I first met Chris Abrahams sometime in the early part of the 00s.
In 2003, I had the pleasure of spending a very late night glued to his sofa, lights diminished, being introduced to his solo work. That listening experience became known as Thrown, a record that to this day haunts me with its electronic timbral shifts and wheezing positive organ textures.
Since that release, Chris’s work has resided at the very heart of Room40. His music captured across his five solo editions is, I believe, both utterly personal and compellingly diverse. It is music that has been a source of respite, provocation and, most of all, inspiration for me (and many of you I am sure).
Over the years, I have gently encouraged Chris to consider making a solo piano recording to compliment the series of electro-acoustic works he has made for us. Appearance is the manifestation of this encouragement.
Appearance typifies a very particular approach to piano that Chris has cultivated across three decades. He creates a pairing of rippling cascades of tonality with a macro-minimalist compositional form that invites a sense of perpetual release. Notes cycle and gently coalesce to create weaving melodic patterns that accumulate into a slow unfolding of form, across time.
Chris Abrahams’ pieces, in many respects, defy an easy categorisation. He creates music that is unto itself, but profoundly open to the situations in which is it encountered. It’s this porous quality that makes his work so intoxicating. It is a music of moments, cycling in memory and accumulating across time in a way that is without compare. I can’t recommend Appearance to you strongly enough.
Chris Abrahams, Piano
Recorded by Phil Punch at electric avenue studios November 28, 2019