Reviews

Bernhard Günter     Redshift / Abschied TOC021     [2002, trente oiseaux, germany]

     

The constant growth of Bernhard Günter keeps going. "Redshift" is based on sounds he found on his DAT collections, dating from almost 10 years ago; they have been processed and reworked with the usual care for the micro-details, creating a canvas on which nuances and shadows propagate in hypnotic, repetitive fashion - classical Günter style.

But the best track is "Abschied": a requiem for the kind soul of a deceased person (in this case Bernhard's wife's aunt) it's worked from treated orchestral samplings which become a faraway, melancholic delicacy of tenuous rarefaction and faint breathing, pointed with the glowing of drying tears. Again, one of the most intense compositions I came across recently, a music that will make you think for long moments after it's over. [Massimo Ricci, TOUCHING EXTREMES]

This release combines two pieces, 'Redshift' (30 minutes) and 'Abschied' (20 minutes), realized in 2001. Although they both fit Bernhard Günter's esthetic, they share no common conceptual bond, which prompted the artist to include two interchangeable covers. 'Redshift' was put together from old samples dating back to Günter's beginnings (circa 1993). The music mainly consists of three separate layers: a faint humming background, almost inaudible, and two tracks of rattling sounds (could be contact microphones) placed far away in the left and right stereo channels. In headphones it produces a schizophrenic effect; on loudspeakers it transforms the room into a wide sound field you can loose yourself in.

Settings change in the course of the first three movements, but the basic idea remains the same. The last seven minutes leave a lone horn calling long notes in the distance. This mournful finale turns out to be the perfect introduction for 'Abschied' composed in memory of the deceased aunt of the composer's wife. Sustained tones, calm and discreet, weave an ever-changing pattern inducing a state of meditation. Are they strings or horns? At one point, through a short transformational process reminiscent of Trevor Wishart's 'Red Bird' or Bernhard Gal's works on 'Relisten', appear the sounds of a city street at rush hour. Instead of casting some light on the piece it makes it more puzzling and beautiful. [François Couture, ALL MUSIC GUIDE]

(Note by Bernhard: I do not own a contact microphone, and the 'street noise' part is not a field recording, but also consists of instrumental sounds.)

Redshift is the latest release from sound artist Bernhard Günter. The title piece was composed using noise sounds from Günter's DAT archive, from his early sampling days in 1993. This long piece begins with faint crackling, soft fluctuations giving the impression of movement, of a gently changing sonic space. Beneath the crackling sounds is the quiet roar of a fan, a motor, a distant drone, but it too rests gently on the listening space. Sharper textures rise and fall throughout the piece, of varying frequencies and timbres, all of which create hypnotizing movements of fluctuating sounds perfectly suited for playback at medium volume. The disc also contains a second piece, "Abschied," which otherwise has no connection with the first. It was composed in memory of Erika Kedziora, an aunt of Günter's wife who had recently passed away. Slow moving, dissonant harmonics, sounding as if they were made using a combination of bowed instruments (stringed, metallic or otherwise), create a beautiful soundscape mourning the loss and celebrating the memory of a relative who is obviously very close to Günter's heart. The piece might not have any thematic or compositional connection with "Redshift", and yet these two pieces compliment each other well. The uneven crackling and subtle noises of the first piece are answered by the sustained notes of the second. A stunning new release, one that won't want to leave your CD player for days on end. [Richard di Santo, INCURSION MUSIC REVIEW]

 

Bernhard Günter / Steve Roden     Japan     TOC015  [2001, trente oiseaux, germany]

The term 'split CD' simply doesn't do justice to 'Japan', even though it presents pieces by both 'Bernhard Günter' and 'Steve Roden. The two have been instrumental in the development of lowercase sound art, the juxtaposition of their work feels natural and, to an extent, complementary.

'Particles/Waves (For Steve Roden)' brings up the usual dilemma for the listener of Günter's music, maybe even more acutely this time. You basically have two choices: either you turn up (way up!) the volume to comfortably hear what the composer did or you accept the fact that the piece is intended to flicker at the threshold of audibility. Whatever your decision, you'll need to listen a few times. A faint hum can be heard in the background throughout, like the ghost image of hills standing right on the horizon line, waiting to break free -- that would be the 'waves' part. More in front we hear contact microphones being manipulated episodically -- yes, the particles.

Roden's two pieces are more immediately appreciable. 'Every Color Moving' pairs bowed strings with the distinctive plucking of an East Asian instrument of the koto/guzheng family. A drone advances to the forefront gradually, eventually reaching a point where it almost absorbs the other sounds. It may appear simple, but it works very nicely, in a soothing way after the previous track. 'Eden (For T. Maloney)' follows a similar introspective mood with long tones that are probably derived from strings and a slow, recurring and insistent low register pulse. This is intriguing music for the open-minded listener, like all releases on Trente Oiseaux, but Günter's doesn't rank among his essentials. [François Couture, ALL MUSIC GUIDE]

(Note by Bernhard: 'Almost all material used in Particales/Waves is short wave [sic!] radio. The other sounds are recordings [particles] of objects taken from the winter woods using a small Neumann microphone over my desk.

 

Bernhard Günter     Monochrome White / Polychrome w/Neon Nails     LINE007  [2002, line, usa]

 

Bernhard Günter     Monochrome Rust / Differential     LINE009  [2002, line, usa]

        

Well, fair play to Richard Chartier's Line label for pursuing its own fiercely individual path. The microscopic aesthetic of the label puts just about all others to shame; such is the single-minded concentration on the absolute minuitae of sound. This release from renowned experimentalist Bernhard Gunter (who also runs the excellent Trente Oiseaux label) runs over two CDs and contains a range of sounds that would be accommodated within two seconds of most other releases. As tends to be the case with Gunter, Chartier, and associates, the resultant anti-sprawl is more richly rewarding than a ton of techno records.

On both CDs, Gunter aims for transparency and achieves that goal spectacularly. Each disc contains 40-or-so minutes of two distinct layers of tiny white noise. One rustles, the other crackles, both with intermittent intensity. The combination of these elements changes between the two discs and thus produces very different results. The first is a serene pastoral, all soft edges, like the soothing buzz heard when standing about 50 yards from a powerline. The second, however, is spikier, like a rainstorm heard from deep within the bowels of a ship while a power generator buzzes about four floors overhead. It takes attentive listening to adjust to these variations. There are certain similarities with Alvin Lucier's "Clocker" project (a clock going through numerous timbral changes), but Gunter applies himself more adeptly than the wayward Lucier by sustaining and developing themes across the length of the compositions. Apparently the two discs can be played simultaneously for a different effect again, although maybe this is something for installations rather than the home.

Given the utter paucity of sound sources utilized for the double record, its hypnotic qualities are remarkable, and sounds like nothing else currently around. On a par with recent classics like Ryoji Ikeda's "matrix," this release is further proof of how the CD medium can be used for superb, groundbreaking sound art projects. Ad we say over here in North East England, Monochrome White is totally mint. And there could be no higher praise than that. [John Gibson, GROOVES MAGAZINE] 

Familiar lowercase fans will be eeking with joy with this, bernhard günter's first full length domestic, double disc release on taylor deupree's LINE, the much quieter offshoot of his 12k imprint. Inspired by the work of video artist bill viola, günter processes in more audible regions with his most current work. monochrome runs like digitized bath bubbles popping in microscopic millions, floating in the hazy, high pitched air of this organigital cosmos, pitched like crackled beetle shells under tiny buzzes, stringing themselves in infinite varieties. the strongest attribute of bernhard's work remains his ability to grow, continually morphing and evolving tiny sounds. essential. [J.David Martson, XLR8R]

Bernhard Günter's work is often remarkable for its immersive quality; despite his reputation for probing the faintly-lit corners of silence, works like Brown, Blue, Brown on Blue (For Mark Rothko) and Time, Dreaming Itself create quietly vibrant sound-fields, saturated with color, that surround you completely. There are deeper hues in Richard Chartier's icy blue and green cover design than there are in either of the two discs here. Both Monochrome White and Polychrome w/ Neon Nails, as their titles suggest, are explorations of glistening, colorless tones: not white noise, exactly, but the froth skimmed off the very top of it, perhaps. Spatially, the two-disc set flirts with Günter's interest in immersive audio, presenting an almost imperceptibly thin layer of sound that expands and encircles you.

Inspired by a Bill Viola installation, Monochrome White is Günter's attempt to recreate the same feelings of weightlessness and transparency. Built from sounds from Immedia's open source In Audio CDR, Monochrome White uses their small, impossibly high-pitched frequencies to construct an airy ceiling of sparkle and grit. Without ever intensifying, it manages to grow until a dense layer of quiet prevails. It feels almost like a field recording, a recreation of an overgrown Massachusetts field on a hot August midnight, the crickets and cicadas harmonizing uneasily with the just-out-of-earshot whine of the power lines overhead. Built around the spatialization of sound, every tone seems to have distinct coordinates; certain tones sharpen and glisten when you turn your head, as others duck back into the shadows. Another reference point might be to swimming under water: Günter harnesses the same sourceless crackling that makes up the diver's world, firing a steady succession of clicks that seem at once to be leagues distant, and inches from your ear. While it1s tempting to resort to headphones, to capture fully the disc's fleeting details, he glancing angularity of the individual sounds used lends itself to playback over speakers.

Polychrome w/ Neon Nails revisits the same material, and while it's reportedly lower in pitch, it's almost impossible to discern, as Günter points out in the liner notes. Indeed, by some trick of acoustics, the second piece (to be followed by a third composition, Monochrome Rust, which will close out the tryptichon) sounds sharper and more grating. If the fine edges of Monochrome White are blurred by their altitude, softened by the diffuse light of those heights, here the prickling intensities seem to close in upon you; the ambient electric hum is palpable upon the skin. Over the disc's 40 minutes, subtle whirring rhythms build and are broken down, but the movements are too gradual to be noticed. Despite the synthetic imagery of the title, Polychrome w/ Neon Nails powerfully invokes the electric crackle of a humid forest clearing, and as such stands as an unintended companion piece to Lopez's La Selva. Fascinating and quietly compelling. [courtesy of The Wire Magazine, UK]

The arrival of digital audio not only extended a recording's time and frequency range, but also allowed for silence. Bernhard Günter's work combines glacial pacing with sounds that live at the edge of audible (headphones required). This release finds him at the quiet peak of his provocative game, offering two 44-minute pieces whose clicks and high-pitched echoes are the equivalent of heat shimmer or an absent lover's perfume. [Wired, USA]

German composer Bernhard Günter began thinking about this project after visiting a large retrospective by visual artist Bill Viola in Frankfurt. One of the installations in the exhibit, Günter explains, "consisted of a video image projected on to (and through) several semitransparent tissues hung from the ceiling. I found the weightless aspect of this work extremely attractive, and so on my way home started thinking about ways to translate this impression into music."

And so we have the beginnings of Monochrome White, the first part of what has now evolved into a triptychon. The second disc in this release, containing Polychrome w/Neon Nails represents the second part. The third, titled Monochrome Rust, is forthcoming on LINE. (Herein lies my only reservation about this release, and this only parenthetically: I can't help but think that the triptychon should have been released in its entirety; to provide one part is understandable, but two out of three seems to tip the balance.)

Using source material from Inmedia's (Darren Reynolds and Vicki Panale) In Audio CDR, Günter began assembling a work using only high frequency spectra in order to "lift it off the ground... and keep it harmonically floating/suspended," as he explains it in his liner notes. Monochrome White is a wonderful piece; the sounds creep up on you slowly, the gentle, dynamic crackles and high frequencies play softly across the sound field while they compliment and subtly transform the listening space around you. The second disc, Polychrome w/Neon Nails, may be using a lower pitch (although Günter admits that the difference isn't apparent to the ear), but the composition is more audible than the last; Günter is still employing high frequency spectra, but these sounds impose themselves more in the foreground, like the incessant chirping of digital cicadas. Both pieces have a complimentary structure and overall rhythm, and each have a run time of approximately 45 minutes. In all, a compelling work that rewards well with each listening, a fine addition to Günter's catalogue of groundbreaking compositions.[Richard di Santo, INCURSION MUSIC REVIEW (July 2001)]

 

Bernhard Günter      Crossing the River (Night Music)      TOC014   [2000, trente oiseaux, germany]

            

"Crossing the river", dedicated to Iannis Xenakis at the time of his death, is an ideal continuation to Günter's exquisite production of the last two years. Using acoustic sources and studio treatments, Bernhard once again establishes himself as one of the masters in what I call "frequency halos", where you are catching few glimpses of sound flying around like angels, to be heard but not to be seen. These sounds bring melancholy, joy, questions, inner self-analysis but never anger or fear. It's almost a transcendental experience and I absolutely recommend you to become initiated if you still haven't any of this man's records. Deep, positive music in any meaning. [Massimo Ricci, TOUCHING EXTREMES]

Then, Silence, Bernhard Günter's previous release on Trente Oiseaux paid tribute to Morton Feldman and Luigi Nono. With its dedication to Iannis Xenakis, Crossing the River (Night Music) completes the triumvirate of influences reigning (although not as despots) over Günter's music. The artist has publicly explained the title piece had been completed before the news of the Greek composer's death reached him. Crossing the River (Night Music) is a half-hour composition proceeding in tableaux much like Then, Silence. A melodic figure is sketched by a screechy cello and a horn (French horn?) heard from a distance. Its echoing notes sound like a fog horn and provide the strongest element in establishing a marine theme. Soft electroacoustic textures, kept barely above audible level, evoke the river itself, its song growing so familiar one tends to forget it. Is this a dream in which the sequences are separated by a few seconds of sleepy silence or episodes taken from a long journey on the symbolic river? The title of a Miró painting reproduced in the booklet brings an element of answer: 'Ceci est la couleur de mes rêves' -- 'This is the color of my dreams'. 

Günter's recommendation to listen to the piece 'in the dark' is superfluous. All his works deserve to be experienced in the calmest, most stimuli-deprived conditions. As a complement, the shorter Haiku for Mu is less interesting. More of a field recording (it actually sounds untreated), it features a dog sleeping. We hear the animal's breath and sounds oozing in from the street. Buy this CD for the title piece, one of Günter's best and another step away from his earlier sound art and toward contemporary composition. [François Couture]

Crossing the River (Night Music) is the latest release from sound artist Bernhard Günter, following closely on the heels of monochcrome white / polychrome w/neon nails, released on Line just a few short months ago. This new work differs greatly from this last project, presenting rather a more organic and acoustic sound environment, where the latter was more of an installation piece for the home, filled with digital crackles and sensitive tones like the chatter of cicadas.

The first piece, which gives the disc its title, proceeds in slow, deliberate movements; a muted bass thump sounds occasionally; the waves of the river clash gently against the frame of a still boat; vibrating harmonic strings haunt the soundscape. The liner notes quote the title of a painting by Juan Miró , "Ceci est la couleur de mes rèves" (This is the color of my dreams), offering a fitting compliment to this bewitching arrangement, which runs for just over 30 minutes (?) not that time seems to carry any weight when listening to this piece. On the contrary, time seems to slip away in the wake of these calm and tranquil sounds. 

The second piece, "Haiku for Mu" was made using the sounds of Günter's dog Mu "sleeping, breathing and dreaming". It was originally released on last year's lowercase sound compilation, but here appears remastered and "embedded in silence." The title of this piece makes me wonder if there was a structural principal involved in its creation in order to make it an haiku of sound rather than one of words. What we do hear are the sounds of Mu's short breaths, some shuffling, some movement, all coloured by the opaque and muted hiss of the source recording. This piece seems less like a composition than it does a pure source recording, but knowing Günter's work there was likely a meticulous process involved in its making. Putting aside these details, however, probably the most significant observation I can make about Günter's latest work is that no matter the creative processes or structural principles involved here, the listener hangs on to every single sound and every nuance, becoming sensitive to every movement and shuffle, every variation in harmony, every ripple of water. These two pieces unfold before your ears like some kind of wondrous tapestry and create a tranquil atmosphere, inspiring a similarly calm state of mind. A beautiful new work. [Richard di Santo, INCURSION MUSIC REVIEW]

Günter has dedicated his latest composition Crossing The River (Night Music) to the recently deceased Yannis Xenakis, although he remains steadfast in extending the ideas from Morton Feldman's late period out of a chamber ensemble and into the language of abstract electronics.

Günter has reportedly denied the use of traditional instrumentation, in favour of computer processed recordings of everyday events. Yet on this album his delicate procession of sustained tones filled which rich, sonorous timbres could be plausible replications of Robert Ruttman's steel cellos, or an oboe, or even a slightly mutated melodica. He gives each of these elements plenty of space to resonate, before presenting another discreet tone. These sombre vibrations are cast under a dark shadow, as he gradually introduces an eerie Ambient din resembling a distant flux of incoming tidal patterns. As in all of his work, time takes on an uncanny morphology crawling at an incredibly slow pace. Yet the sounds appearing in this timeframe are so mesmerizing as to leave me wondering where the last 45 minutes went. Crossing The River is arguably Günter's finest composition to date. [Jim Haynes, November 2001, courtesy of The Wire Magazine, UK]

 

Bernhard Günter     Time, dreaming itself     TOC003    [2000, trente oiseaux, germany]

I'm pleased to say these two CDs are a pair of masterpieces, possibly Günter's best until now. They seem to be born together, to be each other's complement, such is their strong affinity link. Both consist of fluttering, barely flashing sound waves and strange concoctions of frequencies coming all around the listener, caressing him and sometimes stinging his ear - but for just a small time fraction. Pure vibration, slowly evolving harmonics slightly contrasting their own development - you're never completely at ease listening to Günter, even in his most static moments. "Brown, blue..." is dedicated to Mark Rothko and it's a little more "present" in its electronic expression, while "Time" it's so unreachable by your senses that's almost non-material - and, according to me, it's maybe the best of the pair. Two major electro/computer/contemporary (..what you call them...) pieces of work, they come absolutely recommended. Miss at your own risk. [Massimo Ricci, TOUCHING EXTREMES]

The latest offering from Bernhard Günter takes on the theme of "time, and the notion of slowness". One long track is comprised of a number of movements, which are more like "moments" in time. The divisions that mark these moments are more noticeable than in Günter's previous work, as if he were presenting us with a film of brief images following one another in a slow pace, one image slowly focuses into view, then fades to black...

Some of these "images" last only a few seconds (or DIMs, as he would put it), and others are longer, and move on with a steady, slow pace. The sounds are delicate and subtle constructions that have an almost symphonic feel. Quiet, meditative and mysterious. A stunning work with a strange visual effect, which to me says less about time and the notion of slowness than it does about sounds being rendered visible. Highly recommended. [Richard di Santo, INCURSION MUSIC REVIEW, July 2000]

I can imagine that listening to Günter is the closest one can get to the classic sensory deprivation tank experience without need of a towel to dry off afterward. Lie down, eyes closed, and bask in the warm glow of his magical, minimal harmonics. You might find that you've changed more than the music appears to! Fear not, for this single 40-minute ever-evolving track never sounds quite the same from one listen to the next. (...) Turn off your steam, relax and float down mind. [Jeff Gibson, OTHER MUSIC, July 2000]

You can hear strings in bernhard günter's new piece? Arditti? Kronos? Nothing of all this: here günter goes further "backwards"(?), following a surprisingly musical path that, as to atmospheres, may have faraway echoes only in the feeling of missing found in the most essential romantic lieder.

As it often happens in günter's works, this piece is orchestrated around a number of nuclei that bloom, take shape, become thinner, suggest absences. The difference this time is in the sound quality of the nuclei themselves. You can hear strings, I said: the cellos are as dark as a night chant. They taste of waiting. Very deep, essential, they linger on one tone, they let themselves be swallowed by silence and then they appear again to overlap the choral whole. Now and then the sound of a shakuhachi flute emerges - suspended, to create estranging harmonic effects that are akin to the war-mest sounds of steve roden, those of some elusive passages in "humming endlessly in the hush". "time, dreaming itself" is an autumn voice (and autumn is a season of the mind), of a beauty that lies between the comfort of what's certain and the temptation of the other. Because of this, and because of all the nights that it will accompany. [Daniela Cascella, BLOW UP, Italy, 2000]

Bernhard Günter's Trente Oiseaux label specializes in minimalist electroacoustic compositions His work might appear to be part of the recent trend in electronica towards the exploration of miniature sonic events, but he has a classical background (he studied briefly at IRCAM) and brings with him a sense of practice deriving from 20th century composition, influenced particularly by Morton Feldman, and also abstract expressionism's Zen-like exploration of non-conceptual events Günter sources sounds from everyday objects and environments, but processes them into new source units for abstract compositions Although previous works have mixed quasi instrumental sounds with glitches and crackles, Time, Dreaming Itself foregrounds the soft but grainy timbre of vibrating strings or woodwind, as if Günter were re-embodying the notion of a minimalist chamber piece in abstract electronic space.

While notionally divided into '8113 dim' - a dim being a new division of time proposed by Günter as a measure of human perception - the piece plays as a single track. Simple planes of timbre and tone that sound like notes on cellos or soft organ chords emerge into view and fade out, sometimes singly, sometimes in constellation, and sometimes as an inter-leaving of drones. Sounds melt into view as if they merely happened to coexist, and as if all tensions were to be held in the air, moment by moment, and not taken as signals to project expectations forwards in time. The re-lationship to Feldman is noticeable here in the attention to simple durations and the silence around them, which are gradually extended into broader tonal configurations.

Other brief events may contrast particular relations in pitch and timbre. Throughout there is a general air of recurrence and duration which, over time, creates a feeling of positive melodic presence without ever losing the sense that these are, in fact, discretely moving sound events which may or may not coincide in some kind of intentional harmony. Where,on a very few occasions, an extremely thin, high pitched electric tone cuts through the listening space, it has the effect of re-sensitizing one to the feeling of vibration in the ear, wiping the slate clean and returning your attention to the moment, which then begins to stretch away again. [Matt Fytche, courtesy of The Wire Magazine, UK]

 

Bernhard Günter       Brown, Blue, Brown on Blue (for Mark Rothko)      TOC001    [2000, trente oiseaux, germany]

         

 

Is there a composer who less rewards distracted listening than bernhard günter?

When günter's debut "un peu de neige salie" (Selektion) was released in 1993, people scratched their heads and tried to name another recording that so privileged silence in relation to sound. (I, for one, recalled that in the early 1980's Stiff Records announced the forthcoming "The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan" -- a blank record.). "un peu de neige salie" also privileged the now much less threatening electronic glitch, chopped into what at the time seemed like the tiniest of fragments and deployed somewhere around the threshold of audibility. There's a certain pleasure to be taken in the fact that an album which contains the instruction "to be listened to at very low volume" to be listed by the magazine THE WIRE as one of the "100 Albums that Set the World on Fire". Quietly, that is.

günter likens his music to a tree. In this metaphor, each sound is unique -- paradoxically, given that this is recorded sound, unrepeatable -- and rewards attention when savored as such. Lengthy buffers of silence isolate individual events. The pervading sense of simplicity and matter-of-factness belies submerged structures. In günter's writings, sounds are accorded an object status, recalling musique concrète pioneer an theoretician Pierre Schaeffer's term "objets sonores".

If günter's work succeeds in making the object metaphor pertinent, it is largely because the individual sounds rarely read as representations of musical instruments or other identifiable resonating bodies. They do the neat trick of seeming to exist for günter's work solely; his sounds are mysterious, yes, but to his credit never programmatically uncanny -- musique concrète's built-in shortcoming.

I tend to be cautious about recommending günter's music. To answer the rhetorical question with which i began, no, i cannot think of another composer whose work would be similarly divested of its attributes through background or ambient listening. It practically ceases to exist. A crunch here, five minutes, a crunch there. Wait, turn it up -- a humming. A drone. But now it's stopped. Conversely, setting aside the time to square off with your speakers makes for arewarding experience. Is it possible to keep from leaning forward? Sounds appear to be congregating somewhere behind the speakers; there is an illusion that sounds are not projected into the listening space. The individual sound object waits somewhere in the distance, awaiting your approach.

"brown, blue, brown on blue (for Mark Rothko)" is less starkly alien than most of günter's work. Even on first listen, it is likely to remind you of music of this world. Individual sounds are sustained. Clues suggest resonance through bowing. When masses of sound overlap, there is consonance, and the piece ends with a very conspicuous major interval.Consistent with the rest of his work, however, the overall dynamics remain very quiet, and the music still appears to be reaching us from some unspecified distance. The sustained pitches evoke drones in Japanese Gagaku, but are lower in pitch and softer in timbre; their durations make t difficult to recognize an ordered sequence of pitches, and in this way the music recalls that of Morton Feldman, a composer much revered by günter. Among works of electroacoustic music, 'brown, blue, brown on blue' most closely resembles Eliane Radigue's "Trilogie de la Mort", but such a resemblance -- glacial pace, quiet microtonal beatings -- is happenstance and unremarkable.

"brown, blue, brown on blue" is significant within günter's oeuvre as an intuitive leap from his previous works. This is tobe appreciated; many of his pieces consist of events linked by intuitive leaps across silence -- e.g., a sequence of sounds may strike the listener as a riddle or conundrum. Riddles and conundra abound from event to event within his works, but not between works. His pieces are rarely at odds with each other. "brown, blue, brown on blue" goes some distance to change that.

A quick revision to the first metaphor -- günter's music would most closely resemble a tree had you never seen a tree. [David Grubbs, SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 2000]

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