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ARTIST
TITLE
Klavikon
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
NONCLSS 020CD NONCLSS 020CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
12/11/2015

Acclaimed composer-pianist Leon Michener aka Klavikon presents his debut album, a work that transforms the piano into a factory of haunting, percussive textures. Indebted to both the American experimental tradition of David Tudor and John Cage and the post-war European innovations of Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti, the album comprises a suite of brand-new, visceral compositions. Fourteen pieces recorded live at the piano with no overdubbing, sequencers, or other programmed electronics. Michener spent several years honing a disciplined piano technique to create the stunning multi-layered effect heard in the Klavikon project. All sounds are made by the amplified piano, which Michener prepared by adding various objects of stone, wood, plastic, and metal. Credit cards provide rasping sub-basses, washers hi-hats, and rubber wedges kicks. With the use of bolts, screws, and assorted electric toys, Michener reimagines "electronic" music without the use of conventional processes. While tracks such as "Oram Her Toye" and "Kontrapunkd" recall the delicate, fractured sound palette of Cage's work for prepared piano, "Croix" echoes the thick, modulating textures of Stockhausen works such as Kontakte and Mantra. From an early age, Leon Michener combined a focus on Western classical music with a deep attachment to club genres as they evolved through the 1990s and beyond, from acid house to minimal techno, with particular inspiration drawn from such artists as Autechre, Basic Channel, Jeff Mills, Source Direct, Photek, Bambaataa, Squarepusher, and Todd Edwards. It is this dual mindset that has informed his development of Klavikon, and which finds its explosive realization on this debut album. Michener studied classical piano and composition at Trinity College and the Royal Academy of Music. His recordings have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and he has performed at the Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Roundhouse (London), Kings Place (London), and more. Klavikon was mastered by Grammy Award-winner Mandy Parnell.