Onomatopoetika Malakoff Kowalski
Info for Onomatopoetika
“Brilliant. Brave, naked, intense, raw. Ultimately, that’s what real art is about: when the artist talks about himself and the listener feels he’s hearing his own story.” Star pianist Igor Levit found highest praise for Malakoff Kowalski’s last record My First Piano (2018) and continues today about the new solo piano album Onomatopoetika: “The most beautiful confession of love to Erik Satie that I’ve ever heard.”
Recently named “The piano poet” by the Vogue Magazine, Malakoff Kowalski was born to Persian parents in Boston and raised in Hamburg, Germany. He currently resides in Berlin—where his new album Onomatopoetika was recorded and mixed by German Neo- classical pioneer Nils Frahm at his famous Funkhaus Studio. Described by Chilly Gonzales as “A deep and haunting piano suite. Mystical and unexpected”, the ten post romantic piano pieces are inspired by composers such as Sibelius, Grieg, Scriabin and the above mentioned Erik Satie.
In his solo concerts Kowalski performs in the most reduced manner possible: black darkened auditoriums, only a tiny reading lamp above the grand piano, complete silence, no applause between the pieces. “I am living in a state of constant overstimulation. Most of us do. The pace, the tone, the volume, the amount of impressions. Overkill. That is not really something new. Only lately it has become more and more unbearable for me. When I sit at the piano everything else disappears. As if I was in an empty movie theater with no movie being shown.” Kowalski has shared the stage with notable pianists Chilly Gonzales, Alice Sara Ott, Olga Sheps and Hauschka on numerous occasions.
One will see him rarely in anything else but his “captain’s outfit”—a white button up shirt, tight black pants, 60ies boots and a sailor’s hat from his hometown Hamburg. “I never change my dresscode. I can go to court and then to a funeral in the morning, shoot a video in the afternoon, have dinner at some punk rock shack or at the finest grand hotel in town, play a philharmony concert and then go to a techno club—all in the same attire.”
Kowalski has also been working as a film and theater composer. For years he has collaborated closely with acclaimed German filmmaker Klaus Lemke. Kowalski’s piano music was last to be heard in the movie Euphoria, starring Alicia Vikander, Eva Green and Charlotte Rampling. Kowalski’s newest film score for a documentary by Niklas Maak will be shown at the Guggenheim Museum in New York as part of an exhibition initiated by Rem Koohlhas titled Countryside, The Future (February – August 2020).
Released on legendary German record label MPS—established in the Sixties, producing piano albums by Friedrich Gulda, Oscar Peterson or Bill Evans—Malakoff Kowalski’s new work Onomatopoetika will be performed in concerts not only in Germany, but for the first time also in the US, the UK and across Europe. Solo piano music that blurs the lines between classical and jazz. Or as GQ Magazine puts it: “Music that warms. Piano pieces, so peaceful and beautiful you simply want to live inside them.”
Malakoff Kowalski, piano
(born June 21, 1979 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA as Aram Pirmoradi) is a German-American-Persian singer, musician, composer and producer. His parents are from Tehran and he was raised in Hamburg, Germany.
In 2005, Kowalski released his debut record Action with his band Jansen & Kowalski, which he later referred to as “a memorial for a monumental failure.” In 2009, after the band had broken up, Kowalski released his first solo-album Neue Deutsche Reiselieder, a progressive and vintage Krautrock record, which included a remix of the single Andere Leute produced by German electronic music legends Deichkind. The video for Andere Leute was made by acclaimed film director Klaus Lemke. To date, Kowalski has composed the original scores for five of Lemke’s feature films.
In 2012, Kowalski released the album Kill Your Babies — Filmscore For An Unknown Picture, which was a collaboration with painter Daniel Richter, novelist Maxim Biller and Klaus Lemke. The instrumental record received excellent reviews and was praised as CD Of The Year by Arts & Culture Editor-in-Chief Claudius Seidl of Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.
Kowalski simultaneously began working with theater director Angela Richter. Supernerds, their third and latest play to date, was based on interviews with whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange and premiered in 2015 in Cologne.
Malakoff Kowalski currently lives in Berlin, Germany and has resided there since 2007.
This album contains no booklet.