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Thut, Stefan : about (elsewhere)

Composer & cellist Stefan Thut performs his composition with Ryoko Akama (electronics), Stephen Chase (guitar), Eleanor Cully (piano), Patrick Farmer (metal percussion), and lo wie (tingsha), where half of the group allow single percussive, ringing or electronic sounds to decay, as the other half play high register pitches, in between walking "about" and uttering monosyllabic words.

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product information:

Label: elsewhere
Catalog ID: elsewhere 005
Squidco Product Code: 26669

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Phipps Hall, University Of Huddersfield, UK, on September 30th, 2017, by Simon Reynell. Mixed and premastered by Simon Reynell and Stefan Thut. Mastered by Taku Unami.


Stefan Thut-composer, cello, text

Ryoko Akama-electronics

Stephen Chase-guitar

Patrick Farmer-percussion

Lo Wie-Tingsha

Eleanor Cully-piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Composer and cellist. Born 1968, resident in Solothurn (CH). Trained at the Lucerne Conservatory and at Boston University School of Music.

Most of his scores are to be rendered by performers; some scores serve as a template in field recording and sound art. In his compositions he operates with relatively determined open systems. Scores were realized at the Kunstraum Düsseldorf (2007), at Kid Ailack Concert Hall, Tokio (2007/09) and at the Diapason Gallery, New York (2010) among other locations. As interpreter he has premiered solo-pieces by Jürg Frey, Radu Malfatti, Tim Parkinson, James Saunders, Taku Sugimoto, Taku Unami and Manfred Werder and he has performed with the ensemble incidental music in Berlin, Brussels, London and Zurich."

-Edition Wandelweiser (

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"Ryoko Akama was born in 1976 in Japan, and currently lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She is a member of The Lappetites, Rolex2$, Syth;s. She is a sound artist/composer/performer, who approaches listening situations that magnify silence, time and space and offer quiet temporal/spatial experiences. Her sound works are connected to literature, fine art and technology, and employ small and fragile objects such as paper balloons and glass bottles, creating tiny occurrences that embody 'almost nothing' aesthetics. She composes text events and performs a diversity of alternative scores in collaboration with international artists. Her works and projects have been funded by Arts Council England, Japan Society, Daiwa-Anglo Foundation, University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Council, Pro Helvetia and more.

She is also active as a curator: collaborates with festivals, runs melange edition label and co-edits reductive journal/mumei publishing."

-Vimeo (

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"Stephen Chase composes, improvises, and walks quite a lot.

His work veers erratically between conceptual strategies and following-his-nose, and is drawn to such things as the relationship between physical action and sound production, group interaction, and the acoustic characteristics of indoor and outdoor spaces.

He has collaborated variously with Ross Parfitt, Philip Thomas, Exaudi, Quatuor Bozzini, Brevis Choir, Apartment House, Ensemble Zwischentöne, Music We'd Like to Hear, Sound Intermedia, BBC Singers, Mick Beck, edges, THF Drenching, Gwilly Edmondez, Coastguard All Stars, Husk, Gated Community, Damo Suzuki, omoplate sarangi, murmuration, and Freaking Glamorous Teapot.

He has co-edited a book of essays with Philip Thomas on the music of Christian Wolff for Ashgate.

He recently returned to playing other people's music for solo guitar, specialising in premiering music by composers whose first initial is J: so far, James Saunders, James Weeks, Jennie Gottschalk and Jürg Frey."

-British Music Collection (

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"Patrick Farmer (b.1983) is a musician and sound artist working within improvisation and composition. Commonly referred to as a percussionist, Farmer will often enlist the help of a drum or turntable to act as a resonator for natural materials or filtering field recordings. He has performed throughout Europe and America, including concerts at the ICA, Stockholm National Gallery, and The Radiator Festival. He has recently spent time as artist in residence at Q-O2 in Belgium and MOKS in Estonia, with a forthcoming residency at Soundfjord, London."

-Sounds of Europe (

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Lo Wie is a composer, percussionist, and author, a member of the group A. Typist. She is interested in electroacoustic improvisation, reductionism, and modern compositional msuic. She performs on the tingsha, and has recorded with artists such as Ryu Hankil, Ryoko Akama, Stefan Thut, Johnny Chang, Eleanor Cully, Patrick Farmer.

-Squidco 11/16/2022

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"I make works with images, extracts of melodies, texts and imagined sounds. I like to work on a whim; embracing connections and ideas that come from misheard sentences, descriptions on the radio, singing unclear and troubled words. I embed these encounters into pieces, titles or notes about a work. I live in Huddersfield and teach in a few schools across Kirklees, driving around the countryside in between."

-Eleanor Cully Website (

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track listing:

1. About 58:44
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Stefan Thut composed "about" in 2017 for a sextet as a part of the first concert series of the art and music project ame, commissioned by Ryoko Akama, a UK-based sound artist/composer/performer and a co-curator of ame. Akama gathered four fellow musicians who were empathetic with Thut's aesthetics to perform and record the piece. The ensemble consisted of Akama (electronics), Stephen Chase (guitar), Eleanor Cully (piano), Patrick Farmer (metal percussion), lo wie (tingsha), and Thut (cello), who have diverse backgrounds in music, poetry and literature, and comprised a multilingual group.

Thut integrated both musical elements and non-musical elements in his piece "about". His score instructs three performers to make percussive, ringing, and electronic sounds while three other performers play short high register pitches on their musical instruments according to written scores, particularly paying attention to the decay of sound in the subsequent silence. It also instructs parallel activities in between playing the sounds; walking around the space, and uttering monosyllabic words quietly in their own languages. (The title "about" derived from a sentence 'walking about'.)

By going back and forth between these two activities - one with playing the sounds as a group, and the other with individual activities of their own - standing up, making a few steps, and saying a word, the ensemble created a unique openness in the music while each keeping their own contemplative individual experience as a component. Through this piece, Thut also demonstrated the idea that "something vanishing creates a state of pure attentiveness", letting the performers and the listeners experience how the short sounds like hit, plucked, ringing or bowed sounds attribute a meaning to the silences before and after. These silences are soon getting replaced by something else - by the sounds from before, by the sounds in expectation, or by thoughts.

Swiss composer and cellist Stefan Thut is interested in processes and scores that invite both the performers and the listeners to delve into a world. He studied music at the Lucerne Conservatory and at Boston University School of Music. After experiences with new and experimental music, improvisation and noise, Thut started writing scores. Through his compositions he provides relatively determined systems in order to develop a praxis. In addition to instruments used in traditional ways, he also uses everyday materials as components in his work. As an interpreter he has performed a lot of music for solo cello written by his fellow and affiliated composers of the Edition Wandelweiser. Stations of his recent activities included Bilbao, Düsseldorf, London, Reykjavik, Saint Petersburg, Tokyo and Zurich among other towns. He has released albums as a composer, performer and cellist from Edition Wandelweiser and other international labels."

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Percussion & Drums
Electronic Forms
Unusual Vocal Forms
Sextet Recordings
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
New in Compositional Music

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