JOURNEY OF SIMURGH | Jim Franklin | Hubert Bergmann

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1-old wall no lament Jim Franklin, shakuhachi, elektronik | Hubert Bergmann, prepared piano
1 old wall no lament                 3:32
2 unknown call 1:37
3 tha hall 4:51
4 invisible 8:10
5 approximation 6:15
6 we came only to the next corner 9:43
7 conference 4:09
8 above the sea 4:59
9 beyond the border 2:33
10 harp of bamboo 5:25
release September 2013   11 the 7th valley 4:39
  CD total 57:01

JOURNEY OF SIMURGH | incl. packing & shipping
RIGOBERT DITTMANN, bad alchemy [BA 78 rbd]  

Jim Franklin, Shakuhachi, Live Elektronik
Hubert Bergmann, prepared piano

JIM FRANKLIN & HUBERT BERGMANN Journeys of Simurgh. The Last 11 Songs (Mudoks Records, mr 1406-017): Dort wo Seelen ihre Treffen verabreden, indem sie Raum und Zeit wie Papier mit geheimen Codes verschlucken, dort wo sich Tropfen im Ocean of Mystery verlieren, da rückten auch der Pianist aus Überlingen und ein Shakuhachimeister einander näher, dessen good vibrations auch schon den Benediktus­hof in Holzkirchen bei Würzburg durchwellten. Dass Bergmann auch dafür, für Zengartenkunst, klösterliche Kontemplation und Morgenlandflüge des Geistes, eine Ader hat (oder hatte, die Aufnahme entstand 2008), nötigt mich, meine Brennschärfe nachzujustieren. Sie zu erweiteren für tönerne Schläge auf einem präparierten Klavier, zu denen Franklin Kirschblüten anhaucht, dabei aber auch Live Elektronik einsetzt, um sein Geflöte zu verdoppeln. Schnell wird deutlich, dass Bergmann weniger an Spuren der Stille interessiert ist, als an der Formgebung kreativer Unruhe. Indem er die gezogenen und gehaltenen Töne der Bambusflöte kontrastiert mit perkussivem Getröpfel und Geschepper oder geharftem Flirrklang aus dem Innenklavier. Wobei auch Franklin nicht Seelenruhe (oder das Streben danach) mit Trägheit verwechselt. Er interagiert mit Bergmanns klanggewaltigem Schlag- und Räderwerk mit den schlangentänzerischen Windungen einer Doppelhelix und einem so komplexen wie pointierten Frage-und-Antwortspiel. Bergmann erstaunt mit gepicktem Pizzikato, plötzlich unpräpariert klaren Fingersprints und immer wieder auch fernöstlich anmutendem tönernem Gedonge. Dazu lässt Franklin elektronische Bänder flattern oder auch windschiefe Triller züngeln. Als beidseitige Annäherungen an die Flugkurven von Regentropfen, kristallinen Blütenblättern oder des Protagonisten dieser Vogelgesprä­che, ist das weit rasanter, klanglich opulenter und phantastischer als man vermuten möchte. [BA 78 rbd]

JIM FRANKLIN & HUBERT BERGMANN Journeys of Simurgh . The Last 11 Songs ( Mudoks Records , mr 1406-017 ) : Where souls arrange their meetings by swallowing time and space , such as paper with secret codes , where to lose drop in the Ocean of Mystery , as well as the advanced pianist from Überlingen and a Shakuhachimeister closer together , the good vibrations even durchwellten the Benediktushof in wooden churches in Würzburg. That Bergmann also ensures Zengartenkunst has for monastic contemplation and East flights of the mind , one core (or had , the recording was made in 2008 ) , obliges me to readjust my focal sharpness. They greatly expand for clay blows on a prepared piano , which breathes Franklin cherry blossoms, but it also uses live electronics to double its Geflöte . It quickly becomes clear that Bergmann is less interested in traces of silence as to the shaping of creative restlessness. By contrast , the solid and sustained notes of the bamboo flute with percussive clatter and dribble or geharftem Flirrklang from the inner piano. Whereby Franklin not peace of mind (or striving ) with inertia confused . He interacts with miner klanggewaltigem impact and wheels work with the snake dance turns of a double helix and a so complex as pointed question-and- answer game . Bergmann amazed with gepicktem pizzicato , suddenly unprepared clear finger sprints and over again and the Far East a seemingly earthen Gedonge . These leaves flutter Franklin electronic bands or lick also skewed trill . As a two-sided approximations to the trajectories of raindrops , crystalline petals or the protagonist of this bird calls, which is far speedier, sonically opulent and fantastic than you may think . [BA 78 rbd ]

Massimo Ricci, touching extremes  

Jim Franklin, Shakuhachi, Live Elektronik
Hubert Bergmann, prepared piano

The shakuhachi is the Zen instrument par excellence, and Hubert Bergmann is a man who – despite his training in free jazz and modern composition – is entirely aware of the value of rational quietness and instrumental placement during the act of playing. The same, naturally, seems to apply to Jim Franklin whose art I had never met before. As a consequence you have one of the finest Mudoks releases, eleven duets where the interaction between flute and piano reaches levels of sharp sentience, the resultant music navigating antithetical waters linking gamelan, ceremonial gesture and experimentation with electronics, without forgetting the primal substances of improvisation (although the tracks are credited to an individual “composer” every time).

In such a dynamically diverse context, we almost tend to neglect the sheer bravura of each player given the contentment deriving from the action as an expression of integrity. But there’s no question about Franklin and Bergmann’s adroitness, even when the specific voices get noticeably re-adjusted, timbral impairment experienced inside the most radically modified atmospheres. I’m thinking, for instance, of “Approximation”, where the overall texture benefits from repetitively dissonant twisted blowing and sweetly metallic crescendos of pitched droplets. Or the nearly illogical, yet perfectly intelligible visions characterizing a truly great piece titled “Conference”. As the prospects become wider – and this can happen within the ambit of a single track after minutes of hellish clustering – there’s no recyclable word apt to depict a throng of grotesque reverberations, gushing arpeggios and aberrantly twirping tones, which finds no collocation in genres as we know them. Moments of veritable meditation are not missing either, the best example being perhaps the concluding “The 7th Valley”.

This brand of multi-faceted acousmatic vehicle sounds authentic, organic and “animately radical” enough to distance itself – by a marine mile – from certain “experiments” that many so called “explorers” perform with robust safety nets under their predictable flights. Still keeping the spiritual values high, as the head gets thoroughly cleansed from commonplace attitudes towards the various states of contemplativeness.

CD title: JOURNEY OF SIMURGH, the last 11 songs above the sea
personnel: Jim Franklin, Shakuhachi, Live Elektronik - Hubert Bergmann, prepared piano
upc-barcode:      4038085016407
label: mudoks records
catalogue ID 017-1406
format: CD
condition: new
release date: 2013-07
country: germany
packaging: digipack 
recorded at: mudoks studio Überlingen Germany, 2008-07-26
artwork/photos: Birgit Nagengast
distribution: mudoks records, currently
p+c mudoks records germany | Werkstatt für improvisierte und neue Musik
  all compositions by the musicians - GEMA


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