Marilyn Crispell/David Rothenberg One Dark Night I Left My Silent House



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“One Dark Night I Left My Silent House” (title borrowed from Peter Handke’s novel “In einer dunklen Nacht ging ich aus meinem stillen Haus”) is a duo recording given to quiet dialogue and sensitive creation of new music. It is improvising unafraid to stray outside the borders of ‘jazz’.

Crispell and clarinettist David Rothenberg have played concerts together (initially in trio with multi-instrumentalist Richard Nunns) since 2004, but the sound of Marilyn’s playing had been in Rothenberg’s mind much longer. Their first encounter had been distinctly unorthodox.

Rothenberg: “I first met Marilyn Crispell while I was asleep. Under a piano. It was at Karl Berger’s Creative Music Studio sometime in the early eighties. I woke up in the morning under the piano and heard this amazing music right over my head, and I sat silently and let the pianist go on. All I could see were her bare feet on the pedals. After a while she got up and walked away, and I saw her long flowing brown hair as she disappeared in silence...

I never forgot those sounds, the intensity, the fluidity like a rushing waterfall. Over the years I followed her music and always wanted to hear more...

“We talked about doing this recording for several years, but we didn’t plan it out. Marilyn really doesn’t like to practice, perhaps because improvisation is best when the first, sudden encounters are recorded.” The album was finally recorded in March 2008 in Nevassa Studio in Woodstock. “We didn’t much discuss what we would do at this point,” says Rothenberg. “I know that in general I’m always thinking about how to balance the lyrical and the free, how to come out of some tradition but try to sound like something never heard before. It’s an easy conceit yet nearly impossible to realize. Two artists associated with ECM whom I once studied with helped me in this regard: from Jimmy Giuffre I learned to never be satisfied with my tone, that it could always be more resonant, always better conditioned with a pillow of air. From Joe Maneri I learned to smile, to laugh while trying anything daring and strange.”