Carl Rosman / Evan Johnson: indolentiae ars

Carl Rosman / Evan Johnson: indolentiae ars

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Huddersfield Contemporary Records
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Release date: 24 November 2023

“The space of indolentiae ars,” Evan Johnson advises the performer, “is the air directly in front of the performer’s body; it is not a space shared with the audience.” It is at once an intimate and personal space, a space unknowable to a listener, except through the act of recording. indolentiae ars communicates this space to the listener, and in so doing showcases Evan Johnson’s mastery of musical density, sparsity, and fragility.

Comprised of works composed over a seventeen year duration, indolentiae ars illustrates Johnson’s diverse range of approaches to composing for solo voice and clarinet. The title track pushes musical fragmentation to extremes. Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, January 9, 1894 addresses musical brevity and the resulting explosion of sound only possible when compressing musical moments. Ground deconstructs and wears down the outline of Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler’s love song Stormy Weather (1939), treating it as source material to be folded and reshaped into Johnson’s highly inventive structures. Each track on this record adopts a similarly singular focus, resulting in a record that
unwinds before the listener in inventive and intricate excesses.

indolentiae ars sees the return of Carl Rosman to Huddersfield Contemporary Records. Rosman was the solo artist at the centre of Caerulean, released in 2016, and seven years on, Rosman’s dedication to his craft finds a new expression here in his focus on the work of a single composer. Rosman’s performance draws out the exquisite instrumental possibilities implied by Johnson’s complex notation through the slowly bending pitches and strained harmonics that come forth as his lungs empty. It is a performance that is as much about sound as it is about gesture and musical motion, a testament to Rosman’s sensitivity to the demands of new music that has made him such a highly regarded international performer.

AUDIO

REVIEWS

"Rosman's playing and vocalisation throughout is improbably articulate and oddly compelling." The Wire

RECORDING CREDITS

Carl Rosman: clarinets and voice

Recorded on 10 March (tracks 1 & 6), 13 March (tracks 3, 4, & 7), 15 March (tracks 2, 5, & 8), and 24 March (track 9) 2023 at Studio des Ensemble Musikfabrik in Cologne.

Recording producer and mastering: Stephan Schmidt
Production assistance: Evan Johnson

Release date: 24 November 2023
Catalogue no: HCR31