Andrea Neumann began her musical career as a pianist, but has since reduced her instrument to strings, resonance board and metal frame. She also utilizes electronics to manipulate and amplify the sounds, some of which would be otherwise inaudible. Because the original inside-piano frame is very heavy, she had a new, lighter one specially constructed for her (by Bernd Bittmann). Neumann has released superb collaborative discs with Toshimaru Nakamura (recordings on Rossbin), Annette Krebs (Charhizma), Ignaz Schick (Zarek), and has a much-anticipated trio CD with Sachiko M and Kaffe Matthews forthcoming on the Japan Improv label.
Burkhard Beins started as a rock drummer, gradually moving on to pieces for taped material and percussion. Since 1988, improvised music has been his primary focus, in projects such as Perlonex (Zarek), Activity Center (2:13), and in duo with Keith Rowe (Zarek). Beins is also part of The Sealed Knot, a trio with Rhodri Davis and Mark Wastell, whose second CD is forthcoming on Meniscus. While Neumann and Beins have worked together extensively as part of the all-star octet Phosphor (Potlatch) as well as other small groups, Lidingö is their first duo release.
Neumann and Beins initially met in 1995 after Beins moved from London to Berlin and attended one of Neumann's concerts in a small club. Over the next few years, both Beins and Neumann became integral parts of a constellation of like-minded musicians in Berlin, collaborating in constantly changing group configurations with the intent of redefining their musical language. This led to a process of musical purification involving many factors, including more precise decisions about placing musical material into the silence to more closely examine it, questioning the relevance of its qualities, when and why to begin or end a sonic event, and how long or short a moment of silence should be. In short, this group of musicians were rethinking structure and form for themselves from the ground up.
Recorded in July 2002 in a studio in Berlin (by Rainer Robben), Lidingö consists of loosely linked improvisations, forming a musical travelogue. The two musicians employ their impressive arsenal of precisely scraped, bowed, plucked, and rubbed sounds to conjure memories, both real and imagined, of the small Swedish island that lends the recording its name. The artwork showcases Erstwhile designer's Friederike Paetzold's modern twist on historical photos of Lidingö.