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Koch, Hans / Jacques Demierre: Incunabulum (Herbal International)

A unique pairing of reeds, piano and spinet captured live at Le Singe Club in Biel, Switzerland in 2018 between multi-reedist Hans Koch and keyboardist Jacques Demierre, a wild ride from frenetic interaction to introspective experimental, both using unusual techniques and Demierre playing inside his keyboards, a truly excellent and thrilling concert.

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product information:

Label: Herbal International
Catalog ID: 1901
Squidco Product Code: 27511

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Malaysia
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Le Singe Club in Biel, Switzerland, on May 8th and 9th, 2018, by Oli Dutton.


Hans Koch-reeds

Jacques Demierre-spinet, piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Hans Koch plays bass clarinet and soprano saxophone. He has played alongside of musicians such as Cecil Taylor, Evan Parker, Fred Frith, Paul Lovens, Barry Guy, Barre Phillips, Phil Minton, Peter Kowald, Hans Reichel, Tom Cora, Jim O'Rourke, Fennesz, Elliott Sharp, Anthony Coleman, DJ M. Singe, Voicecrack, Günter Müller, Jean-Marc Montera, and Joëlle Léandre in Europe, America, and Asia-and still managed to maintain his association with the Koch-Schütz-Studer Trio. He has put out compact discs on various labels." (Dame, Ambiances Magnetiques) (

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"The pianist and composer Jacques Demierre was born in 1954 in Geneva. His musical itinerary is varied: improvisation, jazz contemporary music. As a composer, he is mainly self-taught. He writes for concert use, for the stage and for modern dance. He has received commissions for both jazz and contemporary music. The recording by singer Magali Schwartz of three pieces inspired by her voice is testimony to a rare artistic experience. Je deviendrai Médée, Désir d'azur: musique de danse and Bleu are the results of an intense collaboration which began in 1985-86 and, via vocal and instrumental improvisation, gradually led to a kind of common vocal territory, a veritable research laboratory which produced compositions as well as new ideas for vocal experimentation."

-Musiques Suisses (

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track listing:

1. But There Were No Words 5:15

2. But We Werent Prepared To Enter This Game Of Musical Houses 5:24

3. But Ive Been Living Here For A Long Time 5:14

4. But I Didnt Know If I Could Do This 2:44

5. But I Imagined Him Racing Down The Beach To Dive Into The Surf 5:09

6. But This Was All Kind Of New To Me 5:31

7. But Things Were Going Pretty Smoothly 2:06

8. But You Know That Even Before You See The Pyramids Youre Going To Take A Camel Ride 5:10

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The title means something like 'early book print', and I am not sure that title means anything in relation to the music. Koch plays 'reeds' and Demierre plays the spinet, which, as I have noted before is a most unusual instrument for improvised music. They recorded the eight pieces over two days in May last year in Biel, Switzerland. It is some wonderfully strange music in which both instruments are on display in a lot of different ways.

The spinet in 'But I've Been Living Here For A Long Time' sounds like a spinet you know from a film about knights, but right in the next track I would think Demierre treats it as an object, using objects to play the strings and it sounds like it has gotten the reel-to-reel tape treatment. Koch does something similar with his reeds but with him, it seems that is most of the times not as recognizable and his approach seems to be more abstract. I might very well be wrong of course. They bounce from something quite hectic ('But I Imagined Him Racing Madly Down The Beach To Dive Into The Surf') to a beautiful, quiet and introspective piece as 'But This Was All Kind Of New To Me'. It is this variation that makes this a great release.

There is an excellent interaction going on between both players and they both approach their instruments and music in a serious and open way. The experience they bring to the table is all too clear."-Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at Vital Weekly
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Piano & Keyboards
Objects and Home-made Instruments
Duo Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items

Search for other titles on the label:
Herbal International.

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Weber, Christian
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Demierre, Jacques / Anouck Genthon
Frith, Fred
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire (Graphic Scores 1986-96)(2CDs)
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Demierre, Jacques / Anouck Genthon
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Frith, Fred / Hans Koch
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Koch, Hans / Thomas Peter
(Herbal International)
Bley, Paul
12 (+6) In A Row
Weber, Christian
3 Suits and A Violin

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