The Swedish experimental Thanatosis produktion label begins a new digital-only series. The first album in this series is a live recording of German electroacoustic composer and improviser Andrea Neumann, one of the pioneers of the seminal Echtzeitmusik scene in Berlin, captured at Fylkingen in Stockholm during the Alex Zethson’s Monopiano festival in October 2021. Neumann is a classically-trained pianist, who has studied also by Aki Takase, and her exploration of the piano for new sonic possibilities has led her to reduce the instrument to its strings, its resonance board and the cast-iron frame.
Neumann plays on the inside of a grand piano, separated from the piano body, with electronics, bows and other objects. The 29-minute improvisation is an arresting journey in and within sounds, from abstract and microscopic ones to heavy blocks of white and industrial noise, with sometimes quite drastic silent twists. But the music flows organically with its own inner logic and highlights the unorthodox and inventive sonic imagination of Neumann.
The second album in this series is by Swedish composer-sound artist percussionist-keyboards player Herik Olsson. Flyktighetens Psykologi (The Psychology of Transcience) was originally written for artist and writer Catharina Göransson’s art project De Räddade Orden which proceeds from fragments of hymn-book pages that were found during the restoration of Svenneby Old Church in Tarum municipality. Olsson suggests an irreverent approach to the sacred original through the reuse of traditional hymns, as compost rather than a composition material. His project stress how cultural traditions will sustain only through the constant transformation of recollection, memory, suppression and forgetting. This work also reflects on concepts of polarity such as spirituality/secularity, tradition/modernity and permanence/transience. «For me, improvising is remembering and forgetting at the same time. These resounding reminiscences on the theme of the psychology of volatility aim to pinpoint the inherent paradox of improvisation; only the changeable shall remain», Olsson says.
Flyktighetens Psykologi is a minimalist and contemplative composition, performed by a chamber quartet of Olsson on the pump organ, violinist Anna Lindal, violist Elsbeth Bergh and bass clarinetist Patrik Wingård. Olsson employs a few, repetitive melodic themes and allows slow, patient and subtle transformation and reshaping of these themes throughout this immersive listening experience.
Andrea Neumann (inside the piano, elec), Anna Lindal (vio), Elsbeth Bergh (viola), Patrik Wingård (bcl), Henrik Olsson (pump organ)