Zanana is the New York-based duo of vocalist Kristin Norderval and trombonist Monique
The music on the live performances of
Holding Patterns (august 2003 - Deep Listening, 2005)
is largely improvised. Both acoustic instruments and electronics are employed,
as well as "processing" that is carried out on the fly. Samples and field
recordings are added occasionally to the mix.
The result is truly "deep listening" pieces, in which very little happens on
the surface, and sounds are mostly hidden in the ambience.
It is hard to describe what happens in Ghost Dog (october 2002), one of the most
compelling songs, other than a low-volume processing of sustained trombone
The spectral landscape of Gasholder Duet (august 2002) is roamed by
long alto wails and random noises of trombone.
Doorjam (october 2002) is a bit more lively, but fundamentally still anemic
The dialogue between instrument and voice picks up even more energy in
Flags (august 2003), the closest thing to a traditional lied.
The dramatic zenith is reached in the first nine minutes of Title X (august 2003), in which all the sounds (uttered in volleys of hysterical fits) are functional to creating and sustaining suspense.
It sounds like these recordings are unique: each one is a live performance that
cannot be reproduced because there is no theme, structure, concept that it is
anchored to. Thus pieces are basically moods.
This is music that cannot be judged on the compositional merits, but only on
the basis of the specific live interaction between the two musicians.
The method is all there is, in a sense. What we hear is the minds of the
two musicians, as they manifest themselves individually and collectively.
Sounds are mere signs to transcribe minds.
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