More hands. More possibilities. More ethereal drones. More poly shifting rhythms. More fun.
That was the starting point and the idea of ‘Bakunawa’: the album Pak Yan Lau recorded with her freshly started ensemble, consisting of the marvellous musicians Vera Cavallin, Giovanni Di Domenico, João Lobo and Mathieu Calleja.
On ‘Bakunawa’ Pak Yan and her ensemble are delving and digging deep into the sound spectrum of detuned toy piano’s, second hand gong rods, prepared harp, metal tubes and ring modulators.
Instruments were searched, collected and bought worldwide: on Japanese street markets, in second hand stores in Brussels, from dedicated American Ebay-sellers and the cellar of the Musica centre in Neerpelt.
The result is a record split up in two compositions of 20 minutes: on Part I the Bakunawa ensemble let the overtones of the gong rods, prepared harp and metal tubes slowly resonate into a deep listening ambient state of mind.
Rich harmonic textures of rather unconventional instruments shaping an immersive piece of spellbinding sonic details.
On Part II the quintet craft their own ritual ceremony music with distorted toy piano’s and hypnotic percussion. Echoing the frequencies of a gamelan orchestra. Rhythms shifting in
haunted patterns recalling the Philippine mythology where the moon swallowing sea dragon Bakunawa was scared away by drumming loudly on pots and pans.
released May 21, 2021
Pak Yan Lau: composition, gong rods, toy piano, metal tubes, ring modulators
Vera Cavallin: gong rods, prepared harp
Giovanni Di Domenico: gong rods, toy piano
João Lobo: gong rods, toy piano, tom
Mathieu Calleja: gong rods, toy piano, bass drum, metal tubes
Recorded at STUK in Leuven and Kunstencentrum nona in Mechelen in 2020
Recorded and mixed by Christophe Albertijn
Mastered by Gert Van Hoof & Jimmy Van Rietvelde at Cochlea Mastering
Cut by Dubplates & Mastering Berlin
Cover pictures by Juhyun Choi
Pictures insert by Laurent Orseau
Layout design by Jef Cuypers
Executive production by Philippe Cortens
Is the sound of any instrument more profound than that of the cello in the hands of a master? (Well, maybe the viola da gamba.) Here is exquisite cello music from the 14th to the 21st centuries played by Charles Curtis, including four compositions of his own. "Unfinished Song" will make you a believer. John Simms
Eerie, expansive, and breathtaking. This is ambient drone on an epic scale. The effect that some of these pieces have when they abruptly end is shattering -- these sounds become a part of your consciousness, and when they drop away, you're left in silence more intense than you've ever felt. Steven Moses