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A Coffin Spray

by Judith Hamann

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Drawn from breath work with the cello on the occasion of a friend's coffin decoration, 'A Coffin Spray...' arrived that afternoon like a gift almost fully formed, moving through an intuitive uncovering of intervals in a responsive unfolding. Parallel long form materials here combine into almost a composite instrument at times, alternately merging and phasing. In thinking of a mentor's adage, "just one breath in front of the other," here bow, breath, and entangled bodies of instrument/performer set in motion a sort of reiterative grounding, a leaning into material solidity or transparency of tone, following a path carved out by the sonorities of the cello: its whirring, humming and spectra; momentum and flux; moving from a grounding, into the air.


My friend Jeff died on a winter blue moon in the midst of Germany’s winter lockdown.

Jeff was a freelance sound designer and artist, and like so many of us who choose this way of living (oh, the precariousness) had no financial buffering post departure. Friends are trying to raise funds to hold a proper memorial service and cover crematorium plot costs, and so as this gift from/to Jeff goes out into the world, all my bandcamp revenue will go towards this, so that we can finally gather together to send off and hold collective space for our dapper, hilarious, oh-so-dry-witted, james bond-like, plane flying, whisky (and all things good really) connoisseur, brilliant brained, generous, and much missed, trench friend.


Composed and recorded by Judith Hamann in Berlin, 2021.
Additional mix and mastering by, and with deep thanks to, Alan F. Jones, Laminal Audio, Tracyton, WA.


Judith Hamann is a performer/composer/artist from Naarm/Birraranga (Melbourne), Australia. “Long been recognised as one of ‘Australia’s’ foremost contemporary-music cellists” (RealTime Arts), Judith’s performance practice stretches across various genres encompassing elements of improvised, contemporary classical, experimental, and popular music. Currently their work is focused on an examination of expressions and manifestations of 'shaking’ in solo performance practice, a collection of new works for cello and humming, and ongoing research surrounding ‘collapse’ and the ‘de-mastering’ of instrumental practice.

Judith likes working with and thinking-with other artists which sometimes includes people like Marja Ahti, Oren Ambarchi, Anthea Caddy, Charles Curtis, Golden Fur, the Harmonic Space Orchestra, Sarah Hennies, Eiko Ishibashi, Yvette Janine Jackson, Alvin Lucier, Éliane Radigue and La Monte Young. In the past, they mostly focused on performing as a process/practice, which took place in many contexts and locations. This included things like Tectonics, Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), Maerzmusik (Berlin), The Los Angeles Philharmonic Fluxus Festival (LA), Tokyo Experimental Festival (Tokyo), AURAL (Mexico City), SiDance Festival (Seoul), No Idea Festival (Austin), and Dark Mofo (Hobart).

Judith’s work has previously been published by labels including Blank Forms, Black Truffle, Another Timbre, Longform Editions, Marginal Frequency and caduc.


released July 23, 2021

design: Joe Gilmore


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