Andrea Neumann


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Lidingo is a small island town outside of Stockholm, Sweden. A series of old photographs of the area apparently inspired inside pianist Andrea Neumann and percussionist Burkhard Beins to create this fine, freely improvised performance. Given the titles of the tracks, the listener is nudged into hearing the sounds generated herein in a much more programmatic manner than is normally the case with similar music. The gorgeous first piece, "Approaching Lidingo," is thus filled with a sense of anticipation. As its volume gradually increases, the complex sonic details take on the aspect of whizzing landscape elements. Near its climax, it's difficult not to think of a clanking, wheezing old train screeching into a wooden depot. The title track begins quietly enough, the slumbering village just rising perhaps, but activity soon picks up, intersects, complexifies, and loudens. Soon, listeners are into a bustling soundscape alive with clatter, bell tones, metallic booms, hissing steam -- the hidden chaos of everyday life. It's quite an impressive evocation. Neumann and Beins, both members of the improvising ensemble Phosphor as well as participants in countless other projects, are masters of this music, the former summoning all manner of unearthly sounds from her amplified piano stringboard, the latter simply one of the most imaginative percussionists around, indeed making the tag "percussionist" seem hopelessly deficient. If the final three, shorter cuts don't quite live up to the expansiveness and breathy quality of the first two, it's a minor quibble. Lidingo's music belies the sleepy-town demeanor of its inspiration and creates a wonderful, living, aural image of its own device. Recommended.

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