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Graewe / Reijseger / Hemingway: Counterfactuals (Nuscope)

Frequent collaborators, German pianist Georg Graewe, Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger, and American percussionist Gerry Hemingway, performing free improvisation using "unorthodox harmonic structures, ferocious interplay, and a plethora of contrasting elements".

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product information:

UPC: 659897101026

Label: Nuscope
Catalog ID: CD 1010
Squidco Product Code: 17290

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2001
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded live in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the Kerrytown Concert House on November 9th, 1999 by Alan Bise.


Georg Graewe-Hamburg Steinway C piano

Ernst Reijseger-cello

Gerry Hemingway-percussion, vibraphone

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Artist Biographies:

"Georg Graewe began composing and performing professionally at the age of 15. He has since been leading a variety of ensembles - ranging from trio to chamber orchestra formats - which have involved some of the leading instrumentalists in contemporary music. His compositions, which include chamber music and works for full orchestra as well as scores for films, theater productions, radio drama, and video, have been performed and broadcast around the world.

Graewe has had a long-standing trio with Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger and US-based percussionist Gerry Hemingway since 1989. He has also performed and/or recorded with Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Dave Douglas, Phil Minton, Roscoe Mitchell, Barry Guy, Barre Phillips, Hamid Drake, John Butcher, Robert Dick, John Butcher, Mark Dresser among others.

Over the last 10 years, he has also written three operas. Kopenhagen (based on the same-titled play by Michael Frayn) was produced by OPER KÖLN (Cologne Opera House) in 2003. His second opera, Quicksilver, (a commission by Semperoper Dresden) came out in November 2006. And his most recent opera, Barbara Strozzi oder die Avantgarde der Liebe, was staged by Theater Luzern in Switzerland in 2010 and Oper Bonn in Germany in 2011.

Since 1999, Graewe has been closely associated with CNMAT (Center for New Music and Audio Technology) at UC Berkeley. From 2002 - 2007, he taught at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.

In 2010, Graewe curated a series of 27 events that presented different aspects of resonance between music, poetry, visual arts, and science as part of the European Cultural Capital RUHR 2010. A catalogue plus DVD edition documenting this project has been published on his own Random Acoustics label."

-Nuscope Records (

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"Gerry Hemingway has led a number of quartet and quintets since the mid 1980's. In addition he has been a member of a wide array of long standing collaborative groups including Brew with Reggie Workman and Miya Masaoka, the GRH trio with Georg Graewe and Ernst Reijseger, the WHO trio with Michel Wintsch and Bänz Oester, as well as numerous duo projects with Thomas Lehn, John Butcher, Ellery Eskelin, Marilyn Crispell, and others. Mr. Hemingway is a Guggenheim fellow and has received numerous commissions for chamber and orchestral works as well as being noted for his innovative and multifaceted work as a solo performer which began in 1974. He was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet between 1983 and 1994 and is also well known for his collaborations with some of the world's most outstanding improvisers and composers including Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Anthony Davis, Derek Bailey, Leo Smith and many others. He currently lives in Switzerland having joined the faculty of the Hochschule Luzern in 2009."

-Gerry Hemingway Website (

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track listing:

1. Menuet 3:34

2. Kindling 7:42

3. Une Geste Plus Rapide 21:36

4. Zer-Streuung 21:44

5. Crimson Glory 9:43

6. Alpha Waves 3:48
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Counterfactuals is the first CD by German pianist Georg Graewe, Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger, and American percussionist Gerry Hemingway in almost five years. It is well worth it to hear this trio again after such a long sabbatical.

Counterfactuals, as with the trio's other six CDs, presents a new reality and standard of music. According to Markus Heuger, "Pianist Georg Graewe, cellist Ernst Reijseger, and drummer Gerry Hemingway celebrated the 10th anniversary of their trio in November 1999. They were invited to the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they made another exciting recording. Five years had passed when the trio traveled to perform the concert we find on this CD, but it sounds as if they had never left the stage. Graewe, Hemingway and Reijseger don't have to prove themselves as some other super heroes of high energy 'chopism;' their business is intelligent radical improvised trio music."

Counterfactuals has already gathered a lot of attention. The recording was a July 2001 "Crew's Choice of the Month" for Drimala Records, and was an "Editor's Pick of the Month" in August 2001 for the All About Jazz web site.

According to Glenn Astarita from All About Jazz, "Counterfactuals signifies a gregarious event, marked by unorthodox harmonic structures, ferocious interplay, and a plethora of contrasting elements. Highly recommended."

In his four-star review in the December 2001 issue of Downbeat magazine, Greg Buium says, "It is astonishing to think that pianist Georg Graewe, cellist Ernst Reijseger, and drummer Gerry Hemingway created Counterfactuals without notes or charts or cues. The six improvisations cohere and breathe. Structures are assembled (and understood) on the spot, by telepathy or some other internal device. Indeed, this 1999 recording, taken from a North American tour celebrating 10 years together, reaquaints us with a collective voice that delights in instant composition and sonic bravery."

This release, which is the first live recording on the nuscope label, features an 8-page booklet with liner notes from WDR Radio chief Markus Heuger and strikingly original cover photography by Catherine Wagner."-Nuscope

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Trio Recordings
Instant Rewards

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