Roedelius & Story – 4 Hands

Photo by Emily Ramharter

As well as looking back on forty years of friendship, American composer Tim Story and German musician Hans-Joachim Roedelius create enough space for a fruitful future, looking ahead as well as over the shoulder. On 4 Hands, which drops on Erased Tapes, the spirit of their friendship lives on through a series of intimate and well-crafted piano melodies.

Somehow, the piano feels ripe and full, occupying the entire space, and the four hands merge into a singular source, highlighting unity and consistency. The record was recorded on the same piano, reinforcing a theme of togetherness – one sound, one voice, and one friendship. The minimal sequences and fragile additions are all in good taste, sometimes appearing as nothing more than a faint, vaporous breath, and this leads to a ghostly sound.

Roedelius leans more towards improvisation, which helps to widen the music’s horizons and entangles the notes in unexpected and interesting ways, while Story chooses more of a deliberate approach, imparting notes here and there, the ideas flowing outwards and latching upon the blossoming dialogue.

4 Hands, as well as being a celebration of friendship, points to the piano, its timeless and universal sound, and its ability to stand alone. It may not have the company of other instrumentation, but there are four hands to guide it through the world.

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