[resource-net] Tuesday June 4 Concert @ NK: JESSIKA KENNEY & EYVIND KANG – THE FACE OF THE EARTH / Anaïs Tuerlinckx
info at nkprojekt.de
info at nkprojekt.de
Tue Jun 4 15:05:48 CEST 2013
Sorry for X-postings!
Dear Resource community We hope that you can join us for this evenings
concert at NK:
Tuesday June 4 2013 21:30
JESSIKA KENNEY & EYVIND KANG – THE FACE OF THE EARTH / Anaïs Tuerlinckx
Elsenstr 52 2HH 2Etage 12059 Berlin
JESSIKA KENNEY, voice, percussion, electronics. EYVIND KANG, viola,
Live in Sines
The second beautiful album by the duo of Jessika Kenney — a vocalist
known for her haunting timbral sense, as well as her profound
interpretation of Persian vocal traditions, and Eyvind Kang — a
violist for whom the act of music and learning is a spiritual
“”Work of delicate beauty, as pristine as the surface of a lake at
dawn on a summer’s morning.” —TheQuiet
“ujung jari balung rondhoning kelapa wineng kuwa sayekti dadya usada
The slender inner spine of the coconut leaf Binding together, becoming useful
The compositions on this album are about drawing the binary from the
unary, like reflections from a mirror, and its inverse, the concealed
unity. Listener/reader, translation/composition, memory/imagination-
reflecting each other, they open up a current which flows in a sudden
Here we have followed a geological image; in the expression of the
face of the earth (from Pr. “rokh-e khåk”), a new spectrum of binaries
is revealed. In the Classical Persian traditions, this can be found in
the dynamic multiplicity exemplified by the term ‘radif’, used in both
poetry and music, as both poeme and matheme.
We would invite the listener as reader, by making our “reading cards”
in the insert, to become a participant in the creation of meaning,
including translation processes which seek corresponding musical
atmospheres, for example:
The Central Javanese Wangsalan is a kind of riddle(two lines, 12
syllables each, divided 4 and 8), sung by the female vocalist in the
gamelan, often using images of natural phenomena alongside
descriptions of human characteristics, invoking atmospheres of
primordial knowledge, humor, heightened sensation, philosophy, with
much hidden wordplay and reference. —JK/EK
Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang
A Persian-Javanese updating
The singer Jessika Kenney and the violist Eyvind Kang, a married
couple in Seattle, seem to appear where vanguardism, sacred texts and
improvised music come together in the Northwest. They have a
continuing project of writing new settings for old Persian and
Javanese music, and “The Face of the Earth” (Ideologic Organ) is their
latest installment, a gorgeous record. One track is a prayer that Ms.
Kenney sings in her clear, settled mezzo-soprano against a slow
plucked string pattern; one is a strummed viola drone; one is a
wordless long-tone song; one is multitracked polyrhythmic vocal and
string patterns. On the vinyl release — recommended for this album’s
depth — Side 1 sounds antiquarian and Side 2 experimental. But you may
have a hard time deciding which side is more personal to the makers.
It’s serious, refined music. Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
Jessika Kenney has been singing since she was a small child. Early on,
she was influenced by the musicality and interests of her mother,
Paige Kenney, a poet.
Jessika studied jazz music/improvisation at Cornish College of the
Arts and sindhenan (Javanese classical singing) in Central Java. She
has performed and recorded Classical Persian vocal repertoire with ney
master Ostad Hossein ‘Omoumi, as well as new and traditional Javanese
music with Gamelan Pacifica and Gamelan Madusari. She has also
performed or recorded the music of numerous contemporary composers
including John Cage, Jarrad Powell, Eyvind Kang, and Tadao Sawai.
From 1994–1997 she studied with the jazz vocalist Jay Clayton; for
several extended periods between 1997–2001 Kenney lived in Indonesia,
studying and performing traditional Javanese vocal music with Nyi
Supadmi and collaborating on music and theater in experimental
settings. She currently studies classical Persian vocal music with
Performance highlights include appearing as a soloist with the
Orchestra del Teatro Communale, Bologna, Italy, under the direction of
Aldo Sisillo in 2003, in Athlantis with vocalist Mike Patton and the
Coro da Camera di Modena, Italy in 2006, and in Eyvind Kang’s Shadow
of Ideas in Milan and Barcelona in 2007. Her recordings include The
Stonehouse Songs with Jarrad Powell, the voice/viola duet Aestuarium
with Eyvind Kang, and Voices of Spring with the Hossein Omoumi Ensemble.
She has created numerous experimental wayang (shadow plays) including
Maya in the Bardo (1996), and Atria (2006), as well as many other
works for voice and mixed ensembles.
Her versatility and love of many forms has contributed to the realms
of dance-theater, performance art, shadow puppetry, and experimental
music. Also she is experiencing tuning theory by singing with the
Seattle Harmonic Voices. Jessika is teaching at the Cornish College of
the Arts in Seattle.
Canada-raised violinist Eyvind Kang moved to Seattle in the 1990s and
studied in India. Kang debuted with the single Driftwood And Dreams
(1995) and the first series of compositions titled “NADE”, 7 NADEs
(october 1995 – Tzadik, 1996). He collaborated to Doghead (1996),
Mount Analog (1997) and several established rock bands (such as the
Sun City Girls), and released a second album, Sweetness Of Sickness
(Rabid Dog, 1996).
We’s As Is (december 1996), featuring vocalist Caroline Honeychild
Coleman and percussionist Raz Badawi Mesinai, Line 4′s Pieces of Time
(november 1997 – Spool, 1998), a collaboration with Francois Houle,
the 24 brief vignettes of Theater Of Mineral NADEs (Tzadik, 1998), the
jazz-metal trio Dying Ground (september 1996 – Avant, 1998) with
bassist Hideki Kato and drummer Calvin Weston, the albums with Secret
Chiefs 3, MBEK (november 1998 – Meniscus, 1999), a collaboration with
bassist Michael Bisio, and the collaborations to Sinister Kitchen
(2000) and Two Loons for Tea (2001), exposed him as one of the most
eclectic musicians of his generation.
Influenced by jazz violinist Michael White and Indian violinist Rajam,
Kang matured in the new century. The Story Of Iceland (Tzadik, 2000)
scores a journey through space and time that aims at reconstructing
the mythological story of Iceland. Kang depicts each chapter of the
journey using a different style of music, jumping from rock to ethnic
and from new age to classical music.
Live Low to the Earth in the Iron Age (2002) contains the 27-minute
mostly-droning Binah for guitar, violin and bass.
Virginal Co-ordinates (may 2000 – Angelica, 2003), that documents live
performance of chamber compositions with a 22-member orchestra and
Mike Patton on vocals and electronics, (the baroque variations Go In A
Good Way To A Better Place, the 19-minute gamelan-inspired minimalism
of Doorway to the Sun, the funereal march Sidi Bou Said, the romantic
13-minute elegy Innocent Eye, the tidal 10-minute pattern of Virginal
Co-ordinates), and his role in the Bill Frisell Quartet further
increased his reputation.
Athlantis (may 2006 – Ipecac, 2007) is an ambitious “cantata eretica”.
Yelm Sessions (2008) is a more relaxed blend of prog-rock, pop,
classical and world-music. Aestuarium (august 2005) is a collaboration
with vocalist and percussionist Jessika Kenney.
Visible Breath (2011) with trombonists Stewart Dempste and Julian
Priester, trumpetist Cuong Vu, oboist Taina Karr, violinist Timb
Harris, vocalist Jessika Kenney and pianists Cristina Valdez and Steve
Moore, includes 15-minute title-track (november 2008) and the
17-minute Thick Tarragon, (july 2011).
I started playing the piano at the age of 6. My teacher introduced me
quite early to György Kurtág’s Játékok. The Játékok works clearly
influenced my actual way of playing. Many pieces in the first book are
to be played with palms, fists, forearms and are introducing the
beginner to a really physical practice that plays with the whole range
of the piano in a noisy and rich way. It’s there that I’ve learned to
enjoy the noisy potential of the instrument and the possibility to
involve the body really much in the playing. Moreover, the Játékok
opened me to other ways of reading music and I was really attracted to
the graphic quality of the writing of clusters. As a teenager, I was
introduced to Crumb’s Makrokosmos and John Cage’s prepared piano as
well as the pieces for Toy Piano, Lachenmann’s Ein Kinderspiel and
György Ligetis’ Musica Ricercata. Crumb’s Makrokosmos was my favourite
but way too hard for me to play.
When I was 13, my piano teacher sent me to Michel Massot’s
improvisation class that was taking place at the music school. It was
a really intense experience. I was the youngest person in a group of
more or less 20 musicians from every possible musical backgrounds with
all kind of instruments and all kind of personalities. I stayed 5
years in this class, playing with many people every week. It took some
time until I began to feel comfortable with improvising but I had
really strong emotions doing this.
At 18 I entered the conservatory to study composition. After a few
weeks, I stopped visiting all classes except the improvisation class
of Garett List and the Ensemble “Rock de chambre” of Michel Massot in
which I played the trumpet. It was a really depressing year as I
realized I hated to study music in this way or maybe it was for me the
confirmation that I could no longer evolve in the world of
institutionalized music. I was feeling a lot of rage against this way
of living music as a profession, I fell like there was no difference
between this and working in an office. I was so angry that I kind of
injured my arms really badly by playing and stopped for 2 full years.
Afterwards, I had to find ways to play with power without hurting
myself. I began to play more and more inside the piano and to use
protections. I used more and more substitutes for my hands. Slowly, I
began to develop this sound. I wanted to arrive to something simple
but strong. It came together as I moved to Berlin, where I got more
and more inspired by increasingly raw and harsh sounds and a certain
fascinating aesthetic of metal and leather stuff. I got illuminated by
the effectiveness of some noise performances, straight, strong, short,
dirty and clear at the same time. As I went to Paris for a few days, I
fell that Soulage’s black pictures were illustrating how I fell about
sound and it gave me the power to concentrate and focus over and over
on “the grain” of the piano.
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