The name Field Kitwill sound familiar to anyone who knows anything about electroacoustic sounds and experimentation. It is the name of a workstation: a technical multi-instrument which receives radio signals and alternating voltages with which all kinds of noises and signals can be produced, outputted and controlled. A beautiful name for an instrument, at once abstract and pragmatic, it’s also a perfect name for the musical collective of Hannah von Hübbenet.

For Field Kit’s self-titled debut album on Nonostar Records, Hübbenet is working with the composer, pianist and producer John Gürtler. Their approach is fluid, playful, experimental and yet unpretentious. Classically trained – both studied at the Universität der Künste Berlin – both have a curiosity that goes beyond the classical. Increasingly uninterested by the narrow structures of classical music, both went on to study film composition at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. There, they became friends and collaborators – quickly discovering a shared love of sonic manipulation instead of musical formalism; a shared drive to disturb, confuse and alienate both tone and emotion. Both are now successful and award-winning film composers.

Field Kitexperiments using guidelines and restrictions to give a framework in which anything and everything can happen: from generating vibrations within the piano to playing tubas backwards or building robotic drummers. Improvisations on particular themes, sounds, references or restrictions, creating unexpected harmonies of object and idea.

Now signed to innovative independent label Nonostar Records, Field Kit’s debut album is due out in 2021. 

DOWNWARD RISING — FIELD KIT — NONOSTAR RECORDS

Field Kit – the musical collective centred on the violinist and composer Hannah von Hübbenet– continue a journey through musical distinctions and distinctiveness with Downward Rising. While Hübbenet’s award-winning film scores might have laid the foundation for her sound, Field Kit brings the music to the forefront – showcasing a unique and dynamic compositional voice that has its own conceptual grounding; no longer an underscore, but rather a fully realised listening experience.

That’s not to say that the cinematic has no place in Downward Rising; it’s a piece that invites a narrative interpretation. Its interchange of warm acoustic and cold mechanical sound is at times blended and at others contrasting; earthy, melancholic strings are framed by shimmering harmonics, giving way to thick synthesiser glissandi reminiscent of an air raid siren. The combination of retro and futuristic brings to mind the films of Tarkovsky or Fritz Lang – an image of the future that’s itself rooted in the past, a cyber-noir soundtrack to our own dystopian moment. It may draw comparisons to Oneohtrix Point Never and Mica Levi, but it also represents the forming of Field Kit’s own individual voice.

The video to Downward Risingtakes the combination of retro and futuristic further. Phantasmic stock footage appears and disappears, overlaid with cryptic images in contrasting visual qualities. The flickering film style is at times reminiscent of Jonas Mekas – albeit with a more apocalyptic sensibility – and the overall effect is perhaps closer to the collaborations of Philip Glass and Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi trilogy: imagistic silent film, driven by an imposing minimalist score.

Field Kitexperiments using guidelines and restrictions to give a framework in which anything and everything can happen: from generating vibrations within the piano to playing tubas backwards or building robotic drummers. Improvisations on particular themes, sounds, references or restrictions, creating unexpected harmonies of object and idea.

Now signed to innovative independent label Nonostar Records, Field Kit’s debut album is due out in 2021. 

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