The Squid's Ear Magazine

Gallio / Streuli: Road Works [CD & DVD] (Percaso)

72 extractions of electroacoustic improvisation from saxophonist Christoph Gallio, and an accompanying DVD from director Beat Streuli, with music and sound coming from Dominique Girod (bass), Julian Sartorius (drums), Andrea Neumann (piano), and Ernst Thoma (synth).

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product information:

DVD: PAL 16:9. Photo booklet by Moritz Wetter.

Label: Percaso
Catalog ID: 28/29
Squidco Product Code: 19145

Format: CD & DVD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: Switzerland


Beat Streuli-Film director

Christoph Gallio-Saxophone, compositions

Dominique Girod-doublebass

Julian Sartorius-Drums

Andrea Neumann-Piano, Inside Piano

Ernst Thoma-Synthesizer

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Gallio and Streuli - the latter's high-definition metropolitan imagery is featured in the DVD incorporated by this 2-disc set - proceed to the second subdivision of their cooperative production after Hits/Stills. In this juncture, too, the music is "formally" shattered - in 72 shards, to be specific - but instead of employing a solitary tool the composer opted for a small cast comprising at least two interesting variables. One is Thoma's synthesizer, often the most prominent color in the overall palette and - not rarely - a supplier of mysterious fumes, odd purrs and eccentric "weeoows" (several pieces also include samples). The other crucial factor is Neumann's pianism, ranging from pensive empiricism to ordinary accompaniment of progressions that appear excessively "normal" and easygoing to let me believe that there is no sarcasm in there.

For sure, Gallio does recognize irony as a valuable component of his work (*). A few of these pills might be thought as abbreviated Eno/Roedelius outtakes, spaced-out melodies and electronic impulses cuddling the hearer. More blatant intermissions modify the intensity level inside the instrumental action, then give room to facetious clichés and formulas, lounge-jazz played by cultured musicians who forgot they're being paid by a Holiday Inn as they keep trying to alter/fragment the tempos (and use a hoarse cat as a singer, see track 35). Episodes where tension is induced via Zorn-like outbursts and precipitous interruptions are complemented by pseudo-African rhythms and sheer exercises, or perhaps a single, reiterated phrase/superimposition of tones (those are the moments I prefer: check tracks 1, 24, 25 and 71 for example).

Amidst all of this, Gallio, Girod and Sartorius are accountable for the permanency of a minimum of contrapuntal symmetricalness within a vibe whose nature is both elegantly mocking and mystifyingly classy. Fleeting occurrences modulate every fluctuation; the "shuffle" mode is a rather expectable listening alternative. Talking again about Eno, this music remains respectable even at attenuated volume, becoming an active complement in the room's sonorousness yet still capable of commanding your attention at the due moment."--Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

(*) Not so, apparently: in an email subsequent to this review, the composer wrote me that although he does value humor, irony is not meant to be the protagonist of these sketches, or his production in general. "I love clichés, cheap, normal and unspectacular things from the daily life. I use them with the deepest respect, trying to find depths beyond the appearance". Thanks to Christoph Gallio for the explanation."

DVD: PAL 16:9. Photo booklet by Moritz Wetter.

Get additional information at Touching Extremes

Artist Biographies

"Christoph Gallio was born in 1957 and lives in Baden, Switzerland. Self-taught, he began playing 19 years soprano saxophone. He studied saxophone with Iwan Roth at Basel Conservatory and Music at Steve Lacy in Paris. MA in Transdisciplinarity at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Gallio in 1987 received the Special Art Prize of the city of Basel and the Canton Aargau 2009 Berlin studio and 2012 a work contribution. He directs the bands DAY & TAXI (with Silvan Jeger and David Meier), MÖSIÖBLÖ (with Sylvia Nopper, Marino Pliakas and Thomas Eckert), and ROSES FOR ALL (with Jan Roder and Oliver Steidle). With the visual artist Beat Streuli him on a longstanding cooperation. The latest joint project is the interdisciplinary performance ROAD WORKS (with Andrea Neumann, Ernst Thoma, Dominique Girod and Julian Sartorius).

Since 1977, played and plays Christoph Gallio among other things with Irene Schweizer, Irene Aebi, Urs Voerkel, Peter K. Frey, Daniel Studer, Günter Müller, Stephan Wittwer, Norbert Möslang, Ernst Thoma, Peter Kowald, Alfred Zimmerlin, Matthew Ostrowski, Hans Koch, Werner Lüdi, Urs Blöchlinger, Erhard Hirt, Dieter Ulrich, Fred Frith, Phil Minton, John Russel, Lindsay L. Cooper, Peter Schärli, Bernhard Bamert, Takashi Kazamaki, Yoshiaki Onnyk Kinno, Samm Bennett, Uchihashi Kazuhisa, Kazutoki Umezu, Tetsu Saitoh , William Parker, Rashied Ali, Christian Wolfarth, Martin Lorenz, Hans-Christian Sarnau, Lara Stanic, Olaf Rupp, Kazumi, Helmut Erler, Hans Benda, Sven Åke Johansson, Andrea Neumann, Julian Sartorius. Solos and performances with the dancers Christine Brodbeck, Yvonne Meier, Tomiko Takai, Franz Frautschi and Hideto Heshiki. Cooperation including with the artists Alex Silver, Eric Hattan and writer Kurt Aebli. Since 1986 Gallio composes for himself, his band and others. Concerts and tours at home and abroad. Various recordings."

-Christoph Gallio Website (

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"Dominique Girod was born in 1975 in Winterthur, Switzerland. From 1993 until 1996 he studied Jazz and Classical double-bass with J.-F. Jenny-Clark in Paris and classical double-bass with Andreas Cincera at the Zurich Conservatory with Diploma in 1999. From 2000 to 2007 he studied composition with Michaël Jarrell and electronic music and theory with Gerald Bennett at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). He contributed as a double bass player to numerous concerts, tours and CD productions in Jazz and Contemporary Music and wrote music for various instrumentations. In 2013 Freie Oper Zürich creates his first opera "l'homme qui rit" and 2018 his second opera "Orpheus" at the Rote Fabrik Zürich. 2003/2004 he was artist in residence at the Landis & Gyr Atelier for composition in London. 2014 he received the Recognition Award from the Kulturkomission Zollikon and in 2016 the Werkjahr für Komposition from the city of Zurich. Since 2001 Dominique Girod teaches double-bass and theory at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)."

-Dominique Girod Website (

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"Drummer, percussionist and artist Julian Sartorius forms sounds into previously unseen shapes. His precise and multi-layered rhythmical patterns are keen excursions into the hidden tones of found objects and prepared instruments, bridging the gap between organic timbres and the vocabulary of (experimental) electronic music. Julian Sartorius has released numerous solo albums, creates audiovisual art works, collaborates with musicians, writers and artist and performs live in intimate venues and on festival stages.

Trained at the Jazz schools in Berne and Lucerne by instrumentalists like Fabian Kuratli, Pierre Favre and Norbert Pfammatter, Julian Sartorius soon developed a singular musical approach. Being interested in fine-scaled variations, tension and release, mass and vibrancy, he creates projects like the 12-LP-box set "Beat Diary" (Everest Records, 2012), consisting of 365 beat tracks and an accompanying photo book; the daily 8-seconds loop series "Morphblog" (from 2013 to 2019); or "Depot", an audiovisual installation for 16 loudspeakers and 16 screens that was shown at Kunstmuseum Thun. For his last album "Hidden Tracks: Basel - Genève" (Everest Records, 2017), Julian hiked over 200 km with his drum sticks and recording equipment, playing and recording a multitude of sounds and textures on objects found on the journey.

In recent years, Julian Sartorius has collaborated with numerous musicians including Sophie Hunger, Sylvie Courvoisier, Gyda Valtysdottir, Dimlite, Shahzad Ismaily and Dan Carey. His distinct percussion work is featured on the current albums of Kate Tempest, Matthew Herbert and James Zoo.

Julian Sartorius has toured and performed live in North and South America, Asia and in Europe sharing the bill with artists like Marc Ribot, Deerhoof, Faust, Jaki Liebezeit and Arto Lindsay."

-Julian Sartorius Website (

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"Born 1968 in Freiburg, grew up in Hamburg. Piano lessons since 1974. Studied piano at "Hochschule der Kunste" in Berlin. Since 1996 primarily active as improviser and composer in the areas of experimental and new music.

In the process of exploring the piano for new sound possibilities, she has reduced the instrument to strings, resonance board and metal frame. With the help of electronics to manipulate and amplify the sounds (sometimes to make parts of the sound audible which are inaudible without amplification), she has developed numerous new playing techniques, sounds, and ways of preparing the dismantled instrument. Because the original inside piano is very heavy, a piano builder (Bernd Bittmann, Berlin) constructed a new and lighter one for her.

She has worked intensively in the crossover area between composition and improvisation, and in the field between electronic and handmade sounds, with Berlin musicians such as Annette Krebs, Ignaz Schick, Axel Dörner, Robin Hayward and Burkhard Beins. She has composed for inside piano for interdisciplinary projects including film, dance, performance, etc."

-Improvised Music from Japan website (

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Track Listing:

1. 00:22

2. 00:39

3. 01:06

4. 00:34

5. 00:21

6. 00:31

7. 00:21

8. 00:18

9. 00:15

10. 00:31

11. 01:44

12. 00:16

13. 00:52

14. 00:15

15. 00:37

16. 00:27

17. 00:27

18. 00:49

19. 00:20

20. 00:23

21. 00:32

22. 00:39

23. 00:55

24. 00:35

25. 00:48

26. 00:17

27. 00:36

28. 01:39

29. 00:15

30. 00:20

31. 00:19

32. 00:55

33. 00:23

34. 00:54

35. 01:50

36. 00:24

37. 00:19

38. 00:29

39. 00:21

40. 02:07

41. 01:33

42. 01:05

43. 00:13

44. 00:45

43. 00:13

44. 00:16

45. 00:54

46. 00:28

47. 00:33

48. 00:54

49. 00:42

50. 00:40

51. 00:52

52. 01:02

53. 00:45

54. 00:15

55. 01:00

56. 00:28

57. 00:35

58. 00:21

59. 01:00

60. 00:34

61. 00:29

62. 00:36

63. 00:22

64. 01:03

65. 00:27

66. 01:23

67. 00:19

68. 00:32

69. 00:47

70. 00:46

71. 01:19

72. 00:58

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Electro-Acoustic Improv

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