Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Klaus Hinrich Stahmer - Klanglabyrinthe (1992)
Case in point would be the 17 minutes of Der Stoff, aus dem die Stille ist (1990) - if I listened to this blind, I'd probably just assume it was an environmental recording by a stream or river. It was pretty enjoyable on those terms, without needing to know how minutely planned all the water-droplet harmonic frequencies and their timing intervals were (this part was all modulated by computer). But hey, it is kind of fascinating that someone would impose so much structure into a recording of some... water.
Musically, my favourite piece here was Kristalgitter (1992), for computer-manipulated string quartet and the striking of stone sculptures. The end result sounds to my ears like an early Stephan Micus recording overlaid with a less refined (check that distortion near the start!) version of Kaija Saairaho in string quartet mode. This is followed by Labyrinth I/II (1989), with more Micus-esque stone music - this time the performers rubbed their wet hands on to granite blocks that had been cut with fine toothcomb-like grooves. The resulting swishing sounds and resonant frequencies are manipulated by computer into a hypnotic dronescape. A collection for repeat listenings, definitely. The other two pieces are Ariadne's Thread, for contrabass flute and percussion, and a brief harmonica canon piece dedicated to John Cage.