In the winter of 2017, pianist and Headphone Commute editor-in-chief Mike Lazarev began an intriguing remote collaboration with Uwe Zahn, better known in experimental music circles as Arovane. Over the next year and a half, the two kindred spirits developed a musical language of their own that has taken form this summer in the release of Aeon on the enigmatic Eilean Rec. imprint. In his London studio, Lazarev would record minimal piano pieces, often late at night, sometimes with the windows open, seeking to capture every sound resonating from the instrument. Zahn then delicately deconstructed these recordings, extracting not only the notes themselves but even the brush of fingers across the keys, the fall of the hammers, or the ‘breathing’ of the strings thus turning them into morphological units for the formulation of new means of expression,
“We both aspired to delve into this instrument and play with all of the sounds living within, as heard from the inside. Many ideas would come from Uwe in the form of a sketch, an aural vocabulary, or a sonic brochure, which I would interpret through a pair of closely placed microphones. There are even fewer melodies and even more spacial pianism on here than in my previous solo reductionist works, which Uwe so masterfully extracted with his experienced ear. In this incredible partnership, we have discovered a new dimension within the piano…” – Mike Lazarev
The results are mesmerizing to say the least. In some cases, Lazarev’s elegant classical melodies remain largely intact while in others they are transformed into intricately textured soundscapes haunted by a melancholic subtext. A prime example of this is “Unendlich, Endlich” [Infinitely, Finally] which is presented here in a special premiere with insights offered by Lazarev as to what the track is all about. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the unique sonic world that is Aeon.
“During our private conversation through music, Uwe and I explored the most mysterious of mediums, dimensions and philosophies – that of “time”. Time is what allows sound to exist, by carrying the pressure levels through its mythic axis. Timelessness is unbeknown to man, and concepts like “forever” and “eternity” are captured in a Latin word of “aeon”. The German word “unendlich” describes the notion of infinity on which philosophers have puzzled over “ages”. And as “finality” is easier to grasp, since all things come onto an end, we’re left with “endlich” of ourselves and of our music. Uwe and I sincerely hope that you connect with our studies and deconstructions thereof, inasmuch as you simply enjoy the beautiful music that we wanted to share, beyond all theories… beyond all thought… beyond all time…” – Mike Lazarev
Aeon is available on CD & digital and features artwork by Peter Nejedly. While copies have sold out directly from the label, some may still be found via Stashed Goods (more info on the Bandcamp page linked directly below).