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Tim Hecker: Dropped Pianos

img  Tobias Fischer

Tim Heckers previous full-length Ravedeath, 1972 culminated in a trilogy called „In the Air: I-III“, which eventually disembogued into a tranquility composed of nothing but piano and reverb, slowly ebbing away into space. Never again since his debut Haunt Me Haunt Me Do It Again, with its fascinating blend of all-encompassing calm and an inwardly boiling core, had Hecker's work seemed this serene.

Dropped Pianos, the follow-up to Ravedeath, 1972, dispenses with track titles altogether, with the cover identifying its compositions as „Ravedeath Sketches“, submitted to tape early 2010 in Montreal and Banff – the same places its predecessor was recorded at. And so, although it makes for a perfect coda to „In the Air: I-III“, this album is really part of a broader collection of ideas compiled by Hecker as part of his compositional process at the time. And it was possibly only after he'd returned to a less agitated state of mind, after having completed the production of the album, that he realised just how much value these sketches possessed in their own right. In fact, they appear, in a way, even more homogeneous, almost ascetically focused on the piano as the main instrument, the music placed in a warmly decaying sound with echo-like responses to his own performance and filled with subtle thematic additions and treatments. Just like its cover inverts the imagery of Ravedeath, 1972, Dropped Pianos cultivates a mood at the border between light and darkness, its pieces pierced by a driven sensation of abandonment matching the evoked impression of a solitary man sitting in front of his piano somewhere in a huge room.

It is hard to believe that this possibly even more convincing work should follow so quickly in the footsteps of the already extraordinary Ravedeath, 1972. And it is just as remarkable that Hecker should be capable of channeling his recognisable style just as confidently into a minimal work like Dropped Pianos as into his more opulent releases. But what counts, in the end, is the truth and nothing but the truth. And this is it.

By Hellmut Neidhardt

Homepage: Tim Hecker
Homepage: kranky Records

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