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FRANCISCO LÓPEZ    Warszawa Restaurant     TOC951

Francisco's first CD for TRENTE OISEAUX contains a dark, haunting soundscape in seven parts: far away resonances over dark waves, deep submarine space; like a magician, he suspends time with a slow gesture...

 

M. BEHRENS     Advanced Environmental Control     TOC952

M.Behrens first CD is very interesting in both sound and formal aspects, with one work dealing with the concepts of inside / outside, the other one using sound signals emitted by traffic lights to guide the blind.

 

FRANCISCO LÓPEZ     Belle Confusion 966      TOC963

A stunningly beautiful work by Francisco López - the CD contains the full 55 minutes studio version of the work, plus an 18 minutes excerpt of its live performance in Zürich, Switzerland, during the trente oiseaux "Alpine Tour '96". 

 

STEVE RODEN      Crop Circles      Ad'OC971

Steve Roden is a visual and sound artist from Los Angeles, known for his musical work under the name of "in be tween noise". Steve felt that this particular work, music for an installation he has done, was far enough from the music of "in be tween noise" to ask us to release it under his own name. It is a quiet soundscape, produced by using only a microphone and a speaker to create the sound material, and designed to fill the room at a moderate loudness to let the listener take a 42 minutes bath in a strange atmosphere, repetitive, but changing all the time.

 

HERVÉ CASTELLANI    Flamme    TOC981

Many listeners had been impressed by French composer Hervé Castellani's first release, a 3" cd on French label METAMKINE's reputed "Cinéma pour l'oreille" series, titled "deux silences". He has now composed a new piece, titled "Flamme" (English: "flame") - a deep-reaching soundscape, an authentic piece of art, taking repeated listening, revealing new aspects every time, and opening a great new world for your ears and mind to explore. The composer recommends medium to low volume listening.

 

M. BEHRENS     Four Installations      TOC992

M.Behrens' second CD on TRENTE OISEAUX, Four Installations can be seen as the counterpart to his intricate electro-acoustic compositions: it contains soundtracks of four different sound and mixed media installations made during 1998 and the beginning of 1999. The often very minimal sound events are actually capable of transporting the listener into the various spaces. Locations in which the installations took place range from the basement of the Institute for New Media in Frankfurt, Germany, full of computers, to a rural village in the mountain area at the border between Italy and Slovenia.
 

REYNOLS      Blank Tapes      TOC002

Reynols is a group of artists from Buenos Aires, Argentina, consisting of Miguel Tomasin, Robeto Conlazo, and Anla Courtis. Their work Blank Tapes is a piece in six parts, made from analog and digital treatments of a selection of blank tapes, dating from the years 1978-1999. Despite the minimal material, the six sections are constantly changing and shifting along their duration, covering a wide range of dynamics and frequencies, their overall characteristics varying on a scale from silent and contemplative to outright aggressive, and make this cd a very interesting listening experience.

 

BERNHARD GÜNTER     Time, dreaming itself      TOC003

This work's main aspects are, as its title suggests, Time, and the notion of Slowness. Of complex harmonic design similar to "Brown, Blue, Brown on Blue ( For Mark Rothko )" the composition uses both instrumental images and elements of a more soundscape-type character, plus a non-tempered scale as the basis for the various transpositions of the sounds. Other than that, i think it speaks for itself...

bernhard günter, May 2000
 

MATT SHOEMAKER      Groundless      TOC004

When Matt Shoemaker sent me a demo of Groundless , it was quite a revelation for me - "cinema-scope" being the first term flashing across my mind hearing it... He is a very original artist, using a very well integrated combination of concrete and electronic sounds for a 55 minutes long journey through ever changing soundscapes. Listening to it on headphones in the dark was an extraordinary experience for me, and i have to say that Matt's music is entertaining in the best possible sense of the term - it does not know a single minute of boredom.

bernhard günter, September 2000

 

"Hey Matt! Thanks a lot for the CD. It's truly a superb work, one of the best I've heard in a long time. You've managed to create an amazing sense of inner space, odd sonic dimensions, and a delicate richness that are very unusual and certainly thrilling. Congratulations."

Francisco López, April 2001, by e-mail
 
 

STEVE RODEN      Four Possible Landscapes     TOC005

I originally used the term "possible landscapes" to describe my performances - spaces created from spaces, relating to the specificity of location, yet trying to open this specificity up to abstraction. Although they use no "field recordings", i view these four works also as possible landscapes - perhaps tied more to the tradition of painting - where fuzzy edges and hues of color can lead one to wander...

Steve Roden, October 2000
 
 

BERNHARD GÜNTER      Then, Silence      TOC011

Then, Silence is dedicated to Morton Feldman and Luigi Nono. The experience of listening to their music has changed my understanding, my way of listening to, my thinking about, and my creating music so much that my own work would simply be unthinkable without it. Dedicating Then, Silence to them is my modest Thank You to Morton Feldman and Luigi Nono, expressing not only my admiration, but also the sadness their untimely parting causes me.

bernhard günter, August 2000
 

 

SIGTRYGGUR BERG SIGMARSSON      Ship      TOC012

Sigtryggur has created a wonderfully calm, very minimal, but also very detailed work. The compositional devices that structure the work are subtle, yet effective in making it a very rounded out listening experience. Sigtryggur has distilled an immensely personal musical statement from very reduced source material. The atmosphere of his work does indeed strongly remind me of my visit to Iceland, and its wonderful topography of absence.

bernhard günter, August 2000

 

RICHARD CHARTIER       Decisive Forms      TOC013

Decisive Forms is a very subtle, abstract work of great detail, a perfect object for contemplation thatrequires the listener's full attention. I find it extremely captivating to follow as it unfolds over time, to adjust my breathing to its slow pulse, and to be completely absorbed by the act of perception itself without thinking in form of interior comments, descriptions, or associations. Decisive Forms is another step forward Richard is taking from his fine work 'series' that has just received one of the twelve Honorable Mentions of PRIX ARS ELECTRONICA 2001. I will not try to further describe Decisive Forms, but rather encourage you to go ahead and experience it yourself - the attention it requires is generously rewarded.

bernhard günter, May 2001

 

 

BERNHARD GÜNTER / STEVE RODEN     Japan     TOC015

Originally projected to be sold exclusively at our concerts during our tour in Japan in November 2001, this split CD of Steve Roden and I will be released on TRENTE OISEAUX, along with Steve's upcoming CD for our label, because we found ourselves too fond of the pieces it contains to limit it to this use. While the three pieces differ very much in style ( mine being made of noises exclusively, while the two by Steve are using concrete sounds ), they really work together very well.

bernhard günter, March 2001
 

 

REINHOLD FRIEDL / MICHAEL VORFELD    Au Défaut du Silence   TOC016

Reinhold Friedl, piano, and Michael Vorfeld, cello, create music that transcends the boundaries of improvised, and composed music, as well as those between instrumental and electro-acoustic music. Their pieces range from quiet, introspective, and sparse atmospheres to very dense, highly intense, and almost orchestral parts. This music is quite impressive, and strikes me as a new step in improvised music Releasing their excellent work will both broaden TRENTE OISEAUX's spectrum of musical styles, and introduce the artists' highly innovative approach to listeners outside the inner circle of improvised music.

bernhard günter, June 2001
 

 

BERNHARD GÜNTER      Redshift       TOC021

I was forming plans for a very different project in my mind when i came across a number of DAT tapes from my first sampling days in 1993, the time of 'Un peu de neige salie' - these tapes contained sounds i had not used in those days, and that i could not at all remember the origins / sources of, but that sounded interesting to my present day ears. I thus started to work with them, without the slightest idea of what might be the result, and the piece kind of made itself - the result was a structure consisting of noise sounds to which i added a complementary micro-tonal structure of instrumental samples to form the whole. It is difficult to describe the result, but i think it quite unique in the impression it gives - when listened to at low or medium volume (it is supposed to be), the sounds seem to come from a far distance, and create shifting impressions of space.

The associations of signals coming from far away, and transforming space it gave me led to the title Redshift, a term that describes a phenomenon discovered in the 1920's: the light of far distant galaxies is shifted to the red spectrum, and the farther away they are, the stronger the redshift is. This discovery can only be explained by a Doppler Effect implying that these galaxies are moving away from us, and that the universe is expanding. These associations are, of course, purely subjective - you do not have to imagine swarms of neutrinos, or radio signals from a quasar to enjoy the piece.

BERNHARD GÜNTER      Abschied      TOC021

Redshift is combined with Abschied on TOC021. As the two pieces are not related to each other, each has its own cover. Here are the liner notes for Abschied:

I have composed 'Abschied' in memory of Erika Kedziora, my wife's aunt, who passed away on July 28th, 2001, after a long illness, at age 70. She was a wonderful human being, friendly, and open-minded, always wishing me luck for my concerts, and succcess for my music. Heike and I were very shocked, and saddened to learn that she had finally lost the battle against her illness.

May she rest in peace. We will remember her.

bernhard günter, August 2001
 

 

MATT SHOEMAKER       Warung Elusion      TOC022

I will describe Matt Shoemaker's second CD for TRENTE OISEAUX using some notes I jotted down on a piece of paper while listening to it. His music consists of an ever-changing, intricate web of sounds defining spaces in constant transformation. It is very detailed, very present. Transitions between soundscapes, sometimes very slow and very gradual, sometimes very surprising, keep his music going; often different strata of time are present simultaneously. Matt is a master in building and sustaining tension by means of changes in density of sounds and events, as well as by modifying the frequency range of the spectra used. Another interesting quality of his music is that it brings the abstractness of concrete sounds taken out of their context to consciousness.

I noted these general impressions while listening to the first of the two pieces, and i'd like to describe the second one in more detail: i can't help but think of it as an immense, surrealist electronic rain forest, filled with tiny noises, far-away calls, and sudden showers of rain. The piece builds up slowly to stay quite intense and urgent over a longer stretch of time, and, after a change in harmony, to end (and finally fade away) in weightlessly floating vastness.

In June 2001, after i had written the above, Matt has composed a third piece, adding new sound colors to his palette, and deepening his exploration of the creation of artificial space. The vivid dynamics along with the overall mysterious character of the new piece make it the perfect opening work for his new CD.

While Matt Shoemaker may not yet be a well known name in the realm of electro-acoustic music, yet, i believe that it certainly will be in the future, and i will do my best to make it happen, as i think that his music quite comfortably compares with that of more known artists. Don't miss his music!

 

KUWAYAMA - KIJIMA       01.06.16      TOC023

01.06.16 is TRENTE OISEAUX's second release of improvised instrumental music. Kuwayama Kiyoharu, cello, and Kijima Rina, violin, took their instruments to the bottom of a highway at midnight, and improvised along with the passing vehicles. Both are formidable players, and so well attuned to each other that their improvisations cannot be told from highly complex compositions. Like other improvising players, they have adopted the musical vocabulary, and musical gestures of contemporary classical music, and are using them freely, but also drawing from a great number of other influences, making their own music very rich, and inventive. The particular spatial impression created by cars going by is making their recordings an even more fascinating listening experience. We are inviting you to to discover this exiting, and highly engaging work.

 

RICHARD CHARTIER / BERNHARD GÜNTER / STEVE RODEN     [ For Morton Feldman ]      TOC024

[ For Morton Feldman ] presents one piece each in homage to Morton Feldman by Richard Chartier, Steve Roden, and me on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of his death in September 1987. I am amazed how well these pieces, in spite of being quite different in style, work together to constitute a whole. They also express the influence Morton Feldman's sublime works have had (and still have) on us in our personal ways of creating music.

Richard's HOW THINGS CHANGE is a rather intimate, pensive piece made of abstract electronic sounds and long stretches of silence, while Steve's STASIS is probably the most hypnotic and atmosperic set of slowly orbiting loops he has ever created. I, who like to say that the safest to expect from me is the unexpected, have composed a piece for winter rain, small brook, and sho, titled FUYU NO AME (FOR MORTON FELDMAN), a piece that belongs to what I have called my 'musique concrète, enhanced' strain of work, but sounds like else nothing I have done.

I have mastered the CD to from a unit with the silences between the works in proportion with the silences they contain. When the master was finished I noticed that the cover I had designed beforehand actually did not fit in with the music presented, and so designed an entirely new one. This cover will be the first full color cover for Trente Oiseaux, anticipating the switch to full color covers I had planned for 2003. I believe that this release is one of Trente Oiseaux's finest, in both the music it presents, and it's attractive packaging.

 

JOHANNES HELDÉN      Sketchbook       TOC025

I'm very pleased to have been able to add this young Swedish artist's work to Trente Oiseaux's program for this year. Based on field recordings Johannes made while traveling from Sweden to Russia via Norway, Sketchbook is a quiet, moody work of great atmosphere and devoid of all pretension. In an essay I wrote for the Digital Narcis label's new website you will find the following statement:

''In my earlier days as an artist, I believed that there had to be something called 'Kunstwille' in German (i.e., the will to create art) and a specific gesture (I called 'the art gesture' in my own terminology) to turn a given material into a work of art. This can indeed bring about excellent results, but there is also an inherent danger in this when the will to create and the 'art gesture' become the masters, and artistic sensibility is lost.

Nowadays I have come to distrust the 'artness' in art, and feel that I should do without the 'will to create' and the 'art gesture' to create art just the same way one eats, sleeps and breathes. I'm thinking of the descriptions of Kendo practice Mishima Yukio has put in some of his works: the real master has to forget the sword, the enemy, the will to kill the enemy, and the wish to be a master.'' I find that Johannes' work on Sketchbook is a perfect example of this 'artless' attitude, and this is what I like so much about it.

bernhard günter, april 2002

PS October 2002: As a part of my ongoing quest to make TRENTE OISEAUX releases ever more interesting and attractive I have decided to start using the Mixed Media CD format, giving artists the possibility to not only share their sound work, but also any kind of visual work, and also writing. Sketchbook is the first TRENTE OISEAUX CD in this format, and contains 17 photos taken by the artist on his above mentioned journey. I have also designed a new full color cover for his CD.

 

STEVE RODEN       Resonant Cities       TOC031

Steve Roden composed Resonant Cities as a project for Kunst Radio Wien (Art Radio Vienna) using only field recordings of tiny details from cities all over the world. The following lines from a text Steve wrote about this work perfectly describe what it is about: 

"... searching through my library of field recordings for material for this project, i realized that my visits to most cities are a kind of hunting activity to gather these inconsiderable audio things - and indeed as i listened, a lot of these sounds they conjured up some very strong memories of moments when i have been in a city yet felt outside of 'city', as though an intimate listening or sound making activity can completely take one outside of their immediate environment to a place where the sound one is listening to begins to define the parameters of space. even quiet sounds, if one listens closely and intimately can direct one's attention away from the existing 'scenery'..." 
Steve Roden's complete essay on Resonant Cities is included on the CD in PDF format.

 

KUWAYAMA – KIJIMA       02.08.23        TOC032

Japanese Duo Kuwayama - Kijima have recorded their second release for Trente Oiseaux in an empty warehouse at Nagoya Port. The sound of crickets and waves picked up by microphones placed outside the building were transmitted into the space, where Kuwayama and Kijima played along with them, taking advantage of the natural reverb of the space, and changing their position in it while playing.

Compared to to Kuwayama - Kijima's first release on Trente Oiseaux, where cars going over a midnight highway bridge provided a very vivid ambience, this recording's atmosphere is much quieter and more static, thus drawing more attention to the duo's excellent playing, and providing a kind of peaceful canvas if front of which they pursue their musical and sonic explorations. 02.08.23 is a record that asks the listener to pay close attention and to become immersed in the ongoing transformations of sounds and musical figures - when this attitude is taken, listening to the record is a very gratifying experience.

bernhard günter, January 2003
 

 

THOMAS PHILLIPS       On Dit       TOC033

"On Dit was created during the summer and autumn of 2002. These were my last months in the U.S. before relocating to Montreal. It was also a period of technological experimentation, as I had only recently acquired the programs with which On Dit was made. Conceptually, the piece had been with me for some time. The intention was to use a palette of both digital and organic sounds and to construct an extended track complete with individual though related "movements." I was aiming for a certain quietude, which I achieved in the first section, though as is often the case in art, the composition slowly developed of its own accord and became somewhat louder and more frenetic than anticipated. Perhaps the manifestation of an impending transition was escaping through the music."

This quote is the beginning of an essay that Tomas Phillips wrote about his work and that is included on the CD, as well as three of his paintings. For me On Dit constitutes a most interesting and personal choice of elements from the vocabulary of the electro-acoustic music of the last decade, and combines them in a way that is both inventive and highly musical. The trajectory of the work is quite unpredictable, yet builds up to a coherent formal unity, and presents a perspective of progressing from the sometimes overly dominant paradigm of 'click and cut', 'glitch' and other purely abstract sound work towards a kind of work that embraces all the possibilities electronic tools offer today's composers.

bernhard günter, June 2003
 
 

KEITH BERRY      The Golden Boat      TOC034

Keith Berry is a sound artist based in London. His The Golden Boat consists of four pieces all quite consistent in style and sound quality to the point that they form, not unlike my own Un Peu de Neige Salie, a unified whole. Keith's work is very musical and beautiful, evolving at a slow pace, like the passing of clouds. It has a strong spatial quality, especially on headphones, and uses a variety of sound materials ranging from concrete to instrumental to electronic.

And this is where my ability to describe it ends: I'm afraid I'm not capable of a description that does Keith's music justice - the only way to deal with it is to listen to it, and all that is left to for me do is to strongly recommend it. The Golden Boat is certainly one of Trente Oiseaux's highlights in 2003.

bernhard günter, October 2003
 

 

BERNHARD GÜNTER / GRAHAM HALLIWELL / MARK WASTELL      +minus  [FIRST MEETING]        TOC041

As the title implies, +minus [first meeting] is the result of the first meeting of bernhard günter with Graham Halliwell, and Mark Wastell. It also implies that what was intended to be a recording project has become a band, my first band since fifteen years, and named +minus:

Bernhard Günter: electric cellotar and composed basis tracks
Graham Halliwell: saxophone feedback
Mark Wastell: amplified textures, Nepalese prayer bowls and gong

+minus' music is improvised, but not purely so: two of the four tracks on our first artist use some of my older, noise oriented pieces as their structural basis, while the two others are indeed improvised. We understand improvisation as 'instant composition', and the result is an intuitively played cross-over between electro-acoustic and improvised music of generally quiet and contemplative character. Our group name alludes to our playing ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ pre-recorded composed basis tracks.

Our first meeting led to the virtually immediate creation of a new musical vocabulary and language specific to this particular group of musicians - something I had never experienced to happen in such a short time in the past.

 

REINHOLD FRIEDL / BERNHARD GÜNTER / MICHAEL VORFELD       Message Urgent      TOC042

For this release the widely respected improvisation duo of Reinhold Friedl, inside piano and Michael Vorfeld, percussion and stringed instruments is joined by Bernhard Günter, electric cellotar. Reinhold, Michael, and me first got together to play concert at the Podewil in Berlin in November 2003. After the sound check as our sole rehearsal we played a really intense set, and were astonished by how well our playing as a trio functioned. We then spent the next day recording in the same space at the Podewil, a recording session that was both mentally and physically so intense it left us exhausted  (I still distinctly remember our hands trembling ). MESSAGE URGENT now presents these recordings.

This trio music is quite different from that of my trio +minus, it is quite dense ( at times almost orchestral ) and intense, although of very low volume ( please resist the temptation to turn the volume up ), constantly changing atmospheres and moods. The intensity of our session is well captured by the recording ( as well as a bit of background noise that becomes noticeable during the most silent moments ), and so the CD provides a listening experience you should not miss... 

 

+minus     A Rainy Koran Verse [UK live]     TOC043

Our second album presents 70 minutes of live recordings from three concerts in Norwich, Manchester, and London. I will not give a long description of the music here, let me just say that during my obligatory test listening to the just arrived CD, I could only think 'What a great record!' and smile a big smile. +minus managed to achieve the creation of a unique musical language and style ( no small feat in my humble opinion ), and was one of the most gratifying projects ever in my musical life.