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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Art of Duet


From Abbot & Costello to Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, Paolo Villaggio and Gianni Agus, to Julian Bream & John Williams, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, Benjamin Britten & Peter Pears... and again, Hans Reichel & Achim Knispel or EROC or Fred Frith, and Fred Frith and... Lol Coxhill, Tim Hodgkinson, Herny Kaiser, John Zorn, Iva Bittova... or Derek Bailey and Evan Parker or... or... and...

Musically, the dueting represents to my eyes and ears the simplest, yet evolute meeting of souls, minds, interests, wishes, dreams, aesthetics... whatever.

It's like an heavenly glue, an avatars meeting at some level, sure higher than everyday life.

It's sexless friendship in music, BUT when playing (or acting) together, it's MUCH more orgasm-like than average sex happening on the planet.

I well remember - humbly - the several musical meeting I had in my life as a guitar player: first notes are like dating... everyone studies the other...

Playing on a score or, better yet, improvising is, TRULY is, among the deepest, most involving experiences I ever had.

When listening to the classic "Bert & John" on Transatlantic, for example, you do not simply listen to two guitars, BUT to two young musicians who met, sharing a flat, their days, friendship, interests... and the interwoving of strings, the pauses, the music is much more than the sum of the parts...

It's "The Zen and the Art of Duet"... the above only an example, as all the above mentioned "couples" were able to reach that "magic".

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