AMN Reviews: Pulsinger/Fennesz – In Four Parts [col legno WWE 1CD 20410]

2_20410_pulsinger_coverRecorded live at the WIEN MODERN festival in Vienna in 2012—the centennial year of John Cage’s birth, as it happens—In Four Parts is Patrick Pulsinger and Christian Fennesz’s reimagining of Cage’s 1950 String Quartet in Four Parts.

Cage’s quartet is a generally understated work notable for its restrained dynamics, detached islands of coloristic, non-functional harmonies, and brief, fragmentary melodic motifs. The recurrence of its sets of fixed harmonies gives it a cyclical rather than a static feeling, which reflects Cage’s aesthetic interests at the time he wrote it.

The quartet was the product of a period in the late 1940s when Cage, influenced by the writings and lectures of philosopher Ananda Coomaraswamy and his friendship with Gita Sarabhai, created works inspired by the codification and expression of emotion in Indian classical music. He was particularly influenced by the notion that art should reflect nature and its cyclical manner of operation—his first orchestral work was The Seasons of 1947, a ballet score for Lincoln Kirstein—and this notion is not only embodied in the quartet’s four-part structure, but forms its emotional core as well.

Given this background, it was Pulsinger and Fennesz’s inspiration to re-envision rather than recreate Cage’s work. They first reduced the quartet to a duo, with Pulsinger’s analogue modular synthesizer standing in for the viola and cello, and Fennesz’s electronically treated electric guitar replacing the two violins. Their In Four Parts retains the overall structure and trajectory of Cage’s quartet, which lays out a cycle of movement that runs from more to less activity and ends with a burst of unexpectedly energetic themes.

Fennesz’s guitar provides most of the harmonic/melodic material, while Pulsinger’s synthesizer frames it within a context of colors running from unpitched chirps to resonant, bell-like tones, to—in an oblique acknowledgement of the cello’s role as the quartet’s lowest voice—an occasional sub bass more felt than heard. Echoes of Cage’s harmonies occasionally arise, and like Cage’s harmonies these are configured as free standing events populating a texture of progressively thinner density. Until the fourth and final section, which like Cage’s features thicker, more quickly moving sound.

Cage’s String Quartet in Four Parts is a beautiful, sublime work. Pulsinger and Fennesz’s In Four Parts is certainly worthy of it.

Peter Brötzmann Japan Tour in April

English: Peter Brötzmann, moers festival 2010

From Peter Brötzmann:

April 10 (Fri): Osaka, B-Roxy w/ Sabu Toyozumi (drums & percussion) & Masaharu Shoji (reeds)
April 11 (Sat): Saitama, Koshigaya Kura-No-Ne w/ Sabu Toyozumi (drums & percussion)
April 16 (Thu): Hakodate, Hakodate Art Hall w/ Sabu Toyozumi (drums & percussion), Deku (contrabass), Aya Ogawa (piano)
April 18 (Sat): Tokyo, Shinjuku Pit Inn w/ Sabu Toyozumi (drums & percussion) & Toshinori Kondo (electric trumpet)
April 19 (Sun): Tokyo, Shinjuku Pit Inn w/ Sabu Toyozumi (drums & percussion) & Masahiko Sato (piano)
April 20 (Mon): Chiba, Jazz Spot Candy w/ Akira Sakata (reeds)
April 21 (Tue): Tokyo, Live Gate w/Toshinori Kondo (electric trumpet) and Masaya Nakahara (synth & effects)
April 23 (Thu): Yokohama, Airegin w/ Dōjō (Michiyo Yagi, electric kotos & Tamaya Honda, drums)
April 24 (Fri): Tokyo, Roppongi SuperDeluxe w/ Jim O’Rourke (guitar) and Keiji Haino (guitar)/Plus: Michiyo Yagi (electric kotos, electronics, voice) solo
April 25 (Sat): Tokyo, Aketa-no-Mise w/ Dōjō (Michiyo Yagi, electric kotos & Tamaya Honda, drums)

Fifty Years of ‘A Love Supreme’

From Atlanta Blackstar:

Fifty years ago, one of the most important and heartrending jazz albums ever made was unleashed on the world. In February 1965, John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” was released, giving him his biggest commercial success just two years before his death in July 1967. It is a magical piece of work, incredibly moving and impactful, displaying the many skills that made “Trane” probably the most celebrated saxophone player ever. While he had moved in previous years into the abstract sound that had come to be known as “free jazz,” a moody, atonal style that paid no attention to melody and gave the audience few hooks, “A Love Supreme” featured Coltrane’s return to a more-audience friendly approach—but still with some of the experimental elements that made him such a legend among many fellow musicians.

All About Jazz Reviews

From All About Jazz:

Han-Earl Park
Anomic Aphasia (Slam Records)

Gebhard Ullmann/Basement Research
Hat And Shoes (Gebhard Ullmann/Basement Research) (Between the Lines)

Live at Orion (Moonjune Records)

Oren Ambarchi
Live Knots (Pan)

Brandon Seabrook
Sylphid Vitalizers (New Atlantis Records)

Oliver Lake – William Parker Track Review
To Roy (Intakt Records)

Spin Marvel
Infolding (RareNoiseRecords)

New Releases from Cathnor Recordings

Radu Malfatti o 28 de novembro de 2008 proband...
Radu Malfatti

By way of Cathnor Recordings:

Radu Malfatti – One man and a fly – The first and only solo improv album in radu’s long and esteemed career.

Jack Harris – and neither of us had seen anything more moving than the layers of a children’s birthday cake, baked upon the heath. – Oddly oblique field recordings.

Pascal Battus – Désincantation_Indécantation – Brittle, texturally vibrant electroacoustic improvisation from one of Paris’ finest.

Jason Kahn, Patrick farmer, Sarah Hughes, Dominic Lash – Untitled for four. – Two hour long realisation of a single graphic score by Jason Kahn.

Martin Küchen, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga – Bauchredner. – The fierce and the beautiful, the harsh and the soft and vice versa.

AMN Reviews: Akira Kosemura – Trio (Schole)

In the past few years, composer and pianist Akira Kosemura has been putting out such unashamedly pretty music as to leave himself wide open to accusations of saccharine romanticism by the snarky. Snuck in between major works and scores for film and the theatre have been his “Concert Series” EPs, the latest of which, Trio, logically enough follows Solo and Duo. Recorded at the Ichigaya Lutheran Church in Tokyo, Kosemura has rearranged four songs from his soundtrack to the movie Embers for his piano and violin and cello played by Mika Shirasawa and Maiko Sato, respectively.  The quartet of pieces are so gentle and enchanting, the playing so confident and sincere, I defy you not to be swept up in their grace.

Stephen Fruitman

Anthea Caddy / Bonny Cassidy / Tarab in Melbourne March 14

From Melbourne’s Avantwhatever:

Anthea Caddy (Cello, speaker & note)
Bonny Cassidy (Text & voice)
Tarab (Transducers, objects & sounds)

The Alderman
134 Lygon St

Saturday March 14
Entry $10 | 3pm

Anthea Caddy

Anthea Caddy (b.1981) lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Melbourne, Australia. Her practice explores the spatio-temporal aspects of sound and architecture, applying these to audio works that manipulate and distort perceptions of time, space and experience. Caddy’s work focuses on the incorporation of acoustic, electro-acoustic and recorded space within performance, installation and concert presentation, often using amplified cello as her primary sound source. In her live performance she uses multi-channel configurations in low lighting or complete darkness.

Bonny Cassidy

Bonny Cassidy is a poet, essayist and critic, whose first collection, Certain Fathoms, was shortlisted for the 2012 Western Australian Premier’s Poetry Award. Her poetry has featured in the John Leonard Press Young Poets anthology, and in Black Inc’s Best Australian Poems four years running. She is the recipient of an Asialink literary fellowship, a Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and the Australian Poetry Ireland Tour fellowship.


tarab explores re-contextualised collected sounds and tactile gestures formed into dynamic, psycho-geographical compositions inspired by discarded things, found things, crawling around in the dirt, junk, the ground, rocks, dust, wind, walking aimlessly, scratchy things, decay and most if not all the things he hears and sees.