4 Hands, an intimate and surreal musical conversation on the piano from German sound pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius and American composer Tim Story, is an example of all the warm yet otherworldly beauty that can come from approaching a shared love for a singular instrument from overlapping directions.
Recorded sequentially but on one and the same grand piano, Roedelius laid down a few impromptu piano études in May 2019 whilst visiting his transatlantic friend Story. Tim then learned all their intricate phrasings to add his own parts in the following months.
"Together we shaped the basic compositions, sometimes carefully preparing the piano with various materials (including my own hands), and Achim’s performances were committed to tape. I continued to compose and refine my parts in the following months. Because it was all recorded on the same piano, the result has a very appealing consistency of sound, and hopefully blurs our individual contributions into a single integrated voice,” Story explains.
4 Hands encapsulates rippling minimalistic patterns and delicate, ghostly interactions with surprising harmonic twists. Roedelius’ intuitive and instinctive approach based in improvisation, paired hand in hand with Story’s deliberate distilling of ideas over time, creates two sides of an engaging and thought provoking conversation that seems to evolve and deepen with each successive listen.
"4 Hands is not just a new album — the logical continuation of the long-standing friendship between two composers. It’s our tribute to awareness and listening, coaxing a new sound language from the endless possibilities of a single piano played by our four hands. For me, these pieces express a different kind of beauty, they evoke more than the sum of their parts, they are a wordless dialogue, a bridge across the great water that separates our cultures from one another. Allons enfants des deux patrie, haha!” adds Roedelius.