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Table Pounding Records

Breath & Hammer

by David Krakauer & Kathleen Tagg

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A compact disc of Krakauer & Tagg's new album, "Breath & Hammer".
    It comes with a 6-page Digipak with covert art by Martin Shamanpoor, album design by Graphic Therapy, Photography by Tasja Keetman and artist notes by David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg.

    PLEASE NOTE: Shipping to territories outside the United States is very expensive. We strongly encourage you to purchase the record from a local distributor or as a digital copy; however, if it is the best option for you, you are welcome to purchase a physical copy here and we will do our best to get it to you expediently. Thank you so much for your support.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Breath & Hammer via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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For this album, we created the raw material by recording thousands of our own clarinet and piano sounds. We then wove together extended techniques and our completely untreated samples to create a large scale quasi-orchestral tapestry. No other instruments or samples are used, and many of the pieces are made up of 40 or more layers of prepared “piano orchestra” and clarinet. Fundamentally Breath & Hammer is about connections between people and a celebration of identity through music. The album is a mix of our own compositions along with our arrangements of song-form pieces gifted to us by our brilliant friends and collaborators from totally different backgrounds, genres and musical points of view: New York saxophone maverick John Zorn, Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh, Cuban percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, accordionist and forró specialist Rob Curto, and traditional master of Moldavian music Emil Kroitor. Our journey is global yet somehow very personally connected to the two of us; with our own pieces that reflect on cultural heritage, Curto’s Brazilian forró tune which we cast over a “drum circle” (all made of piano samples) inspired by Nigerian traditional musicians, a danzón from Rodriguez’s collection of imaginary Cuban Jewish music, Azmeh’s haunting evocation of the feeling of home and belonging, two pieces from Zorn’s magnum opus: “The Book of Angels” and Kroitor’s poignant ode to his homeland.
We invite you to join us on this voyage that we call Breath & Hammer: The Ties That Bind Us.
-DAVID KRAKAUER & KATHLEENTAGG, New York City, Winter 2020


released May 8, 2020

DAVID KRAKAUER, Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
KATHLEEN TAGG, Piano & 'Piano Orchestra'

Executive Producers: David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg
Producer: Kathleen Tagg with David Krakauer

Recording: Marc Urselli, East Side Sound, NYC
Recording & Editing of Samples: Jay Eigenmann

Editing: Kathleen Tagg
Editing & Track Preparation: David Merrill, DM Music, Brooklyn, NY
Technical Assistance: Jay Eigenmann, David Merrill and Doug Epstein

Mixing: Marc Urselli, East Side Sound, NYC
Mastering: David Glasser, Airshow Mastering, Boulder, CO

Cover Art: Martin Shamoonpour
Booklet Design: GraphicTherapy
Photography: Tasja Keetman

Project developed at Yellow Barn (Putney, Vermont); FERUS Festival at National Sawdust (Brooklyn, New York) and the Pierre Boulez Saal (Berlin, Germany)

Special Thanks:
Kinan Azmeh, John Zorn, Rob Curto, Emil Kroitor, Roberto Rodriguez, Jesse Gilbert, Lisa Dean (Table Pounding), Seth Knopp and Catherine Stephan (Yellow Barn), Paola Prestini (VIA/National Sawdust), Kirsten Dawes and the team at Pierre Boulez Saal, Maïté Dhelin (LMD Productions), Jakob Flarer and the Saudades Tourneen team, Charles Chaboche (AEP Live), David Merrill, the Tagg family (Fay, George, Justine, Julian, Jo, David, Elinor, Isla, Bob, Emily, Luke, Tashi, Matthew, Terra, Naomi, Matthias, Gabba, Mickal, Noemi, James and Laura), the Krakauer family (Bill, Lisa, Steve, Matthew, Alicia, Liam, Dory and Lauren)


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David Krakauer & Kathleen Tagg New York, New York

David Krakauer & Kathleen Tagg took 5 years to make their new release Breath & Hammer. David's been called "An ebullient clarinet wizard" by Time Out, and Kathleen's been called a mad scientist by her family. They play in major concert halls & festivals around the world as well as their living room. Nowadays mainly their living room. The album has over 40 tracks of prepared piano & clarinet. ... more


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