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Denovali News - March 2016

Denovali Records announced the release of two new albums, of Piano Interrupted and Matthew Collings.
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Denovali Records announced the release of two new albums, of Piano Interrupted and Matthew Collings.



Recorded partly in Senegal with local musicians playing traditional instruments, "Landscapes Of The Unfinished" is Piano Interrupted's 3rd album for German experimental label Denovali.

This album sees pianist Tom Hodge and “electronician” Franz Kirmann explore a more introspective approach to their sound. The sonorities and recordings the pair brought back from West Africa are deconstructed, mangled and texturised, turned into a pointillist landscape until only a faint and distant souvenir remains.

These beds of pulsating soundscapes and earthy textures serve as base for Hodge’s delicate piano phrases and intricate compositions, interlaced with long-time collaborator Tim Fairhall's fluid double bass playing.

Harsher territories are also visited during the 9 tracks that compose the LP; fuzzy Senegalese radio voices and the distant memory of African percussion collide with distorted bass and buzzing drones or screaming textures battle with screeching double bass sounds and tortured piano strings.

The overall tone of the album reflects the duo’s desire to musically translate the experience of the Dakar trip (where Franz Kirmann grew up), but also to break away from the first two albums' intricate programming and editing and instead go towards a writing and recording experience directly inspired by their live experience. Hodge’s clarinet, an important facet of the Piano Interrupted live show, is captured on record for the first time.

This surge towards documenting a moment, leaving a trace or examining something concrete is further reflected in the choice of titles (all named after the musicians who took part in the recordings) and also the design, which is for the first time a photograph. Taken by filmmaker Cath Elliott, who traveled with the pair to Dakar to document the process, the album artwork captures one of the numerous half-built structures, infinite and abandoned, surrounding the studio in the suburbs of Dakar, and provides both an unfinished urban landscape and yet when viewed as a single moment in time, one of many compellingly complete landscapes of the unfinished.

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15.04.16 London (uk) - Denovali Festival @ Kings Place
15.06.16 München (ger) - Einstein Kultur (Halle 4)



MATTHEW COLLINGS is a Scotland-based composer. Not only being a solo recording and live artist, he collaborates regularly with artists from all kinds of fields including musicians (e.g. Dag Rosenqvist from JASPER TX and Denovali label mate TALVIHORROS), dancers and filmmakers. He’s responsible for several installations using custom-made software, which have been exhibited at Burning Man Festival in San Francisco or Glasgow's Centre for Contemporary Arts. His work for films includes a specially commissioned live score for Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent classic, ‘The Man with the Movie Camera’ and an invitation to work on ‘The Invisibles’, a commission from Amnesty International.

'A Requiem for Edward Snowden' is a large scale live audiovisual performance piece that has been performed among others at the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Utrecht. The piece focuses on a number of themes which are extremely relevant to our lives in the 21st century, based around the actions and decisions of whistleblower Edward Snowden; loss of faith and security, the hacking of digital media, invasion of privacy and personal sacrifice.

The documents released by Snowden reveal that we live in a world in which we are totally reliant not just on methods of communication, but on daily routines in which our privacy is completely compromised. The piece explores the consequences of this situation through a combination of electronic sound, acoustic instrumentation and live visuals. The gestures and performance from two live electronics performers, a clarinetist and string section are analysed and interact with real-time visual work by Jules Rawlinson (pixelmechanics.com), exploring the piece's central themes at sonic and visual levels.

'By turns politically muscular and poignantly nuanced, Collings' excellent piece is a heartening reminder of the quality of new music being created and performed in Scotland today' - The Herald Scotland

This album constitutes the entire musical part of the performance. However, as the piece was conceived as an audio-visual piece, the visuals are included as downloadable content.

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