Saturday, January 4, 2020

Joanna Duda – Keen (2019)

Joanna Duda

Joanna Duda - piano, electronics



By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by Polish keyboardist / composer / electronic music artist Joanna Duda, this time recorded solo. It features a collage of sounds created using acoustic piano and prepared piano, electronically generated sounds and human voices. The album presents nine tracks, all played, composed and produced by Duda.

Although Duda can play "conventional" music, for example when she plays with Wojtek Mazolewski's ensemble, this album is dedicated to her more experimental / Avant-Garde side, which offers little melody based music and exposes the listener to her intimate inner world of sounds, which resembles imaginary soundtracks of Science Fiction movies or sound vistas by early electronic composers like Charles Ives or Edgar Varese and later Pierre Schaeffer or Pierre Henry. With just fragmented tones or short phrases, repeated by loops and other electronic devices, these collages are more about stimulating the listener's cerebral cortex than his heart, and for the Avant-Garde prone brave hearted listeners can be a marvelous experience.

Duda should be admired for her uncompromising and unconventional approach to music and her courage to pursue her heart rather than seeking easy solutions and mainstream recognition. This album is an example of her determination to follow the path less travelled, inviting open-minded listeners to share her world with them.

Personally I find this music fascinating and engaging, but obviously it is not destined to reach a wide circle of listeners, which is the price Avant-Garde Artists are ready to accept in return for their independence and personal fulfillment. Definitely highly recommended to people with wide horizons!

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