Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Filling in the gaps. One of the phrases that kept returning to me last evening at a lovely performance by The Magnets (Annette Krebs/guitar, electronics), Magda Mayas (piano) and Anthea Caddy (cello) at the Stone. If you only isolated the sounds created by each musician, you might think that there's a real danger of a jerky, disconnectness occurring, but it never happened, not once. They unerringly filled the interstices left by each other, doing so rapidly enough that you barely had a moment to recognize that there may have been a gap at all. At least part of this might have to do with their musical nature. Mayas, in particular, seems to be an inherently extremely melodic player, perhaps filling a role here similar to what Tilbury did in AMM. She spent most of her time inside the piano (what keyboard work she did largely dealt with prepared strings--very beautifully handled, incidentally--save for one clear, low chord), edging often toward the harsh but always managing to ground things in at least a quasi-tonal framework. Caddy was at the other extreme, all extended technique of a generally abrasive (though quiet) nature, never overbearing, always seeking to insert her sounds into the thicker fabric spun by Mayas and Krebs. Krebs was the wild card, and a wonderful one, ranging through conversation samples, sine-like tones and various guitar attacks, both melding with her comrades and opening the unexpected door.

"Sustained" was the other word I kept thinking; how well both pieces (a longish one, about 35 minutes and a shorter piece of 10 or so) were sustained, how they floated. Very impressive, hope to hear more.

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Glad to see Pinnell has risen to my bait!

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Thanks for all the beauty and honesty, Mr. Updike.

4 comments:

Richard Pinnell said...

That sounds like a nice trio Brian.i like what I've heard of Magda Mayas' playing. The Phono_Phono disc she appeared on back in 2007 was a favourite of mine.

Certainly the future of inside-piano playing seems assured. Oddly it seems a favoured choice for female musicians. Tisha Mukarji, Heleen van Haegenborgh, Mayas have all come to my attention in recent years, and I guess you can just about call Andrea Neumann an inside-pianist, even if in her case there's no outside-piano left to play...

Mind you, as long as Sebastian Lexer's hair might be we can't call him female, and he's good too!

Richard Pinnell said...

Oh and if Annette is still in town say hi from me!

Brian Olewnick said...

Will do; scheduled to meet her on Saturday for talk and hot cider.

alastairwilson said...

I saw Magda Mayas play three times in eight days earlier this month - in a trio with Clare Cooper and Steve Heather, a different trio with Laura Altman (clarinet) and Monika Brroks (accordion), and a duo with Tony Buck, and was most impressed. The all-female trio was especially good. The Mayas/Buck duo has a CD out on Creative Sources, not heard that yet.

Say hello to Annette from me too!