254

Andrea Neumann: Pappelallee 5

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Andrea Neumann: Pappelallee 5 On the surface, the recording of this half-hour long piece by Andrea Neumann on inside piano should have been easy. Had it been recorded in a recording studio, it would have been and the end result would be very different to what's presented here. Instead of a studio, Neumann opted to work on it in her apartment and to integrate the sounds of the building into her composition. As she lives in a block mostly occupied by musicians (with the CD title possibly her address) with neighbors including Tony Buck and Axel Dorner, there is no shortage of sounds leaking in from the adjoining apartments.

The inside piano piece itself is meticulously constructed, utilizing an extensive range of inside techniques that include: striking single sustained notes that ring out bell-like tones, striking the piano frame which causes many notes to resonate simultaneously and exciting the wire-wound stings lengthwise to create a dramatic percussive effect. Neumann also employs electronic tones to complement those from the piano.

To capture the sounds from surrounding apartments (which include snatches of piano, flute, guitar and trumpet plus—apparently—a CD by the F-ck Buttons ( an experimental noise duo from the UK ), Neumann had to set a high recording level, resulting in considerable levels of hiss at certain points. The whole piece is very episodic, punctuated by prolonged periods of silence which generate tension. Ultimately, the piece sounds more like an electronic score than a piano piece.

Overall, this is an intriguing work that provides a fascinating listening experience and stands up well to repeated listening. It also raises interesting questions about the contrasts between real and recorded silence and about the role that background noise now plays in all of our lives. For those reasons, composer John Cage would doubtless have relished it.


Track Listing: Pappelallee 5.

Personnel: Andrea Neumann: inside piano, mixing desk.

Title: Pappelallee 5 | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Absinth


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Sélébéyone" CD/LP/Track Review Sélébéyone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Slight Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Slight Freedom
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Allison Philips Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Allison Philips Trio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 27, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.