Author Topic: Wandelweiser  (Read 1148 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Wandelweiser
« on: November 19, 2019, 01:38:51 PM »
I plan to explore what they do on record. Anyone feel like joining me? 

Here's a link for anyone who doesn't know about them

http://erstwords.blogspot.com/2009/09/wandelweiser.html
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 11:53:14 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 03:30:07 PM »
Count me in. I've heard a few pieces by Michael Pisaro. I liked an ensemble work (I want to say fields have ears 4), but others were too meandering for my taste.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 06:10:22 AM »
Count me in. I've heard a few pieces by Michael Pisaro. I liked an ensemble work (I want to say fields have ears 4), but others were too meandering for my taste.

Good

others were too meandering for my taste.


 -- we have to learn to go with the flow.




 I think this compilation box will be worth exploring.




« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 06:14:30 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2019, 06:12:25 AM »
Antoine Beuger was born in The Netherlands in 1955 and studied composition with Ton de Leeuw at the Sweelink Conservatorium in Amsterdam. He founded Edition Wandelweiser with Burkhard Schlothauer in 1992, and is artistic director of Edition Wandelweiser Records. He organises the annual Klangraum concert series in Dusseldorf, and performs as a flautist with the Wandelweiser Com-posers Ensemble.

There's an interview with him here which I'll try to listen to later

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/DSBNfh2ZEeE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/DSBNfh2ZEeE</a>

Lieux de passage is a homage to Beuger's friend and fellow Wandelweiser musician Jurg Frey. It is composed for clarinet and ensemble, and can be seen as a kind of contemporary concerto. The com-poser says that "it might as well have been called: thinking about Jurg."

There's a sample of it here, the whole thing lasts about 25 minutes, which is about right for this sort of music IMO. It's beautiful!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/pDPzV7HlaJk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/pDPzV7HlaJk</a>
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 06:18:05 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 10:46:06 AM »



The score of Christian Wolff's Stones is very Fluxus

Quote
Make sounds with stones, draw sounds out of stones, using a number of sizes and kinds (and colours); for the most part discretely; sometimes in rapid sequences. For the most part striking stones wfth stones, but also stones on other surfaces (inside the open head of a drum, for instance) or other than struck (bowed, for instance, or amplified). Do not break anything

The guys at Wandelweiser have not only performed it, they have also performed it over 64 minutes and 14 seconds. And they have not only performed it over 64 minutes and 14 seconds, they have recorded said performance. And they have not only recorded said performance, they have released it to the general public, for a fee. I'm listening to it now and there's a sound which is suspiciously like someone pissing in a bucket.

What on earth am I supposed to do with this recording. Well, all respect to Wandelweiser because they themselves are tormented by the same question

Quote from: Michael Pisaro here http://erstwords.blogspot.com/2009/09/wandelweiser.html
The making of this recording and, especially the idea that we would release such a thing (as happened in 1996) is reflective of one of the most important features of the thinking that was taking place within Wandelweiser. Obviously a recording is different in many ways from a live performance. The most profound difference in my view is how one experiences them. A concert is a series of moments in which something indefinable passes through sound and between people. The moments are sensuously immersive (sights, sounds, feelings, smells, tastes), but impermanent. But you have a relationship with a recording. It can be a brief relationship – and can then somewhat resemble a performance. But the best recordings are lasting in their own particular and repetitive way.

A recording is also an artifact that doesn’t care what you do with it. You can listen to the same song 500 times; you can refuse to open it (c.f. Brian Olewnick’s review of Sectors (for Constant) by Sean Meehan); you can hang it on the wall, sell it or throw it away.

With recording, sound is stored for use. How do you use a recording like Stones? Do you just listen to it like anything else (perfectly possible in this case) or do you find ways of listening to it that suit the recording in other ways: say playing it all day at low volume (so that it can be forgotten, except for those very few moments when a sound rises to the surface, reminding you it’s still there). Or play it so loud that you hear everything.

In other words, the recording can be viewed as open, something like an instrument—a particular instrument that makes a limited set of sounds that can nonetheless have a variable relationship in the environment in which they are played. Although there are many discs in the Edition Wandelweiser catalog that can function as fairly normal listening experiences, their presence alongside those such as Stones, calme étendue (Spinoza), Branches, silent harmonies in discreet continuity, exercise 15, ein(e) ausführende(r) seiten 218 – 226, phontaine, Transparent City, and im sefinental (to name only the most obvious in this direction), creates an interesting double trajectory: from the recording as concept towards its use as music, and, conversely, the invitation to a listener to experiment in their own way with how to experience the more traditionally presented music. (I don’t mean to suggest that Wandelweiser owns or established this category – just that it plays a role in how I experience the music on any given EW disc.)


And of course there's no answer there to my question -- what am I supposed to do with it?

Answers appreciated.
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Offline Artem

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 01:48:27 PM »
I enjoy some of Michael Pisaro works, specifically, Close constellations and a drum on the ground and asleep, street, pipes, tones. He also had a great collaboration disk with Taku Sugimoto called 2 seconds/b minor/wave that I used to listened to often before going to bed. I used to find this music rather curious, but it is quite demanding and recently I had very little time to devote to it.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2019, 03:58:11 PM »
Quote from: Christian Wolff
Make sounds with stones, draw sounds out of stones, using a number of sizes and kinds (and colours); for the most part discretely; sometimes in rapid sequences. For the most part striking stones with stones, but also stones on other surfaces (inside the open head of a drum, for instance) or other than struck (bowed, for instance, or amplified). Do not break anything.

A "score" such as this is entirely dependent on the quality of its interpreters (even more so than graphic scores, which at least provide some sort of creative stimulus). I wouldn't be surprised if Wolff had an ensemble in mind. I guess I would ask myself: is Wandelweiser able to craft and execute a logical structure throughout the CD's hour-long span, or did I pay money to hear stones arbitrarily banged for an obscene amount of time?

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2019, 07:04:30 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/R56cBrlLfn0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/R56cBrlLfn0</a>

Circular Music 2 by Jurg Frey is . . .. and be prepared to be surprised . . . a canon. But not a canon as Ockeghem would have understood it

Quote
Circular Music no. 2 gives the musicians pitched and non-pitched cells and melodies, which are repeated individually. The music is part of my think-ing about the idea of the canon during the last year. It takes this strict form but applies it less strictly, saying just: the same thing is done again later by another player.

Rather nice IMO, and well judged for length -- the piece lasts for about 15 minutes. Of Frey himself we are told

Quote
His music is  characterised by an elementary non-extravagance of sound, a sensibility for the qualities of the material, and a precision of compositional approach.

This interest in "elementary non-extravagance of sound" is exactly what is attracting me to the Wandelweiser ethos. Minimalism but not minimal as Glass would understand it.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 07:12:48 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2019, 07:15:15 AM »
logical structure


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I just suspect, I don't know, that that's not the right way in.

(This post is like snyprrrrrrrrrrrrrr)


(Anyway, I haven't managed to get past the first ten minutes yet.)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 07:18:46 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2019, 07:25:25 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/M8ick5vfRnA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/M8ick5vfRnA</a>


Quote
Exercise 15 was made out of and invites transformations or transcriptions.

It's for piano or ad hoc instrumental arrangement. 

Its material is from a 1920s song "Union Maid" (as I found it in Edith Fowke and Joe Glazer's collection "Songs of Work and Protest") by Woodie Guthrie using an earlier popular song tune. 

The tempo of the music is not specified. 

Sometimes it's played rather fast, as the original tune probably was, sometimes at a deliberate, 'prosaic' tempo. 

Here it's in a slow motion as though under a temporal microscope, which to my ears makes it somehow new (extensive change of quantity bringing about a change of quality).

Amazing performance this! Suddenly I am reminded why Wandelweiser is worth exploring. Even the comments on that youtube bear witness to the power of the Wandelweiser interpretation. Contrast Frederic Rzewski in the same music -- which do you prefer?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/5J4cdmjc2Eo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/5J4cdmjc2Eo</a>

It would be nice if someone could find the score.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 07:30:38 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2019, 04:48:00 PM »

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I just suspect, I don't know, that that's not the right way in.

(This post is like snyprrrrrrrrrrrrrr)


(Anyway, I haven't managed to get past the first ten minutes yet.)

Like snyprrr, huh?

What do you think is the 'right way' in?

Offline JBS

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2019, 06:49:56 PM »

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I just suspect, I don't know, that that's not the right way in.

(This post is like snyprrrrrrrrrrrrrr)


(Anyway, I haven't managed to get past the first ten minutes yet.)


Perhaps the ears have their reasons of which Reason knows nothing.

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Offline amw

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Re: Wandelweiser
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2019, 03:36:49 AM »
I mean the most rewarding thing I've found so far on the Wandelweiser label is Dominik Blum's recording of the piano pieces of Hermann Meier, who is obviously not a "Wandelweiser" composer, so... I dunno. If I wanted to listen to the Cage number pieces I'd just listen to Cage number pieces as opposed to knock-offs of same by various Central European academics.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2019, 06:12:07 AM »
Like snyprrr, huh?

What do you think is the 'right way' in?

There’s a Japanese saying which I think I learned from Homer Simpson - The way out is the same as the way in.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 06:27:30 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Wandelweiser
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2019, 11:17:18 PM »
If I wanted to listen to the Cage number pieces I'd just listen to Cage number pieces as opposed to knock-offs of same by various Central European academics.

This is about where I'm at right now. Another Timbre is a great label with some Wandelweiser but has recently been recording more precisely-notated music.

Offline amw

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Re: Wandelweiser
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2019, 12:03:51 AM »
I feel like another timbre may actually be a better resource for getting to know “Wandelweiser” music than the actual EWR label itself. The “Wandelweiser und so weiter” box set is theirs, and plenty of Jürg Frey, Laurence Crane and Michael Pisaro (probably the most interesting composers of the “school”) but also composers with stylistic similarities but not the somewhat doctrinaire approach or affiliation with a canon lineage: Olivia Block, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Vanessa Rossetto, Frank Denyer, James Weeks, Catherine Lamb etc. Plus good Cage and Feldman recordings. The only thing you’re missing with them is Christian Wolff, who’s usually worth a listen & sometimes more than that.

Edition RZ also has an entire series of Jakob Ullmann that’s quite rewarding, ime.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2020, 10:28:14 AM »


Yes, it is a Cage/Feldman knock off, in the same way that Brahms is a Chopin or Beethoven knock off I guess. But it is very beautiful and in terms of time . . . duration . . . it may in fact be better judged than Feldman or Cage. And that makes quite a difference -- I'm prepared to go all the way to the end with Frey, I have never made it from stary to finish in a Feldman piece.  I'm talking about the two Frey quartets on this recording.
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Offline Richard Pinnell

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Re: Wandelweiser
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2020, 04:16:30 AM »


Yes, it is a Cage/Feldman knock off, in the same way that Brahms is a Chopin or Beethoven knock off I guess. But it is very beautiful and in terms of time . . . duration . . . it may in fact be better judged than Feldman or Cage. And that makes quite a difference -- I'm prepared to go all the way to the end with Frey, I have never made it from stary to finish in a Feldman piece.  I'm talking about the two Frey quartets on this recording.

The Third SQ, released on a later disc is Jürg's finest recorded moment yet if you ask me. His richest, most fully formed chamber music but still beautifully grey and austere.
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Offline Richard Pinnell

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2020, 04:21:46 AM »
The guys at Wandelweiser have not only performed it, they have also performed it over 64 minutes and 14 seconds. And they have not only performed it over 64 minutes and 14 seconds, they have recorded said performance. And they have not only recorded said performance, they have released it to the general public, for a fee. I'm listening to it now and there's a sound which is suspiciously like someone pissing in a bucket.

What on earth am I supposed to do with this recording. Well, all respect to Wandelweiser because they themselves are tormented by the same question

And of course there's no answer there to my question -- what am I supposed to do with it?

Answers appreciated.

I can't find where it was you wrote it (I'm not here often) but somewhere you or someone else asked if we found the Wolff recording a romantic or academic work? (sorry if I am paraphrasing). For me personally, having spent many years with the Wolff disc and having heard the same musicians perform the piece live, its an intensely charged, intimately emotive work. I'm not sure if the word romantic is necessarily the correct one to use, but its far from an academic piece. The music is incredibly sensual, engaging and captivating. It just requires a certain approach to listening. I strongly would urge anyone go and attend a concert of this area of music ahead of listening to it on CD. So much comes from the room with many of these pieces.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wandelweiser Composers
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2020, 11:02:04 AM »
It just requires a certain approach to listening.

That's an interesting idea. Already Cage demands a new way of listening.

My own feeling is that these types of pieces are enormously demanding of the performers. That's to say, their job is to find a way to captivate a curious open-minded listener, to make him fascinated by the sounds. 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 11:03:46 AM by Mandryka »
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