October 3rd, 2011 | Published in Blog
I just stumbled across a link to this very quite, very patient, but oddly epic piece by Jürg Frey – a name associated with the influential Wandelweiser group of composers that includes Michael Pisaro and has links to improvisers like Radu Malfatti and, more peripherally, long running holders of the coveted title Dan’s Favourite Band In The World, like, ever – Polwechsel.
But Jurg Frey. In common with quite a few of the Wandelweiser lot, I’d read his name plenty of times but never heard his music. Wandelweiser outputs such a lot of work and, to me, a fair bit of it seems like it must work much better in situ than in reproduction. Add to this the fact that there’s not a lot of live Wandelweiser action to be had in the UK let alone Bristol, and I tend to be lazier than I should be when it comes to listening to these chaps. I’m really glad I clicked this link though – it’s fantastic. I’m inclined to like any composer with the balls to start a piece that ends up being this substantial with an introduction so insubstantial and lacking in attention grabbing drama. For me it pays off in spades – forcing my ear to adjust to the pace and dynamic of the piece until it becomes apparent that this piece is basically a glorious violation of the second law of thermodynamics. A lot of Wandelweiser music shares an interest in the threshold of silence and in the formation of tones out of nothingness – but more than any I’ve heard this piece has the feeling as it unwinds, of pulling something really quite serious out of the void.
If you’ve recently witnessed a glorious violation, or pulled something really quite serious out of your void why not discuss it on the borum?