I hope all of you are healthy and you’re keeping social distance (physically not emotionally of course).
During the last days a lot of musicians and institutions came up with amazing online music formats.
I can recommend these live streams:
Igor Levit is doing regular evening concerts from his living room on his instagram channel.
Including great introductions before every concert it’s definitely worth it - click here to get to his channel.
The Berliner Philharmoniker made their Digital Concert Hall available for free - click here to get to the Digital Concert Hall.
Also, there are a some great playlists I can recommend:
Please follow these playlists and support the artists by streaming their music!
I will share more great stuff during the next weeks. If you have any recommendations please feel free to share in the comments - thanks!
So today’s entry is kind of the first real entry with real content. Or something like that. I thought it might be interested to write a little bit about the tracks that are on the upcoming ensemble album. (BTW: We postponed the release of the record towards 24 April!)
Actually I do not want to write too much about musical nerdy stuff but try to sketch a little bit what story and formation process lies behind that track. I wrote it between 03rd June and 09th July 2019. That was after we already recorded a couple of tracks at Jazzanova Recording Studios which was in February 2019. It took quite a while to write this piece since it has so much elements and layers in it I spend a lot of time experimenting with. It also took me around three weeks editing and pre-producing the material, which I’ve done in October and November 2019.
As I wrote in the press release the album as a whole is constructed mirror-imaged - so every piece has it’s corresponding one on the other side of the vinyl. The a-side is called anxiety (it gives it pieces the letter A) and the b-side discernment (therefore the pieces are called D1, D2,…) For ‚D4‘ there are actually two pieces.
The piece starts with three synthesizer layers oscillating in different speeds. It is the same synth as in the track A4, which is not released yet. It starts with the exact same tempo as in A4 (which is 120 bpm) and ends with a faster tempo (which is 175 bpm).
The vibraphone and guitar pattern starts already in 175 bpm from the beginning - which was quite a task recording it. Volker (vibraphone) and Markus (guitar) found a way to play this live which is extremely cool and sounds really crazy!
The lyrics you can hear at the beginning of the piece are actually the words from the piece A3 (which is available on Soundcloud already).
In A3 you can hear that I cut the original melody into different samples and placed them all around the track. In D4 you are able to perceive the whole melody and lyrics of that line for the first time. In A3 I wanted to support this feeling of being the odd one out or having this panic-mode anxiety by smashing the actual narrative element into those samples. In D4 it is now a reminiscence towards this anxious state of mind having the line heavily distorted and drowned into a large reverb.
To get this orchestral-like sound of the ensemble at 0:57 we recorded the horns and strings multiple times with different breathing times. This was actually one of the hundred brilliant ideas that Nico Teichmann had, who recorded the album. Yes, it’s good to have him!
The whole thing changes when the beat drops in at 1:51. Actually, I wrote this part of the track first. This is where - content-wise - the catharsis of the album namely the discernment starts. In the lyrics I quoted some phrases of the words on the a-side (anxiety) and turned the logical sense around. Here, the optimistic path which will continue during the rest of the b-side starts at full tilt.
I listened to this track a hundred times and was stunned by the mood, sound and lyrics. This intensified in April 2019 when I had the chance to play support for Apparat as part of the project Shramm (which is led by drummer Jörg Wähner - listen to his Conic EP here).
The synth and the plucked guitar you can hear on the track are definitely quotation of the sound of DAWAN I had in my ear. It is mostly a straight forward song from here on but with some tricky meter changes and extra bars on its way (Yes, I’m doing this stuff all the time on the record…). The harmonizer-vocoder algorithm I used here for the vocals is the one that I built for the piece A5 which will be another single we gonna release soon.
On the version of D4 that's online now you can already hear the first bars of the track D3 which comes after. I will write about this piece at a later date. So that’s basically the context behind the track D4 - I hope you like what came out of it.
Let me know if there’s anything you would like to know about this track or If there’s something you have the feeling I’ve missed. Otherwise stay healthy everybody and I hope you’ll have the time to enjoy some of the recommend stuff above.
P.S.: Below you can see and hear Matti, Vincent, Antonia, Franziska playing their parts of D4 in the studio back in September 2019.