‘How to breathe like a stone’ is the third release from the ongoing collaboration between Dutch, ambient and experimental guitarist Anne Chris Bakker and British, minimal pianist Andrew Heath. Their work charts a slow moving, lower case journey inspired by place and process. Combining tonal washes and textural recordings, punctuated by pointillist piano and guitar notes to produce music that creates an ephemeral, dreamlike state.
Previous releases have been on Chihei Hatakeyama’s small Japanese label, White Paddy Mountain (Lichtzin) and the English, tape cassette label, Rusted Tone Recordings (A Gift for the Ephemerist).
Having been aware of each other’s music, Chris and Andrew finally met when Andrew invited Chris to play in the UK’s Resound festival several years ago. This cemented a friendship and mutual admiration of each other’s music. Various visits to both The Netherlands and the UK offered opportunities to record and improvise together before a file exchanging process followed, allowing their work to be edited and further refined.
Both artists are experienced performers and collaborators, with Andrew having played at Iceland’s Extreme Chill festival and working with Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Toby Marks; Chris Has performed with the trio Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra, touring Europe and Japan.
How To Breathe Like A Stone utilises Chris’s mainstay, the guitar, often processed with a huge 20 second delay and placed alongside Andrew’s piano and electronic sounds. Two different church pianos were used for their natural tones, one recorded in Noordlaren and the other in the village of Sheepscombe. Additional textures derived from field recordings and reel to reel tape machines, providing a layer of subtle detail to complete the aesthetic. One of the more unusual recordings on the album was made at the Kröller Müller museum in The Netherlands in the large sculpture room. The sun outside was causing the building to emit various quiet creaks and clicks, amplified by the acoustics of the space. It was as if the weather had its own improvised response to the collaboration, creating further notable moments that became woven into this story of chance.
This album does not have a mapped out concept, more that it uses the artist’s evident love of process and improvisation as a springboard into their sound world. It is hoped that the listener will pause to absorb this environment, both contemplating and losing track of time.
released March 20, 2021
Written and produced by Andrew Heath and Anne Chris Bakker
Acoustic and Electric Pianos, Electronics, Treatments and Field Recordings by Andrew Heath
Guitars, Electronics, Tape Manipulation and Field Recordings by Anne Chris Bakker
Artwork by Andrew Heath
Cover Photography by Renske Zijlstra