Artist: Elisabeth Harnik
Album: Ways of My Hands
Year Of Release: 2018
Format: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
01. Every Time He Punched a Hole (To Conlon Nancarrow) (8:26)
02. Ragged (3:42)
03. From Jaw to Ear (5:40)
04. As the Crow Flies North (To Jeanne Lee) (5:34)
05. Flow and Construction (To Anthony Braxton) – 1st Part (3:36)
06. Flow and Construction (To Anthony Braxton) – 2nd Part (7:49)
07. Flow and Construction (To Anthony Braxton) – 3rd Part (8:13)
08. Flow and Construction (To Anthony Braxton) – 4th Part (5:06)
Ways Of My Hand suggests another side of Harnik. Her improvisations transform instantly into compositions that reflect her intimate and deep knowledge of the many histories of jazz, avant-garde, art rock and improvised music of the last century and distill her strong, idiosyncratic voice. The five compositions were recorded in September and December 2015.
The opening “Every Time He Punched A Hole [To Conlon Nancarrow]” refers to scholar Robert Wiley’s saying about the American composer (1912-1997). Every time that Nancarrow punched the notes for his player piano études “the world got more interesting”. Harnik plays her prepared piano and not the mechanical player piano but manages to create a similar, dramatic and quite enigmatic sense of hyper-kinetic energy. The short pieces “Ragged” and “From jaw to ear” suggest the bold and methodical manner in which Harnik reconstructs and re-invents the tonal range of the piano, exploring his wooden body timbral qualities as extending the percussive sounds of its strings.
“As The Crow Flies North [To Jeanne Lee]”, Harnik emotional homage to the American vocalist-poet-composer (1939-2000), is an almost silent meditation on fragile, transparent sounds and overtones. The four-parts suite “Flow And Construction [To Anthony Braxton]” is, naturally, the most complex composition here. The fractured, rhythmical and melodic elements of this suite may flow in an erratic, eccentric ways but do gravitate into delicate, arresting structures with their own, inner logic and fascinating architecture, expressing a myriad of sounds, feelings and textures, from soft and gentle to the rough and dense ones.
A true, masterful work of art.