstick-shaped rods at diverse angles, establishing different timbral zones, contraposed in imbricated, polyphonic textures. On "See My Permanent Face" she sets chime and gong tones against a cyclic pattern suggestive of a carillon of bells, later adding a fast moving harp sound and low muted strings. Many pieces employ like sounds, though their various layers and juxtapositions are unique to each setting. On "Chuck" it sounds as if she's actually plucking the strings, miming a qin or koto; on "Waving from the Shore" she could be strumming a steel resonator guitar with an egg whisk; on the epic-length title track she blends all these elements over the course of a sweeping yet cohesive narrative."-Tom Greenland, NYCJR
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