String Quartet No​.​1 ‘Heartland’, by Markus Reuter

Based upon the available track, I’m really looking forward to this release! 🎻🎼

Markus Reuter’s String Quartet No.1 ‘Heartland’ is now available for pre-order as a high-res download or luxurious CD-Edition inside an ECM-style slipcase with an expansive booklet featuring expansive liner notes, exclusive photography and contributions by Tony Levin and Frank Schätzing. 

After years of preparation and planning, Solaire Records is proud and excited to present ‘Heartland’, Markus Reuter’s first string quartet. The album sees Markus further explore his algorithmically-supported composing technique to create a sonic language that will surprise even long-standing supporters. 

After spending months listening to most of music history’s major string quartets, Markus ultimately decided to break with tradition and approach things from an entirely unique angle. Working closely with Oval’s Markus Popp, the tracks were built using a pool of self-referential musical fractals. By combining them into deeply layered structures, every single bar of music is related to what precedes and follows it, even though there is not a single mechanical repetition in these pieces. 

Performed by the prestigious Matangi Quartet and recorded by award-winning producer Dirk Fischer, Heartland is a journey to the borders of melody and harmony: Driving, sensual, serene and moving.

Releases April 12, 2019 

Written by Markus Reuter, Summer 2018 

Matangi Quartet: 

Maria-Paula Majoor, violin I 
Daniel Torrico Menacho, violin II 
Karsten Kleijer, viola 
Arno van der Vuurst, violoncello 

Recorded 17 & 18 October 2018 
Kirche Zum Heiligen Kreuz, Berlin 
Recording producer, balance engineer, editing: Dirk Fischer 

Technical equipment: EvenFlow 

Liner notes concept: Equinox Embassy 
Photography: Dutch Rall 
Design and layout: Rutger Zuydervelt 

Cover design: Rutger Zuydervelt 

Executive producers: Wolfgang Gruner, Peter Smith, Dirk Fischer 



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Jazz’s New Wave; an interview w/ Dirk Serries

We finally caught up with the elusive ether-jazz collaborator, Mr. Dirk Serries – who’s riding so many new waves these days that it virtually took a crew on surfboards to catch him! 😄

We’ve been listening to his latest musical offerings, preparing the release (part 3 of 3) of a TONUS series, had a few questions for the man & wanted to clarify a thing or two about this “new” venture of his (& the talented, collaborative & improvisational league of crafty TONUS, et al musicians).

From YODOK III, to TONUS to various duos, trios & quintets – he’s amassing quite a deft, avant-garde & glitchy (albeit obscure & envelope-pushing) musical “Jazz” catalog.

Here’s what Mr. Serries had to tell us:

 

  1. What was the driving force behind a departure from the Ambient genera & striking out into the domain of “new” Jazz?

I always have been on the edge with experimenting and blending genres. Never satisfied or at ease with what I achieved and constantly fascinated by the fusion of elements, bridging different styles and pushing myself to discover and re-search music that inspires me. It was, though, when YODOK III’s members Kristoffer Lo and Tomas Järmyr invited to record a session with them in Norway that I got infected with the magic of improvising – an ability I didn’t know I had but was cleverly boosted by the enthusiasm and belief of Kristoffer and Tomas.
That session brought me not only to my favorite band YODOK III

Mr. Dirk Serries

but also boosted my confidence and made me pursue improvisation with fierce interest.

2. Does your Ambient background come into play in this new arena & from where are you drawing your inspiration?

Every background or learning experience counts, despite I frequently ignored my past in order to make room for the new and fresh recordings. But I surely discovered that it’s that expertise which helps you to expand your own knowledge and way of interacting. I absolutely had to do some personal purification, forcing myself to step away from that safety zone I was in. Shedding off some of the technical baggage as well, limiting myself to rely purely on my instinct and own sound-design.

You see, improvisations succeed when you do play together with kindred spirits. Speaking a mutual musical language is the secret that helps you to communicate and create on the spot, foremost because how the other musician(s) motivate or even push you to step out of the comfort zone*.

[editor’s note – *“Comfort zones are usually not that comfortable, just familiar.😉]

It’s that kind of inspiration that elevates you into different and undiscovered terrain, playing with different techniques or just forces you to let go of any control.

3. Are the compositions written, are they improvisation . . . or is it all a hybrid?

It’s indeed a bit of a hybrid. The full heavy interaction performances and recordings are completely improvised, for TONUS I map out some guidelines or even some very basic graphic scores but here too the choice of which musicians is vital to the success of the music. The TONUS music is never strict or hermetic to the scores, I do rely on the “intuitivism” of my fellow musicians to fill in the blanks and paint with their own collection of sounds along the path the TONUS piece takes us. It’s foremost the discipline of the participating musicians that is the core of every TONUS piece. The anticipation, the patience and the respect for air and silence are key elements in creating this kind of music.

4. How has the audience response been to this “new wave of Jazz”?

Quite good, although I’ve to admit I don’t make it easy for my listeners. Especially the contrast between my ambient music and what I’m pursuing now is quite stark. Luckily it’s actually the ideal scenario, some of my listeners have been following me in this change of course. Listeners who are equally adventurous and willing to expose themselves to this more difficult style of music. I also believe that my label A New Wave Of Jazz is a matter of persistency, slowly building up a catalog that tries to bridge genres and accentuate that there’s way more common between the figurative minimalism of TONUS and the full-on improvisation. Unfortunately up till now both musical worlds ha ve been quite separated from each other but I hope with giving this music a unified platform that people will become aware of how interesting and connected this music is.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

Many thanks, Dirk, for taking a bit of time, in-between half-notes, to visit with us & explain this bold, new, eclectic Jazz-hybridized frontier.

May the pioneering force ever be with you!

~ Ambient Landscape, 2019

 


  1. TONUS Tributes 1 & 2 + ‘A New Wave of Jazz’ mix (2.22.19 release)

Ear Duration by TONUS

Releases January 19, 2019 

Graham Dunning : snaredrum, objects 
Dirk Serries : accordeon, acoustic guitar 
Benedict Taylor : viola 
Martina Verhoeven : piano 
Colin Webster : flute, alto sax 

Performed at Hackney Road Studios, London (UK) on October 26th 2018. Recorded by Tim Cedar. Mixed by Dirk Serries. Mastered by Sunny Side Inc. studio (Anderlecht, Belgium). 

Sleeve notes : Guy Peters. 
Layout : Rutger Zuydervelt 
Executive label director : Dirk Serries. 
newwaveofjazz.com


the space remaining

ambient | experimental | drone | min_tech | 85:22

How do we process remaining space? The pauses? The interstices? The fragments & slices of unoccupied aural texture which, quite frequently, remain unfilled?

When encountered on-project (or otherwise) I attempt to make the best possible use of the aforementioned space (& spaces) remaining.

;- )

01 Phaenon -Quantum Silence

02 Steve Roach – Darkest Before Dawn (excerpt)

03 Sébastien Wright – The Grey Towers

04 Arash Akbari – Haze Pt. 2

05 Stephen Philips – Down Deep

06 Austere – Cristil

07 Christopher Bissonette – le jour et la nuit

08 Subradial – Diaphotonic Sunrise

09 David Lee Myers – Feedback Music ee 58

10 The Winterhouse – Inside & Out

11 Synthetic Block – 030109_1 (edit)

12 Viridian Sun – In Peril (Visium)

13 Martin Nonstatic – Innermost-Structure

14 Joachim Spieth – Iliachtides

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the space remaining

Discovering Dimensions with Laima Lisauskienė

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Sonagrama magazine published a very introspective article on my online friend (and mix-making diva) Laima Lisauskienė. I’ve copied a portion of it below – please see the link @ the bottom for the entire article.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
I’m Laima Lisauskienė from Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius. I studied Fine Art during my secondary education at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art and went on to attain degrees in visual design at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Visual communication has been a key component throughout my education and professional career and remains central to my work in areas such as graphic design, corporate branding and advertising. Since 2010, I’ve been a member of the Lithuanian Graphic Design Association (LGDA). In addition, I have a long-standing interest in music and sound culture, which is the primary focus of this article.[1]

I love exploring the ways in which different media platforms can be used not only to distribute music, but also enhance communication between musicians and audiences in fresh and exhilarating ways. I am proud of my Lithuanian heritage and greatly enjoy visiting other countries and collaborating with musicians and other creative people from different cultures. In the past, I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively in countries such as Egypt, Germany, Spain and the UK. I had a wonderful time living in Bilbao, whilst working as a design consultant for an international conference on art and technology Technarte 2015. Consulting on Technarte was both a stimulating project in itself – combining art, technology and science – as well as an ideal opportunity to explore and expand my fascination with sound and music.[2]

After working on Technarte, I returned to Vilnius in late 2015 and was invited to create radio programmes for an innovative online music streaming project Radio Kaos Caribou (RKC), based in Ermont, France. Creating my fortnightly radio show Dimensions involved investing a considerable amount of time, energy and resources into discovering and acquiring music created by talented artists working, for the most part, under the radar of the mainstream music industry. I consulted professional audio design engineers and learned new skills, using technical expertise and resources of a well equipped sound studio to create my own Dimensions mixes. As a result, the compilation audio file for each show was specifically designed and engineered for my regular one hour slot on RKC. The inaugural Dimensions #1 show was first broadcast online 26 March 2016.[3]

Whilst crafting Dimensions radio shows for RKC, I also worked on a four-day sonic arts event Music Tech Fest (MTF) Berlin 2016 and this further enhanced my appreciation of experimental music and sound culture more generally. During MTF Berlin, I was inspired by a number of artists, notably the talented electronic musician and multimedia artist Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) after attending an exclusive preview described as ‘sketches’ of his permanent sound installation ‘Water Drops’ for Rijeka airport, Croatia.[4]

It was a joy to meet Robin and speak with him backstage at the festival. He kindly agreed to contribute a selection of his unique experimental music to include in my shows, such as the composition ‘Middlesex Voices Interlude’ featured in Dimensions #7 and, more recently, one of his latest albums ‘Mass Observation (Expanded)’. I am grateful to Robin for supporting Dimensions over the years and our continued collaboration.[5]

Overall, my positive experience of MTF included previews of work by contemporary artists – such as Benjamin Heidersberger, Bernd Deckers, David Fernandez, Greg Beller, Johannes Wernicke, Rikard Vilhelm Lindell, Robin Rimbaud and others – using the latest technologies in the sonic arts showcased at the festival, and this had a huge impact on Dimensions.

The growing experience and creative potential, discussions with practitioners and theorists in the sonic arts and design world, the expanding library of compositional works (audio, images, video and text), and the desire to reveal new music and narratives led me to realize my personal endeavour to transform Dimensions into a multifaceted, independently curated transmedia project.

© Tadas Kazakevičius, Lithuania, 2019

© Tadas Kazakevičius, Lithuania, 2019

Momentum

As the year 2017 came to end, I left everything behind, transitioning from the eclectic ethos of RKC to a tranquil space that enveloped and allowed me to dream during sleep and waking hours. A most extraordinary dimension of time and space. I completed one path and embarked on a myriad of new ones, including new directions and vistas for Dimensions. I wanted to offer contributors and listeners a new approach or, if you will, portals to the conceptual context, core themes and content of future Dimensions.

In January 2018, Dimensions entered a new phase as an independent music program broadcast monthly on Mixcloud, incorporating new and exclusive material from a diverse array of music labels.[6]

‘Being in and moving around the city, navigating through a myriad of criss-crossing lifeworlds and meaning-filled spaces. Adrift amid the fluidity of time, traversing pathways and places of an urban habitat both familiar and unknown. Fleeting memories of times past, in which the real and imagined converge and dissolve effortlessly into each other. The past is constantly being imported into the present. Broken shells of a forgotten time, fragments of ever-changing identities born of the desire to inhabit and understand the world. This urban journey and flux of experiences simultaneously evoke feelings of fragility, reticence, strangeness, and anticipation.’

. . . .

Read entire article

z o n e _ 2

z o n e _ 2 | 80:17

Part 2 (of 3) of our current mini-series (link to zone 1); – blending Ambient chestnuts & modern day sonance into experimental soundscapes.

……………………Zone utilized: Downtown (interpolating ‘Scape K’ by Thomas Park)

01 Oophoi – Icelight

02 Elin – Klangriket

03 Still Earth – Signs

04 Justin Vanderburg – Infection

05 Klimek – The Ice Storm

06 Peter James+Disturbed Earth – A Descending Calm

07 Oophoi & Paul Vnuk, Jr. – South Field/Khyber (edit)

08 Steve Roach – Stars Begin (edit)

09 Lena – Interlude in Bright Light – pt 2

10 Peter James – Still

11 Robert Rich+Markus Reuter -We Will Walk Away Unscathed

12 Disturbed Earth – Ginger

13 Exuviae – Primitive Binary

14 Tony Levin, David Torn & Alan White – Sleeping Horse

15 Organic Urban Soundscapes – Downtown

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z o n e __2

Contemplation du Rien, by Mathieu Lamontagne & Emmanuel Toledo

The same guys were contemplating the void again, set apart from their time zones (Canada and Finland). There was nothing, no leftovers, stems or compositions, no pre-defined direction, only a new void, shimmering trails from our previous works; it was that time again, we were on a mission, united by a common goal. 

We formed something new and somehow valuable, starting to ‘fill that void’, and the usual back and forth process followed, once again; leading to “Contemplation du Rien” as it is now, the seventh chapter of our remote collaboration. 

Emmanuel Toledo  eeem.bandcamp.com

Released December 7, 2018 
All tracks by Mathieu and Emmanuel 
Cover art by Emmanuel



4 Compositions, by Ensemble D’Oscillateurs

[THE CRUX OF SONIC MATTER: A MUSIC FROM SINE WAVES]

When Nicolas Bernier first told me about the collection of old oscillators he had been accumulating for years, I wondered what kind of project would develop from it. It took years for these oscillators to find their place within Nicolas’ research. Accumulating quite a few of these instruments over the years, perhaps he realized that he could not play them all himself. Following the idea of curator and author Hans-Ulrich Obrist, who said “the connections and principles that produce a collection contain assumptions, juxtapositions, findings, experimental possibilities and associations. Collection-making, you could say, is a method of producing knowledge”: the Ensemble d’oscillateurs was born.

Much to my excitement, Nicolas approached me to assist him in making the whole thing possible: connecting the oscillators, designing practice exercises for performers to master their “instrument”, brainstorming staging possibilities for concerts, developing a method of notation for compositions, listing characteristics and parameters of each oscillator, and so on.

Back then, it was uncertain what sounds would come up of ten sine waves played by ten performers. The purity and simplicity of each signal, mixed with the imperfections of these old oscillators, led nonetheless to a level of complexity reachable by accumulation.

As the first composer who had the chance to compose for the ensemble, I had the chance to have the keys of the studio where the oscillators were kept. I spent hours there, alone, going back and forth between the oscillators, notating each adjustment, each manipulation, and imagining how one sine wave—one thin line—can become surrounded by a cluster of moving lines, when the oscillators are simultaneously being manipulated by multiple performers. The main challenge was to make this information readable by performers the same way a classical music score would. I managed to come up with a simple way of notating the limited available parameters, while notating the usable flaws in several oscillators that I wanted the performers to recreate.

The ensemble then began weekly rehearsals for what became its first “commission”. Experiencing the interpretation of my score, along with feedback from the performers, led me to improve the notation. During these rehearsals, the ensemble also improvised by following a guiding software that I was programming: this main section of the piece allowed them to improve their playing, forced to respond quickly to the events proposed by the software, enhancing their listening, with Nicolas controlling the mixing mixing desk onstage.

Following Nicolas’ interest in primitive technologies, history of electronic sound and the evolutions of its aesthetic, the Ensemble d’oscillateurs became a laboratory in search of a sine wave aesthetic: the ensemble took an interest in pieces from the repertoire (‘Jar Piece’ by Pauline Oliveros, 1966), but also in graphic scores (‘December 1952’ by Earle Brown, 1952; ‘SYN-Phon’ by Candas Sisman, 2013). The latter, which closes this album, was actually not written for one specific instrument. A collective work has been accomplished around the interpretation (literally) of the graphic notation: assigning a line to an oscillator, while some others are shaping the sound of a circle or quickly stepping in to give a sonic life to an array of connected dots.

“Listening” is the key word for the Ensemble oscillator. An absolute control of the musical material is not the primary goal. Performers are indeed guided by notation but due to its nature of purity and simplicity, an active listening is required. Just like in musique concrète, it is the matter that makes the music; the accumulation of this matter is the music. Forcing a deep listening—a heightened awareness of the sonic environment, significant to Pauline Oliveros’ work and theory—the listener will necessarily perceive micro-changes, subtleties, and fine details. Even if the music of the ensemble is more gestural than drone music, a strong link does exist in the way of absorbing this music made of non-extravagant musical matter.

With the aim to create a repertoire made specifically for the ensemble, to forge relationships between the new and the old, and to explore new ways to make music with these old devices, two more composers were invited to write music especially for the ensemble: Xavier Ménard and Francisco Meirino. This album consists of performances of three pieces custom-made for the Ensemble, and one arrangement of a graphic score.

Being part of the creation of the Ensemble d’oscillateurs and composing its first piece was as challenging as it was stimulating. I could only foresee its potential back then. The work the ensemble has accomplished since is already significant. Following Nicolas’ vision, the ensemble has had workshops with some important artists like singer/saxophonist/director Joane Hétu, experimental DJ Martin Tétrault, producer Jean-Patrice Rémillard, and stage director Sébastien David. And this is just the beginning as already a lot of new projects are on the go.

With many interesting research-creation productions on the horizon, this unusual ensemble is certainly an exciting musical act to be followed.

Kevin Gironnay, July 2018

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