alle neune: rheinländer partie |cs089








































À partida, a proposta constitui um desafio arriscado: conceber e executar uma obra de música improvisada, criada instantaneamente, por dois músicos, com recurso exclusivo a instrumentos e objectos de percussão. Michael Vorfeld e Wolfgang Schliemann, são dois destacados improvisadores germânicos com trabalho de décadas como percussionistas e artistas sonoros. Para ambos, os aspectos visuais e a formulação tridimensional da concepção acústica assumem papel de primazia na organização do som, de características puramente acústicas, muito para lá de noções tradicionais como a marcação do tempo. O duo aplica-se na definição de uma linguagem própria, processo de depuração que passa por um especial cuidado em colocar o material sonoro em pontos-chave de silêncio, com atenção ao mínimo detalhe. O desafio no imediato é perceber onde iniciar e terminar os eventos sonoros, como ligar pontas e segmentos, que duração permitir, que escolhas realizar a partir de um leque de opções bastante alargado – tudo questões a que o duo responde segundo a segundo, com eficiência, proporção e equilíbrio. A estrutura global da obra é, assim, pensada em função do átomo de som, base a partir da qual se ergue e é posta em equilíbrio cinético. Os ambientes por que optam favorecem o uso exclusivo de elementos percussivos, que, sendo absolutamente estáticos, provocam no ouvinte uma sensação ilusória de movimento e progressão constantes. Imprevisível na forma como nascem e nas direcções que tomam, os sons têm origem no uso de técnicas instrumentais extensivas sobre artefactos feitos de pele, madeira, metal ou cordas, que são batidos, afagados, esfregados e arranhados, formam um amplo conjunto de texturas organizadas com sentido orquestral, variada nas cores e nas formas electrizantes, de fonte tantas vezes insuspeita – por vezes parecem produzidos electronicamente – resultando nas atmosferas únicas emergentes dos nove temas de Alle Neune: Rheinländer Partie. Um grande disco de música improvisada experimental. Edição da portuguesa Creative Sources Recordings. Eduardo Chagas (Jazz e Arredores)

Für MICHAEL VORFELD sollen Stichworte wie Perkussionist & Bildender Künstler, Jahrgang 1956, Berlin, Heinrich Mucken Saalorchester und NurNichtNur genügen. Sein Spielgefährte bei Alle Neune: Rheinländer Partie (cs 089) ist WOLFGANG SCHLIEMANN, auch er Perkussionist, sogar vom gleichen Jahrgang, und ein alter Bekannter im Ensemble 2 INCQ., ebenfalls NurNichtNur-connected und ansonsten engagierter HumaNoise-Aktivist in Wiesbaden. Ihr Instrumentarium besteht aus ‚Zeug‘, das sie klopfen, streichen, kratzen, zupfen und schmeißen. Man traut seinen Ohren nicht, was alles möglich ist an Klangvielfalt, ganz ohne Strom. Eine Kegelpartie der ganz feinen Art, ‚chirurgisch‘, wenn man dieses Adjektiv vollständig ins Positive entwendet. Ein feinkörniger Pointillismus, molekular, nuanciert, quecksilbriger Funkenregen, aber so, als ob jeder Partikel eine Miniaturraumkapsel wäre, die punktgenau ins Ziel steuert. Es landen Myriaden solcher ‚intelligenter‘ Kapseln, krallen sich an Metall fest und fangen an zu bohren und zu sägen, bis der ganze Raum metalloid zu Sirren und zu Singen beginnt. Rigobert Dittmann (Bad Alchemy)

It takes a solid effort these days to raise attention with a record where “percussion, found objects and stringed instruments” are “hit, bowed, scratched, thrown and plugged”. Vorfeld is a master at this game and there’s no doubt about his sincerity, while I don’t remember having had the pleasure of meeting Schliemann’s expression before. Whatever; the first advice that must be thrown is “let the amplifier gain its salary”, as the overall level of the album is strangely tending to low (probably to avoid distortion, given the complexity of the harmonics involved and the potentially destroying peaks?). The music is exactly as described: precarious structures and semi-destructive traumas are made acceptable by otherworldly resonances, bumps and feedback-alimented drones. Not that the latter imply some sort of regularity, mind you: the occasional static segment is often immediately incinerated by overactive cymbal-ism and thudding indetermination. Yet, not once the improvisations get stray or trespass the limits of a tolerable freedom (how many people feed us garbage in name of that concept?). It’s a pretty interesting document of raw percussive maturity: the artists know what they are doing, and it shows. Not really a masterpiece, but it does contain a few memorable spots for tickling neighbours’ nerves. On the contrary, if played as an “ambient background presence” it’s going to be quite annoying. Pump up the volume, and the dynamics at work will be revealed. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

Both a respected visual artist and a musician, Berlin-based Michael Vorfeld has carved a unique niche for himself by improvising percussively not only on an extended variant of the drum kit, but with an attached collection of strings he hits, bows and scratches. Affiliations for these unique sounds have ranged from his membership in a trio with Wiesbaden-based reedist Dirk Marwedel to the large Ensemble 2 INQ.
[...] Alle Neune: Rheinländer Partie, in contrast, is a combination of Vorfeld with fellow percussionist Wolfgang Schliemann – who also plays in Ensemble 2 INQ. Subtitled “percussive work since 1992”, it showcases nine percussion duets.
While likely to be more admired by beat-mongers, the later disc may be a bit too much of a good thing for the non-percussion fanatics. Striking (ahem), for the way in which Schliemann and Vorfeld can produce with only four limbs as many textures, rhythms and pulses that Art Blakey- or Max Roach-led percussion ensemble needed many associates to create, the CD is very much of a piece. And that piece can go a very, very long way – as drum battles featuring the likes of Roach and Buddy Rich or Rich and Gene Krupa proved earlier on.
The main fascination here lies in trying to isolate which implement is being struck, oscillated, triggered, scraped, thumped, whistled, pulled, pressed or whacked to generate a particular sound or sounds.
Among the particulars noted are what seem to be breath aspirations, abrasions on unyielding but responsive metal surfaces, wood aggressively ruptured and split apart, crumbling and balled paper, strokes on glass test tubes, wetted fingers dragged along drum heads, upright drum sticks propelled across ride cymbals and the usual assortment of more expected ruffs, rebounds, paradiddles and flams.
Schliemann adds found sounds and objects to the mix, the textures of which evidently are responsible for the insistent squeak of penetrating splutters, radio-tuning-like flutters and motor-driven buzzing that adumbrate further peeping noises. Gradually these sounds are exposed as recurrent, striated beat oscillations. Overall, the program also leaves enough space for Vorfeld’s string-set thumps, the timbres of which end up being simultaneously organic and synthetic. For instance “Böse Fünf” seems to add triggered ring modulator sideband murmuring and insistent vibrated drones to a sequence of low-key intermittent palindromes. Moving backwards and forward, these sul tasto string-affiliations are blurrily framed among bass drum whacks and gong resonations, as well as isolated thick crunches which make it seems as if all the instruments are being physically wrenched with great difficulty across a solid surface.
Perhaps the most audacious track however, may be the first one, “Vorderkranz, grosser Keil.” On it the blurry, reductionistic sound waves produced by Vorfeld’s string drones and Schliemann triggered echoes are interrupted twice by split-second fortissimo excerpts from saxophonist Peter Brötzmann’s Machine Gun session. Whether designed as spoof or acknowledgment, no clearer link exists between today’s experimental music and that of the 1960s. The remainder of the track is then concerned with understated pitter-pattering and backbeat strokes, including church bell-like peals, static rotations and glass pings. Although the diversity among the sounds produced by strings-and-percussion give this CD an upper hand over the other, is a fine example of Vorfeld’s distinctic sonic art. Ken Waxman (JazzWord)

The dynamic range of percussive instruments isn't exactly as wide as the Grand Canyon, nor can essentially "unfiltered" tools such as drum-traps, cymbals, et al, ever be misconstrued as enormously vivid components of a musician's particular sound palette. However, such rules scarcely ever apply to improv, as so assiduously demonstrated by the team of Schliemann and Vorfeld, who do their damnedest to embolden their spunky collection of assorted percussion, found objects, and stringed instruments by (seemingly haphazardly) "hitting, bowing, scratching, and throwing" them across their well-mic'ed studio environs.
That the duo creates some fairly resonant vortexes of sound is testament more to the remit of their ideaistic prowess than to the objects they so unceremoniously mistreat. All told, this recording waxes through a wide index of metals; though hardly subtle, and not what one would define as staunchly "minimal," Schliemann and Vorfeld manage to keep the proceedings lively with a reasonably concise measure of sounds. The opening "Vorderkranz, grosser Keil" immediately thrusts the listener into the duo's teeming forest of thwacked sonics: cymbal strikes seem to reign down from the heavens like steamy rain, the whine of string on oxidized steel ushers in cinematic tensions, random noises scuttle, trickle, and scurry about the metallic undergrowth. While there are undoubtedly other terse moments further along, Schliemann and Vorfeld are hard-pressed to follow-up these galvanizing first nine minutes, proffering a busy, complex sortee into handstruck landscapes little glimpsed before.
Conversely, a piece such as "Drei — gerade aus, Bärbel", all fervent squeaks and rusty-surface manhandlings, doesn't titillate either the incumbent stereofield or the unwary listener, and serves merely to alienate across its nearly seven-minute duration. "Böse Fünf" also courts a type of percussive unpleasantness, unless your idea of ideal listening is hearing the aural equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard. It's obvious that Schliemann and Vorfeld are testing the limits of their admittedly limiting set-up, pushing both boundaries and dynamics are far as might be humanly possible. "Heavy" metal music this might be, a variant decidedly overt and brazenly experimental, but exceptions aside (as when the duo achieve some kind of noticeable rhythmic parity on "Schräge Sechs links"), these brittle sounds are more likely to seize than seethe.
Darren Bergstein (The Squid's Ear)

Sonically rich continuous sound work in minimal acoustic improvisations using percussive elements that are hit, struck, bowed, scratched, plugged and thrown. The duo present encounters from minimal interactive improvisation to glowing stringed environments to clattering minimalism or resonantly ringing worlds; a surprisingly wide sonic palette in distinct percussive and improvisational concepts. The opening "Vorderkranz, grosser Keil" is an amazing sound environment, never grating, but not simply meditative, 9 minutes of motion and progression in an ecstatic state, where guessing the source of the sound is half the fun. The variety and permutations of music that these two create taken together make a fascinating and sometimes intensely encompassing listen. Phil Zampino (The Squid's Ear)

Encore deux de ces nombreux militants de l’improvisation totale qui peuplent littéralement le tissu urbain de Rhénanie depuis les années septante et qu’on ne se lasse pás de (re) découvrir. La pochette s’orne en noir sur blanc des profils d’un gant et d’une moufle. Paire dépareillée pour un tandem percussif qui se complete comme les cinq doigts de la main. L’expression anglaise “like five fingers in a glove” est bien illustrée ici. Percussions et objects trouvés qu’on frappe, frotte, gratte et jette (Schliemann)ou amplifie (Vorfeld)avec une intégration et une osmose des sons, de l’écoute et des gestes vraiment impressionnantes. Pourtant, la tension qui règne n’existerait pás s’il n’y avait pás deux paires de Brás et deux sensibilités en éveil qui remettent les évidences en question. Pourtant on les entend jouer comme un seul homme. Un univers unique de timbres et de sons qui nous démontrent encore, s’il le fallait, les possibilites richement ouvertes de la percussion liberée. A écouter à grand volume pour distinguer les détails infinis grâce à une prise de son remarquable et sans saturation. L’urgence et le zen mêlés avec sophistication. Un bijou hautement recommandable du label Creative Sources. Jean Michel van Schouwburg (Improjazz)