Today’s listen is a collaboration between American violinist Hilary Hahn and German experimental pianist Hauschka, a pairing that produced the album Silfra (Deutsche Grammophon) in 2012. The album, recorded in Iceland, was mostly improvised; the pair had been preparing material for years before, but decided to scrap it all at the beginning of the recording process for a more spontaneous and organic atmosphere. The lack of in-depth rehearsal definitely shows, but I see this as a positive quality, as songs like “Adash” unfold naturally from trembling near-stillness into surging crescendos. Hauschka plays the prepared piano, which is basically just a piano that has been augmented with foreign objects either on/between the strings or inside the instrument itself. For example, the buzzing sound of Hauschka’s playing on this track comes from used aluminum tea lights and small electric motors that have been placed inside his piano. These unusual sonic touches combine with Hahn’s more straightforward, classically derived playing to create a unique sound. Worth a listen on this sleepy (at least for me) Tuesday.
Check out more from Hilary Hahn: http://www.hilaryhahn.com/
Check out more from Hauschka: https://hauschkamusic.bandcamp.com/