HAN-EARL PARK – Of Life, Recombinant

New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings

As with many experimental guitarists, Han-earl Park considers his instrument as a palette of fundamental principles of sensation rather than mere hues. Throughout diverse partnerships, Park has placed his wisdom as a puppeteer of abnormal frequencies at the service of stimulating projects; among them, this writer likes to remember Eris 136199, a trio with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora. Thus it was with vivid interest that Of Life, Recombinant, the first solo record by the Berlin-based multi-talented performer, was approached.

Four tracks were assembled by Park by recombining (that’s right) materials born from improvisations into a set of compositions that result quite clearly structured to these ears. They nevertheless retain spiritual freedom, rapid insights and emotionally charged revelations typical of a fine unrehearsed performance. Extremely heterogeneous in terms of dynamics, these pieces lead the brain across fractions of stillness close to being shattered, warped halos of reverberating pitches, reversals of improvisational logic shaping a hardly embraceable, but still very seducing utopia.

We listen, we wait. Breathing deeply, relaxed enough yet ready to be sucked in by some vortex of illusion. We absorb the blows of sudden mutations connected by threads of metallic (in)coherence. Twisted harmonics, miscellanies of tones whose fluidity belongs more to states of exhausted drowsiness than labyrinths of analytical overspill. Superimposed images gradually losing the distinctness we had laboriously achieved in our mind. Bursts of paroxysm that, in the long run, disclose unexpectedly appeasing qualities. Each spin adds further layers of interpretation, not to mention the sheer aural thrill. As per Park’s words, “I’d like to think that listeners might find their way into their own space, and find their world refracted through it.” There will be no problem with that, if that audience is awake and profoundly receptive.

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