Reviews and Quotes
"Just a quick note to thank you for the copy
of "Dreaming As I Knew." What a lovely atmosphere! The combination of the
bansuri and your guitar is especially gorgeous. It makes for great meditative
All the best,
— Michael Manring
Kevin Kastning, Carl Clements
Dreaming As I Knew
"The 13 entirely improvised pieces on this sublimely beautiful recording by Kastning (14-string Contraguitar, 12-string alto guitar, classical guitar) and Clements (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, bansuri flute) tap deep wells of subterranean feeling while simultaneously filtering light from the Empyrean."
— Guitar Player Magazine, May 2012
Kevin Kastning & Carl Clements
Dreaming As I Knew
A review written for the Folk
& Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
"This is a fairly radical departure for moody guitarist Kevin Kastning, a duet CD with winds and horn player Carl Clements, but, as frequent Kastning collaborator Sandor Szabo notes, it's very much in vein with ECM materials…which Kastning has always reflected, though in markedly different manner, running to the darker more existentially introspective frame of mind. Clements, as may be expected, then, is no New Age flutes-and-saxes kind of guy but much more in the way of a Charles Lloyd, a Paul Horn, or a Paul McCandless, the lattermost of whom favors the oboe, but catch the remarkable tone Clements invokes in the second cut, Mountains Lie in Darkness, sounding like a lost artifact from Oregon's prime, something providentially found on the cutting room floor during that remarkable band's Music from Another Present Era period.
Of course, Kevin's always maintained a strong Towner-esque element in his work, here more slanted to Bill Connors' Of Mist and Melting period, and when I think of all the moronic flute crap put out under modern market pretenses, I wanna scream, having been fond of the old jazz-cemented materials. Clements is clearly in a line with that worthy elder tradition. His instruments aren't just convenient lengths of wood or steel for the making of sappy melodics to waft about incense shops amid psychic relationship scriers but rather conversationally inclined, explorative, emotionally invested, at times Garbarekesque, as in Whatever What Is, Is.
Those familiar with the KK catalogue will find this, as said, quite differentiated from previous works…while perfectly sympatico with everything one expects of his music. Szabo refers to Dreaming as "a new reference…in the contemporary guitar/saxophone duo music" genre, a slim splinter indeed and one that has been in need of augmentation. Kastning has gracefully surrendered the foreground to Clements, who wastes no time mesmerizing the listener as the guitar paints backdrops for his pensees and visions. Like the work with electric guitarist Mark Wingfield, the result is both surprising and perfectly exemplary of the now quite established Greydisc sound."
— FAME Magazine; May 2012
Tracklist: Momentary Days
(4:36), Mountains In Darkness (5:32), Water Flashes (5:26), A Different Breath,
About Nothing (5:21), Whatever What Is, Is (5:30), No Longer Remembered (4:00),
Nothing Here But Dreams (7:56), Voices In Light (3:58), Ahead Of All Parting
(2:21), Shattered As It Rang (4:16), All The Elsewheres (7:29), Perforating The
Visible (3:25), Drift Into Silence (5:32)
"Both passing through the Berklee College Of Music, Kevin Kastning having studied privately with Pat Metheny, and Carl Clements obtaining a BM in Jazz Composition and Arranging, and both with long careers behind them Kastning & Clements get together on this deeply thoughtful and gently contemplative album that while seeped in meditative qualities is also a highly complex work worthy of much concentration. This is music one can unwind to or, if the mood takes you it can be music that one can get completely absorbed in.
Kevin is a highly regarded acoustic guitar player, credited with inventing variations on the standard 6-string such as the 14-string contraguitar and the 12-string alto guitar, both of which appear here, along with a standard classical guitar. He has numerous previous albums, all of which have garnered much critical acclaim.
Joining Kevin is reed player Carl Clements who plays soprano and tenor saxophone, flutes, and Bansuri flutes, an obscure family of north Indian instruments.
All of the instruments on the album are laid out in a photo on the 2-page CD insert. The first thing I noticed was that there is no percussion the album, but it soon emerges that this is a conscious decision on the part of the players so as to leave wide open spaces in the music, uncluttered by, well, anything but the dying notes of sax/flute/guitar.
Together Kevin and Carl create gentle excursions of interwoven beauty that as indicated before, while having a deeply dream-like quality in keeping with the album’s title, are also very intricate in construction. As Kevin has made over 200 compositions for various solo and chamber group combinations over a long career, and Carl has been playing for 38 years, there is a natural grace and ease in the manner in which Carl’s tenor sax blends and melds with what may be Kevin’s alto guitar on Whatever What Is, Is, to pick one piece at random.
Sounding mostly if not entirely improvised this album never meanders unintentionally, but the focus is sometimes deliberately indistinct. The first few tracks are built around Kevin’s guitar, and Carl comes more to the fore on the aforementioned song, and on Nothing Here But Dreams, which has some of the finest sax playing I’ve heard for some time. Highlighting individual songs is somewhat negates the experience of the whole album, as it is much more than the sum of its parts, for you could find yourself becoming lost in imagined landscapes and before you know it 65 minutes have passed, mostly in another dimension.
Evocative and emitting waves of calm through filtered sunsets as a sublime peacefulness descends on the listener, Dreaming As I Knew is definitely an album I will return to when in need of a deep massage of the synapses. As Kevin’s long-time collaborator, Hungarian classical/jazz guitarist Sándor Szabó says in the notes; “…this is a new reference for me in the contemporary guitar/saxophone duo music”, and who am I to argue? While not “prog” in the slightest I would recommend this as a wonderfully chilled listening experience."
Conclusion: 7 out of 10
DPRP, (HOLLAND) (Roger Trenwith) September 2012
I am listening to your "Dreaming as I knew" since 2 days and I want to tell you that I appreciate very much your music with Carl. So rich of inspiration, so full of evocation, so peaceful, so free. While listening to your music, I just have to close my eyes and watch to the beautiful landscapes you and Carl have painted. Bravo mes amis!
Kevin is a wonderful musician and
his music is beautiful as much as the world can be when a peaceful wind is
Thanks a lot my friends for your beautiful music."
Philippe Fouquet (FRANCE)
Dreaming As I Knew: Kevin Kastning & Carl Clements
"A new name to me, but a veteran of the jazz world, Kevin Kastning attended Berklee College of Music, studied privately under the tutelage of Pat Metheny and has gone on to compose over 200 compositions for various solo and chamber group instrumentations, including ten piano sonatas, seven string quartets, and many works for duets, trios, quartets, and quintets. He's also recorded a series of albums under his own name including collaborations with Sandor Szabo amongst others. This latest offering sees him teaming up with winds and horn player Carl Clements, whom he first met back in the eighties when they were both at Berklee.
For the technically minded Kastning performs on 14-string contraguitar, 12-string alto guitar and classical guitar, while Clements takes care of tenor and soprano saxophones, flute and bansuri flute, across thirteen entirely improvised pieces. After extensive research (2 minutes on Google), I'm led to believe that this fairly dark and moody set is a bit of a departure for Mr Kastning, but as I have no way of proving this one way or the other, over the next five minutes, so I'm happy to lead with my ears, and say that is really rather good.
They've been working on this for a few years now, meeting up for recording sessions where they brought in conceptual ideas and verbal descriptions of form and composition, rather than fully blown pieces of music, going on to explore the themes within the confines of the studio. And, at its best, numbers like 'Mountains Lie in Darkness' and 'Nothing Here But Dreams' really draw you into the music, thoughts and desires of the piece. For sure, not everything works, but that's the nature of improvisation, and the odd track like 'All the Elsewheres' overstays its welcome. But they're few and far between.
The interplay of the musicians, however, is outstanding from start to finish, and folks who're looking for something a wee bit new and fresh in the world of improvised modern jazz will take to this."
KEVIN KASTNING - CARL CLEMENTS
Dreaming As I Knew
12 May 2012. Mihály Czékus
"One of the most important American contemporary guitar player
and composer Kevin Kastning has many fans in Hungary due to our guitar
player/composer Sándor Szabó. He managed to bring and introduce Kevin Kastning
to the Hungarian audience. They have a very high level musical collaboration and
they made several CD releases together in the last few years, and hopefully they
continue this series.
In the near past, Kevin recorded a very exciting new album titled Dreaming As I Knew.
In the duo setup, his partner Carl Clements plays several wind instruments like tenor and soprano saxofon and bansuri flutes. Carl is originally a sax player however he studied Indian classical music and he learnt the instrument at a very high level.
It is a basic musical method to setup two very different instruments next to each other and the intensity of the expression can be increased in this way. Kevin and Carl use this possibility very well in a very efficient way. Their music is deep and they inserted some shorter, simpler pieces between the longer compositions. Their performance is based on their exceptional sensitivity, the emotional saturation and chemistry. They play very elegantly and they never fall into exaggerations, but they constantly keep the excitement of the music.
In the 13 pieces of the Dreaming As I Knew album, new dimensions of the music unfold. In some moments, the sensitive listeners can feel that they are surfing between the physical and the spiritual reality.
The music is really suitable to listen to as a background music, but best when the listener can give it an engrossed listening. The colorful and organic quality and the perfect collaboration of the two artists are the warranty to keep the attention continuously on the listening."
HiFi Portal Magazine (HUNGARY)
Dreaming As I Knew - Kevin
Kastning + Carl Clements
Greydisc Records GDR 3510
"Posted by GREYDISC RECORDS label
this year, the album "Dreaming As I Knew" by Kevin Kastning and Carl Clements
has impressed me by the excellent quality of sound that presents fully
appreciate the 24-bit digital mastering used in this magnificent edition.
Produced by Sándor Szabó (artist well known by readers of Athena Lux Webzine
after we have published reviews of his latest musics with Kevin Kastning), the
album "Dreaming As I Knew" was recorded in the U.S. in Massachusetts between the
years 2010 and 2011 in the Studio Traumwald and is also mixed and mastered by
Sándor Szabó at Tandem Records Experimental Studio in Hungary. Moreover, its
attractive cover, which has used photography "Old Ayer Road: 2007" made by Kevin
Kastning, has become the symbolic gateway to the music lover can know the
artistic spirit and human inspiration of this work, full of talent and
interpretative mastery. Two geniuses, such as Kevin Kastning (contraguitar of 14
strings, 12 string Alto guitar and classical guitar) and Carl Clements (soprano
sax, tenor sax, flute and bansuri flute), whose privileged minds have come
together to give life and form to these thirteen subjects as emotive, full of
feeling and sound of an incomparable beauty. In short, the album "Dreaming As I
Knew" is a luxurious music where melodies and musical notes have become the
human soul through the virtuosity of these two great musicians and composers.
We started hearing this extraordinary album entering into the quiet atmosphere of "Momentary Days" where the sound of the flute and guitar give us that stillness in the room marked by reflection, with the theme "Mountains Lie In Darkness" the evolution of natural sound of this dynamic music, emotional and sensitive, which we will gradually dipping. With the theme "Water Flashes," new sensations will awaken within us with this composition to be played by our mind the reflection of the moon on its surface, until the spell will lead to a new existential impulse in "A Different Breath About Nothing," flowing placidly on. "Whatever What Is, Is" while our senses are fascinated by this amazing display of virtuosic interpretation. A magic instrumental, in the case of the composition "No Longer Remembered," will take us to the hypnotic contemplation of the past is not always stored exactly accurate, because the inevitable symbolic decoration which recreates the mind always to condition psychologically. In "Nothing Here But Dreams," that acquire dye mental fantasy surreal dream of brilliance until "Voices In Light" us out of that state of consciousness when we are totally amazed with this melodic dance where the instruments seem evanescent flames of sound. "Nothing Here But Dreams," as the sound of the saxophone and guitar fades away in a great musical work!
With the theme "Ahead Of All Parting" returns to calm and enjoy the melodic focus, with "Shattered As It Rang" one of the compositions of this magnificent album that most impress the readers of Lux Athena Webzine music lovers for its delicate velvety and beautiful sound. Then, in "All The Elsewheres," the vibrant force of sound of the guitar will give meaning and effect to the seductive presence of the saxophone to lead to emotional states such as sensitivity wanted and appreciated by music lovers in the musical themes that taste and enjoy, leading to the art of "Perforating the Visible" where this innovative idea of the sound structure of a song presents a sense and sensibility more suited to our souls than to our own Self. Finally, it will be the theme of "Drift Into Silence" which puts a splendid, thoughtful, and delicious end to this journey of instrumental sensitivity through conceptual art turned into art. "Dreaming As I Knew," when the instrumental mastery is a virtue, you can create albums of this excellent quality. Enjoy it!"
— Lux Atenea Magazine (SPAIN)
Afterglow on WMUH-FM has placed Dreaming As I Knew in its Top 10 for April and May 2012, and at No.2 in its Top 10 for June 2012.
Dreaming As I Knew places at no. 51 in the Top 100 new age/world albums for May 2012.
Kastning/Carl Clements Dreaming As I Knew (Greydisc)
Kastning handles the guitars, and Clements works with flutes and saxes. There is an improvisational feel to these largely meditative pieces, and I like the way the guys take their time. Unhurried bliss.
- Aiding and Abetting, Issue 339 (USA)
AS I KNEW
Kevin Kastning, Carl Clements
"Interesting. Different. Improvisational. Tight. Jazzy. Moody. Somewhere between atonal and melodic with occasional quartertone sensibilities. Sandor Szabo, the producer of this album, comments in the liner notes: “…it seems to me the soul of these two people are grown together… the two musicians play as one soul.” That’s quite a statement, but… listen to this album; it is a statement justified. “Dreaming As I Knew” invites an active listener to ponder its messages. Orchestration is 14-string Contraguitar, 12-sting Alto guitar, Classical guitar, Soprano saxophone, Tenor saxophone, Flute, and Bansuri flutes. A unique and fascinating recording."
- Creations Magazine (US)
"Acoustic-guitar maverick Kevin Kastning, a specialist in an extra-stringed instrument he calls a Contraguitar, comes to Drom with saxophonist and bansuri flutist Carl Clements, with whom he recorded Dreaming As I Knew, a lovely, contemplative recent album sure to appeal to admirers of early Windham Hill and ECM."
- TimeOut New York (US) December 2012