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Schumacher, Kai (Piano) - Beauty in Simplicity - Various



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Some 50 years ago composers like Steve Reich and Terry Riley were responsible for one of the last great radical changes in twentieth-century music. They liberated contemporary music from the dogmatic clutches of serialism and gave it a new simplicity of compositional structure and harmony, repetitive elements and an uncompromising reduction of the musical material. Hence “Minimal Music” became timeless in two senses: like a perpetuum mobile, once set in motion it appears to be able to remain endlessly in motion from within, and develops in the process an almost psychedelic pull that knows neither beginning nor end. At the same time, with its patterns, loops and drones, it smoothed the path for genres like ambient, techno and post-rock. When I first heard “A New Error” by Moderat a few years ago, it sounded to me like something by Philip Glass still suffering the after-effects of a long weekend at the (in-)famous Berghain club in Berlin. The broken triads of the synthesizer, which on the one hand seemed to flow in a meditative sort of way while simultaneously driving the track forward in an almost manic manner, became in retrospect an aesthetic leitmotiv of the album. The piano with all its acoustic possibilities would become the connecting element between the French salons of the late nineteenth, the minimal music of the twentieth and the pop culture of the twenty-first century. Is Brian Eno’s pioneering album “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” just a cosmopolitan interpretation of Erik Satie’s idea of “musique d’ameublement”? Or, with its layered tape loops perhaps something of a recollection of Steve Reich’s early music? And is Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint” in turn really a piece of techno on totally analogue equipment? And, in the inversion of that argument, can a techno track be restored to its pianistic “original state”? Some of the pieces on this album are original works (Erik Satie, Wim Mertens), while I have transcribed some of the others for piano; such as Peter Michael Hamel’s trance-inspired improvisation “Let it play”, which the composer had transferred to vinyl disc after a night-time recording session in the 1980s, but which was never written down as a score. Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint” too, actually composed for twelve electric guitars and two bass guitars, gains additional rhythmic transparency thanks to the direct and percussive touch of the piano, which lends it a virtually synthetic clarity. Other tracks on the album, on the other hand, are pianistic remixes using “enhanced pianos”. I prepared the strings and body of the piano with e-bows, mallets, drumsticks, chains and vibrators, then recorded individual motifs and patterns which I used sound processing to distort. The resulting samples were then re-assembled in a new order and were the foundations for working out the piano parts in the studio. I used this technique in “A new Error” and “The Hug”. That epic masterpiece by Lampshade, with its three basic chords and its hypnotic guitar loops that build into a wall of sound is, in my opinion, the essence of sonic beauty in simplicity.
Fakta
Artikelnummer 0300946NM
Streckkod 0885470009469
Utgivningsdatum 2017-10-20
Kategori Klassiskt
Skivbolag Neue Meister
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Utövare
Artister Schumacher, Kai (Piano)
Kompositörer Various
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