ERR12: Audrey Chen & Robert van Heumen: Abattoir.

ERR12: Audrey Chen & Robert van Heumen: Abattoir.
ERR12: Audrey Chen & Robert van Heumen: Abattoir.
Label: Evil Rabbit Records
Catalog Number: ERR12
Availability: Out Of Stock
Price: €14.50

Audrey Chen - voice & cello
Robert van Heumen - laptop & controllers

1    Bloodknot     13:12
2    Hone     11:27
3    Endless Summer 6:29
4    Ear to ear 8:28
5    Game 8:17
6    Feasting 12:50

Total playing time: 60:03
All music by audrey chen & robert van heumen
selected, mixed and mastered by robert van heumen

Tracks 1 & 2 recorded live at Steim's local stop concert on may 22 2008
tracks 3, 4 & 5 recorded at Steim on may 17 & 20 2008
track 6 recorded live at Steim's local stop concert on march 12 2009

Design: Lysander le Coultre (Strangelove creatives) 
Photography: Monique Besten

the middle child of the string family, the cello isn't heard from often enough in the improv world. those who do pick up the instrument in jazz and experimental musics—ron carter, tom cora, tristan honsinger, martin schutz and abdul wadud come to mind—only underscore the scarce beauty of its rich tone and broad range. but the unassuming violoncello does seem to be gaining in popularity in recent years and some younger players are joining the small legion of new music cellists. baltimore-based audrey chen is one of the most notable of the young cellists and abattoir, her duo with electronics manipulator robert von heumen, is a full round of beautiful playing and surprising turns. chen's dexterity as both an instrumentalist and a vocalist is fairly striking and with both voices she moves easily between the pretty and the ugly, not always in tandem. the acoustic strings and singing voice give a very human feeling to the cd, only to be undermined by van heuman's live processing. in his hands, chen's voice might start to develop an artificial sustain and within seconds be swirling like water down a drain. fragments of her cello playing seem to be preserved and regurgitated as blipping percussion. at other times, the electronic elements separate themselves fully away from the acoustic, giving the odd sensation of an unstable duet, sometimes merging into a complex solo and then dividing again into two. the guttural sounds both favor at times might prove difficult to some listeners, but the five tracks here are endlessly inventive.

kurt gottschalk, 15 may 2010,