Myra Melford and Tanya Kalmanovitch
Heart Mountain (2007 Perspicacity)
The disc’s 18 short, gemlike free improvisations include mysterious textural scrabbles and aggressive jousts, microtonal meditations and limpid, drone-based reveries. The most impressive quality of the set is the sheer selflessness with which two strong players merge into a common spirit. Steve Smith, Time Out New York
This is music about the spaces between us. It’s about the space where musicians meet, and a perfect moment in which all possibilities are suspended. It’s also about the spaces between musical genres, where music really lives.
With the exception of the final track, all of the music on this recording was freely improvised. We spoke little about what we would play, waiting instead to realize the moments to begin and to end. These moments, and the spaces between them, are the key to the importance this music holds for us.
We recorded this album in a recital hall in the Canadian Rockies, under the watch of a pair of imposing mountains. We named many of the tracks after places in Alberta, Canada where I spent much of my life before decamping to wilder parts still, and after places in the Himalayas where both Myra and I have traveled. Naming music after geography is a trace of my abiding fascination with maps, diagrams, schemas and other marks on paper, and the way that they reveal as much as they conceal. It’s also a way of representing the spaces each of us carries within us, and the different shapes they assume through time and travel.
For both of us, free improvisation is a process of discovery, and a practice of being open to all of the glorious, brutal, absurd and lovely things that life reveals. In documenting such moments on this record, and in creating them anew in performance, we invite people to share these spaces with us.