BURKHARD STANGL / KAI FAGASCHINSKI – Musik – Ein Porträt In Sehnsucht

Erstwhile

Communication, confidence, intensity and reciprocity. These are the words that my imagination suggested while listening to this exquisitely unselfish, insightful offer by Stangl (guitars, electronics, piano, vibraphone) and Fagaschinski (clarinet, piano, acoustic guitar). It’s a work whose deceiving fragility reveals large doses of acuity, informed as it is by precise constructions, minimalist nuances and a surprising inclination to consider undeveloped snippets of melody as a means to achieve superior levels of concentration.

And, naturally, there’s the duo’s ability in undressing the components of a timbre, or exalting the radiant parallelism of two joint pitches. One of them may be buzzing, or percussive – say, the lightly hit strings in “Time (And Again)” – whereas the other collects upper partials, genuine notes and breath in a single stroke of spur-of-the-moment humanity, feebleness and certitude gathered under a thirty-second umbrella of discerning composure. A sympathetic alliance of accents and whispers, tones that you’re not going to easily notice somewhere else; caressing and stabbing at once, often morphing in front of our very ears, which welcome their shriveled grace as if silently smiling. Even when the harmonics sting and bite, or a rumbling cluster followed by a droning hum (“Last Night I Had Visions”) threatens the general coolness.

A modicum of field recordings is utilized to attribute a degree of concreteness to an otherwise rather pensive setting, all the more startling given the straightforwardness of the compositional procedures and the immediate recognition of the aural consequence. The succession of the closing pair of tracks – a nasty electric axe informing “Ausflug” before the stunning pastoral earnestness of “Weißt Du Noch Unser Lied” returns to warm the evening – is an adequate delineation of the emotional feelings, always suffused with rationality, stemming from this lovely album.

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