A free improvisation session with Gunter Christmann on cello and trombone, Alexander Fragenheim on double bass, and extended free vocalist Elke Schipper.
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Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs183
Squidco Product Code: 14183
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded on January 24th, 2010 by Alexander Frangenheim at Studio Borne 45, Berlin - Weissensee
Gunter Christmann-trombone, cello
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• Show Bio for Gunter Christmann
"Born 1942; trombone, cello, film.
Günter Christmann has been working since 1968 as a free-lance musician specialising in improvised musics - particularly free improvisation - and their links with other art forms. In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, he was primarily known for his trombone (and less frequent double bass) playing in a variety of groupings: Rüdiger Carl group (1969-1972); Peter Kowald Quintett (1972-1974); a duo with Detlef Schönenberg (1972-1982) which itself included many collaborations - for example with the electronics player Harald Bojé - as a member of the Globe Unity Orchestra from 1973 onwards; and in duo with Tristan Honsinger (1978-1981). In the mid-1970s Christmann also began exploring the possibilities of solo playing, sometimes including electro-acoustic manipulations and montage techniques. Since 1980 Günter Christmann has played regularly with Paul Lovens - for example, in the excellent (and recorded) trio with Maarten Altena, in duo, and in trio with Mats Gustafsson - in duo with bass player Torsten Müller (generally under the name of their recording, Carte blanche, as a member of King Übü Orchestrü (1987-1994), and in duo with Alexander Frangenheim. He also started to feature cello in his playing, not as a second instrument to trombone but as an equal.
From 1979 Günter Christmann has been interested in working with different combinations of improvisers from an international pool, often combining musicians with dancers, actors and acrobats. These groupings have gone under the generic name of VARIO (now up to VARIO 35), with many combinations having been documented on LP and CD (see list below). VARIO concerts have included: Langenhagen Jazz 1979/1981/1983; Moers 1981/1983; Actual London 1981; Pisa 1982; Osnabrück 1982; Utrecht 1982; a tour of South and Central America in 1983 (Mexico, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil); Zürich 1984; Hannover 1985; Bremen 1985; Paris 1992; Hannover 1993; Den Haag 1994; Stuttgart 1995; Nickelsdorff 1998; Hannover 1998. Artists who have participated in VARIO formations include: Maarten Altena; Regina Baumgart (dancer); Steve Beresford; Udo Blickensdorf (acrobat); Lindsay Cooper; Axel Dörner; Katie Duck; Alexander Frangenheim; Wolfgang Fuchs; Mats Gustafsson; Andy Geer (pantomime); Gerd Gläsmer (drums); Michael Griener (percussion); Ulrich Gumpert; Bernd Halleck (actor); Shelley Hirsch; Tristan Honsinger; Guus Janssen; Sven-Åke Johannson; Theo Joling (clown); Peter Kowald; Gyde Knebusch (harp); Thomas Lehn; Paul Lovens; Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet); Radu Malfatti; Phil Minton; Torsten Müller; Christian Munthe; Maggie Nicols; Evan Parker; Melvyn Poore; Jon Rose; John Russell; Jo Sachse; Wolfgang Schliemdun (percussion); Detlef Schönenberg; Irène Schweizer; Günter Sommer; LaDonna Smith; Mariano Suarez (trumpet); Martin Theurer; Roger Turner; Peter van Bergen; Davey Williams; Stephan Wittwer.
Even outside VARIO, Christmann has longstanding interests in bringing together similar-minded artists from a variety of disciplines. This started in 1974 through a collaboration with dancer/choreographer Pina Bausch and was later continued with Elisabeth Clark and Regina Baumgart. These early experiments led to his interest in film, particularly the relationship between improvising musicians and experimental film-makers; his current work in this area goes under the banner Deja-vu, being a sequence of music-theatre scenes in which live music, acting, films and sound collage are brought together. At its centre is the playing musician who works both with and against the film and whose relationship with the situation on stage in constantly changing. Advantages are taken of the ability of film to snatch up, to double and enlarge, and to fragment what would otherwise be a traditional relationship between action, scenery and person. This results in an interchange and transformation of themes, properties and associations, and movement between illusion and reality. The films are by Günter Christmann, music is provided by Christmann and Michael Griener, and technical assistance is provided by Elke Schipper."-European Free Improv (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/mchrist.html)
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• Show Bio for Alexander Frangenheim
"Born in Wuppertal, he studied sculpture at the academy of fine arts in Stuttgart and at the same time classical Doublebass with Reinald Schwarz, soloist of Stuttgart Philharmonics. Having encountered experimental music in his youth, beside classical playing he soon ventured into free improvisation as well as working with graphic notations in the ensemble of composer Klaus Fessmann, who holds a professorship at Salzburg Mozarteum. After having met Günter Christmann in the early 90s, who became a close friend over the years, a grant offered the possibility to go to London, where he finally was able to explode into a most intense period of sessions, collaborations, concerts and recording sessions, this all with help by John Russell, Chris Burn and John Butcher. Back in Stuttgart he was asked to teach experimental music at the academy of fine arts Stuttgart, which he did for a period of ten years and which led him to extended sound and performance explorations in collaboration with his students. He continued to organize the festival concepts of doing - Interaktion Tanz Musik (1992 - 2003) and, after an intense trip through many european countries meeting dancers for free improvisations and an invitation to the 5th Composers Choreographers Exchange (Southbank Center London), he was co-founding the production center for dance and performance Stuttgart. Being the head of this association for three years and after the festival of concepts of doing 2003, he pushed these structures aside for regaining breath and new freedom and inner engagement in life and arts. At the same time this moment was accompanied by his last days in ensemble zeitkratzer, which he was member of since its beginning in 1997 (performances of famous MMM by and with Lou Reed as well as music by alva noto, Merzbow, Lee Ronaldo, Elliott Sharp, DJ's a.o.).
2005 saw him establishing himself in a space in Berlin to seek new projects. Since then he has recorded three cds, created the music for the experimental film "Lupinen löschen" by Sabine Schöbel, which was shown at the Berlinale 2007, and started to work with analog electronics on the acoustic double bass as well as on an electric one, introducing this to his collaborations with dance.
He played in groups... trio with Jim Denley and Steve Noble; duo with Phil Durrant (cd); quintet with Evan Parker, Phil Wachsman, Thomas Lehn, Roger Turner; duo with Günter Christmann (cd); "Ein Quartett" with Bieler-Wendt, Kolkowski, Zimmerlin; trio with Chris Burn and Axel Dörner.
Projects with Günter Christmann: Sextett Vario 34 (cd) und "con moto" (music, dance, sound poetry, film) with David Zambrano, Urs Leimgruber, Fine Kwiatkofski, Elke Schipper (dvd).
Concerts with... Paul Lovens, John Butcher, Phil Minton, Derek Bailey, Sven-Ake Johannson, David Moss, John Russell, Johannes Bauer, LeQuan Ninh, Dietmar Diesner, LaDonna Smith, Malcolm Goldstein, Fred Frith, Vinko Globokar, Barry Guy, Torsten Müller, Carlos Zingaro, Fred van Hove, Urs Leimgruber, Mats Gustafsson, Dorothea Schürch, Herb Robertson, Alberto Braida, Michael Griener, Yumiko Tanaka a.o.
Intense work with dancers in diverse performing and rehearsing situations.
Collaborations with Julyen Hamilton, Vera Mantero, Benoit Lachambre, Ingo Reulecke, Josè Luis Sultàn, Mark Tompkins, Junko Wada, Fine Kwiatkofski, Regina Baumgart, David Zambrano, Sasha Waltz, Katie Duck, Joachim Schlömer, Thomas McManus, Nigel Charnock, Xavier Le Roy, Frans Poelstra, Virpi Pakhinen, Russell Maliphant, Anzu Furukawa, Pal Frenak, Anna Huber, Andreas Müller, Astrid Endruweit, Jennifer Lacey, Lin Yuang Shang.
concepts of doing. Between 1992 and 2003 he organized the festival "concepts of doing - Interaktion Tanz Musik" which became an important european plattform for the exchange of the arts inviting many notable artists for free collaborations during 4 days. (Please see: www.concepts-of-doing.de). cd: "screen. Festival concepts of doing 1999" mit Yoshihide, Turner, Leimgruber, Schürch, Parkins, Newton, Frangenheim.
Critics: "mikrotonale Edelsteine" (Markus Müller, Jazzthetik), "deliciously subversive" (Cadence), "music straight from the dynamo" (The Wire), "Frangenheim uses extended string techniques Gidon Cremer supplied for Luigi Nono" (The Wire).
Lives in Berlin since 2005. In preparation for creative space for 2009, which will allow him to continue his work with dance and other media.
Projects: trio with Chris Burn and Axel Dörner; quartet with Thomas Lehn, Le Quan Ninh, Frederic Blondy; duo with Günter Christmann /as well as other formations; trio with Floros Floridis and Ray Kaczynski; cds in prep: quartet with Moss/Bauer/Tanaka, quartet with Turner/Wachsman/Pat Thomas. performance project "streugut" together with Clausen, Reulecke, Rudstrom, Simon."-Creative Sources (http://creativesourcesrec.com/creative_artists.html)
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sample the album:
"A free improvisation session recorded in the studio in January 2010. Christmann on cello (mostly) and trombone, Frangenheim on doublebass, and vocalist Elke Schipper, whose range of extended techniques brings to to mind Phil Minton. 15 near-miniatures focused very specific ideas, combinations, and moments. Good European Free Improvisation, almost "old school". Comparable to the quartet Speak Easy, also on Creative Sources and which, incidentally, included Minton."-Monsieur Delire
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