Kalmanovitch Maneri Duo
"an exceptionally surreal and beautiful performance" - Ethan Iverson, Do The Math
Magic Mountain is a suite of nine improvised pieces for two violas. The album’s name is borrowed from Der Zauberberg, Thomas Mann’s 1924 novel about a young man whose three-week visit to a Swiss sanitarium mysteriously turns into seven years. Like Mann, Tanya Kalmanovitch and Mat Maneri are fascinated by the mystery of time and the ambiguity of memory and modern experience. Their music is rich with personal and musical histories, but the musical narrative isn’t straightforward: they play music the way they experience it, and not by how it’s categorized. As string players, they came of age in a time that often asked them to choose between the musical languages they loved. Now, their goal is to create music that allows multiple voices, styles and histories to be heard as one. Magic Mountain shows how—for them—Milton Babbitt is as essential as the Blues, and a Johnny Hodges tone can be played with a Morton Feldman touch.
Much of the Duo’s work blurs the lines around musical things. Tonality? From one note to the next, they might find six microtones to play. Self and other? It can be hard at times—even for them—to tell their voices apart. Time? At any moment, they might feel three meters at play. Sound and silence? Their music lives in both. With each performance, Kalmanovitch and Maneri create new chamber music that was never heard before and will never be heard again.
“Violist Mat Maneri has a sound all his own: with his mahogany tone and muscular low register, he slithers from note to note like a satiated snake.” — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
"Tanya Kalmanovitch is an exceptional musician.In soloing she thinks compositionally, with an expressive contrast between the astringent chromaticism of her lines and compositions and her warmly malleable tone." — Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times