Friday 23 May 2014

Friedhelm Döhl - Odradek - Black & White -1978- (LP, Dieter Roth's Verlag), Germany/Switzerland

Friedhelm Döhl (born 7 July 1936 in Göttingen) is a German composer and professor of music. He has composed many works of avant-garde music created for piano, chamber groups, voice and electronics.

This record, which was published through the artist label of well known Swiss fluxus-artist Dieter Roth, has two sides of long pieces for piano. The A-side contains the piece "Odradek" composed for two open and prepared pianos and performed in 1976 in Basel, Switzerland. It's an improvisational piece which according to the liner notes could not get captured entirely on vinyl. Therefore the beginning and ending contain almost only silence. The B-side has the improvisational piece "Black & White" which was recorded in 1977 in Basel for Dieter Roth.

This recording contains very minimalistic piano based sounds in which the piano itself is used in a very unconventional manner. A true "artist-record". 

Get it HERE

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Harry Sparnaay, Fusion Moderne - Bass Clarinet Identity -1978- (LP, Composers' Voice), Netherlands

So it's finally time for something modern composed on this blog. At first glance this looks like a quite dull classical record cover, but wait, who is peeking through the pillars of the post-apocalyptic ruins? It's Harry Sparnaay! Sparnaay is a very renowned Dutch bass clarinetist, composer and teacher. At this particular record Sparnaay plays solo pieces as well as with pianist Polo de Haas under the name Fusion Moderne.

This record shows his mastering of the instrument through five pieces composed by mainly Dutch avant-garde composers. At times the instrument itself is not recognizable any more and tends to go towards some real drone-like music. Some pieces like the 18-minute-long Mountains have electronic tape manipulations and synthesizer additions.

My favourite piece here is the haunting Chimaera from 1974 where they use weird background tape-noise in combination with the bass clarinet. On the liner note it says: "The confrontation between the two (clarinet and tape-noise) works like an exorcism in which the soloist tries to exorcise the inscrutability of the background with his background." Sounds good.

This is some nice modern composed electro-acoustic stuff which you don't see that often in combination with a bass clarinet.

Get it HERE

Donated by Kim