Peter Kowald

When the Sun Is Out You Don't See Stars

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
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AllMusic Review by

There are no conventional terms with which to discuss this music. This is deep heart music, and it is holy, terrible, and devastating. Comprised of 20 selections recorded over two different dates, This quartet explored the reaches of microtonal improvisation into its nether regions, entering, in the process, the heart of its heart. Butch Morris and Peter Kowald create the essentials here for Sainkho and Werner Ludi to execute their singing voices, their body voices, to send them off scurrying and faltering into the heat of the moment where exchange because gift becomes excess becomes a kind of tenderness so violent it can only be musically realized in the complete breakdown of the individual ego in the face of the collective. There are no songs here, but this is all song, it's utterance so foreign to how we speak and sing to one another it is the very space that we speak and sing from, touching not only the baseness of instinct and its brokenness, but also the divine and all that is transcendent, simply by the means of the smallest unit of investigation, the vibration of the microtone as it shatters convention and music and becomes the universal world of sound itself. This is far past brilliant, far beyond emotionally moving, it is simply awe-inspiring.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:27 Amazon
2 03:12 Amazon
3 04:10 Amazon
4 03:42 Amazon
5 02:41 Amazon
6 05:05 Amazon
7 04:39 Amazon
8 02:57 Amazon
9 04:27 Amazon
10 02:07 Amazon
11 03:20 Amazon
12 03:01 Amazon
13 04:12 Amazon
14 03:36 Amazon
15 04:49 Amazon
16 01:21 Amazon
17 04:29 Amazon
18 03:32 Amazon
19 02:47 Amazon
20 05:07 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick