Thursday, October 18, 2012

Martin Kuchen - Hellstorm [Mathka] / Martin Kuchen at Alchemia (17.10)

I remember seeing Martin Kuchen in Alchemia couple of years back with another solo performance. A  most memorable performance which  stuck with me for all this time. It wasn't exclusively about the music - Kuchen would utter sounds playing on the saxophone's body with an electric toothbrush, a shortwave radio, I think there was also a ping-pong ball involved. 

Kuchen's music is woven with sinusoidal lines of sounds that are hardly recognizable. While the occasional melodic line appears (scattered and distorted), most of the times there is none, but rather all the  usually circumstancial aspects become the real substance - you will hear, as clear as if it were inside your head - a tap of the fingers, a slap of the tongue, a whisper, a hiss, a purr, a cry, a squeal, a stream of air flowing through the rusty metallic textures of the instrument, muted and resonated by the conic tubes (which on the occasion of the yesterda's concert in Alchemia were the only additional accessory).

Martin Kuchen - Hellstorm [Mathka 2012]
Strapped and bare, the sounds circle in a oscillating cycles, creating abstract black and white landscapes. This is a solitary music of an eremite, a sorrow cry in a wilderness, a song of a deserted landscape where everything stays pretty much the same while all kinds of internal variations occur at the micro or even nano-level.
Kuchen builds an acoustic enviroment around the silence, and it seems that there's nothing in the middle except white noise or looped whispers, while all kind of phenomenons are happening around, under, over and beside. It's a wanderer's music that let's your mind wander and drift along.

The concert in Alchemia was also an occasion to introduce his new LP released by Krakow - based Mathka label and I invite you wholeheartedly to have a listen to a piece presented below as well as the the one included in the previous radio playlist. 
Kuchen's vision is incredibly coherent, his approach to the solo performance so unique that it's difficult to give any kind of an evaluation.
I don't know if his process will convince you the way it did convince me, but I can gurantee you it's as singular and intriguing as possible. A one of a kind. You have to hear for yourself if it's the kind you like.

the LP is present in this radio playlist.

Martin Kuchen - alto sax, baritone sax
Alchemia. Krakow Autumn Jazz 2012. 17.10.2012

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