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Kalash, Dirar: Of Quietude (Discus)

Pianist Dirar Kalash is a Palestinian performer, whos concerts combine free improvisation, text, sound, image, video and movement; opportunities to record and perform are rare, but on a visit to the UK in 2020 Simon Reynell (Another Timbre) was able to record these two extended and exemplary improvisations at St Paul's Hall at the University Of Huddersfield.

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product information:

UPC: 5051078983127

Label: Discus
Catalog ID: 100CD
Squidco Product Code: 30216

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at St. Paul's Concert Hall, at the University Of Huddersfield, UK, on 15th January 15th, 2020, by Simon Reynell.


Dirar Kalash-piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Dirar Kalash resides in Ramallah, Palestine and is one of the foremost improvisors in the Middle East. He works with a range of improvised sound/music and art practices.

Dirar Kalash's live performances combine text, sound, image, video and movement. Regularly using free and open-source software in the field of real-time audio, video and image processing, he is also a multi-instrumentalist and engages in musical composition and free improvisation. His work is based on everyday life as a phenomenon, which is then subjected to live processing, composition and decomposition in order to transcend time and matter to a ritualistic live performance.

His group participations include a live audio-video performance for the 2011 /si:n/ Festival of Video Art and Performance in Ramallah, and a video and sound installation for the 2011 Open Studio exhibition at the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre (Ramallah), in addition to regular musical performances in Palestine and Egypt, in the field of free and improvised music.", tubersmusic (

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track listing:

1. Thresholds At Fingertips 35:26

2. A Rift In Time 26:29
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Dirar Kalash is an improvising musician currently based in his native Ramallah, in the state of Palestine. Opportunities to perform are non-existent. Even access to an instrument is impossible at the current time. On a rare visit to the UK early in 2020, we are fortunate that Dirar found an opportunity to record with the master sound engineer Simon Reynell, on a fine instrument in the beautiful acoustic of St Paul's Hall at the University Of Huddersfield. The plan had been to record some compositions. However, Dirar's instinct, on encountering a first class instrument after so long an enforced break, was to improvise instead. These recordings are the result."-Discus

"[...] Discus has released an album by Palestinian improv player Dirar Kalash, somebody for whom the opportunities for playing at all in his native land are few and far between, let alone performing live. Fortune prevailed and brought him across to the UK and he had the chance to play and record at the University of Huddersfield. This document of that opportunity is an extraordinary work.

The first thing you notice about Of Quietude is the space that lingers between the notes, as if their selection is a matter of great decision. There is a thorough examination of the keyboard as if it were a palette, studying the canvas and trying to figure how to connect the strokes. This provides an inkling to his thought processes.

You can almost feel those processes as some notes are left to decay while others are torn off in their prime, like a misstep. It feels like an evolution that requires the long duration of the two pieces here to fully uncover their meaning. There is sudden insight and then darkness and some repetition, but with subtle, nuanced variations and no small amount of suspense, the repeated high notes providing drama.

The second piece includes the plucking of the strings and some thunderous rolls with a slight shift in structure. There is an intensity to the strings, some sounds appearing smaller and more distant with a softness to the damped notes and some repetition appearing as if from a mist. The repetition here is tantalising; for how long will it continue and into what avenue will it lead? You feel there is a little more deliberation; but when the sustain rolls, the empty auditorium seems to flicker into focus and you could hear a pin drop.

At other points, it is like following somebody down a dark path with the terrain constantly changing and you areunable to see properly, just allowing your guide to be your direction. The whole hour or so is great, but you have the feeling that Dirar didnŐt really want to stop; and when you discover that he hasnŐt touched a piano since this January recording, then it gives even more poignancy. An essential album."-Mr Olivetti. FREQ

Get additional information at FREQ
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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