Nazo Zakkak
a pause by any other name

catalog #: ALP055

Produced, composed and performed by Nazo Zakkak.
Recorded and mixed by Nathan Hubbard. Mastered by Rafter Roberts and Nazo Zakkak.
Layout by Scott Friedlander. Photo by Eric Possell.

a pause by any other name is a wholly unique album both in the fields of piano music and ambient music. Influenced by the work of Morton Feldman and Harold Budd, a pause attempts to expand the definition of what we consider to be beautiful piano music. Rooted in the experimental tradition, this album, unlike some of the music written by the 50's-60's experimentalists, replaces indeterminism with human process.

a pause is written for 4 pianists. Each pianist, while depressing the sustain pedal, plays through a series of chords with the following instruction: one must only proceed to the next chord when s/he can no longer hear their current chord. With all 4 pianos working through this process, a constantly shifting yet stable sound-world emerges.

While the album in its entirety makes a coherent whole, each piece gradually reveals its identity which is formed in Nazo's meticulous harmonic construction and compositional manipulations. This music expands the ways in which we can listen to the piano. It is not the chords which comprise musical content, but rather the flutter of the overtones. a pause can be peaceful ambient music, but if listened to carefully, one will notice that the tension and intensity of the pauses becomes the essence of the music. In other words, the music is in the pauses.