• IN OTHERNESS ONESELF | Kaja Draksler

Kaja Draksler states that as a person who speaks and understands different languages, I have an impression that my identity is multifaceted, I have to lose something in myself in order to let the 'spirit' of a new language inside me. So in this way I am constantly becoming in otherness myself.

In building this album Kaja worked on developing specific musical languages for each piece. She attempted to restrict herself to maintaining each language although as she points out "leakages" did take place, and the pieces somehow ended up influencing each other, as spoken languages do.

Kaja refers to voodoo as an inspiration. Her intention is to take possession of the rhythm, pulse and melody and at the same time to allow the music to take possession of her. In that way she is influencing the context but also she lets the context have an influence on her. She is one of those musicians who are able to work out the paradox of combining composition and open improvisation sometimes within the same piece. She is highly aware that both structure and freedom can be as much a burden as an asset and uses those parameters to her advantage.

The title of the album comes from a line in the poem Aquoueh R-Oyo. by Cecil Taylor, and Kaja's objectives for this body of work resonates further with the poem: "to relate instantly, and build concomitant," "to capture dark instinct," or, "to play what one hears." Draksler referencing the Afro-American heritage as a European artist educated in the jazz tradition is testimony to the complexity of her "languages" and her awareness of her position in that cultural lineage. In In Otherness Oneself Kaja Draksler creates languages and lets her identities speak.


  1. Away! (11:52)
  2. Downward & Inward (5:04)
  3. Prst, roka, laket (5:05)
  4. Pika (4:53)
  5. Tenis Stołowy (2:49)
  6. Stratonutki (5:11)
  7. Toward (5:24)
Away! (excerpt)

Stratonutki (excerpt)

Tenis Stołowy (excerpt)


Composed and performed by Kaja Draksler.
Recorded on 13 April 2021 at Splendor, Amsterdam.
Recorded and mixed by Andy Moor.
Mastered by Yannis Kyriakides.
The quarter-tone keyboard was programmed by Gianluca Elia. The keyboard set-up was inspired by Cory Smythe.

The words on Away! are from In the Clearing (1962), written and recited by Robert Frost, singing by Laura Polence and Björk Níelsdóttir. The words on Tenis Stołowy are from Dzienniki (1953-56), written and read by Witold Gombrowicz. The title of this album refers to the poem Aquoueh R-Oyo by Cecil Taylor (1973).

Album cover image: Untitled #2 by Weronika Gęsicka, from the Collection series, 2017–2018. Courtesy the artist and Jednostka Gallery.
Album design by Isabelle Vigier.

Kaja Draksler - In Otherness Oneself CD Kaja Draksler - In Otherness Oneself CD
Album cover image: Untitled #2 by Weronika Gęsicka, from the Collection series, 2017–2018.
Kaja Draksler - photo by Beata Szparagowska
Kaja Draksler - photo by Beata Szparagowska


Kaja Draksler

Kaja is a Slovenian pianist and composer. She studied in the Netherlands (BA in jazz piano and MA in classical composition), and decided to stay in Amsterdam where she became an active member of the vibrant improvisors scene, performing extensively all over Europe. Her main project is her Amsterdam-based Octet, which she formed in 2016. Besides her frequent solo concerts, she has been working internationally over the past years with trio Punkt.Vrt.Plastik, quartet Hearth, and in duets with Terrie Ex, Susana Santos Silva, Eve Risser (To Pianos), Onno Govaert (Feecho) and Szymon Gąsiorek (Czajka & Puchacz). She is one of the founding members of the interdisciplinary group I/O and part of the internationally acclaimed Doek collective. As a composer she has been commissioned by various international groups, ranging from vocal and chamber ensembles to big bands and orchestras.

Kaja is interested in finding ways to merge composition and (free) improvisation by working with different structures and musical logics. In the spirit of the Dutch jazz/improvised music legacy, she is drawn to the idea of erasing stylistic and historical musical borders, and discovering personal expression and language through composition and improvisation.

Weronika Gęsicka

A visual artist working in a variety of media, Gęsicka gives photography the central focus in her art. Her projects address topics related to memory, its mechanisms, and the related scientific and pseudoscientific theories. She often works with archival materials, including images found accidentally on the internet, but also those from stock photo libraries, police archives, and the press.

She graduated from the Graphics Faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts and completed her studies at Akademia Fotografii in Warsaw. Her work have been exhibited worldwide and can be found in prestigious collections as well.



  • Catalogue #: 73U
  • Format: CD
  • Release date: April 2022
  • Availability: In Stock
  • €12.00

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