Grand Blue


For those of you familiar with the collaboration between AtomTM and Pink Elln (aka Tobias Freund) and the series of releases they have put out during the last 20 years, Grand Blue may come something of a surprise. Be assured though, that nothing has changed. Grand Blue, like all the other works of AtomTM and Pink Elln, has "the unexpected improvisation" as the invisible working title. This time, instead of drum machines and sequencers on a stage of a club, both artists by sheer coincidence found themselves confronted and intrigued by a completely different set of instruments: two pianos (a midi- and an acoustic one) that were standing in a tiny lobby of a hotel in Niigata, Japan (the "Grand Blue Hotel"). Without any musical pre-concept, yes, without even the intention to "produce" or to "record" something or to have any use for what was going to happen, the musicians simply started to improvise while sipping on some delicious sake... a small flash recorder was sitting on a chair... recording. It should be mentioned, that both musicians sat "back to back" and had not even with one word spoken about what they were about to do. One note led to another and yet another note until they found themselves in a session of improvisation that lasted for a couple of hours. Since the lobby of a hotel is a public place, plenty of people walked through the recording session. Some just sat down and listened, others, unaware of the recording process, started to talk to the musicians while others just walked through. The beauty of Grand Blue may lay in the total lack of intention, musical concept and, related to that, stereotypes. In other words, Grand Blue is a truly naïve, spontaneous and direct recording. It was neither driven by fulfilling a musical plan, a marketing concept, nor by the egos of two artists firing at each other with the sophisticated knowledge of complex chord progressions. In fact, the lack of all that, and the resulting passages of fragile, drifting musical code make Grand Blue such a unique and emotional piece of work.