Pochen - Oder: mit nachschleifendem Zwirnsfaden die Treppe hinunterkollern
[German for Throbbing - Or: Roll Down the Stairs with Looping Twine]
I recorded the sounds for this piece in March 2011 at the „Performance Arts Forum“ in France. The PAF is housed in a former convent school, which was built at the end of the 19th Century in the village of St. Erme in Picardy. After the convent school and a hospital during World War I, various temporary uses and a long term of vacancy, the PAF was founded in 2006 as a workplace for artists.
During my three-week stay, I kept sneaking through the 6.400 m2 building: From the attic to the basement, from the small private chapel through the various rooms and artists‘ studios. I examined the old monastery acoustically, recorded sounds and improvised together „with the house“. The role of the house kept moving between sound generator, resonant space and instrument. I recorded breathing wood planks or flickering light switches, explored the different resonant cavities, made metal cabinets resonate or prepared out-of-tune pianos. From the recorded material I worked out a composition, which, organized in chapters, permeates the house acoustically and connects found sounds, digital processing and experimental performance techniques into a „throbbing“.
All music by Gregory Büttner (2011-2012).
Another version of the piece was commissioned by WDR3 Studio Akustische Kunst. Premiered July 2013.
Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.
Photos and cover design by Gregory Büttner, photo inside middle by Anja Winterhalter.
Thanks to Goh Lee Kwang and Guy Saldanha
Audio CD, 6 panels digipak
Release date: June 2014
12 Euros + shipping order
Lasse-Marc Riek : Harbour
Sabine Ercklentz / Andrea Neumann : LAlienation
Gregory Büttner from Hamburg is a composer and performer, as well as the label boss of 1000Füssler, but here is mostly a composer. For three weeks he stayed at the 'Performance Arts Forum' in France, housed in a former convent school. He explored this apparently big building by playing sounds in small corners, big halls, but also recorded the doors, planks, and electricity switches as well as prepared out of tune pianos. The result is a piece of music that lasts forty-one minutes and which holds somewhere between sound art, electro-acoustic composition, improvisation and field recordings. It starts out with just more loosely organised sounds - we are entering the building - but there are also more long form sounds, more resonating electro magnetic fields for instance. Or working with an iron bar on a fence. It seems to me none of this has been electronically altered or processed, but changes come from moving around the microphone and perhaps some equalisation. Sometimes the piece seems a bit too fragmented for my taste. Maybe I would have enjoyed a bit more dialogue between these sounds and perhaps less scattered around in single out pieces. It's however, altogether, quite a fine work.
- Frans De Waard -