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Penumbra brings together two close collaborators – keyboards player Elias Stemeseder and drummer Christian Lillinger, who offer a radical, experimental variation of the jazz keyboards and drums format. Stemeseder and Lillinger attempt to blend contemporary compositional strategies and production processes, acoustic and electronic ones, in the studio as well as in concert. Their new sonic synthesis recontextualizes a baroque motif, through electrically amplified harpsichord and percussion, and forges a radically modern sonic idiom that is free of templates yet rich in references.

Act like a producer duo who plan to expand their duo work with guest musicians in upcoming releases. Penumbra was recorded at Bewake Studios in Berlin in February 2021. Stemeseder and Lillinger wanted to reframe their dense and multilayered, restless and hyperactive tonal images with diverse perspectives and complex composition models, so the music would gain plasticity, depth of focus and polyphony.

Without the cerebral introduction of Stemeseder and Lillinger the re-appropriation of baroque basso continuo is barely recognizable through the urgent and nervous collisions of distorted keyboard sounds and broken rhythmic patterns. This futurist experiment references electronic dance music mixed with free, sound-based improvisations, and as its title and cover art suggest illuminates possible sonic territories, still waiting for some light that would clear the nervous chaotic sounds.

Eyal Hareuveni

Elias Stemeseder (spinett, synth, elec); Christian Lillinger (dr, sampler, synth)

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