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Mondays

2 June 2013

The Dogmatics

Chris Abrahams - Piano
Kai Fagaschinski - Clarinet

Chris Abrahams you probably know from the extremely prolific trio The Necks. Kai Fagaschinski has been seen regularly on the DNK stage with the clarinet duo The International Nothing and a while longer ago with Los Glissandinos. This is a recent duo, touring a wonderful new LP, playing at Amsterdam's Goethe Institute, who happen to have a very good piano. A special treat!

About the band...

Within their duo Chris and Kai are taking a bit of an off-road ride. Their approach here is rather open and improvised - without much of a hidden conceptual motive.

When Chris sits in front of the Russian upright piano he interacts with it on its own terms – respectful of the evolution of its mechanics. And yet sometimes, bypassing the keys altogether, he pushes the hammers at the strings with his bare hands - a slap in the face to Bartolomeo Cristofori! At times it seems like Chris is trying to find new dimensions in “unvanity”, but his sparse repetition can also be evocative of powerful, distant emotions.

Subtle multiphonic modulation and tiny, noisy textures are Kai's way of expressing things from the bottom of his heart, but on this album it seems he wants to pull out the grand melodies, too. You may watch him with some worries walking now on these high heels. Well, he stumbles a bit, but he doesn't fall and there might even be some dignity in fearless stumbling.

Together the two create uneven yet strangely smooth dialogues, where, allowed by the omnipresent transparency, foreground and background meet each other on eye level. The word ‘absurdity’ comes to mind in describing the symptomatic odd shifts Chris and Kai undertake during the course of their improvisations. Having a close ear on the resulting music one could question whether freedom and pigheadedness are really contradictory qualities. Overall, there is a feeling of a late work ... coming too early.

Time and location:
Sunday 2 June - 20:00
Goethe-Institut
Herengracht 470
1017 CA Amsterdam

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