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In the words of Marc Hannaford, "POLAR is about exploration: the exploration of space through sound, utilizing either improvisation or composition."
This is music created by a pianist who is not afraid to leap across boundaries and express himself in a unique way. Hannaford has already made a considerable impact in the Australian jazz scene with his previous release on Extreme, THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS, and he has undoubtedly jumped into new territories with POLAR.
Hannaford explains his new direction as "striving to move into a space where I am inside the sound of the work. By this I mean finding a balance between construction and observation while playing: using my own sounds to lose myself in their discourse."
In this sense then, POLAR is a very personal recording. On it you can hear Hannaford search, sometimes carefully, sometimes with abandon, but always with conviction, for a place where the music creates its own order. This order produces a fascinating narrative that is unique to Hannaford.
POLAR also documents his exploration and synthesis of post-serialist harmony, counterpoint and rhythms that move through varying divisions. It is very apt then that John Rodgers' piece 'Canon Cancrizan' was included. It is a piece that represents Rodgers’ own re-construction of very similar musical elements.
POLAR is the next stage of bringing Hannaford’s own voice into focus. Given the innovative expression that Hannaford is obviously capable of, it is a journey that will surely continue long into the future.
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