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CD Feature/ Limpe Fuchs: "pianobody"

img  Tobias

The easiest explanation of this album’s title is that Limpe Fuchs’ music is a physical one. It works not only with the keys but the entire piano frame and mimics and expresses movement. It is aimed at opening ears and of making her audience aware of the fact that as human beings they are, above all, listening entities. Whether or nor your mind may agree with that or nor – your body has already begun reacting.

There is no end to the inspiration the piano gives, nor is there to the creativity of Limpe Fuchs. For two decades, she was part of the “Anima” ensemble, which extended to a trio for six years, when the notorious and magnificent Friedrich Gulda joined her and her husband Paul. Already in the 70s, she played the piano like percussions and saw herself in a line with those who integrated the sounds of every-day life into a territory long cultivated inside an enclosed “sacred” garden. A lot has changed since then and yet so many things have stayed the same. “Pianobody” moves in unusual ways and goes from shifted perspectives and opaque harmonies to limpid romanticism and sinewy rhythms, combines unprocessed piano passages with manipulated modulations, field recordings and dancing vocalisations. Fuchs cares nothing for categories, her music follows basic and human principles and her methods are rooted in the moment, not in metavisionary complexes. When one of the employees in her metal shop showed her a disc rolling through a long tube, it turned into a musical event, captured in the opening piece “Odessa”. When she discovered a 30-year old piano at a friend’s house, considered “unplayable” by everyone else, it became the instrument of choice for two powerfully reverberating miniatures. And improvising on the harmonium while listening to recordings of an escalator led to “Erlangen”, a haunting and continually swelling drone track. Hardly two tracks are alike, despite some of them being devided into seperate parts, and not a single one resembles the work preceeding it. Surreal sonorities are sandwiched in between dreamy harpsichord semblances and upfront, extremely tangible sounds melt into atmospheric ambiances. At the end, Limpe disappears into the black hole of her piano, amidst waves flooding endlessly into a cave by the sea.

She could easily have made this into a more approachable album or at least one which stays within the same mood for longer periods of time. Why didn’t she? Because to become aware of the continuity of all things, we need breaks and fractures. Of course, this goes for the perfomer as well. In her total refusal of accepting any borders between herself and her instrument, Limpe has in fact become one with her piano. That, it seems, is another meaning of this album’s title.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Limpe Fuchs
Homepage: Seven Legged Spiders Recordings

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