Solo Recordings

Follower (Room40, 2022)

2.New Kind Of Border4:19
3.Sleep Sees Her Opportunity11:18
4.Glassy Tenseness Of Evening8:04

Mastered By Lawrence English
Photography By Traianos Pakioufakis
Recorded By, Edited By, Mixed By, Performer [all instruments were played and programmed by] Chris Abrahams

On the opening track, Costume, bass piano meanders through a wilderness of de-tuned bells and organ swells; a strange sort of festival. Low frequency sighs evenly punctuate, like a pump or a heartbeat. It’s a procession that takes it time as it wanders the terrain, brought to a close with transcendent distortion. On track 2, New Kind of Border, muscular modal piano surfs among waves of percussion and analogue synthesisers. A buffeting travel.

Follower is Abrahams’ 6th album for Room 40 and showcases his continuing interest in the ambiguous spaces between music and noise; tonality and atonality; rhythm and texture. All four tracks have piano as a key factor: in one instance, high-pitched and atonal; in another, emotive yet distant as if projected on to a screen. Follower presents the listener with a sound world of colourful juxtapositions, rich orchestration and organically open forms.

Appearance (Room40, 2020)

1.As A Vehicle, The Dream I
2.As A Vehicle, The Dream II
3.As A Vehicle, The Dream III
4.Surface Level I
5.Surface Level II
6.Surface Level III

Chris Abrahams, Piano
Recorded by Phil Punch at electric avenue studios November 28, 2019
Thank you Michael Karlberg, Ben Fink, and Dale Caldwell
Photographs by Traianos Pakioufakis
Mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space.

A note from Lawrence English

I first met Chris Abrahams sometime in the early part of the 00s.

In 2003, I had the pleasure of spending a very late night glued to his sofa, lights diminished, being introduced to his solo work. That listening experience became known as Thrown, a record that to this day haunts me with its electronic timbral shifts and wheezing positive organ textures.

Since that release, Chris’s work has resided at the very heart of Room40. His music captured across his five solo editions is, I believe, both utterly personal and compellingly diverse. It is music that has been a source of respite, provocation and, most of all, inspiration for me (and many of you I am sure).

Over the years, I have gently encouraged Chris to consider making a solo piano recording to compliment the series of electro-acoustic works he has made for us. Appearance is the manifestation of this encouragement.

Appearance typifies a very particular approach to piano that Chris has cultivated across three decades. He creates a pairing of rippling cascades of tonality with a macro-minimalist compositional form that invites a sense of perpetual release. Notes cycle and gently coalesce to create weaving melodic patterns that accumulate into a slow unfolding of form, across time.

Chris Abrahams’ pieces, in many respects, defy an easy categorisation. He creates music that is unto itself, but profoundly open to the situations in which is it encountered. It’s this porous quality that makes his work so intoxicating. It is a music of moments, cycling in memory and accumulating across time in a way that is without compare. I can’t recommend Appearance to you strongly enough. 

Climb (Vegetable, 2016)

2.The Sleepings And The Drifts9:20
4.Beach Of Black Stones3:43
5.Fern Scrapes4:48
6.Dog Rose5:51

Tracks 1/4/6/7 recorded at Parkside by Lionel Cameron.
Tracks 2/3/5 recorded at 301 by Tim Whitten.
Mastered by Lasse Marhaug.
Artwork by Steve Heather.
Original CD design by Traianos Pakioufakis,
with LP layout by Lasse Marhaug.
Thanks to Sherre Delys and Graeme Regan.

Fluid to the Influence (Room40, 2016)

1.One-Liter Cold Laptop
2.Scale Upon The Land
4.Clung, Eloquent
5.Trumpets Of Bindweed
6.The Stones Continued Intermittently
7.As Tranquil As An Apple
8.Rust And Comet

Graphic Design By Clare Cooper
Mastered By Lawrence English
Performed By Chris Abrahams

Chris Abrahams returns in 2016 with a new edition for Room40, Fluid To The Influence. Building upon the foundation of his previous three editions, Abrahams charts out a divergent course through lilting piano flows, distended organ passages, thunderous electronic eruptions and focused concréte explorations. Fluid To The Influence spans a huge spectrum of sound, each movement calling forward to the next in a flowing motion that demonstrates Abrahams’ commitment to and interest in the album as an artistic form.

Memory Night (Room40, 2013)

2Bone And Teem12:07
3Strange Bright Fact12:00
4Stabilized Ruined6:42

Mastered By Lawrence English
Performer, Assemblage, Mixed By Chris Abrahams
Photography By Naomi Rocklin
Piano, Guitar, Sampler [Samples], Percussion, Synthesizer [Waldorf Q Plus], Synthesizer [Yamaha DX7], Synthesizer [Moog Voyager], Synthesizer [Vermona Mono Lancet], Synthesizer [Kurzweil K2600], Organ [Hammond Organ], Keyboards [Nord Stage] by Chris Abrahams

Chris Abrahams’ Memory Night is his third edition for Room40 – Play Scar and Thrown preceding this album. Widely recognised as the pianist for Australian liminal improvisation trio The Necks, Chris Abrahams’ solo work etches out an entirely different universe. It’s a place that is entirely his own, unashamedly unique and at times startling – yet always alluring.

On Memory Night, Abrahams’ expands his sonic palette, building on the uneasy frontiers of the highly regarded Play Scar. Never content to revisit past glories, Abrahams’ charts course into unfamiliar sound spaces, where electronics and instruments meet in a constant state of tension and release. Nothing is quite what it appears upon first listen and as a result Memory Night demands an attentive ear.

Recorded across 2011 and 2012, Memory Night is a haunted series of compositions that provoke and compel. Chris Abrahams has created what can only be described as a profound rendering of contemporary composition – a powerful, yet delicate evocation of sound, where instruments and electronics melt and are reformed.

Play Scar (Room40, 2010)

1There He Reclined8:01
2Fly Them8:36
3Twig Blown3:45
4The Same Time5:56
5Running Out8:04
6Bird And Wasps11:19

Composed By, Producer – Chris Abrahams
Mastered By – Lawrence English
Photography By – Tim Williams
Piano, Organ [Hammond], Electric Piano [Rhodes], Organ [Church Organ], Guitar, Tambourine, Bells, Synthesizer [Dx 7, Nord Waldorf Q+, Prophet Vs. Kurzweil K 2600], Autoharp, Sounds [Field Recordings] – Chris Abrahams

Chris Abrahams’ ‘Play Scar’ inhabits a sound world that’s entirely uncharted. It’s a zone of in-betweens – juxtapositions and parallel lines – a realm in which nothing is certain and at any moment dynamic shifts might occur.

In this unusual electro-acoustic landscape, Abrahams has crafted by far his most complex and epically beautiful record to date. It’s a series of pieces that in many ways demonstrates the full scope of Abrahams’ work as a musician and composer.

‘Play Scar’, like Thrown before it is both exotic and unfamiliar. Pieces like ’Twig Blown’ hint at Abrahams’ interest in musique concréte, ‘Lieiden’ pulses with a distinctly electronic flare, whilst ‘There He Reclined’ shimmers in a hazy procession of organ, guitar and electronics.

At its core, ‘Play Scar’ is an album of unrepentant diversity, united through Abrahams astounding sense of composition and focus. In another artist’s hands these elements might be rendered too divergent and too esoteric, but sculpted by Chris Abrahams, each piece is a continent of sound, in an auditory world of his making. ‘Play Scar’ is unique, compelling and most of all visionary.

The Tender Hook Soundtrack (Vitamin, 2008)

Thrown (Room40, 2005)

Can Of Faces6:47
Coins In Vinegar4:16
Hung Door7:18
Them Hitting2:59
Car Park Land7:11

Mastered By – Lawrence English
Organ [Positive Organ], Fortepiano [Forte Piano], Piano, Synthesizer [DX 7] – Chris Abrahams
Photography By [Cover Photography By] – Tim Williams
Recorded By, Mixed By – Chris Abrahams
Thanks to Sherre Delys.

A note from Lawrence English

I’ve written quite often about my first experience listening to Thrown at Chris’s place in Sydney. On that initial listening I was equal parts terrified and awestruck. The sensation of sitting there, in low light after midnight, listening with Chris and our mutual friend Clayton after an evening out at a NowNow event, is something I can recall vividly. Thrown is a record that, from the very outset, has roused me in a very direct, particular and profound, sense of affect.

Recorded using Dx-7, piano and a positive organ, the album exists in some kind of parallel acoustic dimension where these divergent musical timbres are somehow brought together into a unifying (albeit unsettling) whole. It was the first recording Chris had made like it, and in my opinion it set a benchmark which has guided his numerous releases for Room40.

Now 15 years on from its original release, it seemed like a suitable moment to seed this edition back into the sonic consciousness. Time has cast little shadow on this edition – it still sounds absolutely outside of time. It creates its own microcosm upon each listening and remains one of the records from the Room40 catalogue that deeply resonates for me.

Streaming (Vegetable, 2003)

CD1-2Hung Out To Dry9:28
CD2-1Christmas Island31:01

Composed By – Chris Abrahams
Design – Paul McNeil
Mastered By – Paul Bryant
Photography By – Tim Williams
Recorded By – Shane Fahey

Glow (Vegetable/Vitamin, 2001)

1From A Tower, Lost As Heat8:08
2River Of Hammers7:00
3Natural Selector6:28
4Silent As Sheet Music3:37
5Self Taught Bouncer5:56
6Diving Board Harmonic7:22
7Smoke And Magnets6:23

Piano [Solo Piano] – Chris Abrahams
Cover – Paul McNeil
Mastered By – Don Bartley
Recorded By – Guy Dickerson

Walk (Hot, 1986)

A1Stains Arabic5:40
A3Middle Head4:16
B3Burning Tyres In A Wardrobe2:45
B4Breathing Underwater3:06

Recorded At – Sydney Opera House Recording Studios
Copyright © – Hot Records (2)
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Hot Records (2)
Manufactured By – The Cartel
Distributed By – The Cartel
Pressed By – MPO
Design – Luke Hablethwaite
Composed By Chris Abrahams
Recorded By – Lana Lazareff

Piano (Hot, 1985)

Duo with Melanie Oxley

Blood Oranges (Vitamin, 2003)

1Get Me So Far5:51
2What’s This Daylight?3:53
3She’s Got The Right To Remain Silent4:02
5Cruel To You4:03
6LadderWritten-By – Oxley*Written-By – Oxley*4:38
7Blood Oranges5:00
9A Better Tomorrow4:37
10If I Let It Go3:33
11Salt Finger2:50
12Time Empty Away3:01

Bass – Johnathan Zwartz* (tracks: 5, 7, 8, 9, 12)
Drums, Percussion – Hamish Stuart (2) (tracks: 2, 5, 7, 10, 12)
Guitar – Michael Sheridan
Piano, Organ [Hammond], Electric Piano [Wurlitzer], Electric Piano [Rhodes], Synthesizer [DX7], Sampler [K2600 Sampler], Programmed By [Programming] – Chris Abrahams Producer [Produced By] – Chris Abrahams, Melanie Oxley, Shane Fahey
Vocals – Melanie Oxley
Recorded By, Mixed By – Shane Fahey
Written-By – Abrahams* (tracks: 1 to 5, 7 to 12)
Mastered By – Don Bartley

Jerusalem Bay (Remote, 1998)
Coal (Remote/MDS, 1994)
Welcome to Violet (Remote/MDS, 1992)
Resisting Calm (Spiral Scratch, 1990)

With Mike Cooper

Praxis (Room40, 2020)

1.Praxis I
2.Praxis II
3.Praxis III
4.Praxis IV
5.Praxis V
6.Praxis VI

Recorded live at Bohemian Grove concert in Hibernian House

Chris Abrahams – Waldoff Q+
Mike Cooper – Guitar, electronics

A Note From Mike Cooper

This session was recorded at Bohemian Grove in Hibernian House an artists communal loft studio in Sydney. It was part of a tour where I took no guitar with me, travelling light with just a small suitcase of electronics and borrowing guitars from good friends who trusted me with their instruments. For this session I borrowed Chris Abrahams electric guitar and he is playing the Waldorf Q+ keyboard and not his usual acoustic piano.

It was an interesting exercise for me playing different instruments as each one proved a different challenge. I also had an iPhone with one of my favourite apps loaded; a virtual steel guitar app with a choice of six, eight and two ten string instruments, all tuneable, that I have grown to love.

This is the most recent of many session that we have played together since 2006. I toured Australia in various contexts starting in 1995 and met Chris at a concert organised by saxophonist Jim Denley, coincidently at the same Hibernian House which was a different venue on a different floor of the same building in those days, where I was working with the film maker/manipulator Louise Curham. Chris, realising I was staying close to where he lived, invited me to drop by and improvise together, resulting in many live concerts and several cds. Chris is a joy and inspiration to play music with and I think we do it very well together and hope to do more in a future where we can.

In praxis there can be no prior knowledge of the right means by which we realise the end in a particular situation. For the end itself is only specified in deliberating about the means appropriate to a particular situation(Bernstein 1983: 147). As we think about what we want to achieve, we alter the way we might achieve that. As we think about the way we might go about something, we change what we might aim at. There is a continual interplay between ends and means. In just the same way there is a continual interplay between thought and action. This process involves interpretation, understanding and application in ‘one unified process’ (Gadamer 1979: 275). It is something we engage in as human beings and it is directed at other human beings. 

Trace (Al maslakh, 2014)
Oceanic Feeling Like (Room40, 2008)

Duo with Alessandro Bosetti

A Heart That Responds From Schooling (Unsounds, 2015)
We Who Had Left (Mikroton, 2012)


Words Fail (Hospital Hill, 2021) with Clayton Thomas & Miles Thomas
Weft (Relative Pitch Records, 2021) with Robbie Avenaim & Jim Denley
Next To Nothing (Zarek, 2020) with Ignaz Schick
Peggy (ReR Megacorp, 2018) with ‎Jon Rose
Instead of the Sun (Herbal International, 2015) with Burkhard Beins
Raft of the Meadows (No Business, 2014) with Mike Majkowski & James Waples
None of Them Would Remember It That Way (Mikroton, 2012) with Lucio Capece
Kopfüberwelle (Absinth, 2012) with Sabine Vogel
Hammeriver (Mikroton, 2010) with Hammeriver
Germ Studies (Split Records, 2009) with Clare Cooper
Pedal (Staubgold, 2008) with Simon James Phillips
Artery (NOW Now, 2003) with Jon Rose & Clayton Thomas