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Hein, Nicola / Paul Lytton: Nahezu Nicht (Creative Sources)

"Although humanity's most in-demand and pervasive instruments the popularity of drums and guitars - or their equivalents - is so universal that there's no sanctioned method to play either. This is especially true with Free Music where adven...

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product information:

UPC: 5609063403268

Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs326
Squidco Product Code: 21657

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard box with foldover tab
Recorded in September, 2014, by Lennart Marten Saathoff.


Nicola L. Hein-guitar, objects

Paul Lytton-table drums, electronics

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Artist Biographies:

"Nicola L. Hein (Born 1988 in Düsseldorf) is a guitarist, composer and soundartist. As a guitarist he is mainly concerned about the search for new sounds on his instrument. He plays electric and acoustic guitar with or without preperations and tries to find new ways of playing the guitar within the context of Free Improvised Music and Jazz. He plays the guitar with his hands and plectrum but also with a lot of different objects: screws, rulers, iron wool, violin bow, abrasive paper, magnets and many other objects which are part of his musical vocabulary. The result is his very own world of sounds, which is using the rich potential of the guitar as a creator of sounds. The manual creation is a very important character of this sound world, which never gets distorted by the use of electronic effects. As a composer he finds different ways of integrating philosophical ideas into music and to play music as a form of philosophy. In order to actualize itself the compositional work is always aimed at the improvising musician as a dialectic partner of the composition. From the interplay of these partners an ästhetic emerges that is based on the spontanity of the performance and the setting of aesthetic action spaces alike. As a soundartist he is developing different ways to project the musical ontology of Improvised Music onto different aesthetic rooms. This is done by creating instruments, installations and other ways of using the guitar, which use the musical ontology of Improvised Music as the center of the sonic practise but generate a lot of different sense structures that differ from the usual practise of Improvised Music (for example by creating a scenic sense layer etc.). He also creates sound installations which involve the recipient as a part of the work. The works encourage the recipient to make a special aesthetic experience with different sounds. The aesthetic of these sounds is inspired by the aesthetics of Free Improvised Music.

He studied Jazzguitar, Soundart/Composition, Philosophy and German philology at the Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn and the Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Projects with the support of: Initiative Musik, Staatsministerium für Kultur und Medien, Kunststiftung NRW, Deutscher Musikrat, Akademie der Künste der Welt, Kultursekretariat NRW, Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Landesmusikrat NRW, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatstheater Mainz, Staatstheater Hannover, ON Neue Musik Cologne, RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur, Kulturamt der Stadt Köln, Kulturamt der Stadt Düsseldorf, Kulturamt der Stadt Essen, Kulturbehörde Hamburg, Hamburgische Kulturstiftung, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Köln Musik, Acht Brücken, RWE Stiftung für Energie & Gesellschaft, Second Floor e.V., Jazz Offensive Essen, ZKM Karlsruhe etc. He has worked with: Evan Parker, Phil Minton, John Russell, Paul Lytton, Frank Gratkwoski, Michael Vorfeld, Rudi Mahall, Tobias Delius, Liz Allbee, Christian Lillinger, Ute Wassermann, John Butcher, Axel Dörner, Thomas Lehn, Wilbert de Joode, Tristan Honsinger, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Thieke, Sofia Jernberg, Audrey Chen, Peter Jacquemyn, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Robert Landfermann, Jon Rose, Sebastian Gramss, Tomomi Adachi, Alfred Zimmerlin, DJ Illvibe etc."

-Nicola L. Hein Website (

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"Paul Lytton (born 8 March 1947, London) is an English free jazz percussionist.

Lytton began on drums at age 16. He played jazz in London in the late 1960s while taking lessons on the tabla from P.R. Desai. In 1969 he began experimenting with free improvisational music, working in a duo with saxophonist Evan Parker. After adding bassist Barry Guy, the ensemble became the Evan Parker Trio. He and Parker continued to work together into the 2000s; more recent releases include trio releases with Marilyn Crispell in 1996 (Natives and Aliens) and 1999 (After Appleby).

A founding member of the London Musicians Collective, Lytton worked extensively on the London free improvisation scene in the 1970s, and aided Paul Lovens in the foundation of the Aachen Musicians' Cooperative in 1976.

Lytton has toured North America and Japan both solo and with improvisational ensembles. In 1999, he toured with Ken Vandermark and Kent Kessler, and recorded with Vandermark on English Suites. Lytton also collaborated with Jeffrey Morgan (alto & tenor saxophone), with whom he recorded the CD "Terra Incognita" Live in Cologne, Germany.

He played also on White Noise's pioneer electronic pop music album An Electric Storm in 1969."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. I 11:51

2. II 6:07

3. III 7:51

4. IV 9:31

5. V 8:35

6. VI 5:33
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.
"Although humanity's most in-demand and pervasive instruments the popularity of drums and guitars - or their equivalents - is so universal that there's no sanctioned method to play either. This is especially true with Free Music where adventurous players have approached both as they were unexplored plants and they space scientists. That's the situation involved with these guitar-drum duos. One featuring French improvisers - percussionist Didier Lasserre and guitar and harmonica stylist Raymond Boni - is completely acoustic. The other matches British drummer Paul Lytton and German guitarist Nicola L. Hein whose employment of electronics and objects creates a set of tracks that owe as much to programming as human strokes. Although identically constituted, the effect is rather like trying to compare a farm wagon and a sports car for the simple reason that each has four wheels and both are used for transpiration. Still, another point of concordance here is that each session features teamwork between an older improviser and a younger one. On Nahezu Nicht the veteran is Aachen-based Lytton, whose affiliations with the music go back to the mid-1960s in bands with Evan Parker among many others. Dusseldorf native Hein, who prepares his instrument with screws, magnets, paper and the like, is a sound designer and has worked with comparable sonic searchers like Axel Dorner. Meanwhile on Soft Eyes, it's Bordeaux-based Lasserre who is the junior partner; but one who has spent years working with players like Benjamin Duboc. Almost exactly the same age as Lytton, in the past Toulon-born Boni has often partnered versatile iconoclasts like Daunik Lazro. With a utilitarian set up that would have been expected from Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan in the 1960s rather than jazzers, the French players initially have to work to make sure the finger-picking, dour harmonica blasts and grounded drum pops don't lapse into folksiness. By the second track though they're established that their aim is abstraction not agit-prop and soon they excel in creating the impossible: sounding intricate atonal patterns while keeping their narratives as centered as a dart in bull's eye centre of a target. Along the way Lasserre lets his bass drum whaps and cymbal resonation set the pace. Boni's studied rasgueado and unaffiliated tremolo peeps sometimes appear to be heading in opposite directions like two dogs straining at one leash, and it's the drummer's multi-limb finesse that bring these impulses to heel. At the same time Boni's mouth organ timbral mastication relate more closely to Albert Ayler's saxophone sprawls than anything whispered by Toots Thielemans' pleasant blowing. He demonstrates this on "Tard Dans La Vie ", sliding from Jew's harp-like twang to basso shudders within the piece. At the same time the most notable achievement of Soft Eyes is that the two manage to suggest a world of experimental timbres without ever raising their tone and pitch above moderato. Hein and Lytton wouldn't be confused for Jimmy Page and John Bonham either. But over the course of six tracks the suggestion of rugged objects being prodded and abrasive timbres being scratched from unknown gadgets share space with more intricate instrumental patterns. The guitarist for instance doesn't limit himself to popping flat picking or twanging strums. but instead uses finger tips and heels of hands to resonate sharper tones from the strings on the guitar neck. Besides bell-like resonation that emanate from Lytton's kit, an undercurrent of mechanized drone can also be heard, adding a distinctive microtonal connectivity throughout. Like their French counterparts, likely recorded in real time, the British-German duo. who appear to have created their tracks under similar circumstances, become progressively more atonally fearless as the CD unfolds. Several tracks begin with a raucous sound that could be a door cranking openi and that sets up a round robin game of pointed timbres passing between the two. By "IV" distant outer-space-like whistles are ruffling the flat-line interaction to the extent that guitar or percussion textures splash, smack and rub against an intractable force numerous times to loosen it enough to showcase a multi-limb, multi-stroke solo from the drummer. With electronic drones constantly challenged by string hammering or individual sitar-like buzzes on Hein's "VI", the disparate jigsaw-puzzle-like parts join together to create a revealing picture. Plus the final tr01emolo tones relates back to similar ones which began "I". Both duos suggest individual and interesting strategies that can be used sparingly to create free sounds with only guitar and percussion. Such is humanity's resourcefulness that they are plenty of original textures to be heard on both discs as well."-Ken Waxman, JazzWord
Related Categories of Interest:

Back Catalog Additions

Creative Sources
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Duo Recordings
Objects and Home-made Instruments
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