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Beam SplitterRough Tongue (vinyl LP)

Audrey Chen, Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø - Beam Splitter
Beam Splitter (Audrey Chen and Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø) is a duo for amplified voice and trombone. Its debut album is one part, a timbral collage of carefully extracted sound material and in another, a longer moment taken from an intimate room below the din.
All tracks are taken from three live concerts in 2016. Utilizing the pure sounds of acoustic and closely amplified trombone and voice, the record exemplifies the joining together of these two individual voices into a distinct dialog that delves beyond the borders of the corporeal elements of extended technique and sound.
There is an intimacy and conflict that becomes evident as the two personas intertwine, in moments joining together seamlessly and in the next, being left with the feeling of irrevocable fracture. The two manage between these extremes with a kind of improvised grace that reveals an effort towards a common goal. It is an honest metaphor for human relationship in process that even in the most serene moments can leave one raw and entirely exposed.
Since beginning their collaboration in 2015, Nørstebø and Chen have been extensively touring the globe, in Europe, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan and the USA. They have presented their music in a wide variety of spaces, taken part in larger commissioned works at the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires and largely conceptualized a theatrical adaptation of MEDEA in front of the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine (for butoh dancers and musicians) produced by the Ukho Agency. They have shared their collaborative projects with artists such as Phil Minton, Bob Ostertag, Michael Vorfeld, Thomas Rohrer, Valentin Tszin, Flavia Ghisalberti and Leonel Kaplan.
Audrey Chen is a 2nd generation Chinese/Taiwanese-American musician who was born into a family of material scientists, doctors and engineers, outside of Chicago in 1976. Parting ways with the family convention, she turned to the cello at age 8 and voice at 11. After years of classical and conservatory training in both instruments, with a resulting specialization in early and new music, she parted ways again in 2003 to begin new negotiations with sound in order to discover a more individually honest aesthetic.
Since then, using the cello, voice and occasional analog electronics, Chen's work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised, is completely un-processed and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of an analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language.
For nearly two decades, her predominant focus has been her solo work with the cello, voice and electronics, but she has more recently begun to shift back towards the exploration of the voice as a primary instrument. Aside from her solo concerts, Chen performs in duo with Phil Minton; as Hiss & Viscera with modular synth player Richard Scott; as Beam Splitter with trombonist Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø; as Mopcut with Lukas König and Julien Desprez; as trio in Sen Ryo No with modular synth players Tara Transitory and Nguyen Baly; in duo with electronic music artist Kaffe Matthews; as Afterburner for voice/live electronics/light with Doron Sadja; and as Voice/Process for voice/live digital process with Mexican sound artist Hugo Esquinca. Notable past collaborators include German conceptual artist John Bock and abstract turntablist Maria Chavez.
Her recordings have been released on labels such as Sub Rosa, Sound Anatomy, Corvo Records and Karl Records.
Chen has performed across Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Canada and the USA.
Since 2011, she relocated to Berlin, Germany from Baltimore, MD USA and continues to maintain an active international touring schedule.
Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø (born 1986 in Trondheim, Norway) is a musician and sound artist based in Berlin and Trondheim, focusing on trombone performance and a wide range of compositional and cross disciplinary projects. He chose the brass tubes already at the age of eight, and has done extensive research into both the boisterous and brassy side of the instrument, as well as its counterpoint in microscopic sound possibilities, utilizing de-selection as a central process. Nørstebø is closing in on his 15th year of extensive international touring and has released a number of records, spanning from solo to large groups. In addition to extensive solo work, which explores amplified trombone in combination with various noise generators, his collaborative projects include duos with Audrey Chen (Beam Splitter), Daniel Lercher and JD Zazie, large group Skadedyr, new music ensemble Aksiom and a myriad of collaborations with improvisers, visual artists, dancers, entities from around the world.
Mastering: Lasse Marhaug.
Graphic design: Wendelin Büchler.
Collage by Audrey Chen.
published in December 2017
in stock
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