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CD Feature/ True Colour of Blood: "The Cave of Knowledge"

img  Tobias
Freedom is an important word in Eric Keisner’s vocabulary: Ever since he first layed hands on an instrument, he has sought for liberation from the market economy mechanisms (many of his pieces can be freely downloaded from his site), from promotional cycles (his upcoming full-length release on Gears of Sand will be his first in five years time) and for freedom in terms of equipment (he builds his soundscapes with nothing but a guitar and some effects pedals). On “The Cave of Knowledge”, he adds another facet to that long list of righs contained within his personal constitution: Freedom from traditional musical form.

Essentially, this 22 minute-long piece is the crystal-clear realisation of a single idea. Keisner plays a series of chords on his guitar, filtering them to arrive at a purified, smooth, warm and weightless cloud of wellspring water. Each chord is simply held for a stretch of time, with minor and major keys taking turns. Within the space of its duration, there is no development other than the natural inner movement of the drone, with its different frequencies pulsating at varying wave lengths.

Transitory moments are extremely hazy, which adds an element of tension to the otherwhise perfectly tranquil music: While one part of the mind is rocked to rest by the calmness of these pads, the other wants to observe gradual transformations as they happen, following the track through a series of hardly noticeable changes from harmony to slight unease and back again.

If it weren’t for this concept, the work might pass one by without leaving a lasting impression. As it is, it turns into an intruiging and psychoactive piece of music. Suddenly, there is so much to see and observe in the hidden rooms of its tranquil sound spaces, the imanent danger of them fading away again into their opposite emotion lending a sense of urgency to the track. In its own way, “The Cave of Knowledge” is a metaphor on memory and oblivion, on genesis and decay, on life and death.

It is also a composition which uses elements of structure to do away with structure alltogether. On paper, Keisner has scored a work, which is just as much based around harmonic progressions as a pop song. Because he emphasises the action inside a chord, rather than underlining what happens between two subsequent ones, however, he frees harmony from from theoretical necessities. Its relations are no longer dictated by the circle of fifth., but by the intensity of the contrast between its associational timbres.

Because he is not interested in adhering to any kind of dogma, the result is not academic, but quite intuitive. Many improvisations are just as schematic as their composed counterparts, but in this case, there is nothing trivial about them: Freedom breeds freedom – in every aspect of performance.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: True Colour of Blood
Homepage: Waterscape Records

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