To be given up
Frau im Berg
Ingrid Schmoliner — prepared piano, voice
Elena Kakaliagou — french horn, vocals
“Whispering, Drones, Whiches and a Funeral March…”
Corvo Records’ new LP + download release NABELÓSE shows Austrian prepared piano virtuoso and yodeler INGRID SCHMOLINER and the french horn player ELENA KAKALIAGOU from Greece, putting their hands and voices on traditional folk music from both countries.
Ingrid Schmoliner moves between the genres of new music, improvised music, free jazz, and folk music. Teaming up with the Zeitkratzer member Elena Kakaliagou, they form a Duo that creates dark interpretations of ancient songs and tales from mountains and the sea.
The LP comes with download code and in lavish gatefold cover!
Squeye: Where the Squint Retakes the Eye
I’m surprised there’s not a specific word that exists to describe the phenomena of something small making a sound bigger than itself, or the phenomena’s counterpart: something gigantic making a sound so small that the sound portends of fathomless distances between what is seen versus what is understood.
On this new duo recording by Ingrid Schmoliner and Elena Kakaliagou, folk songs abound and blur, becoming improvised music. Improvised music becomes hymnal. Small sounds scare big ones; huge sounds are defined by squeaks at the edge.
Rattles and spirals, pops and echoes, breaths and strikes: the backbone of this music. This music is composed of sounds that resonate bone deep, played with the level of sophisticated virtuosity that Schmoliner and Kakaliagou possess, enacting an entirely otherworldly evocation of the inner landscape.
I would call it delicate, but it’s the delicacy of a very still lake at night, with ripples only barely audible along the shore, and there’s no light so you can’t completely differentiate the horizon and the water. And there’s an ancient myth monster that sleeps in the lake. Still, I would call it delicate. Ferocity is there, under the lake, inherent in the tones and interactions between these musicians. This is ferocity made fang-explicit, at several crucial moments on the album.
Schmoliner’s rhythmic sequencing of piano preparations––blunted axe-handles, ever-ringing overtones, perky cinnamon swizzles––leaves no room for uncommitted ideas. She’s a sword swallower who savors the taste of complete commitment.
Kakaliagou, equally, has developed a clarity of melancholy for the French horn to revel in. Her sound is not a brash championship drillbit but a long pour of heavy liquid and breath. If something gets scratched in the process, she has the teeth to soothe.
Both women use their voices on this recording––from folk yodels that become chamber harmonics, to physical groans that become improvised touchstones––and boy do we need these voices at this time.
The sounds are bigger than their being, and the being is so big it can only make a small sound.
— Andrew Choate, October, 2016