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Roedelius & Story's 4 Hands is out now

25.2  2022


Today marks the release of 4 Hands, an intimate and surreal musical conversation on the piano from German sound pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius and American composer Tim Story.

Recorded sequentially but on one and the same grand piano, Roedelius laid down a few impromptu piano études in May 2019 whilst visiting his transatlantic friend Story. Tim then learned all their intricate phrasings to add his own parts in the following months.

"Together we shaped the basic compositions, sometimes carefully preparing the piano with various materials (including my own hands), and Achim’s performances were committed to tape. I continued to compose and refine my parts in the following months. Because it was all recorded on the same piano, the result has a very appealing consistency of sound, ​​and hopefully blurs our individual contributions into a single integrated voice,” Story explains.

4 Hands encapsulates rippling minimalistic patterns and delicate, ghostly interactions with surprising harmonic twists. Roedelius’ intuitive and instinctive approach based in improvisation, paired hand in hand with Story’s deliberate distilling of ideas over time, creates two sides of an engaging and thought-provoking conversation that seems to evolve and deepen with each successive listen.

"4 Hands is not just a new album — the logical continuation of the long-standing friendship between two composers. It’s our tribute to awareness and listening, coaxing a new sound language from the endless possibilities of a single piano played by our four hands. For me, these pieces express a different kind of beauty, they evoke more than the sum of their parts, they are a wordless dialogue, a bridge across the great water that separates our cultures from one another. Allons enfants des deux patrie, haha!” adds Roedelius.

Weaving together forty years of friendship, these eleven pieces convey restraint and empathy, and a way of communicating beyond words. From the immediacy of album opener Nurzu, derived from the German invitation and encouragement to “go ahead and do it!”, to the closing piece Ba, Japanese for ‘a place’, the song titles offer only a hint of possible associations, highlighting instead the duo’s sense of humor and lightheartedness, and the music’s playful ambiguity.

· order 4 Hands on LP · CD · DL
· stream the album

“An unusual collaboration… it’s 4 Hands’ intimacy that’s most compelling… a celebration of friendship” 7.0 — Pitchfork

“A minimalist marvel” 8/10 — Uncut

“4 Hands is a beguiling and heart-warming experience” 8/10 — Future Music