Three members of the Nakama musicians collective-group-label were invited on February 2017 to visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to perform their music and collaborate with local musicians. This journey produced its first document – a free-associative, free-improvised, sometimes a nonsensical conversation, other times a quite coherent talk of like-minded, attentive improvisers, Malaysian nylon guitar player Goh Lee Kwang and Nakama founder and leader, double bass player Christian Meaas Svendsen.
«Gibberish, balderdash and drivel» was recorded in an independent art gallery close to Kuala Lumpur with a handheld device. It was the first time that Kwang – described as an improviser whose main instrument is his own imagination – and Svendsen met each other. But despite the different backgrounds, mindsets or musical vocabularies and references the music flowed, blissfully ignorant of such mundane details.
The three improvisations capture the busy, immediate sonic conversations of Kwang and Svendsen. «Gibberish» is a very talkative one, «Balderdash» is more reflective and «Drivel» is the best realized one, with its reserved, poetic spirit. All these conversations flow and keep bursting with ideas, insightful observations, colorful associations and clever comments. Kwang and Svendsen don’t dwell or linger on any idea, just keep moving to the next thing, and then to the next one, with no attempt to sketch a coherent narrative, explore deeper patterns or develop sophisticated structures. Both focus on the basic act of playing and reacting. Still, even such a basic act cements a unique bond between such resourceful and imaginative improvisers, rich with details, nuances and colors.
The CD and vinyl releases of «Gibberish, balderdash and drivel» come with a custom-made pencil which can be used by the listener to draw his own artwork on the blank, white cover.
After all, the act of listening can be be a very active one, even a physical act that involves all our senses.
Goh Lee Kwang (g), Christian Meaas Svendsen (b)