wed 19/02/2020

CD: Kim Myhr - Pressing Clouds Passing Crowds | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Kim Myhr - Pressing Clouds Passing Crowds

CD: Kim Myhr - Pressing Clouds Passing Crowds

The Norwegian guitarist collaborates with poet Caroline Bergvall in an enthralling reflection on transformation

Kim Myhr, Caroline Bergvall, Quatour Bozzini and Ingar Zach's 'Pressing Clouds Passing Crowds': absorbing

If a new soundtrack for L'Année dernière à Marienbad was needed, Pressing Clouds Passing Crowds is it. Thematically, the collaboration between Norwegian guitarist Kim Myhr, French-Norwegian poet Caroline Bergvall, the Québécois string quartet Quatour Bozzini and Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach hits the film’s pressure points: the slippages between experience and perception of space and time. Lyrically and musically, the six tracks connect with the images conjured for the screen by the Alains Resnais and Robbe-Grillet as everything about the album is fluid.

While Myhr’s glistening acoustic guitar arpeggios and insistent strumming define the music, drones, queasy see-sawing and stabbing interjections from the strings ensure an off-balance atmosphere. Zach’s piercing percussion enhances the mood of disquiet. Bergwall reads in a deadpan, distracted tone as if emerging from a coma. On second track “Days”, as the intensity increases, she begins chanting as Patti Smith had done on “Horses”. Speaking of being in transit, of belonging and transformation, her words take in an “unknown terrain where the ground is imperceptibly changing” and how geology creates a pebble beach. Even with seeming permanence, there is barely detectable change.

Myhr has said of Pressing Clouds Passing Crowds that his musical touchstones are Robert Ashley and Morton Feldman. They are in there, but the glide and glissando integral to his playing also suggest the new age instrumentalist Laraaji as well as the Estonian kannel. His last album, you | me, made with oddball jazzers The Necks and Zach, took five months to record. Its absorbing follow-up was composed for the 2016 Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Québéc but recorded last year in only two days. Appropriately, it seems that working with Caroline Bergwall has helped Kim Myhr recalibrate his awareness of time.

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