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CD Feature/ Jason Kahn: "Sihl"

img  Tobias

It’s a purely hypothetical question, of course, but how would you imagine your life as a pre-natal foetus? According to some, hearing capacity is fully established after four months, so you could already perceive the sounds of your closest environment: Your mother’s heartbeat, her voice, possibly the music she’d listen to. You’d be able to process this information and it could possibly make you happy or unhappy, but you probably wouldn’t be able to remember it. These sounds would just come up, stay with you for a while and then disappear again – and all that mattered was how they made you feel in that very instant. With “Sihl”, Jason Kahn explores this state of being.

Maybe that is already too much of an interpretation for an album that will conjure up many images, but makes it hard to find the words to describe them. And Kahn, who was born in California, moved to Berlin in the 90s and now resides in Switzerland, is hard to pin down anyway – a fervent former member of the improvisation scene, he still yearned for arranging songs outside of the concert situation and from his drumming days he has moved on to a music that seems to do its utmost best to stand still. There is actually still a hint of percussion left, albeit merely in the form of an harmonic twinkle, floating like a sunbeam over these twelve short pieces. Most of what you can hear are frequencies without a pulse, without a beginning or an end. Some of them will sleep in the lower regions, in a state of sweet slumber. Others will linger in the higher end of the spectrum, sending soft but yet penetrating waves of just audible noise your way. Kahn himself felt reminded of the river he crossed each day on his way to the studio: Muddy, flowing slowly, sometimes almost drying up. And indeed there is a strong feeling of things changing, but yet staying the same: Even though there is an ever-so-gentle movement in these compositons, there is no such thing as a development.

In its best moments, this music becomes a part of your direct surroundings and when tracks end, they leave you with a gentle sorrow of having lost something. Strangely enough, however, you will not be able to remember what it whas you just listened to, what made it so appealing or whether there was a melody or not. These sounds just come up, stay with you for a while and then disappear again – and all that matters is how they make you feel in that very instant. It’s a purely hypothetical assumption, of course, and possibly not even intended at all – but maybe that’s what life feels like as a pre-natal foetus.

Homepage: Jason Kahn
Homepage: Sirr Ecords
Homepage: Jason Kahn Interview at Paris Transatlantic

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