Jeffrey Roden – Threads Of A Prayer, Volume 1

Jeffrey Roden’s contemporary classical music for solo piano and string ensemble leaves enough room for many moments of silence.

In this unhurried meditative focus, the link to the work of Arvo Pärt and possibly Erik Satie, Morton Feldman and, to lesser extent, John Cage is obvious.

It’s Jeffrey Roden’s sole purpose to take the listener to “the other place: a place within oneself where there is a deeper awareness of many things both emotional and spiritual.”

1631 Recordings Selection

Today is “Piano Day”, a perfect day for this overview of some recent releases on 1631 Recordings – a new label run by David Wenngren (Library Tapes) and Mattias Nilsson (Kning Disk).

In the first months of 2016, they’ve unleashed an incredible amount of releases featuring new material as well as a bunch of re-releases.
And there’s no sign this will stop soon!

Akira Rabelais – The Little Glass (+Spelle… reissue)

And suddenly, without any warning, there’s good news from the ever-enigmaticAkira Rabelais:
His entire back-catalogue is now available on Bandcamp – which is good news because most of these title were unavailable for a long time now.

And at the same time a new album is released: The Little Glass (available in digital as well as in physical format).

A good opportunity to re-visit the 2006 Spelle Special Radio Show, featuring music from Spelle…, some remixes, ánd exclusive unreleased material especially submitted by Akira Rabelais for this occasion!

Bruno Sanfilippo – Upon Contact Reworked

Though the album is presented as if it were a remix-album (and in fact it also ís), the basic track is not taken from a previous release from Bruno Sanfilippo‘s extensive discography.
The title track and opener of Upon Contact Reworked is a new composition which is the basis for further reworks, reconstructions and remixes by different artists.

Black Elk – Sketches I -V

With core members Ian Hawgood (electronics), Danny Norbury(cello), Clem Leek (piano), and Tim Martin (Maps and Diagrams, electronics), Black Elk could be regarded as a post-classical/ambient “Supergroup”.

In 2012, their first albumSparks was released, a beautiful collection of atmospheric tracks in various styles.

For their recent Japan tour (december 2013) a collection of “Sketches” was assembled on five different (CDR) albums, containing outtakes, unfinished tracks, live performances and … sketches!

More Piano!!

A seemingly random collection of albums with the piano as the main instrument…

Half of Deaf Center. Also half of Nest. More introduction to the intricate piano sounds of Otto A. Totland should hardly be needed.
“Pinô” is his first full featured solo-album, packed in a beautiful gold-embossed hardcover sleeve that perfectly matches the music it contains: atmospheric, calm, intimate.

The music was recorded in Nils Frahm’s (Durton) studio on a squeaky piano with a soft, velvety sound. The intimacy is enhanced by bringing the environmental sounds up front in the recording.

"Piano Acts"

Nils Frahm - Spaces

Possibly the most well-known artist mentioned here is keyboard wizard Nils Frahm. Whoever has seen him perform live will definitely remember that performance clearly. His music can be extremely melodic, making it accessible to a wide audience, yet he’s not afraid to search for some extremes during the process.
After each performance, people often asked him which of his albums best represented what they had just witnessed. Since such an album did not really exist, Spaces was specifically assembled with that question in mind. And indeed it perfectly captures a Nils Frahm performance.

Lyndsie Alguire – Clair Obscur

Most of the time I try to review albums as if they were a debut release, without historical context about the artists involved, and presented without packaging.
It’s arguable, I know, but this way I try to let the music do all the work and listen to it as unbiased as possible.

This is why I wish I had NOT seen the package images for this release of Lyndsie Alguire‘s Clair Obscur” .
For now I somehow feel like the guy that keeps arguing he ónly reads Playboy Magazine because of its interviews…