Denovali 2014

Denovali look set for a great start in 2014 with new releases from piano duo Carlos Cipa & Sophia Jani, singer-songwriter Alicia Merz aka Birds Of Passage and experimental electronic composer Ben Chatwin aka Talvihorros plus a box collection from audio-visual collective Origamibiro.

First up will be  a collection of past albums from UK based audio-visual collective Origamibiro. Their albums ‘Cracked Mirors And Stopped Clocks’, ‘Shakkei’ and ‘Shakkei Remixed’ will be available in the form of a 3 x CD box set, and for the first ever on vinyl, as a limited collector’s 4 x LP box. (Release Date January 17th). Their new album will follow in February 2014.

On the same date the label will also be releasing a new collaborational two track record ‘Relive’ from young and emerging pianist Carlos Cipa, who teamed up with Sophia Jani writing four-hand-pieces for prepared piano especially for the past festival edition of Denovali Swingfest in October 2013 in Essen/Germany. (Release Date: January 17th).

The New Zealander Alicia Merz of Birds Of Passage returns with her third album ‘This Kindly Slumber’. With allusions to dark-pop and classic broken-folk, the anti-climactic compositions of Alicia remind us that she is a singer songwriter for people who don’t like singer songwriters. (Release Date: January 24th)

‘Eaten Alive’ is the fifth studio album as Talvihorros for the experimental British composer Ben Chatwin. The album was born when Daniel Crossley met with Ben in late 2010. An album that focuses on the darker recesses of life and is marking a move away from Chatwin’s signature guitar sound into a wide-ranging electronic sound palette. (Release Date: January 31st)

Origamibiro is a collaborative project consisting of three core members: musician, soundtrack composer and producer Tom Hill, visual artist and filmmaker Jim Boxall, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Tytherleigh. Originally started as a solo project for Tom, Origamibiro has since evolved into an audio-visual collective, producing studio music, art objects, interactive installations and hauntingly original live audio-visual performances. Origamibiro like to create work with an array of unorthodox processes and contraptions, found objects, video feeds and multi instrumentalism. Their aim is to create works of texture, lyricism and intensity.

After having composed the first Origamibiro record on his own Tom Hill was then looking to translate this music from studio to live environment and enlisted the help of Jim Boxall, who had a background in fine art as well as live visuals. Both Tom and Jim were looking for ways to expand how they could approach live performances and utilise technologies but also retain a sense of fragility, texture, emotion and above all risk. Not long after, Andy Tytherleigh brought his multi-instrumentalist skills (double bass, ukulele, banjo, guitar) to what was now becoming a collective and the trio began to develop ways to bring all of these elements together with live looping techniques. Jim began to use objects and props to film and record live, Tom experimented with sampling found materials to add texture and rhythm to his guitar melodies and Andy layered multiple instruments to add depth and weight to the whole process.

Origamibiro’s live performances are involving treated books, typewriters, found celluloid, paper, eerie wildlife recordings, home movies, sellotape and bespoke visual contraptions. All of these things had been added, adapted, even destroyed as a way to generate images and audio that could evoke a feeling, a response, an understanding or perhaps a question from audiences.

Carlos Cipa musician and composer residing in Munich (Germany), has been teaming up with pianist and composer Sophia Jani to follow up his highly acclaimed full length debut “The Monarch and the Viceroy“ with a two-piece collaboration record named ‘Relive’.

Carlos discovered his passion for music very early in his life. At the age of 6 he began taking classical piano lessons with various renowned teachers. Ten years later after he started playing drums in different bands he became more and more interested in composition and improvisation. In the following years he made experiences in different music styles like jazz, hardcore/punk, indie rock and orchestral music. For his debut record on Denovali Records he focused on his main instrument, the piano.

Sophia Jani, being in the beginning of her twenties like Carlos, has discovered her fascination for piano in a similar age. She is classically trained on piano and violin and has deepened her skills at the conservatory of music in Munich before she began studying piano at the conservatory in Bordeaux, France. Sophia left Bordeaux after one year turning away from just interpreting classical pieces to concentrate on writing her own music.

The two pieces “Anouk’s Dream” and “Whatever a Sun Will Always Sing” were written for Carlo’s and Sophia’s performance at the Denovali Swingfest 2013 in Essen. The idea was to jointly compose two piano pieces for four hands, which do not only include playing the ordinary way, but also utilising rather unusual sounds from inside the piano. Carlos and Sophia used all kinds of contemporary techniques to create these sounds, like plucking and beating the strings with their fingers or different kinds of beaters, bowing them with nylon guitar strings, creating harmonics while pressing fingers down on the strings during playing, using the aeolian harp-technique or creating beats on the cast iron frame. Throughout the two tracks nothing other than their combined fingers, the two nylon strings and three different kinds of beaters were used to create the music, the pieces can be played live without using any electronics. During the recording process of the album Relive, neither of the compositions has been changed in any way. They were played exactly as in the live situation, which was a very important theme throughout this collaboration.

Following ‘Without the World’ and ‘Winter Lady’, the New Zealander Alicia Merz of Birds of Passage returns with her third album ‘This Kindly Slumber’.

Like a cocoon, this album will envelope you in its many layers. Quiet storms filled with ambient atmospheres, densely layered choral drones, fragile vocals. Harsh reverberation, gently lulled by sweet musings, offset by poetic and philosophical lyrics, ebb away into blissful ambience. With allusions to dark-pop and classic broken-folk, the anti-climactic compositions of Alicia remind us that she is a singer songwriter for people who don’t like singer songwriters. Climb into the cocoon of ‘This Kindly Slumber’. This place of refuge will find you when you most need it, take you to the world within its folds.

‘Eaten Alive’ is the fifth studio album as Talvihorros for the experimental British composer Ben Chatwin. Marking a move away from Chatwin’s signature guitar sound into a wide-ranging electronic sound palette, featuring his most direct and uncompromising work to date.

The album was born when Daniel Crossley, owner of Fluid Radio met with Ben in late 2010. The pair visited areas in East London where Daniel had lived for much of his life, also the same area Ben found himself living. They shared stories and memories, looking back at a past that featured loss, isolation, addiction and abuse. As Ben explains:

“We spent a weekend going to places where Dan had grown up, places that had stuck in his head for various reasons. Dan shared with me some harrowing and heartbreaking tales that eventually culminated in him battling with drug addiction. I think Dan was incredibly brave to get out of the situation he found himself in, get out of London, and live the life that he is living today.”

Eaten Alive is the result of this encounter, as Chatwin looks both introspectively and into the community where events like this can so readily happen. An album that focuses on the darker recesses of life, where bold melodic ideas fight with harsh noise and glacial ambience to create something organic, evolving and physically arresting.

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