Allum / Kanngiesser - Bell Tower Recordings

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Beautiful improvised duets from Jennifer Allum and Ute Kanngiesser. Each recording was made in a different part of St Augustine's Bell Tower, Hackney - the ticking of the church clock mechanism carrying on delightfully in the backround, joined occasionally by the occasional bell chime or car alarm. 

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Jennifer Allum / violin

Ute Kanngiesser / cello

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Recorded on 29th May 2012 at St Augustine's Bell Tower, Hackney, London by Enanuele Costantini. Mixed and edited by Sebastian Lexer. Design by Myah Chun. With thanks to David Ryan for facilitating the recordings, and to Hackney Historic Buildings Trust for giving access to the tower. 

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Review - 


"The music on the first track has a nice and sometimes even powerful interaction of high almost whistling tones interwining like a slow rhythmless dance, a cautious circling around a tonal center, with vibrating notes floating in mid-air, then gradually losing even the faint substance they had to become even more ethereal and ephemeral, slight wisps of music supported by silence. The second track, "Clock Room", has more gravitas, with a more forceful attack of the bows, even if that is still fragile. The pièce-de-résistance is the half hour long "Bell Room", in which the outside world quietly invades the music, and is integrated, carefully lifted into a new level of fragility and refinement. Each note has value here, and when silence takes the foreground, with the distant ambulance the only sound to be heard, deep tones from the cello and super-high tones from the violin create a mirrored drone-like repetition, full of menace and anxiety. Many people will wonder about this music, and probably that's good. It has its own voice, its own story, its own aesthetic. It may take some time to get into it, but as usual the effort is worth taking." - London Jazz News. 

Available as a 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC download.  

Tracklisting:

1. Pendulum Case - 15:27

2. Clock Room - 9:06

3. Bell Room - 30:28  

Jennifer Allum

Jennifer Allum is a violinist who improvises and plays experimental music. While she was a post graduate student at Goldsmiths, London in 2005 she began to attend Eddie Prevost's weekly improvisation workshops and to work with composers such as Christian Wolff, Tom Johnson, Michael Pisaro and Michael Parsons. She has three recordings available from Matchless Recordings, the latest of which is a duo cd with the cellist Ute Kanngiesser, which was recorded in Hackney's historic bell tower. 

Ute Kanngiesser

Ute Kanngiesser is a London based in musician from Germany. She has played classical cello since early childhood and turned to improvisation and experimental music while training in physical theatre and dance in Berlin. Since then, she has radically deconstructed her classical roots and focussed on the immediate material of her instrument - its limitless resonance and pulse, its potential for an elemental music that dissolves conventional notions of rhythm and pitch and what it means to be lyrical. Along this journey she has worked with some of the most influential players of free music and experimental composition, as well as artist film makers, writers and architects.

Most recent collaborations have been with John Tilbury, Seymour Wright, Paul Abbott, Billy Steiger, Angharad Davies, Steve Noble, Crystabel Riley, Rie Nakajima, Daniel Blumberg, Jim White, Eddie Prevost, John Butcher, Evie Ward, Tom Wheatley, Jennifer Allum, Marjolaine Charbin, Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga, Keiko Yamamoto, Phil Minton, Pak Yan Lau, Assemble, and Keira Greene.

Her music has been released on Otoroku, Matchless, Earshots, Another Timbre and Mute. www.utekanngiesser.com

Words about Ute Kanngiesser's solo release Geäder (Earshots):

"Automatic writing almost, or a fugue state. Arriving at an end point is an exhaustion, almost like waking from a dream. You look back at what has been created with bafflement. Footprints on a beach you can’t remember. You marvel: what have I done?" – We Need No Swords

"[...] environmental sounds captured in Hackney as a spur for improvisation; nasal bowing sounds, percussive fanfares, unspooling loops of harmonics that crack upon impact – whole sides to the cello normally shut down by conventional technique." - The Guardian