Creatures (English only)

Szabolcs Esztényi (piano) and Hubert Zemler (percussion,) on their “Kreatura” [Creature] album, play something one may describe as minimal-doom-drone-classical music.

The beauty of their music, or its formal aspect, lies in the fact that within the minimal music convention, where it is common for one track to last a quarter or more minutes, the duet, thanks to their immense discipline, successfully produce short, concise forms.

I believe that it is actually more difficult to tell a story – and retain the character of the music as well as the climate of the record – when confined in such a short form.

Instrumentally the record is certainly filled with elements known from Zemler’s concert performances, there is a whole range of percussion instruments – Tibetan bowls, amplified objects put on top of drums’ membranes so that they create a specific acoustic table; there is also Esztényi’s  characteristic playing – silent, minimal. All those elements intertwine nicely; though, they seem somewhat lasting – as if frozen in time, motionless. And alike monochrome paintings by Władysław Strzemiński, whose canvases served Zygmunt Krauze, a composer held in regard by Esztényi, as inspiration, the ostensible motionlessness or the undisturbed by conflict, monochrome substance hardly ever aims at a conclusion.

Fot: Marcin Kościński

One can find here several moments when the two instrumentalists unnecessarily try to “fit their roles” and the music may seem  mannered at times (Warsaw-Autumn’ish), as if, contrary to what I expressed above, it wanted to somehow escape the staves. It is, however, possible that we are witnessing music created ad hoc – right in front of our eyes (ears); and this struggle with matter (searching for the right sound or a solution) is necessary for creating a piece worth remembering.

(transl. Romek)

Hubert Zemler Live at SuperSam +1 Mózg Festival, November 2019, Dzik


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