Chris Gall, born in 1975, studied at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, which has brought forth jazz and pop legends like Branford Marsalis, Melissa Etheridge, Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell and many more.
All alone he sat by his grand piano and sometimes also by an almost antique artefact, a piano that had clearly seen better days, “where everything rattled and nothing was perfect.” The background noise is dominant, but that’s why I wanted it I wanted to let the sound character work. ” Chris Gall smiles. And also because the title of his new album “Room Of Silence” fulfills his promise: It invites the listener to a trip into the night, and at any time of day.
You sit there and listen and close your eyes, because someone has turned on the clock, it now seems slower. As if someone translated the concept of Slow Food into music. The interpreter is Chris Gall, his audiophile guest gradually becomes a listener and finally the director of his own mental cinema. Although this was already the case with his trio works, “but if I play alone,” Gall says, “there is still a bit more space for the listener’s imagination.” And they’ll be presented by Gall with the very same” Room Of Silence “. a place for quiet and peaceful lingering, perhaps even the contemplation that he wants to show his listeners Wondering from where the South German collects the humus of his wordless soundtracks. What inspired him to get a title called “The Puppeteer”? Gall does not have to think twice, “that’s a character from the movie ‘Being John Malkovich’.” John Cusack plays the puppeteer as a frustrated melancholic artist, “this desperate character inspired me, and most of the pieces have such a background.” In turn, “Another Love Song” was inspired by his Armenian colleague Tigran Hamasyan. In addition to Gall’s own compositions, recorded on a wonderful Steinway grand piano, there are also four cover versions on the album, all recorded on said old piano.
In “It Never Entered My Mind” the pianist refers to “the famous Miles Davis quintet version of ‘Working’ from the year 1956.” My right hand almost plays the exact Miles Davis voice transcribed by me, while my left hand is based on Radiohead’s ‘Daydreaming’ from 2016. An object of fascination. Alongside Antonio Carlos Jobim’s rarely played” Estrada Branca “, the record also features John Lennon’s “Julia”. Here he tried to follow the old guitar sounds,” which have something very archaic. The quartet of cover songs is completed by one of Oscar Peterson’s few original compositions. “Hymn To Freedom,” says Chris Gall,” was declared by Martin Luther King to be the thematic theme song of his Civil Rights Movement,” and that was his second, stated goal for the record, to be able to create a “Room of Silence” at the Brandenburg Gate in the midst of the Berlin metropolitan area: “The room of silence should be a permanent calling for brotherhood and tolerance among people, between nationalities and worldviews, a constant reminder against violence and xenophobia – a small step towards peace.”
Chris Gall’s second solo album has taken him back to a slightly different production process, following his release of the trio album “Cosmic-Playground” in early 2018. “Of course, it’s structured differently because I do not have to give anyone the sheet music at an agreed time and tell them exactly when we rehearse and record.” He was more flexible and could still work on his compositions and arrangements until the last second. On the other hand, he says, “There is no inspiration by any accompaniment, I have to rely on myself, so I am, in a sense, at the mercy of myself.” Even more so than in the studio, this is true on stage, says Chris Gall, “solo I can only survive up there if I am at peace with myself. If that is so, I am very quickly totally absorbed in the music, and my audience then feels that immediately. ”
Then Chris Gall tells an anecdote, as wonderful as the films that come to mind his music. He was traveling in Brazil with a bigger band, “a Brazilian was supposed to play all alone after us, and I wondered how he wanted to survive. But he put us right: he played us into the ground, not because he wasn’t with a band, but because he stood there alone. I wanted to experience that too! ” And just as in this example, something small and quiet can have a great effect, a grand piano can not only be strong and dominant, but can also come along very soft, delicate and mysterious – and so unfold its full magic. Soft tones modulate to new sounds, fantasies find their place to breathe. A variety of new impressions, which are often lost in the noisy and fast-paced background noise of everyday life. Maybe that’s why a “room of silence” is simply a place where you want to be able to retire yourself at any time. No matter where you are right now, no matter what happens around you.And maybe this album can help finding this room and opening the door to the “Room of Silence”.
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