Vrtinci Minljivosti / Vortices of Impermanence

By Ana Kravanja & Elisabeth Harnik

Album: Vrtinci Minljivosti / Vortices of Impermanence


Creative Sources Recordings

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“Since last year, Slovenian violinist/violist/vocalist Ana Kravanja and pianist Elisabeth Harnik, based in Graz, Austria, have been playing together as a duo. Vrtinci Minljivosti (Vortices of Impermanence), recorded in October 2022 in Slovenia, is their debut album; although it documents their collaboration at a relatively early stage, it gives evidence of a chemistry that already feels well-developed.

Kravanja is an experimental artist with a broad range of interests; in addition to her work with Harnik both in duet and as a trio with the addition of Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka, plays in the folk-rooted, acoustic-improvised trio Širom. On Vortices of Impermanence her folk and traditional influences move to the background in favor of a highly contemporary sound crafted from extended string techniques and a late modern sensibility of tightly coiled emotional dynamics. Harnik, for her part, complements and amplifies this side of Kravanja’s playing by contributing a pianism informed by the more experimental currents of contemporary composition and free improvisation.

The album contains nine tracks jointly credited to both Kravanja and Harnik. The first track, Zavito v skrivnost (Veiled in Mystery) introduces the set with the skitterings of percussion and prepared piano played directly on the strings, eventually joined by pressure-bowed and pizzicato violin. This piece, with its blend of pitched and unpitched sounds, captures in microcosm much of what follows. Prebivalci z druge strani (Dwellers of the Other Side) opens with sparsely played piano notes and chords allowed to linger and fade before seguing into more assertive, repeated motifs layered over tapped and rattled metal percussion. The tentatively paced Sledi pušcavnika (Hermit Footsteps) features Kravanja’s violin heard from a variety of angles: through tremolo bowing, harmonics, and brittle overtones. The album culminates in Semena resnice (Seeds of Truth), a suspenseful, minimal soundscape of fragmentary piano and harshly elemental violin.” -Daniel Barbiero, percorsimusicali

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