"Meridiana: Lines Toward A Non-Local Alchemy" is a project by the duo collaboration between the pianist and composer Søren Kjærgaard and the transdisciplinary artist and former professional tennis player Torben Ulrich. The published album, text and artwork marks the last part of an album trilogy that also includes "Suddenly, Sound" (2009) and "Alphabet, Peaceful, Diminished" (2010). The release was followed by a longer tour around Denmark in the autumn of 2014.
“Meridiana: Lines Toward A Non-local Alchemy” investigates the line as a sonic, textual and visual phenomenon. Taking off from four voices: the Dutch philosopher Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677), the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) and the Chinese Taoists Lü Yan (796 C.E.) and Sun Buer (1119–1182 C.E.), a multitude of meanings are interwoven in a rich network of musical, textual and graphic lines. The line as a basic concept is emphasized by the first word of the title, Meridiana (plural for meridian), which has terminological roots in both the East and the West. In Western terminology, it denotes one geographical line connecting the North and South Pole.
In the East, originating from ancient China, meridians (经络) are energy pathways of the body (both human and non-human), which connect internal organs and a number of vital points in a neurological-alchemical network.
The meeting between these two interpretations of "meridian", between the geo-physical and sub-physical, between East and West, are the cornerstones of the project, which intention is to weave together the various meanings of the term meridian, while at the same time unfolding an expanding an intersection of different lines both sonic, textual and graphic.
The compositional point of departure is a string quartet (4 voices) written by Søren Kjærgaard, partly where the line unfolds in a performative movement coordination between musician and instrument, and partly where the instrument itself is perceived as a topographic intersection of vertical (strings) and horizontal (arc) lines: longitude and latitude. The string quartet will appear unedited on the album, and in its places, the four voices will be displaced, deconstructed and reassembled in the interaction between T.U. and S.K. The string quartet will be recorded prior to the duo's meeting in San Francisco, at the end June 2014.
The second set of pre-recorded audio material will be a series of field recordings from relevant sites and
homes, for The second set of pre-recorded audio material will be a series of field recordings from relevant sites and homes, such as Lemvig, Hellerup, Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the ironing voices, the field recordings are also delocalized: in place, time, pitch and pulse. This sonic mix of lines and localities form both the basis and basis for the duo's studio recordings.
The four literary voices are as already mentioned: Spinoza, Deleuze, Lü Yan and Sun Bu'er. Starting from this quadrad, the text material is laid out in two interpretations:
- A series of poetic lines written by T.U., which also becomes the performative outlet. The texts are organized in columns that can be read vertically and horizontally, as an intersection of longitudes and latitudes. These lines are printed in the album booklet.
- An essay / linernotes written by T.U. and S.K. about the creation of the project and the many elements that play in. The essay is also printed in the album booklet and its topics was a framework for a series of lectures and masterclasses as part of the duo's release tour in Denmark in 2014.
The visual rendering of the work is created with remedies like ink, rope and tear, the artwork is made directly on the vinyl covers - on location so to speak. The covers are divided into four large squares of 12x12 LPs, each square representing a geographical area corner of the overall work which is localized when the LPs are separated and distributed into world. One given Lp thus becomes a unique movement: from seller to buyer, from listener to listener, from side A to side B, and the four square works will therefore always be in flux, in a continuous relocation from the starting point. Hence the title "Lines towards a non-local Alchemy".