All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Àine O'Dwyer: Gegenschein

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
By anyone's standards, Àine O'Dwyer is a hyper-accomplished musician and innovator. As a pre-teen in her native Ireland she had already taken on the piano, harp, fiddle and flute. Eventually focusing her attention on the harp and piano, she developed an unquenchable inquisitiveness about the pipe organ—not the most accessible of instruments. In acts of quiet defiance, she began dropping in—unannounced—at St. Mark's Church in London to practice on their organ. The result of her personal recordings is the cult classic, Music for Church Cleaners Vol. I and II (Mie, 2015). Gegenschein is less a sequel to that album than a continued exploration of the possibilities of the instrument and the musician.

The album's title comes from an astronomical term describing a dim nighttime light believed to be the image of the sun reflected through particles in the atmosphere. In the two extended pieces on Gegenschein, O'Dwyer conveys a sense of wonder through her sonic interpretations the mythical theme of apocalypse. O'Dwyer recorded the pieces on December 12, 2012, a date that the ancient Mayans had predicted as the end of the world.

"A World Ending"—at nearly one half-hour—is a completely improvised, and self-contained suite, shimmering sprays of atmosphere and multi-layered hints of melody, all nicely tucked into an eerie drone. "12.12.12" also rises and falls on the dense exhaust of the organ, but here O'Dwyer adds distant vocals that feel anguished and foreboding. The spare music hesitates as if avoiding its (and our) inevitable demise.

O'Dwyer's choice of recording venues—churches and caves—says as much about her ear for natural effects as it does about her own personality. In an interview with the Irish Times she revealed that live audience response to her playing makes her feel awkward. Perhaps it breaks the trance that O'Dwyer seems to fall under when improvising in these solitary locations. If that's the case, Gegenschein benefits from keeping those audiences at bay.

Track Listing: A World Ending; 12.12.12.

Personnel: Áine O'Dwyer: pipe organ.

Title: Gegenschein | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: MIE Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Gallarais

Gallarais

MIE Music
2017

buy
Gegenschein

Gegenschein

MIE Music
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Slow Learner" CD/LP/Track Review Slow Learner
by John Sharpe
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Mutt Slang" CD/LP/Track Review Mutt Slang
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "Lala Belu" CD/LP/Track Review Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "mono no aware" CD/LP/Track Review mono no aware
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Solid Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Trollskogen" CD/LP/Track Review Trollskogen
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 22, 2017