on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2015 5 Jan

„The Electronic Griot“ – Lecture in Kristiansand (part 2)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 1 Comment



Griot 3 – Yes, this record is about decay and disappearance, but every tone, every little hush, has a strong presence. Nice paradox. And theses lamentations come along without words.


„To see the waves on white capped sea
To see the days that we failed to seize
To see a world of muddle and scrawl
To see the things that will happen to us all“


We’ll return to this lament. Hakon’s album has a beautiful cover, a deckchair, a place for meditating, music for thinking, no kitsch involved. Erik Honore’s new album appears on the same label, Hubro, and has a beautiful cover, too. Look! Somewhere in the city, the entrance area of a house, the sun shines through, fractured, two bicycles, maybe a music student of Kristiansand is living on the first floor who’s finally about to write the book that still will have to be written, about the influences of one of my favourite composers ever, Gustav Mahler, on leftfield genre-crossing music sind the Midsixties.

In the early years of Punkt I had quite a surreal encounter and talk with Jon Hassell, and the grand-grand or grand-grand-grand-daughter of Gustav Mahler. No kidding. Though Jon once studied with Stockhausen, he surely has no doubts about the Mahler´s role modeling, for example ib the art of letting pathos and fully blossoming textures fall apart to point zero.

But I digress. Weeks ago, I wrote an email to Erik Honore:

Ya remember our conversation about the decline of the fascination ECM-covers once had. I know: strip down the things, keep it mininmal, but all these fucking lonely nightscapes, all these grey shadow worlds. In the beginning i was a big fan of ECM-covers, but now they’ve, for the most time, become, a living cliche, not a real signifier for the music, more a sign of corporate identity. Now, Erik, Hubro, rising star of the Norwegian labels, Hubro also does this „“corporte identity thing“ with their cover art, don’t they?

Erik answered:

Hi, Michael, regarding the cover: Yes, I generally prefer the other way, where the design signifies the album, and not the label. But apart from that, I like the somewhat naivistic approach of the Hubro designers (Yokoland), and in my eyes this particular cover represents ONE possible „reading“ of the music and the album’s narrative: a fantasy travel, something from the imagination of a child, or stories remembered or half-remembered from childhood. That’s not necessarily how I interpret the musical narrative, or did when I was recording it – and I’d like to keep it open for others to read into it other things. But still, the cover itself works for me, as one possible reading.


Sanctuary, from Erik Honore’s debut HELIOGRAPHS …



4) Erik Honore: Sanctuary / Pioneer´s Trail


Griot 4 – Another reading of Erik Honore´s HELIOGRAPHS might be induced by a casual look on the tracklist: Pioneer Trail (this track is now about to fade away) – Red Cafe – Last Chance Gas & Water – Departed … there are no American signature sounds here, well, but for a short moment I was – in my mind – on a road through Edward Hopper Country.




Hallo, Michael, nicht so leicht ein 5-Minuten-Stück für dich zu finden, Hello, Michael, not so easy to find a new 5-minute track for you, because my pieces in recent years were all made for the big screen. Now this is from a series of tientos, an old genre of piano-related compositions … it´s called TIENTO PARA ELMA

When my grandmother Elma died, I had been in Brazil in the hinterlands of Pernambucco, and when I finally had a phone- and internet connection again, she already had been buried. Returning to Bochum some weeks later, I was straying through at her immaculate, flawless apartment. i sat down at her piano and played a few tones.

I couldn’t say farewell to her. Before flying to Brazil she seemed so healthy and full of life. Now I was sitting there, added a few tones, nearly a melody. Before the grand piano left the house, I returned with two microphones and a recorder. Liebe Grüße winkt Thomas Köner


5) Thomas Köner: Tiento para Elma


6) Kim Kashkashian: Hoy, Nazan


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