Double disc set
CD and DVD
Marilyn Crispell (piano)
The ancient tonalities of taonga pūoro find themselves in yet another challenging contemporary setting. Marilyn Crispell and Jeff Henderson weave a beautiful array of sonic textures and nuances around the evocative sounds of Richard Nunns.
When commenting on Dave Lisik's The Curse of the Queen's Diamond, William Dart described the album as “the perfect vindication of Rattle’s philosophy that they are not interested in musical barriers”. That comment could apply even more pertinently to This Appearing World, a voyage into sonically uncharted territory through thirteen pieces that defy easy categorisation. Each track is a new 'cinematic environment' that simultaneously evokes ancient and post-apocalyptic vistas. Like slow food, this is not an album to be rushed. The music reveals its secrets gradually, and will reward the attentive listener.
The album was recorded and filmed over two days at the University of Auckland’s Kenneth Myers Centre. Rattle committed to the project without support, taking full advantage of the opportunity to document the interplay between three extraordinary musicians who had an all-too-brief chance to work together. The video material (shot by Guy Quartermain and Keith Hill) is an equally unique and captivating document. Given the improvisational nature of the project, watching the musicians interact brings a greater intimacy to the music.
Richard and Jeff have restless musical personalities, and over the years have sought a wide and varied range of collaborators - and collaborative environments. They previously worked with Marilyn on the Urban Taniwha touring project, so this project is the outcome of a longstanding musical relationship. Since he first met and performed with Marilyn, Richard has longed for an opportunity to record just such a project as this. In many respects, his earlier Rattle recording with Judy Bailey and Steve Garden (Tuhonohono, RAT-D011) was, while very different in outcome, a precursor to This Appearing World.
Like the earlier work, This Appearing World will challenge many listeners, more so than Tuhonohono. It is at times more confrontational and demanding than perhaps anything Rattle has released to date, as befits an improvisational project in which freedom of choice is one of the primary musical imperatives. While neither jazz, world, nor contemporary classical, characteristics from these genres make their presence felt from time to time.
Adventurous listeners are likely to relish the invitation to explore the intriguing sonic environments on offer here, a world in which an infinite array of sound-making possibilities are judiciously selected in response to the sometimes fleeting intimations of all three musicians. While freeform improvisation is a long-standing musical practice, the use of taongo pūoro is rare, and Richard is the sole world exponent. The music on This Appearing World is unique to New Zealand. Even within Jeff’s out-on-the-edge musical history, he has never done a project quite like this.
Rattle has never been shy of supporting music that follows its own compass. This Appearing World is an emotionally complex, otherworldly, intermittently unsettling, at times poignant addition to our ever-expanding and highly original catalogue.
RAT-D027 (November, 2011)
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Steve Garden at the Garden Shed, Auckland 2011
DVD: IN PERFORMANCE directed and produced by Keith Hill
Lighting by Guy Quartermain
Camera by Guy Quartermain and Keith Hill
Interview lighting and camera by Phil Burchell
Editing by Keith Hill and Richard Calder
DVD design by Attar Films
DVD © Keith Hill 2011, an Attar Films Production
Photography by Guy Quartermain with additional shots by Tim Gummer
Artwork by Ivan Mrsic
Design by UnkleFranc
This Appearing World
Marilyn Crispell (piano)
Gentle Folk (3:39)
Marilyn Crispell is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied classical piano and composition. She has been a resident of Woodstock, New York since 1977 when she came to study and teach at the Creative Music Studio. She discovered jazz initially through the music of John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor. Besides working as a soloist and leader of her own groups, Crispell has worked extensively with renowned international jazz musicians and composers. She has taught improvisation workshops and given lecture/demonstrations at universities and art centers throughout the world, and has collaborated with video-makers, filmmakers, dancers and poets.
Richard Nunns is one of our most respected performers and researchers of Māori music and instruments. He began his research into taonga pūoro not long before teaming up with Hirini Melbourne in the late 1980s. Their two albums for Rattle, Te Ku Te Whe and Te Hekenga-a-rangi, are regarded as seminal works of Māori music. Richard is renowned for seeking out new ways of conversing with and within a variety of cultures and genres. He continues to work with composers and performers from all corners of the globe, and in a diverse range of musical settings that include jazz, world, contemporary pop, free-improv and orchestral works.
Jeff Henderson is a pivotal figure in New Zealand arts and music. He is a multi- instrumentalist, improviser, composer and performance-maker who regularly collaborates with performers of various artistic and cultural disciplines, including theatre-makers, dancers, and artists. He founded and operated the experimental festival, Bomb the Space, and was artistic director of the Wellington International Jazz Festival for ten years. In 2008, Jeff received an Arts Foundation new generation award.