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BPA 001 Mirrors Broken - But No Dust

by Peter Kowald / Damon Smith

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This album is only in print as part of this 3 CD setwith duos with Joëlle Léandre & Bertram Turetzky on the other two discs + 3 postcards of black & white photographs of Peter Kowald & Damon Smith by Alan Brightbill from the Oakland studio session on May 3rd, 2000.
    It comes in a deluxe 8 panel ecopak with extensive art, photographs and linernotes
    The previously released discs are remastered by Weasel Walter
    CDs are in stock and shipping now!!

    Includes unlimited streaming of BPA 001 Mirrors Broken - But No Dust via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 1 day
    Purchasable with gift card

      $24.95 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $4.95 USD  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 98 Balance Point Acoustics releases available on Bandcamp and save 90%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Balloon of Ruin JOB 001, Live in Somervile, The Cold Arrow bpaltd19019, [Five Lines Indecipherable], Hum IMR001, A View From The Gutters Could Be A Vision Of the World, Back Catalog Bundle!, Rune Kitchen, and 90 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      $59.34 USD or more (90% OFF)


  • Mirrors Broken - But No Dust Cassette Reissue
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Shrink-wrapped, manufactured cassette reissue of this long OOP album, full color artwork and complete liner notes. For the time being any tapes offered are buy backs, and the price will reflect that. It is OOP for now!

    Includes unlimited streaming of BPA 001 Mirrors Broken - But No Dust via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Mirrors – Broken But No Dust

Peter Kowald, double bass
Damon Smith, double bass

This CD, pairing German master, Peter Kowald and the fiery young Bay Area bassist, Damon Smith, is an extraordinary example of what can happen when two improvisers are also virtuoso listeners. The linear clarity, the high spirited sonic explorations, the overall conversational approach and the unrelenting forward motion add up to an exciting listening experience. One of the remarkable things is that this dynamic duo accomplishes this without the usual " you play arco and I'll play pizzicato" approach. This is testimony to their acute hearing and ability to make split-second decisions which result in maintaining their individual lines. This is no easy feat! Kowald employs his unique sonic vocabulary and Smith deftly compliments him with his "encyclopedic" sound world, all the while making music that is unrelenting rhythmically. There is no ebb and flow . . . it's simple straight ahead. There is no "tug of war" as we find in some improvising duos, but a highly spirited conversational approach that is exhilarating and most engaging.

Don't miss this unique listening experience. It is creative for the new millennium, par excellence!

Bert Turetzky
Del Mar, April 2001

Peter Kowald: Balance and Paradox

When I first heard Kowald it was like a hand reaching across the globe and redirecting my life. Mingus intimidated me, I was listening to Mingus a lot and had decided to stay on bass guitar, I felt he had done it all. Then, Peter presented the endless possibilities of the double bass with an amazing balance of clarity and mystery. More than what he plays, it's the balance between how much he holds onto and how much he gives up in the moment, that makes his music more profound and powerful than anyone I have ever heard play the instrument. He can blend with musicians from Tuva, Greece, Japan, or New Orleans without ever giving up his intense character. And of course, what he plays would be another essay! Playing with him for the first time here, was the most important thing in my life to date, but, with his masterful ears, experience, and his generous spirit, it was also the easiest thing I've ever done. Thanks, Peter!

Damon Smith
Oakland, April 2001

Yes, we obviously do mirror each other. Damon has been listening closely to what I have been doing (thank you, Damon), has taken from it, fine. I always thought that we never can give back much to the people we have been taking from (and I have taken from many, bassplayers and other, learning, sometimes trying to copy, which never really worked), then others take from you and it all goes around in bigger circles, that's beautiful. Recently, I saw a drawing of Man Ray, "Broken Mirrors" 1932, the time of Cubism having been around for a while. I remembered the paintings (on flat canvas) seeing the subjects – often guitars – from different sides and angles at the same time. Broken mirrors don't reflect things with a straight or plane view, but rather in particles, from various angles, out of different positions and in different directions . . . and this is what we try to do with sounds, rhythms, particles of melody, all kinds of musical materials. The idea of dust/no dust on mirrors comes out of the Zen teachings, that is that. When Damon and I met in these days in April 2000 and played, it didn't feel like too much dust being around. I mean that not only because this music is always freshly made, but more even because it is just what it is, not more and not less. That, in this world of things lacking or been blown up so much, looks like a quite dustfree quality.

Anyway, the image of broken mirrors seems closer to what is around us now, than the image of mirrors with dust on them. So we say: "mirrors – broken but no dust".

Peter Kowald
Wuppertal, April 2001

Produced by Damon Smith/Peter Kowald – Executive Producer Scott Herbert.

Cover drawing: Kowald.
design: Kowald and Jürgen Schäfer (for Arakawa)


released March 2, 2013

Peter Kowald, double bass; Damon Smith, double bass.
Broken mirrors:

Recorded on 28 April 2000 at Gallery 2310 Oakland, California; this is one piece with an index point for convenience only.
Reflections on April 28th 2000:

Recorded on 3 May 2000 in Oakland, California
Front cover drawing (reproduced above) by Peter Kowald; design by Kowald and Jürgen Schäfer.


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