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Hug, Charlotte: Neuland (Emanem)

For her second solo album, Charlotte Hug concentrates on solo viola without any electronics in a series of pieces inspired by a then-recent visit to London, showing her strong musical personality and original extended techniques in a solo recital unlike any other.

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product information:

UPC: 5030243408528

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 4085
Squidco Product Code: 18437

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2003
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Steinfels Studio in Zurich, Switzerland, in December 2001 and August 2002 by Charlotte Hug.


Charlotte Hug-viola

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Artist Biographies:

"Charlotte Hug: musician (viola & voice), composer, teacher, media artist, visual artist,

Hug´s innovative musical-visual solo performances in distinctive locations and her interdisciplinary work have created an international furore. She has played in locations such as the tunnels of the Rhône glacier, the House of Detention, an underground former prison in London, a half-demolished bunker in Humboldthain Berlin, the hot healing springs in the spa town of Baden and the dockyard in Coph on the Irish Atlantic coast.

This musician of the extreme is constantly pushing the boundaries of her instrument and has reinvented the viola - and this with an instrument built by the Viennese violin maker J.G Thir in 1763 . She has developed a number of techniques, including the "soft bow technique", which enables her to play up to eight voices. Hug´s speciality is also a blend of viola and vocals, which has given rise to her distinctive tonal language.

In the visual arena, as well as in a musical context, Hug´s sound-drawings "Son-Icons" have found international recognition. These she has used to develop her own compositional method. Hence her spatial and video-scores ranging from solo pieces to orchestra works, such as the orchestral work "Nachtplasmen" for Son-Icons and video-score, which was premiered with the Lucerne Festival Academy in 2011. She has had solo exhibitions at venues such as Swissnex San Francisco, the Sirius Arts Centre Cobh, Cork in Ireland and the Museum of Art Lucerne.

Hug is also fully active as a concert performer, soloist, composer and conductor of her own works at major festivals inEurope, North America, Latin America and Canada, such as Tage für Neue Musik Zurich, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Berliner Festspiele MaerzMusik, San Francisco International Arts Festival. Her extensive discography, including three solo CDs, as well as improvised music from international collaborations is distributed worldwide by important labels.

There are collaborations with international greats, such as the photographer and film maker Alberto Venzago, the theatre and opera director Jossie Wieler, concerts with artists such as Joan Jeanrenaud from the Kronos Quartet, Maggie Nicols, Barry Guy, Phil Minton, Larry Ochs, Evan Parker, Elliott Sharp, etc.

Hug gives master classes in improvisation and "instant composing". She also gives lectures and performance lectures in the field of "Transdisciplinarity in the Arts". She is a visiting professor at several universities and art academies including McGill University Montreal, CNMAT of the University of California Berkeley and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 2008 she has held the post of lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts in interdisciplinary studies.

Hug lives in Zurich and on the road. Having completed her studies in fine arts and music, she received various awards and composition commissions, from organisations such as Pro Helvetia, Lucerne Festival, etc. She has been "artist in residence" in London, Paris, Cork 2005 Capital of Culture, and in Berlin. In 2006 she was awarded the city of Zurich prize for composition. In 2011 she was "artiste étoile" at the Lucerne Festival."

-Charlotte Hug Website (

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track listing:

1. Delirium 10:43

2. Wet 4:45

3. Dweller 2:44

4. Quarry 3:03

5. Dwell On 2:21

6. Wood 3:09

7. Dwellers 5:45

8. Flow 6:13

9. Rotation 6:56

10. Pulsation 4:28

11. Signs 2:20

12. No Land 9:09
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In order to make her own niche in the world of European free improvisation, Charlotte Hug has developed new bowing techniques on the viola. She has found sounds that, while one hundred percent acoustic in nature, evoke the microscopic textures of crackling analog electronic improvisation (think Voice Crack, in particular). Hug often performs in semi-electronic contexts, but to this day her most convincing music has been acoustic, whether in Tony Wren's Quatuor Accorde or in trio with Maggie Nicols and Caroline Kraabel.

Neuland supersedes all of her previous efforts, even her first solo album MauerrauM WandrauM. Her techniques, which involve moistening the hairs of the bow or loosening them to the point where they offer no resistance and leave no space between string and wood, have come to full fruition. Focused on sound and texture rather than pitch or rhythm, her music fascinates because of its unheard-of sounds -- or repulses for the same reason. But repeated listens reveal beyond the novelty and apparent abstract nature of her improvisations a wide range of emotions (some very crude) that speak to us in a gripping way.

The 40-minute suite "House of Detention" (in 10 parts) presents a number of well-defined and developed ideas that showcase Hug's original playing without making a demonstration out of it. The music remains intimate, hardly escaping the artist's personal sphere, but it doesn't have the sparseness of Berlin reductionism or any approach favoring silence as sound. The suite is bookended by two 10-minute pieces, both more extroverted and at times verging on the frantic.

Neuland is a landmark in Hug's career and comes highly recommended."-Francois Couture,

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Stringed Instruments
Solo Artist Recordings
EMANEM & psi
Instant Rewards

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Other Recommended Releases:
Stellari String Quartet (Wachsmann / Hug / Mattos / Edwards)
Nicols, Maggie / Caroline Kraabel / Charlotte Hug
Hug, Charlotte & Frederic Blondy
Hug, Charlotte
Slipway to Galaxies (Solo Viola & Voice)
London Improvisers Orchestra
Lio Leo Leon
London Improvisers Orchestra
Improvisations for George Riste
London Improvisers Orchestra
Responses, Reproduction & Reality (freedom of the city 2003-4)

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