Martin Pals? Now I know Auke. Are they related? Who knows. I am hearing something that on the one hand is modern and on the other ageless. This song could have been on several albums I own or have heard. From Fairport Convention/Richard Thompson to Led Zeppelin. Something with British folk in other words. Yes, I like it.
The song is cut off for more esoteric sounds. Synthesizers, treated voice and a mysterious bell like sound. Again a snippet of 'Bhava' comes my way. To short to have a real impact, enough to totally upset the sonorous mood created by Bruce Cockburn. The surprise is that this mood returns immediately. With a lot more, well different instruments Corin Dingley creates an extremely serious mood. The music seems to hover behind her voice. A voice that also hangs in the balance. 'Burn Me Again' is a modern song. Singer-songwriter in essence with an arrangement behind the artist. There is no acoustic guitar of the artist in hearing distance though. At the same time the music has a jazzy influence of the late night sort. I'm intrigued by Ms. Dingley, although the song may take a bit long.
The mood of the song totally changes around 11.00 minutes into the show. Yes, it is .No's mixing skills. Emiliani Torrini's voice has taken over. With a lounge like track, lazy beats and all, 'Until The Morning' is a perfect track to unhaste with. Far from unique, but it works, like Kovacs' songs work. The Icelandic singer with Italian roots really sets a nice mood together with the rest of the band Thievery Corporation.
Other music fades in, in a perfect way mixed with Torrini's song. The World of Dust returns. This time with a longer song. Dark and moody with elements of progrock, but much slower and too electronic to be shelved in this corner of modern rock. An electronic guitar does enter the whole playing very rhythmic, upsetting the general mood of this Kairos again some. In a pleasant way though.
By now a veteran of Kairos as he is on Kairos for months on end now, Richard Bolhuis returns with his House of Cosy Cushions. A show in Groningen that I missed due to circumstances that .No attended has impressed him quite clearly. The review is on this blog. My experience with this band is mixed. A beautiful dark mood is presented. Little musical motives step forward from the musical darkness hovering in the background of 'Haunt Me Sweetly', a song very aptly titled I find. It's exactly what is happening here.
It's two years since 'Supermoon'. So is new work by Sophie Hunger underway? Here we are presented one of her Swiss-German songs from the album '1983'. Also a song with lots of space in the mix of the music. A dark, jazzy song, with a lot of atmosphere which I find irresistible. As I do most songs by Ms. Hunger. She steps beyond all the little idioms that pop music is put into. She does what she feels like to express herself and that leads to something beautiful called 'D'Red'.
Also Sophie Hunger has to move over. How close her music is to the classics is proven by how well a Bach composition follows hers. Both have an eternal inner beauty I find. This is not just a Bach rendition. In 'Ach das ich Wasser gnug hätte", the Holland Baroque Ensemble recorded with jazz trumpet player Eric Vloeimans. These leads to a classic composition sounding just this little different. In fact I'm remembered strongly of Ekseption's 'Air', a major hit in 1969. I think the trumpet replaces a horrible sounding soprano and makes the beauty of the composition come out, just like the trumpet of Rein van den Broek and Rick van der Linden's keyboards did with 'Air'.
We move further into classical (sounding) music. I hear Tigran Mansourian's 'Five Bagatelles for Piano Trio (1985). Part 1'. Although, I'm hearing the violin and cello most of the time. The piano accompanies this bagatelle. The mood changes, the cello takes over and I'm in another piece already. Dark, darker with rays of sunlight in the high string section. It is also the first longer compostion on this episode of Kairos. Jherek Bischoff 'Cistern' is a piece which repeats a single theme over and over. Things change because a tension is built into the whole by adding more and more sounds and playing louder. The tension is released when all drops away for the cello, playing a minor variation to the theme solo, before the other sections of the orchestra come back in again, playing (their variations to) the central motive of 'Cistern'. It is far from hard to imagine a rock version of this composition. A great chorus would be welcome though. Still, I can understand this impresses when viewed live.
When the sounds become a near quiver I am awaiting the mix, knowing .No's way of working quite well by now. Again there's no way of telling when the move really took place. Only when a piano enters the sound it is clear to me that 'Defeat' has started. Yet, the song is also sonorous. There's simply not a lot of joy present and that goes wider that just this composition. Oliver Alaray's work is not hard to be captured by. In fact I kind of like what I'm hearing.
The same goes for the, again, dark sounding composition by Manuel da Falla. ‘Suite Populaire Espagnole’ is played by Larissa Groeneveld & Gwyneth Wentink. The cello and harp sound sonorous. There is that word again. I guess you know what theme I found for this Kairos? This is so serious, so devoid of smiles and joy. At the same time it is graceful and full of style. Like people can be at a funeral. Bereaved but full of dignity and grace.
So it is not a surprise that Silmus returns to Kairos once more. In 'You Are Tenderness' Silmus lays down mood, melancholy and atmosphere. The piano escapes the whole with sparse notes that grace the whole. Slowly the composition takes us through time, as if it is able to stop time. So tranquil and relaxing.
The song slowly morphs into another composition from the album 'Kavkasia'. There is a link between Silmus and Minco Eggerman. He worked with Gert Boersma on both his albums. That shows a little in 'Hidden In Clouds'. The atmosphere in the background certainly have some similarities....
... I thought. Again I was tricked. I did not really notice that I had moved into a new song and wrote on Eggerman, while in reality I had moved into another song. A song that I had played earlier this week and still.... I had to go back and see if I could detect the change. It is in a moment of silence. The background could have been a part of what went before. It is the high voice of Ryan Karazija that ought to have given him away to me. A guestsinger on 'Kavkasia'?, I thought. 'Without You' is a song from Low Roar's latest album, 'Once In A Long, Long While'. A small song with a considerable emotional impact. What it shows, is that a good song does not always need loads of instruments, wild guitars, etc. to have an impact. It's nice to be remembered of that every once in a while.
Next up is a classical Spanish guitar. Usually not my cup of tea, but I have been brought into the mood for it in the past 50 minutes, I notice. An improvisation on Thelonius Monk. It takes too long though and the capture does not hold for this long. This changes when the trumpet enters and I'm drawn back in again. What tv show theme sounded like this decades ago?
An electric piano moves right into the classical guitar and takes over. The show ends with a singer from California that I reviewed about a year ago. Shelby Figueroa released her first EP called 'Highwire', produced by Shane Alexander. I was quite impressed with both her songs and her voice. To me it stood out. It was a while back since I listened last, but again I'm gripped immediately. The accompaniment around Shelby Figueroa is windswept, sounds move in and out around her, again creating a mystical atmosphere this Kairos is so full of. A singer that deserves more people to listen to her.
No, I wasn't exactly challenged this month. Too much recognition, but also touched. I find that I'm left behind a bit sad. That's a change from being set free, which also tends to happen after an hour of Kairos.
You can listen to Kairos here:
This month's tracklist:
00:08 Martin Pals (text: C. Jinarajadasa). Sensas Weapons. Monad (Rosan Vloedgraven, Martin Pals). Private recording.
02:07 Stefan Breuer. Sun. Bhava. Album ‘The World of Dust’. Snowstar Records/Tiny Room Records.
03:17 Bruce Cockburn. High Winds White Sky. Album ‘High Winds White Sky’. True North Records TN 3.
06:08 Stefan Breuer. Womb. Bhava. Album ‘The World of Dust’. Snowstar Records/Tiny Room Records.
07:05 Corin Dingley. Burn me again (fragment). Alpha. Album ’The Sky is Mine’. Don’t Touch Records DoToCD011.
11:08 Rob Garza/Eric Hilton/Emiliana Torrini (text: Emiliana Torrini). Until the morning. Thievery Corporation. Album ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’. ESL Music ESL0060.
14:21 Stefan Breuer. Decay. Bhava. Album ‘The World Of Dust’. Snowstar Records/Tiny Room Records.
17:27 Richard Bolhuis/House of Cosy Cushions. Green eyes blazing. Album ‘Haunt me Sweetly’. Outcast cats records CAT 0C01.
20:28 Minco Eggersman. Mount Ararat. Album ‘Kavkasia’. Volkoren 73.
23:28 Sophie Hunger. D’Red. Sophie Hunger & band. Album ‘1983’. Two Gentlemen Records, twogtl 009-J .
26:30 J.S. Bach. Ach dass ich Wassers gnug hätte. Holland Baroque Ensemble & Eric Vloeimans. Album ‘Old,New & Blue: Holland Baroque Society Meets Eric Vloeimans. Channel Classics CCS SA 35613.
28:24 Tigran Mansurian. Five Bagatelles for Piano Trio (1985). Part 1. Movses Pogossian, violin, Edvard Pogossian, cello, Judith Gordon, piano. Live recording. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI3e1GgfZ_o.
30:40 Jherek Bischoff. Cistern. Album ‘Cistern’. LEAF.
36:24 Olivier Alaray. Defeat. Album ‘Fiction/Non Fiction’. FatCat Records CD 13-24
39:04 Manuel de Falla. Asturiana from ‘Suite Populaire Espagnole’. Larissa Groeneveld & Gwyneth Wentink. Album’chanson Exotique’. Private label.
40:35 Gert Boersma. You are tenderness. Silmus. Album ‘Shelter’. Volkoren 58
45:32 Minco Eggersman. Hidden in clouds. Album ‘Kavkasia’. Volkoren 73.
46:27 Ryan Karazija. Without You. Low Roar. Album ‘Once in a long, long while’. Nevado Records 823674059620.
50:11 Axel Herman Wolf/Thelonious Monk. Improvviso & Round Midnight. Axel Wolf/Hugo Siegmeth.Album ‘Flow, Jazz and Renaissance – from Italy to Brazil’. OEHMS classics OC 1826.
55:16 Shelby Figueroa. Blue Rain Bird. Album ‘Highwire’. Private label.