The chamber, free improvising King Übü Örchestrü was founded forty years ago but its activity was documented sporadically, and its last album The Concert Live At Total Music Meeting 2003 (a/l/l, 2004) was released 19 years ago. The new incarnation of the Örchestrü, the King Übü Örchestrü 2021, was organized by its founding member guitarist Erhard Hirt and features new members – sopranino sax player Stefan Keune (who plays with Hirt in the quartet Xpact with the Örchestrü’s double bass player Hans Schneider and percussionist Paul Lytton, replacing the late founding member Wolfgang Fuchs) and trombonist Matthias Muche (replacing founding member Radu Malfatti) on trombone. The Örchestrü is joined by vocal artist Phil Minton who guested with the Örchestrü in its last recording from 2003. The new album Roi was recorded live at Dialograum Kreuzung an St. Helena in Bonn in September 2021.
King Übü Örchestrü suggests a scaled-down and more intimate and introspective version of the Instant Composers Pool or the Globe Unity Orchestra, with a strong, democratic ethos and collective dynamics. This 11-musician Örchestrü allows the subtle expressions of free improvisation to sketch its course, and lead the musicians into surprising, explorative sonic territories, but without attaching themselves to any form or dynamics. As the statement encapsulated in the title of the Örchestrü debut album, Music Is Music Is … (Uhlklang, 1985).
The expressive vocals of Minton play a more dominant part in the two extended improvisations «Roi 3» and «Roi 4», the two sets of this performance. The fragile interplay of the Örchestrü highlights the idiosyncratic voices of experienced improvisers like trumpeter Axel Dörner or the ever-inventive percussive playing of Lytton (who did the cover painting) or the unique guitar playing of Hirt, and even reaches a few roaring climaxes. But the music evolves organically, in a clear economic manner and with its own inner logic, stressing a deep listening spirit that is true to all projects of the Örchestrü.
Masterful demonstration of free improvisation.
Stefan Keune (sopranino s), Mark Charig (cor), Axel Dörner (tp), Matthias Muche (tb, Melvyn Poore (tuba), Phillipp Wachsmann (vio, elec), Alfred Zimmerlin (c), Hans Schneider (b), Erhard Hirt (g, elec), Paul Lytton (perc), Phil Minton (v)