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(Meyer Records) 10 tracks, digipack Aglaja Camphausen: "When I make music, when I sing... more
Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke: Underwater Calling - Kitchen Recording Series (CD)
(Meyer Records) 10 tracks, digipack
"When I make music, when I sing and when the instrument starts to sound on its own it’s like being in another world – an in-between world.
Then there are images that arise, giving a spatial impression of depth. 3D images, you look at them for a while and a new seeing sets in. Once your eyes are adjust you can let them wander, gazing into a new world. This is called stereoscopic vision.
And once consciousness reaches the right setting in this stream of music, sound and lyrics, when I've listened into the music for a while till a new sensation sets in, I get into a state where tones, melodies, sounds and phrases take on other dimensions. I don't know where it will lead me. Atmosphere, light, ambience and expansion, I can look around me in the flow. It's important then to remain calm, to not disturb that magic world and to let it work at first. Only then can I start looking more closely at a particular corner. I look at everything closely, curiously, calmly, without judgment. It's exciting, because I never know what will unfold next.
Then, finally, I begin to influence this world. With voice, tone, intensity and tempo, but most of all with my consciousness, my will. Awareness in the unconscious. I very gently and carefully influence various parameters and here, too, I let myself be guided. By what, actually? I dare to let a color shine more clearly, focus on a feeling more strongly, add nuance to a sound. I slightly cloud or lighten the mood: pale or radiant, loud or quiet, gentle or brutal, pastel or garish or anything in between. This begins my fantasy journey in the Otherworld, in which I have to be careful with rapture, so as to not disturb it by mistake.
In this cosmos, it makes no difference what kind of music it is because the truth is: touching is what touches. And with that I mean the performer, with that I mean me. Everything that touches me deeply will also touch the listener deeply, if I succeed in making this depth resonate. Ideally, I can take an audience with me into my world and through their energy, through their imagination that world expands and imperceptibly takes on other dimensions. This is how we create our musical experience together, it's a give and take. So the better the music, the more it resonates in me, the more exciting it is. And diving into its sphere becomes addictive.
The composition lays the tracks, while the locomotive is the instrument. Then the meandering through landscapes begins, both with and without fellow passengers.
This is what stereoscopic listening feels like.
My parents' home was influenced by classical music; my father was a violinist in the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne. For his listening pleasure he had Mozart or Wagner playing at an excessive volume in the living room. Music, including classical music, was always my deepest feeling, my greatest talent, my gateway to the imagination. During my cello studies I had endless discussions with fellow students, trying to convince them that it was possible to play a color. Even today I think it can be done. The power of the association would have to be so strong that the listener "sees" the same thing as you do. Learning an instrument, however, in addition to this musicality and imaginative ability requires, first of all, years of hours of study. Technique, fingerings, bowing exercises, etc. are learned just so that you can forget them again at some later point and incorprate, carefree, the greatest technical difficulties on the way to themusical in-between world.
My influences were manifold. Frank Zappa, adored by my big brother, whom I in turn adore. He had all of Zappa's records and often pulled me into his room to play me an ingenious guitar riff, some crazy idea, an absurd lyric, thus introducing me to Zappa's world. And then: Can!, to be found in all the record piles in the family. I myself began buying Can records early on with my first savings, records which I still listen to with much sensitivity. I was lucky to work with the drummer, Jaki Liebezeit when I was hired to record with singer-songwriter Robert Coyne, first as a cellist, then as a backup singer. I followed Liebezeit when he drummed with Drums of Chaos at Stollwerck or Rhenania in Cologne. I would go anywhere to hear him play. One thing he would say that I much appreciate is that the metronome was his greatest teacher. I, too, see great freedom in clear, unrelenting rhythm. And of course there's Holger Czukay! He enriched my youth so infinitely with his rhythmic, melodic and poetic electronics. Like a trailblazer for electro and house, this music often seemed brilliant to me and Czukay's album "On the Way to the Peak of Normal" spun constantly on my turntable.
So it is actually not surprising that after a career as a cellist and host of my own classical salon, I now present an album that speaks a completely new musical language. The choice of pieces and the reduction of the instrumentation to voice, double bass and cello offers so much room for my musical sensibilities that it seems a logical step to take at this point in my career: the reduction to essentials. Away with the frills and in with quintessence.
In the double bass player Thomas Falke, who so willingly set out with me in search of the essential, I found the perfect accomplice. This is because he has profound musicality, and a view outside the box of what is considered to be classical. Working with him was really fruitful. Instead of talking a lot, we communicated purely musically, stopping whenever too much tried to creep in. This is how these arrangements came about. They seek to approach the essence of the songs through rare tone, and the courage to pause. At the same time, Thomas manages to groove wonderfully, in all the appropriate places.
As the initiator and producer of this album, Werner Meyer has the greatest share in this recording with his unerring taste. He has the amazing gift of immediately grasping good music and good music-making, even if its genre or style may be foreign to him. For him, the only thing that matters is whether "it gets to me or leaves me cold." I have always known that his taste can be trusted, and in the selection of songs recorded he has once again demonstrated his talent for knowing what might suit me, suit us. One of the most influential songs of the folk era, "Four Strong Winds" by Ian Tyson was my first recording with this lineup, for the Meyer Records album Volume One. At that time I said to him: Werner, for you I'd do almost everything, but country? Then this version by Thomas and me became a secret hit on that album, because we stripped it down and tailored it to us. And Werner had known it all beforehand.
For his Kitchen Recording Series we recorded all the songs of this record, one after the other on a Sunday afternoon. No safety net, no editing. Each song homogeneous. We felt high. Everything was done in Werner Meyer's turn of the century kitchen, which has such great acoustics. Anyone who has ever recorded knows what it means to record a 5 minute track such as "Dust, Flesh and Bones" in one piece: one mismatched note, one creak of the chair when sitting down to play a cello solo already means doing it all over again. And diving deep into the sensation again. But miraculously we managed to make atmospheric comprehensive recordings.
The songs suggested by Werner were all previously unknown to me and yet immediately became gems. There is, for example, "Anyone and Everyone", which deeply moves me. It was written, like other songs on our LP, by the unique Lhasa de Sela. The lyrics, at first sight comforting and full of light and contentment subversively sow doubt, as if all happiness were fragile: "There's not enough breath in a single day to pray everyone will be okay." To create this fragility, I simply allowed the voice to sound lost at the beginning of the song. I'm even more touched by the vulnerability and fragility that seeps from my favorite number, "Dust, Flesh and Bones," originally by Matt Elliott. This song reveals just how ephemeral, even morbid, everything is. "In the disparate clamor of the chaos that surrounds you, it's hard to know which of the voices that you hear are your own." Here, Thomas and I witnessed pauses creeping in involuntarily, like a groping, like a constantly new sensing. Ambiguities are what stimulate my imagination and they echo noticeably in me.
It's nice that there are pieces like "If I Were a Carpenter" or "Memories are Made of This" (for which Thomas wrote a wonderful and distinct version for cello and bass as an intro!). They come across simply as fluffy, cloudless (feels like a contradiction) and full of commitment. This is clearly a beneficial influence provided by Thomas, who always brings a lot of positive things to the table.
These recordings bear testimony to what is expressible in music and cannot be expressed in words. Testimony to what I felt and perceived while making music, experiencing the songs at hand, and that is never predictable. To what I resonate with, both the light and the dark.
Dance, even if the ground is unsteady, but dance. Dare. Because nothing is certain. An honest confrontation with these words has only become possible for me through our transparent and reduced constellation. Thank you Thomas. Thank you Werner.
Underwater Calling. I wish you associations and excursions into fantasy worlds while listening to this album. The main thing is music, because the truth is: touching is what touches."
Article properties: Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke: Underwater Calling - Kitchen Recording Series (CD)
|Camphausen, Aglaja - Underwater Calling - Kitchen Recording Series (CD) CD 1|
|01||Forget About||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|02||All The World Is Green||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|03||Dust, Flesh And Bones||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|04||If I Were A Carpenter||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|05||Love Came Here||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|06||Anyone And Everyone||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|07||Where Do You Go||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|08||I Never Cared For You||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|09||Memories Are Made Of This||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||
|10||Four Strong Winds||Aglaja Camphausen & Thomas Falke||