Date Published: Thursday, 10 July 08
| Author: Owen Caroll
| 4 years, 10 months ago
Andrew Pekler makes the type of music that is hard to pigeonhole. How would he describe the kind of music he makes? Well, in his own words, “I would describe it slowly, over a bottle of wine. But who has time for that?”
Geographically, ANDREW PEKLER was born in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (then U.S.S.R.), grew up in the USA, and currently resides in Germany. Musically, he has been just as far across the map. His discography stretches from early analogue bedroom soundtracks as Sad Rockets on Matador Records, to jazz-influenced, improvised electronic forays on the ~scape and Staubgold labels. Yet despite the shifts in sound, the goal has always been the same, as Andrew explains: “to take the listener to a very specific sonic world, with every element (music, production, artwork) contributing to a detailed topology. Music is a non-mimetic medium; it only sounds like music and does not represent anything from the world. As such, it has an almost magical capacity to invoke highly specific states of reflection.” This ‘detailed topology’ is strongly represented on Cue, Pekler’s latest album, released through Kranky records last year. Inspired by ‘library music’ (records produced with the functional purpose of providing anonymous music for radio, TV or film), Pekler began with short descriptive phrases of mood, instrumentation and structure around which the music was then built. The result is an album of playful and dynamic electronic music that successfully balances the more abstract with the accessible.
Touring Australia as part of the hugely successful Liquid Architecture festival, I ask Andrew how, as an electronic musician, he adapts his music into the live environment. “The laptop concert is now generally deemed too private, too exclusive, with little of the performer/audience interaction apparently demanded by spectators… I actually like this tension and approach the situation as a challenge to involve the audience by the intensity of the music alone.” But once again a balance exists. “I try to do as much as possible live, improvising with a small array of effects, instruments and a mixing desk,” Andrew continues. “Also, I tend to play a good deal of ‘work in progress’ material. This leaves me room for improvisation and I feel that the audience definitely hears and feels that something is being created in the moment.”
And something definitely will be created in the moment, as Andrew will also be performing in a “semi-improvisational” duo with Adrian Klumpes, pianist with electronic jazz behemoth Triosk. Describing how it may pan out, Andrew humbly states: “I have complete faith in Adrian’s talents so that even if I contribute nothing of any substance, it will still be an interesting performance.” The two are recording in Sydney prior to the show, and should be in full flight by the time they the hit Canberra. Whatever happens, it’s still going to be a rare opportunity to see someone like Andrew Pekler in a setting as intimate as The Front. He may not have the time to describe his music to you, but you should definitely come and listen for yourself.
Andrew Pekler’s music can be enjoyed slowly, and most likely over a good bottle of wine, at the Front Galley and Café, Lyneham, on Friday July 18 with Adrian Klumpes (Triosk) and Shoeb Ahmad.