I recently watched this performance by Kham Meslien from Cosmo Jazz 2023, a music festival in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Kham Meslien grew up in Angers, in the west of France, and was a member of Lo’Jo for 20 years.
This post explores Hans Abrahamsen’s use of constraint as a compositional technique in his song “let me tell you how it was.” It begins with some background on the work’s creators, briefly discussing their various literary, feminist and disability studies perspectives on constraint. It then moves into an analysis of the song’s four musical elements. While each is used with great restraint, they weave together to create a striking musical statement.