cd was recorded in 2005 at the Nurnichtnur Studios at Kleve, Germany by
Nurnichtnur label owner Beserker (Dieter Schlensog).
useful that German trumpeter Birgit Ulher chose to do a solo session as
one of her three new releases for the Portuguese label Creative Sources
(for whom she's done two records prior to this recent set). Useful because
hers is a group sound aesthetic, creating more a single voice than a conversation.
Scatter affords a chance of isolate her approach and to then recognize
her part in group projects. While Ulher is a part of the European community
of makers of very small sounds - she's worked with Martin Klapper, Roger
Turner, Tim Hodgkinson, Rhodri Davies and Raymond Strid - the precedent
for her first solo recording is the solo half of Lester Bowie's 1982 double-disc
All the Magic. Without Bowie's humor, she still explores all the sounds
of trumpet, all the smacks and clacks and, sputters that can be pushed
through the metal tube. Over the course of ten tracks, she proves herself
to be a resourceful experimenter in the vein of such fellow trumpeters
as Axel Dörner, Frantz Hautzinger, Greg Kelley and Herb Robertson.
plyta niemieckiej improwizatorki, jak zwykle smialo testujacej palete
brzmien trabki, pokazuje, ze i grajac sama, czuje sie ona calkiem dobrze.
People like Taylor Deupree, Koji Asano and Birgit Ulher knows the meaning of the words "relax" and "stand by" but most of all do they know what "rest" means? Probably the answer is "neee" and this new cd on Creative Sources is here to confirm it. After some collaborations we reviewed in the last months this musician is back with a proper "solo recording". If compared with her collaborations this release is much more minimal and above all softer, if you're familiar with the usual sound of this portuguese label I'm sure you won't be dissatisfied by "Scatter". The trumpet sounds choked, its voice passes from suffocated notes/noises to short but never violent incursions. The voice of Ulher's trumpet rears its head just a few times (as I’ve said many times before when speaking about this style of free-improvisation forget academic use of instruments) and if you consider the average length of most of the tracks goes from three to four minutes: it means the most of the lexicon is represented by electro acoustic” noises. Birgit use her instrument as a nail with which she pierces silence more than in any other previous recording. I can imagine many listeners when giving a listen to "Scatter" could think of a joke, or even worse that the recording indulges on a bunch of senseless exercises, but wasn't that the opinion many had about the abstract expressionists' works in New York? Isn’t contemporary art trapped in that no mans land that separates a serious piece from a joke? Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)
"Scattered" is an adjective that we commonly associate to "leaves". Indeed this concise essay for solo trumpet made me think about city streets after a heavy rain, where not only leaves but also remnants of newspapers, small bunches of additional rubbish and watered car oil create a patchy view of dejected reality. Contrarily - but not too much - to her usual canon, Ulher makes good use of long silences as a contrasting medium for her affirmations, often utilizing a solid timbre which gets inevitably modified by the extended techniques she's commonly associated to. Birgit's persistently non-conventional melodic developments alternate with ill-structured whispers and perennial leakages from an instrument that, in her sapient hands, becomes a machine emitting spurious signals of intelligent timbral dismemberment. Maximo Ricci (Touching Extremes)
This is territory that compatriot Axel Dörner has already explored: solo trumpet playing so ruthlessly non-idiomatic that it sounds like a different instrument entirely. Ulher`s spectrum of toneless breath noises, soft valve pops and chuckling meta-bop flurries calls for close and evenly suspended attention. There is an evolving logic to these mostly short pieces. Only the midpoint "Possibilities" seems slightly flabby and lacking the elemental directness of the other cuts. Brian Morton (The Wire)
Den NurNichtNur-Studios in Kleve entstanden ist Scatter (cs 054), der
erste auf Tonträger fixierte Alleingang von BIRGIT ULHER. Die Dekonstruktion
der Trompete ist inzwischen weit fortgeschritten, wenn ich nur an Hautzinger,
Kelley, Kerbaj, Wooley denke. Ulher macht den nächsten Schritt und
bläst und fegt auch noch die zerraspelten Metallspäne vom Tisch
(‚Aluminium Scatter‘, ‚Copper Scatter‘‚
Metall Scatter‘). Von der Trompete bleibt nur ein Schatten, eine
negative Kontur als Spur ihrer einstigen Anwesenheit (‚Negative
Shape‘). In ihre Moleküle zerlegt (‚Elements‘)
kommt die Geschichte des Trompetenklangs an ihr Ende und von diesem Umkehrpunkt
an ergeben sich wieder alle Möglichkeiten (‚Possibilities‘).
Al-Chemie trifft sich hier mit Genetik, geleitet von der Frage, ob auch
alles ganz anders klingen könnte (‚Other Sounds‘). Ulhers
Ab- und Umbauprozesse klanglich beschreiben zu wollen, geriete schnell
in die Aporien der Onomatopöie und müsste sich lesen wie optophonetische
Gedichte von Ball, Schwitters oder Isou.
voice improviser Agnès Palier has earlier released only one record
as far as I know, Oxymore from 1999. This was an utterly dense duo with
sax player Stéphane Rives. Together they drew new patterns in the
art of improvising. In France Palier is what we call a musicians´
musician. The trumpet player Birgit Ulher has released more albums, among
others together with the singer Ute Wasserman and the Swedes Martin Küchen,
Raymond Strid and Lise-Lotte Norelius.
Some think that German trumpeter Birgit Ulher suffers a bit from over-documentation. On her new solo recording Scatter (CS 054), however, she shows that she is very much expanding her improvisational repertoire. It’s not only a succinct, coherent statement (with ten tracks in 45 minutes), but offers something different from her previous works. Put simply, she is moving away from the Dixon-indebted splatter into a more spacious territory where she sounds as if she’s taking her instrument apart. Each piece seems to explore a different aspect of the instrument – valves, bell, or what have you – but somehow it doesn’t seem like a simple practice session. Some tracks, like “Elements” or “Possibilities,” incorporate older styles. But this is mostly a very fresh sounding disc for Ulher. Jason Bivins (Bagatellen)