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Discourses

Jon Balke

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Having worked with ECM Records over several decades, Jon Balke is the epitome of the versatile musician. For example, in 2009, the Norweigan pianist, who is now 65 years old, embarked on a new adventure with his album Siwan, an international collective that blurred the boundaries between world music, classical music and jazz. In his latest release, Discourses, Balke returns to his solo work mixing soundscapes made of compositions, improvisations and what we now call “sound design”. He continues the methodology employed on Warp, the deeply introspective album he released in 2016, and develops it further. As is often the case with his piano music the songs are layered with disparate textures that are often acoustic but are sometimes electronic. The flowing melodies are interrupted at times with subtle dissonances and even unexpected sounds. The concept for this 2020 vintage originates from one of Balke’s very own ideas. The Norweigan based his work on various observations about language, viewing the notions of discourse and dialogue as fading concepts in light of the surge of rhetoric characterised by confrontation and conflict. “In this work I had the framework of language with me from the very beginning”, he says. “As the political climate hardened in 2019 with more and more polarized speech, the lack of dialogue pointed me towards the terms that constitute the titles for the tracks”. That being said, you don’t need this discourse in mind to enjoy this vast array of piano figurations which are delightful as they are. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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Discourses

Jon Balke

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1
the self and the opposition
00:02:32

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
the facilitator
00:03:42

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
the container
00:03:11

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
the assumptions
00:01:50

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
the certainties
00:04:14

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

6
the suspension
00:02:16

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
the polarization
00:02:43

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
the second argument
00:02:15

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
the why
00:03:32

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
the deliberation
00:02:39

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
the first argument
00:02:09

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

12
the how
00:03:45

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

13
the mutuality
00:01:59

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

14
the first afterthought
00:01:50

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

15
the second afterthought
00:02:44

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

16
the third afterthought
00:02:13

Jon Balke, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Stefano Amerio, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lara Persia, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

Having worked with ECM Records over several decades, Jon Balke is the epitome of the versatile musician. For example, in 2009, the Norweigan pianist, who is now 65 years old, embarked on a new adventure with his album Siwan, an international collective that blurred the boundaries between world music, classical music and jazz. In his latest release, Discourses, Balke returns to his solo work mixing soundscapes made of compositions, improvisations and what we now call “sound design”. He continues the methodology employed on Warp, the deeply introspective album he released in 2016, and develops it further. As is often the case with his piano music the songs are layered with disparate textures that are often acoustic but are sometimes electronic. The flowing melodies are interrupted at times with subtle dissonances and even unexpected sounds. The concept for this 2020 vintage originates from one of Balke’s very own ideas. The Norweigan based his work on various observations about language, viewing the notions of discourse and dialogue as fading concepts in light of the surge of rhetoric characterised by confrontation and conflict. “In this work I had the framework of language with me from the very beginning”, he says. “As the political climate hardened in 2019 with more and more polarized speech, the lack of dialogue pointed me towards the terms that constitute the titles for the tracks”. That being said, you don’t need this discourse in mind to enjoy this vast array of piano figurations which are delightful as they are. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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