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CD Feature/ Adam Khan & Luis E. Orias Diz: "Interludio"

img  Tobias

In my review to “A Day in November”, Adam Khan’s debut CD, I characterised him as a globetrotter and as a musician who likes to take in local traditions and the cultural singularities of the countries he visits to enter a deeper understanding of their artistic expressions. On the face of it, that is also the concept behind “Interludio”: Recorded in Buenos Aires with Argentine guitarist Luis E. Orias Diz and showcasing pieces from Diz’ homecountry as well as Cuba and England, the album obviously has a multicultural background and presents us with a colourful program, which jumps from one contintent to the next at the speed of lightning. And still, things are not just about bridging different nationalities and traditions.

For one, “Interludio” is also a tribut to three very different composers and an effort of making their distinct styles even more transparent by juxtaposing them on one album. Leo Brouwer, the main protagonist on “A Day in November”, again finds himself center-stage, with three of his cycles being performed here, mostly made up of short tracks held together by mood, movement or simply by the fact that they were written for two guitars . In his essence, Brouwer is a man to whom the music itself needs be enough of a concept to grab the listener’s attention.

He is the only living member of the triad. John Duarte, whose “English Suite” the duo performs with great intimacy, died in 2004, while Walter Henze succumbed to a long illness only one year later. Their contributions are points of rest amidst Brouwer’s eclectic stirrings between harmony and dissonance, rest and rupture, brevity and epic poetry, between his roots and western classical music.
Duarte’s use of English folk as a blueprint clearly distinguishes him from the fold. The reconsiliation between the free forms of a music houndreds of years old and the stylised structures of the “high arts” has lead to an endearing, effortless hybrid of great fluency and modernity. In the second movement of the “Suite”, the melody rises from the bass region and builds up mid-range, circling over a vertiginously transposing chord scheme before returning to the opening theme. In the finale, the knocking rhythms constructed from the body of one of the guitars emphasise the immediate, physical nature of the track, which starts with fiery passion, then cools off to a hymn of green hills.
Walter Henze is the romantic of the trio. His precise lyricism is both clevery composed and seemingly simple, but full of harmonic knacks. While Brouwer, on this occasion at least, does most things in ways you wouldn’t expect and Duarte confuses your senses about what to expect at all, Henze confirms that there is still plenty of beauty to be found in traditional forms.

“Interludio” furtermore approaches the guitar duo in an amazingly unpretentious fashion. Khan and Diz have chosen pieces which stun because of their intricate scoring, not because of their demonstrative technical skills. For large chunks of the album, they sound more like one man playing with immense concentration than like two guitareros trying to impress. In the end, they thereby leave an equally strong impression while presenting the listener with a probably even more recognisable musical business card. Their playing not only transcends the local traditions and the cultural singularities of the countries they have visited - but the personal and unspoken differences between themselves as performers with unique backgrounds as well

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Adam Khan
Homepage: Luis E. Orias Diz
Homepage: PAI records

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