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Philipp Wachsmann, Charlotte Hug, Marcio Mattos & John Edwards performing live at the Uncool Festival in Switzerland, 2007, and in studio recordings from 2006.

Stellari String Quartet
Gocce Stellari

Stellari String Quartet: Gocce Stellari (Emanem)
Label: Emanem    
Released in: Great Britain    

"When I first put this CD on and started to listen from the beginning, I didn't recognise the characteristic sounds or distinguish the 'voice' of each musician, although I know them all well and have had the pleasure of hearing them many times in various contexts. This was a thoughtful, rigorous and austere string quartet music, very focused and in a register (musical and intellectual) that seemed new to me. It was only towards the very end of the first long piece that I started to hear very small snatches of playing in which I really recognised Philipp Wachsmann's lyricism, Charlotte Hug's command of and fascination with textures, John Edwards' vitality and dynamic range and Marcio Mattos' resourcefulness. As I listened on through the CD, I continued to hear more that sounded new and less that was familiar, and it was very thrilling to listen to these new sounds and ways of interacting.

This made me reflect on the productive tension, in life and in music, between improvising and being yourself - not that these two things are diametrical opposites, but they do tend to pull in different directions, and are sometimes hard to reconcile.

It's evident that one is required to be literally oneself - and much beautiful music comes out of the plain joyfulness of people being and expressing truly who they are - but the thing that's specific to improvising is that it demands that the music be made afresh each time: the more aspects of the music are unique to that moment, the more improvised that music is.

This means that after working for a long time on improvising, the musician eventually comes up against the fact that the self that she brings to each new playing situation is still the same one. What to do? Clearly, it's possible to make novel sounds at random, but this is a bit of a lottery and means the musician has let go perhaps too completely of herself, her love and understanding of particular kinds of sounds, gestures, moods... and maybe risks letting go of her reasons for playing music in the first place.

On the other hand, there is a lot of excellent music made in which players remain frankly themselves and rejoice in an interaction that, though improvised, still has something familiar about it, like a stimulating family conversation.

What I hear on this CD is four people who have worked so long and hard on improvising, and are so brave and trusting of each other, that when they intersect here they leave their usual ways of being and playing behind and forge new ways, and completely new music, for the occasion. This balancing act, this apotheosis of communication, is what makes music indispensable to the human organism."-Caroline Kraabel, from the liner notes

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Related Categories of Interest:

EMANEM & psi

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Stringed Instruments
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Free Improvisation

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Price: $18.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 4.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 5030243500628

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 5006
Squidco Product Code: 12211

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock 3 page foldover
Tracks 1-4 digital concert recordings made in Poschiavo, Switzerland at the UNCOOL festival by Lara Persia (RSI) - May 17, 2007. Tracks 5-7 digital studio recordings made near London by Philipp Wachsmann - September 9, 2006.


Tracks 1-4 digital concert recordings made in Poschiavo, Switzerland at the UNCOOL festival by Lara Persia (RSI) - May 17, 2007. Tracks 5-7 digital studio recordings made near London by Philipp Wachsmann - September 9, 2006.

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Track Listing:

1. PLEIONE 17:51

2. MEROPE 12:57

3. ALCYONE 10:22

4. STEROPE 3:15

5. MINTAKA 8:48

6. ALNITAK 10:45

7. ALNILAM 5:26