Tuesday, March 17, 2009

whitetree in cloudland

a very long time ago i rode subway trains and buses to get to and from work. on the rides to and from work i read books; lots and lots of books. among those books were two by the great nigerian writer amos tutuola entitled "my life in the bush of ghosts" (which inspired david byrne and brian eno to produce their iconic album of the same name) and the other entitled "the palm-wine drinkard". the "palm-wine drinkard" tells the story of a man who follows a palm wine tapster into the land of the dead or "deads' town." there he enters a world of magic, ghosts, demons, and other supernatural beings. sort of like leaving your conscious mind and spending a week in your unconscious. hmmmmmm. tempting!

among the many characters and settings you meet in the palm wine drinkard is one called "the white tree". inside the white tree it is a sort of paradise.

whitetree is now the name of a trio of musicians who have brought together decidely disparate styles and musical perceptions into one organic, fluid whole. inside whitetree are musicians ludovico einaudi using piano, robert lippok using electronics and ronald lippok using drums. einaudi has a largish following but somehow escaped the eagle eyes of the golden fish research team. here's a sample of his solo playing. sounds an awful lot like philip glass to me . . . which is alright.

robert lippok has a myspace page you might like to visit. his music has a fairly rough, glitchy but danceable sound and feel to it although if you scout down the playlist you'll come across a lovely piece credited to "martini lippok" (a.k.a. beatrice martini)from an english concert that is very lovely and really worth a listen.

ronald lippok has associations with "tarwater" whose music can be heard here and here.

here's a snippet out of a review by thaddeus hermann of de: bug magazine:

"it all started in 2006, when einaudi approached the lippoks to do an italian tour together. a week of rehearsals was all they built their set on. "it was a dedicated club tour", ronald lippok remembers, "small venues, sometimes it was almost impossible to get the piano onto the stage." the trio connected well while on the road and decided to record some of the material in the studio. planet roc in berlin was chosen, a place which has "history" written all over it. the former broadcasting centre of east german radio has a reputation for perfect acoustics and all kinds of special you need for anything from recording an orchestra to making a radio play as realistic sounding possible. "we played as a band. always live, always in one room", says robert lippok. the mixture of quiet and loud, the always shifting level of energy is intriguing indeed. the shocking thruth: there isn't a single piece on the album which distinctivly identifies one member of the group as the composer. the joint effort is, among other things, what makes ”cloudland" such a unique recording.
(thaddeus herrmann / de:bug magazine)

here are whitetree gathered 'round the piano.

here's a live version of "kyril" which also appears on "cloudland":

you want to hear more? visiting their myspace site you are immediately treated to a beautiful piece of music entitled "mercury sands" from their new release "cloudland" followed by two more selections.

still not heard enough? then nip over to itunes where their album has been up since march 13th.

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