The First Realm: Liner Notes

hen I first heard Soheil on other recordings, he immediately had my attention. I was quite interested in his playing. His woodwind instruments voice is singularly unique. He seems unencumbered by things like the jazz tradition, accepted norms for instrumental roles, instrumental ranges, and more. Soheil brings a very responsive compositional sensitivity which contributes greatly to the pieces on this recording.

Since hearing recordings of Eric Dolphy when I was a child, I have always found bass clarinet to be one of my very favorite instruments. It's a mystery that there are not more players of this wondrous instrument. Soheil not only plays bass clarinet; he seems to inhabit it.

His approach to Bb clarinet is just as unique as his bass clarinet voice. I have not heard anyone rewrite the rules of clarinet as does Soheil. He seems to find new depths and layers in this instrument.
As I listened to Soheil on other projects, I knew his was a kindred spirit and that we needed to do a project together. The recording process of this album became more intriguing and exciting to us as we progressed. By the time we finished the recording sessions, we both agreed that we would be starting on more joint projects very soon.

The instruments represented here are my 36-string Double Contraguitar and 17-string Hybrid Extended Classical guitar. For Soheil, bass clarinet and Bb clarinet. These instruments naturally have dark voices, but the combination of the 36-string with bass clarinet is an entirely new texture and reaches new depths. Depths of not only tone and timbre, but also of compositional possibilities.

I greatly look forward to our future projects, and for now I leave you with The First Realm.

- Kevin Kastning
  Maine; USA
  11 March 2021 



n its purest form, improvisation is like exploring in a lucid dream to me, a delicate state of both waking and dreaming.  A lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming. Not a state of sleep, but of brief wakefulness or a consciously observing state. Being totally aware of the surroundings and able to direct the dreams freely and interrupting the ongoing processes willingly leads into some of the most infeasible phantasms coming true. Though it seems complicated to share my own experience of lucid dreaming with listeners, it shapes several various forms of interactions with each and every one of them based on a common point: A lyrical chain of melodies and sounds.

Kevin's music is the best incarnation of lucid dreaming to me.  On its awake side, he is aware of every single voice he's bringing to this world.  On its dreaming side, your imagination just floats into the strong network of motifs, melodies, and sounds. From the time I got to know Kevin's unique music, I have always sent my new pieces to him in order to benefit from his professional point of view and opinions.

So it was indeed a great honour for me when he suggested to start a project: a remote-recording improvisation!  After what originally seemed an impossible task to even imagine this remote-recording, I found myself very well settled with each and every step forth in the project by creating my very own clarinet sound and style, shedding light on upcoming realms.

This is embodied the best in the 4th track where my clarinet merges with Kevin's guitar recalling old lost Nordic myths in the depths of the „Schwarze Wälder.“

- Soheil Peyghambari
  Tehran, Iran
  12 March 2021




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