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In addition to the unique musical proposals and the large body of work that they have developed separately, Amelia Cuni and Werner Durand have been performing together as a duo as well as in collaborations (Tonaliens, Born of Six) for more than 20 years. Fusing her Indian Raga singing in the Dhrupad style with his minimalist and experimental approach, they have expanded the reach of their soundworlds as well as proposed new paths for contemporary music.In this occasion, Uli Hohmann joins them in a range of hand drums from the Middle East and North Africa, plus a dulcimer-sounding hammered guitar. Durand's various self-made wind instruments, soprano sax, and blown kalimba shine along with Cuni's astounding vocals, which are sometimes sung through a mirliton (a medieval type of kazoo). Clearing is the trio's first published recording.
Seconds of Thirst, recorded in one session at Uli´s studio in Bavaria in early 2014, is truly a conjuring where distinctive balances come to gather. A deep drone unfolds patiently in a hypnotic manner, comprised by Werner's characteristic PVC clarinets, a hammered guitar played by Hohmann, and subtle electronic tones. Above all, Amelia's singing voice, filtered through the mirliton, drifts buzzing along the gradually shifting harmonic waves, meandering through serpentine melodic lines and microtonality.
In the middle pieces, vocals turn into an ethereal multi-layered chorus, an exotic and astonishing instrument pulsing delicate and vaporously, like a gliding silk sail without a mast to bind it. Misty ambiances linger on as the soft atmosphere disperses the weight of undelivered syllables. Just intonation aligns the pan-ney's winds with vocal navigation. Foe to scattering, hurry, and affectation, Clearing's pace has lifted a fog translucent enough to reveal treetops calmly appearing, efficiently condensing damp into definite drops that fall drumming, forecasting what's yonder.
With a condensing sound going from Buddhist morning chants down to Indian festive traditional music, the title track, which closes the album, is the most vibrant of all, permeating a bit of commotion through buzzing drones and galloping percussion. Without disorder, yet without measure. Clearing is therefore this shuttle into the distance, this space that weaves, unites, and tenses the different cords that we are made up of.
When the clouds advance silently, gray, until they become dark in a few minutes, it means that the monsoon is coming. It reaches us without apparent noise, but then resounds in its images, leaving behind lightness, freshness, clarity, and a tremendous luminosity that comes from so far away: from the Himalayas, from so ancient, from Sanskrit, from a sound where the darkness and the divine, where the concrete and the landscape, where the rock and the humidity leave a mark that brings together and ties a sky loaded with new clouds.