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German, Essen-based vocal artist Hanna Schörken combines a wild, sensitive, fierce and word-related approach toward vocal, free improvisation. Fellow German, Cologne-based cellist Emily Wittbrodt shares the same focus on experimental, free improvised work. The debut album of the Schörken-Wittbrodt duo was recorded at Fattoria Music in Osnabrück in May 2021, after two years that Schörken and Wittbrodt have been playing together.

The duo describes its music as «created at the intersection of free improvisation, folk, jazz and poetry» and inspired by such role models as Jeanne Lee, Björk, and poet E.E. Cummings as well as the duo’s own texts. Sea-less offers nine short, free-associative pieces that swing between almost intense crashes and more quiet and contemplative moods. Schörken and Wittbrodt enjoy the journey of exploring sounds and entangling languages, with their very own extended breathing and bowing techniques. Often, Schörken and Wittbrodt keep picking, deconstructing, and discarding ideas with no attachment like a twin of mischievous pixies.

Schörken sounds more extroverted than the reserved and minimalist Wittbrodt. Still, their interplay is immediate, urgent and organic, and both work as a two-headed, poetic sonic entity, close to each other and at times independent of each other. Text-based pieces like «beyond», «without sand» and «yes» are more structured and chamber in spirit than the free-associative, dreamy and more open pieces.

Eyal Hareuveni

Hanna Schörken (v), Emily Wittbrodt (c)

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