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Ball, Hugo (Jaap Blonk / Bart van der Putten / Pieter Meurs / Damon Smith): Six sound Poems 1989 & 2 (Balance Point Acoustics / kontrans)

Dedicated to Dada legend Hugo Ball, founder of the Cabaret Voltaire, through modern interpretations of six sound poems written by Ball in 1916, performed at BIMHUIS in 1989 by the trio of Jaap Blonk (voice), Bart van der Putten (saxophone) and Pieter Meurs (double bass); and in 2013 at radio station KUHF by the duo of Jaap Blonk and Damon Smith on double bass.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Jaap Blonk-voice

Bart van der Putten-alto saxophone

Pieter Meurs-double bass

Damon Smith-double bass


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Label: Balance Point Acoustics / kontrans
Catalog ID: bpa-4 / kontrans1167
Squidco Product Code: 30260

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
CD 1 recorded live at BIMHUIS, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on May 11th, 1989, by Dick Luca.CD 2 recorded at KUHF Studios, in Houston, Texas, on May 26th, 2013, by Ryan Edwards.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

1989:
Jaap Blonk - Voice
Bart van der Putten - Alto Saxophone
Pieter Meurs - Double Bass

Recorded live at BIMHUIS (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), May 11, 1989.

2013:
Jaap Blonk - Voice
Damon Smith - Double Bass

Recorded Tuesday May 26th, 2013 at KUHF.

"This release is dedicated to the memories of Pieter Meurs & Michael Galbreth

The Life and Work of Hugo Ball.

This recording is a modern interpretation of sound poems written and performed by German Dadaist Hugo Ball more than a century ago. Those familiar with Ball know him as the author of these innovative works and founder of the Cabaret Voltaire, Dada's Zurich birthplace. Despite the sound poems' artistic legacy, they constitute only a small part of Ball's creative output. The purpose of these liner notes, then, is to consider the complex life and work of the man behind the sound poems.

Ball was born in western Germany at the end of the nineteenth century to a large Catholic family with ties to the region's leather industry. His parents pushed him to learn a useful trade, but Ball identified as an artist. He studied literature and philosophy at university before leaving to learn acting. Germany's thriving experimental theater community was his creative home from 1911 to 1915.

Ball excelled as a dramaturge, championing new repertoire, promoting local actors, and writing influential essays on modern theater. World War I interrupted his collaboration with Vassily Kandinsky on what they called the New Theater, one "bursting at once in dance, color, mime, music, and word." (Ball, "Das Münchner Künstlertheater,"1914) It would be a Gesamtkunstwerk for the twentieth century, a vision Ball later realized at the Cabaret Voltaire.

Ball's initial response to the war was one of enthusiastic support. He volunteered for military service but failed his medical exam. Refusing to accept defeat, he traveled to the front on his own. What he saw there turned him against the war. He wrote scathing articles and forged papers to help men evade the draft. Facing arrest, he crossed into neutral Switzerland in 1915 on his own forged documents.

There, Ball's immigration status forced him to work odd jobs, including as a vaudeville pianist. This inspired him to explore the cabaret as a site for his politically engaged New Theater. He opened the Cabaret Voltaire in February 1916, and it quickly attracted a core group of artists. Only five months later, Ball ended the experiment. The nightly performances exhausted him, and he resented others' efforts to institutionalize Dada. After a period of recuperation, he returned briefly to organize a series of soirées but soon abandoned Dada, poetry, and theater for good.

After Dada, Ball reinvented himself as a writer. He began as a political reporter-something of a return to his antiwar days. This journalism coalesced as a book, Critique of the German Intelligentsia, in which Ball charted the development of German militarism from the Protestant Reformation to the future coming of a reactionary dictator. He also wrote two novels with Dada-esque characters and plots.

From his earliest years, Ball's single-minded dedication to his art approached a secular monasticism. In 1920, disillusioned with his youthful values and current events, he returned to Catholicism and committed himself to the study of early Christian theology. As part of this rebirth, he expunged his diaries of sacrilegious content, erasing every trace of the younger man. Ironically, this coincided with a revival of popular interest in Ball's Dada works.

If not for his death in 1927 at the age of forty-one, he might have reconciled his artistic, political, and theological interests; as it was, he remained an outsider for much of his career. He used his marginal status to explore innovative ideas unrestricted by normative mainstream society. In our increasingly homogeneous world, Ball's resistance to dominant narratives offers an inspiring model for creative thinkers of the twenty-first century."-Melissa Venator, Ph.D.


Artist Biographies

"Jaap Blonk (born 1953 in Woerden, Holland) is a self-taught composer, performer and poet.He went to university for mathematics and musicology but did not finish those studies.In the late 1970s he took up saxophone and started to compose music.A few years later he discovered his potential as a vocal performer, at first in reciting poetry and later on in improvisations and his own compositions. For almost two decades the voice was his main means for the discovery and development of new sounds.From around the year 2000 on Blonk started work with electronics, at first using samples of his own voice, then extending the field to include pure sound synthesis as well.He took a year off of performing in 2006. As a result, his renewed interest in mathematics made him start a research of the possibilities of algorithmic composition for the creation of music, visual work and poetry.

As a vocalist, Jaap Blonk is unique for his powerful stage presence and almost childlike freedom in improvisation, combined with a keen grasp of structure. He has performed around the world, on all continents. With the use of live electronics the scope and range of his concerts has acquired a considerable extension.

Besides working as a soloist, he collaborated with many musicians and ensembles in the field of contemporary and improvised music, like Maja Ratkje, Mats Gustafsson, Joan La Barbara, The Ex, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and the Ebony Band. He premiered several compositions by the German composer Carola Bauckholt, including a piece for voice and orchestra. A solo voice piece was commissioned by the Donaueschinger Musiktage. On several occasions he collaborated with visual computer artist Golan Levin, for the Ars Electronica Festival.

Blonk's work for radio and television includes several commissioned radio plays.He also makes larger-scale drawings of his scores, as well as visual poetry, which is being exhibited.

He has his own record label, Kontrans, featuring a total of 25 releases so far. Other Blonk recordings appeared on various labels, such as Staalplaat, Basta, VICTO, Ecstatic Peace, Monotype Records, Terp and Elegua Records.His book/CD 'Traces of Speech' was published in 2012 by Hybriden-Verlag, Berlin. Forthcoming is a sequel with the title "Traces of Cookery".A comprehensive collection of his sound poetry came out as a book with 2 CDs in 2013, entitled "KLINKT"."

-Jaap Blonk Website (http://www.jaapblonk.com/Pages/biography.html)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Bart van der Putten (November 28, 1957, Helmond, the Netherlands) is a Dutch soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone player, clarinet player, harp player and also a composer & an arranger.

Van der Putten Plays saxophone since 1979 & clarinet since 1988. At first, he took lessons from Sean Bergin, Paul Termos and Paul Stocker before studying at workshops given by Bergin and Arnold Dooyeweerd at CREA (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) & at the BIMhouse in Amsterdam."

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/618374-Bart-Van-Der-Putten)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Pieter Meurs is a Dutch double bass player, known for the groups Baba-Oemf and Hugo Ball.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/899747-Pieter-Meurs)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon's explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson's Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra's Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and five great years in Houston, Texas working regularly with Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen, David Dove & Chris Cogburn, Damon will move to the Boston area in the fall of 2016. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and European musicians."

-Balance Point Acoustic Website (https://www.balancepointacoustics.com/damon-smith/)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



Six Sound Poems, 1916



1. Wolken (Clouds) 7:49

2. Katzen Und Pfauen (Cats And Peacocks) 5:09

3. Karawane (Caravan) 6:10

4. GaDJi Beri Bimba 6:27

5. Totenklage (Dirge) 14:13

6. Seepferdchen Unf Flugfische (Seahorses And Flying Fishes) 11:13

Sechs Laut: und Klanggedichte 1916



1. Prelude 7:35

2. Wolken (Clouds) 6:09

3. Katzen Und Pfauen (Cats and Peacocks) 4:38

4. Karawane (Caravan) 5:58

5. Interlude 7:35

6. Gadji BeriBimba 5:57

7. Totenklage (Dirge) 7:04

8. Seepferdchen Und Flugfische (Seahorses and Flying Fish) 5:20

9. Postlude 7:59

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Duo Recordings
Trio Recordings
Blonk, Jaap
Unusual Vocal Forms
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