ULKOMAALAISET (WITH EDWARD KA-SPEL)
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US CD Beta-lactam Ring Records mt147
18 April 2013
NL MP3 self-released on Bandcamp
- Part One
- Part Two
- Martin Heuser- Piano
- Alena Boykova- drums, percussion, electronics
- Edward Ka-Spel- keyboards, electronics, small indescribable objects
Recorded in Karis, Finland, Spring 2007. Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies. Packaged in gatefold cardboard cover with hand-numbered insert.
It’s Easter in the small Finnish town of Karis. There’s the delightful, but seasonally empty Larkulla College and a Brazilian (Martin Heuser) ,an Englishman (Edward Ka-Spel) and a Russian (Alena Boykova) all trying to find something worthwhile to do on this auspicious occasion.
It was Alena who suggested a session in the music room. She commanded the drum kit plus a plethora of percussion instruments, EK went for the electronics and classically trained Martin sat at the piano.
This album is a distillation of what came next- in fact the first 2 improvisations, captured by microphones in the room. Later Beta-Lactam Ring records released these sessions on 2 hyper-limited cds. No remastering here, they sound just fine to these ears…. Incidentally, Ulkomaalaiset is Finnish for “foreigners” -E K-S
(Electro-improv album with Edward Ka-Spel.) Ed. of 300 numbered copies. The second album “2” was issued early Feb. 2008. Ulkomaalaiset is a rather different kind of Gharbzadegi or Fremd. In this context it speaks to a disconnection to place rather than to people. Fitting a square peg into a round hole CAN, however, be a good thing. Edward Ka-Spel united with Alena Boikova and Martin Heuser in Finland to herald the coming of Spring and managed to paint several startling tone poems that reflect this sense of Ulkimaalaiset. The trio settings were improvised with an intimacy, conveying both the beauty and loneliness of exploring a strange, unpopulated place. Sometimes Heuser’s piano plays against Ka-Spel’s and Bikova’s electronics with the quiet subtlety and austere sweetness of a more musical John Cage/David Tudor collaboration. Occasionally the spirits (and maybe even the ghosts) of Aho and Sibelius are inadvertently conjured. This triumvirate is so well matched that they seem to create air above mountains. Two separate releases present with four very distinct pieces of loud, quiet, and loud. Cloudbursts of angelic rain bewitching the souls of the ever wandering Ulkomaalaiset.
Easter in rural Finland isn’t exactly the most exciting holiday. Everything is closed, the few people that are normally there seem to vanish and even the mosquitoes maintain a respectful distance. Martin Heuser somehow found himself in Karis (also known as Karjaa for, in Finland, most of the places have 2 names) with nothing to do. He had flown North from his birthplace in South Brazil to avoid military service and claim a spot at the delightful Lärkkulla College – but at Easter 2007 he very much felt like an outsider. The college was virtually empty. Likewise Edward Ka-Spel (an Englishman) and Alena Boikova (a Russian) found themselves at the same place at the same time, anxious to celebrate the coming of Spring but not quite sure how to do it. A casual conversation over a bottle of Chilean wine, procured BEFORE the shops closed, revealed that Martin played classical piano. Ka-Spel, a little excited by this news, declared that the three should make an album. In fact they made two. They will probably make another one at some time in the future. What else a poor foreign boy (or girl ) do in Finland? Ulkomaalaiset means “Foreigners” in Finnish. The name was decided upon in a truly democratic way as all found the word to be a beautiful one. The band would like to thank Stefan at Lärkkulla College for making this all possible, and Chris & Heather at BLRR for allowing the music to be heard by a wider public. -BLRR