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Kakaliagou / Schmoliner

Ingrid Schmoliner (AT)
prepared piano, voice

Elena Kakaliagou (GR)
french horn, voice

“I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything quite like this… It’s a spellbinding, cathartic combination of beauty and discomfort”
— Decoder (USA)
“Nabelóse ist ein magisches, berührendes Album… Elena Kakaliagou/Ingrid Schmoliner beherrschen die Liedform auf ergreifende Art und Weise”
— Skug (AT)
“Nabelóse” è un lavoro profondamente suggestivo, struggente direi, e foriero di una spiritualità antica.”
— Sounds And Silence ZINE (IT)
“A surprising album.”
— Vital Weekly (NL)
“So haben wir es in Wahrheit mit einem brillanten, die Tiefe, die Stille und die Emotion nicht scheuenden Bluesalbum zu tun, das auch international seinesgleichen sucht.”
— freistil (AT)
“Kakaliagou, als bloße Zeitkratzer-Bläserin offenbar unterschätzt, geht der Diaspora-Blues von den Lippen wie bitterer Honig.”
— Bay Alchemy (DE)

The duo Kakaliagou / Schmoliner  was founded in February 2016 during their artist in residence at artacts in Tyrol / Austria.

Their debut release NABELÒSE which they composed and recorded at the Alte Gerberei was released  March 2017.

The compositions for this song cycle NABELÒSE are influenced by alpine and greek folk music and have grown to new compositions – through the expanded playing techniques on the piano, horn and voice.

Also the two artists have known each other for many years, and besides their trio PARA, which has been founded in 2011, they are active in a variety of ensembles in the fields of improvised – experimental – contemporary music, folk music and free jazz.
This contemporary song cycle was released in collaboration with the artist Wendelin Büchler and the in Berlin based  L
abel Corvo Records. It is a handnumbered edition.

The music/compositions from NABELÒSE is also the filmmusic for the essayistic road movie –
„ARAF“ made by Didem Pekün (creative director and producer) shown at Berlinale/ CEU, Budapest – Hungary/ locus athens exhibition ‘Geometries‘, Athens – Greece/ Istanbul Film Festival/ Documentary Competition, Istanbul – Turkey Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick – Scotland …

Trailer ARAF


a song cycle
reflecting departures
from home, love, livelihood, body

leaving behind ones abode
traces remain
moving through the deep sea

imprints in water


Kakaliagou-Schmoliner Artacts 2016 „Frau im Berg“ from Elena Kakaliagou on Vimeo.

Words about “Nabelóse” by the artist Andrew Choate

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