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Le violoniste Harald Kimmig fut sélectionné voici presque vingt ans par Cecil Taylor pour jouer au sein de son quintet Corona. Depuis lors, il a développé sa pratique d’improvisateur et est devenu un collaborateur de choix de plusieurs improvisateurs (Lê Quan Ninh). En tandem avec le pianiste suisse Christoph Schiller, à l’épinette dans Regen (CS 081), il nous livre des improvisations dont l’intention se mesure autant dans le geste que dans le son. Malgré ce parti pris singulier de rétention de l’expression sonore dans le flux physique du jeu instrumental, la connivence et l’imagination vont à l’essentiel. J-M Van Schouwburg (Improjazz)

Harald Kimmig plays violin and Christoph Schiller plays spinet (go to for enlightenment). Funnily enough, this arrived in my mailbox on the same day as Hidden Fresco (Nemu) which features the medieval flutes of Norbert Rodenkirchen and the gothic fiddle of Albrecht Maurer. But while their playing is solidly rooted in the idioms of Baroque music, Schiller's concept of the spinet is aggressively 21st century; the venerable instrument is prepared with a variety of objects and ends up sounding like a cross between an acoustic guitar (imagine one played by Keith Rowe) and a toy piano. The music is, for the most part, nervy, twitchy stuff, trading twangs, snaps and scratches, but on "streifen" Schiller combats his instrument's natural lack of sustain by using what sounds like an Ebow to produce some eerie theremin-like wailing, whose sustained pitches Kimmig skilfully picks out with artificial harmonics. It's serious and careful, but often feels like it doesn't quite know where it's going. Which is fine if you subscribe to the in-the-moment aesthetic of improvised music (as elegantly expounded by Malcolm Goldstein, whose playing Kimmig's often recalls), but the tracks that work best are those – "code", "regen" – which explore the micro-world of delicate shudders and tiny pizzicati interspersed with silence. Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

Through their systematic deconstruction of violin and spinet's technical canons, Harald Kimmig and Christoph Schiller try to react as creatively as they can against the constrictions of Western counterpoint, all the while utilizing microsounds and (un)common practices to stay nearer to headquarters that might show a "lowercase" flickering neon lamp outside the front door. Instead, in a track like "Schütten" a succession of evident contrasts is brought to the fore in a more typical free music setting. Exploring the realms of high frequency, which comes easier given the range of both instruments, the duo moves through snippets of phrases and stringed chit-chat-hit-and-pluck to realize a fascinating language that fuses abstruse aspects of chamber music with a constant fall from grace, despite the fact that knowledgeable ears won't certainly find too many new reasons to cry miracle. This doesn't mean that Kimmig and Schiller don't produce interesting integrations; indeed they share a remarkable dexterity that allows them to find lots of sweet spots, from which raindrops of sparkling clicks and juxtapositions of bowed frailties ("Regen", "Streifen") fuse into the mummified simultaneousness of an obscure experimental movie soundtrack. Most of all, this album sounds like a learning process where all the components are lined up to symbolize elements that don't really exist; gradually, the duo become aware that their reward is to be found elsewhere, and they look for it by refracting their instrumental abilities through the shards of a broken compatibility. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

Harald Kimmig & Christoph Schiller – REGEN. O nome do violinista Harald Kimmig liga-se remotamente ao quinteto Corona, de Cecil Taylor, com Muneer Abdul Fataah, William Parker e Tony Oxley, registado em concerto no festival Total Music Meeting, em Berlim, 1989, e editado em CD pela Free Music Production (FMP) sob o título Looking (Berlin Version). De então para cá muitas e variadas têm sido as colaborações de Kimming com gente do mundo da música improvisada. Em REGEN (Creative Sources # 081), Kimming contracena com o pianista Christoph Schiller, músico do free jazz, da new music e da música improvisada. Em vez do piano, Schiller optou pela espineta, preparada de modo tal que passa a soar a qualquer coisa algures entre a percussão e a guitarra acústica. A espineta, que Schiller usa desde 2002, é um instrumento de tecla parente do cravo, com um som que lhe é timbricamente próximo, se tocado de forma convencional. Não é o que aqui acontece. As cordas são percutidas, passadas a arco de modo a soar a algo entre a guitarra acústica, a electrónica e a percussão, e envolvidas com as raízes tonais do violino. Este entra e sai da harmonia convencional, sem qualquer tipo de preocupação relacionada com a marcação do tempo, acentuando a delicadeza deste preparado acústico. Juntos fazem cair uma chuva de microtonalidades que ocasionalmente toma corpo e se desenvolve ao sabor dos acontecimentos. Em planos oblíquos, os instrumentos derivam para texturas de ruído ora para a pura exploração tímbrica. Turbulência mínima, sensação de movimento com um ou outro pico, como o que ocorre na segunda destas cinco improvisações de construção minimalista, ao longo das quais os músicos experimentam com som e se invectivam reciprocamente a arriscar partindo de conceitos básicos próprios da arte da improvisação livre, como são o saber ouvir e reagir. Daqui nasce o diálogo constante entre os gestos que se advinham e os sons correspondentes. Fluidez e convulsão como duas faces de uma moeda com valor e circulação. Eduardo Chagas (JazzeArredores)

Somewhere else in a different context, somebody was speaking about the "voice of the voiceless", well here It Is, a vivid example of this voice. Kimmig (violin) and Schiller (spinet) are fully immersed in the electro-acoustic thing which is the best quality and also a small limit of this release. It start very silently and later on it opens to what I really meant with the "voice of the voiceless" sentence, as you can hear the musicians let the wood of their instruments speak. It doesn't imply the don't strike/bow strings since they do it, but above all in some parts of the release they prevent strings and anything else to sound as we're used to hear it. The two players here give priority to scratching their instruments, there they play some really fast incursion (above all Kimmig), they inentionally start to engulf to avoid falling in what they probably consider a predictable solution. Not exactly crippled, what you may fin in this music goes from a short stab to an intangible presence where they are incredibly retained, anyhow, it's also true that after the first half of the time length, play something that sounds really classic contemporary music, it has to do with the solutions adopted by the players during their many intersections. As said this cd is on the edge between free-improvisation and and contemporary composition If that's your cup of tea you'll drink it easily. Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

Back to work again today, and for now while I hunt down a reasonably priced car to get me to and fro’ I am making the trip to my new role by public transport, a journey that is about thirty-five minutes longer than the one I have been used to. So I spent today listening to Luigi Nono’s music for much of the journey, though initially I had tried to listen to Regen, the disc I am to write about tonight, another Creative Sources release, this one some four years old and by the duo of Christoph Schiller (spinet) and Harald Kimmig (violin). Although its a somewhat dated release now I only bought my copy earlier this year at a concert involving Schiller that particularly impressed me. It was one of two discs I purchased, on Simon Reynell’s recommendation, the other I reviewed here, and I promised that once I had spent time with both I would let him know which I preferred. So here we are. Harald Kimmig is a name I am unfamiliar with, but google tells me he is a German violinist who studied under Cecil Taylor and has played with several names leaning in a jazzy direction including Steve Lacy. His bio also suggests his music has a contemporary classical influence however, and it is probably more in this direction that Regen swings, though it is fully improvised. The other disc involving Schiller, Savagnieres is a duo of the spinet ( a kind of miniature harpsichord) and laptop, and I mentioned in my review that it was the blend of acoustic and electronic sound that appealed to me quite a bit on that release. Although there are a number of sustained tones on Regen that I can’t always fathom out the origin of, this is an entirely acoustic set of five pieces. It is a very enjoyable listen as well, beginning in a very understated manner with the discreet plinks and clicks of Code and then remaining at the lower end of the volume dial throughout. The opening track reminds me of spitting rain, just intermittent little pinpricks of sound very gently gathering together, though the piece never quite follows through into the storm. The next couple of tracks; Schütten and the twenty minute long title piece Regen are busier but never completely busy. Regen is particularly nice, a slow, deadened section in the middle sometimes reminding me of the softer moments of Nono’s Fragmente:Stille. This track is in two halves, revolving around the quieter central section. While the first part is full of small sounds flying around in little clusters so the second slips into high pitched bowed sounds from both musicians, remaining very quiet and intimate and gradually evolving into a series of hushed wooden rumbles. This is a lovely little piece, delicately structured like a series of cobwebs swaying gently on a breeze, a million miles from free jazz of any kind. The fourth track, Streifen opens with a series of low constant tones that seem to be created with the help of an Ebow or similar device as the sound is too consistent and rounded for a bowed note. It is joined by a further series of tones, some just as soft, some bowed and scraped more abrasively but all quiet, carefully spaced, often only just slipping into audibility. Here the music is at its most fragile and very beautiful, with an almost Eastern feel to it, though quite why I say that I am not certain. Another reference point might be Radu Malfatti and Klaus Filip’s imaoto release, primarily for the sense of spacious tension if not for any similarity of actual sounds. There is nothing thrown away here, every element has an important place. The closing Wachen opens out a little more, small streams of sound drifting over each other mainly to form an almost continuous shifting layer that can’t quite be called a drone but isn’t far short. This piece doesn’t quite have the charm of the previous couple of tracks, but its a solid way to close the album. So as you might have guessed by now I prefer Regen to Savagnieres. Although the sinetones of the latter certainly hit the right spot for me and the combination of digital and acoustic does work very well the delicacy and miniscule simplicity of Regen is something else. One for fans of the gentler, quieter end of improvisation. Ignore the free jazz links, this music is a mile off of Cecil Taylor. Another CS gem then buried in relative obscurity very much worth going in search of. Beautiful sleeve imagery as well. Now I just need to try and remember which of the two discs it was that Simon preferred and see if we agree… Richard Pinnell (The Watchful Ear)