Saturday at Klub Re, rounding up a small, three concerts tour in Poland, played Kayo Dot (a band I've never heard about before) with Jeremiah Cymerman (whose "Under a Blue Grey Sky" I recently reviewed).
The music was weird, anything from orchestrated ambient (two saxes, trumpet, clarinet and electronics) up to heavy high-screaming metal (with two guitars and a keyboard). First set mixed idyllic passages with mellow and moody songs (enormous delay on the mic makes the voice sound unhuman, uneasy), played almost entirely without the drums, it finishes with a thunderous drums solo (which reminds me immediately about the difference about jazz and rock drumming - it's all power and speed and the kicking bass drum is massaging my stomach). With Jeremiah adding his touch (extended techniques and lo-fi static noises). He sits out for the second set.
Once again I have to say it -weird music. With metal and ambient, and nicely arranged horns section, strange vocal. A music that is full of contrasts and torn apart between high-pitched singing and heavy bass. You can hear there darkness, heavy, jazz-rock (little jazz in it), ambient, echoes of grunge. Kayo Dot does to metal what Zappa did to rock, but with Dead Can Dance sense of humour (meaning none of it) - as the delayed vocal resonates like we were in an empty church, adding extra-temporal dimension to the music. Kinda freaky and quite disturbing, definitely very interesting, although not exactly my cup of coffee.
Stiil the main reason for me to be there was a chance to meet Jeremiah Cymerman and I did a short interview with him - here's what I asked about and what he said:
(it might take a moment before the players load, if any file is not working, please let me know)
1. First thing that came up (before the interview actually started) were Jeremiah's polish roots so I asked him to tell more about it:
2. I asked also about the origins of "Under a Blue Grey Sky" - a piece originally commissioned by Roulette, the release that got me introduced to his music.
3. With a lot of electro-acoustic improvisation, a classical string-quartet composition and collaboration with bands like Kayo Dot under his belt Jeremiah is crossing a lot of boundaries. The question was - are there any musical barriers left in New York music scene?
4. New York, New York. About its influence on Jeremiah - both on personal and artistic levels. Does the city create more opportunities or competition?
5. About how do the electro- and -acoutic elements relate to each other in his work
and a follow up to the question - whether electronic enhancement is Jeremiah's way of finding a personal voice on the instrument.
6. A performing improviser, but also a composer. How does the composing and improvising elements relate?
7. About his influences on clarinet.
8. About the music he listens to.
and whether it is mainly what would commonly be called 'sad' music (both "Under a Blue Grey Sky" and the music played by Kayo Dot are not particularly joyful) [although my theory was just disproven earlier with the mention of Beach Boys]
when I asked whether it could be about discharging those emotions, Jeremiah continues:
and that's all folks :)
many thanks to Jeremiah for the interview (hope I did ok for the first time) and to Luke Mosling from Porter Records who put me in touch with him.