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Wolff, Christian: Berlin Exercises [VINYL] (God Records)

A series of shorter works composed by Christian Wolff written to explore the process of practicing and working within specified limits, exercises for both the composer and the performers, recorded live in Berlin in 2000 by an ensemble directed by Peter Ablinger and including Wolff on piano & melodica, Robin Hayward on tuba, Anette Krebs on guitar, &c.

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product information:

UPC: 769791966529

Label: God Records
Catalog ID: GODREC 041LP
Squidco Product Code: 24322

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Austria
Packaging: LP w/ 28 page booklet
Recorded live in Berlin, Germany, on June 9th, 2000.


Christian Wolff-piano, melodica, composer

Hans-Ulrich Altenkirch-vibraphone

Ellen Fricke-voice

Robin Hayward-tuba

Rainer Killius-contrabass recorder

Aleksander Kolkowski-violin

Kurt Konig-percussion

Annette Krebs-guitar

Inge Morgenroth-tenor saxophone

Natalia Pschenitschnikowa-flutes

Helles Weber-accordion

Peter Ablinger-artistic director

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Artist Biographies:

"Christian Wolff was born in 1934 in Nice, France, has lived in the U.S. since 1941. Studied piano with Grete Sultan and briefly composition with John Cage. Associated with Cage, Morton Feldman, David Tudor and Earle Brown, then with Frederic Rzewski and Cornelius Cardew. Since 1952 associated with Merce Cunningham and his dance company. Taught Classics at Harvard (1962-70) and Classics, Music and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College (1971-1999). Published articles on Greek tragedy, in particular, Euripides. Writings on music (to 1998) collected in book Cues (published by MusikTexte) and in Occasional Pieces (Oxford University Press, in preparation). Active as performer, also improviser with, among others, Takehisa Kosugi, Keith Rowe, Steve Lacy, Christian Marclay, Larry Polansky, Kui Dong and AMM. All music published by C.F. Peters, New York. Much of it is recorded (Mode, New World, Neos, Capriccio, Wandelweiser, Wergo, Matchless, Tzadik, HatArt, etc.). Honors include DAAD Berlin fellowship, grants from the Asian Council, Mellon Foundation, Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts (the John Cage award); honorary degrees from California Institute of the Arts and from Huddersfield University (UK), membership in the Akademie der Kuenste, Berlin, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, lifetime achievement award from the state of Vermont."

-Dartmouth College (

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"Ellen Fricke, actor, speaker and performer in contemporary music, author of language compositions and compositions for radio. 1996 Master of Arts in General Linguistics and Commmunication Science at Technical University Berlin. 1996-1997 Scholarship of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) [German Research Society] at Graduiertenkolleg Kognitionswissenschaft [Graduate College for Cognitive Sciences] in Hamburg. 1998-2003 Lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) for research and teaching in German Linguistics at Technical University Berlin. Since 2003 Lectureships for Semiotics, Linguistics and Cultural Sciences at TU Berlin and European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder. 2004 co-founder of the Berlin Gesture Center which is an interdisciplinary institute for Gesture Studies. PhD in German Linguistics and Semiotics. 2005 awarded with the "Tiburtius-Anerkennungspreis" for her dissertation "Origo, Geste und Raum: Lokaldeixis im Deutschen" [origo, gesture, and space: local deixis in German]. Since April 2006 member of the research project "Towards a grammar of gesture: evolution, brain, and linguistic structures" (head: linguistics/semiotics). Research focus: semantics and pragmatics, deixis, interaction of speech and co-speech gestures, multimodality, semiotics of cultural systems, sign theory."

-Berlin Gesture Center (

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"The tuba player and composer Robin Hayward was born in Brighton, England in 1969. He studied classical music at the University of Manchester and tuba at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he graduated in 1991. In following years he was active in the improvised and experimental music scenes in Manchester and London. Since 1998 he has been based in Berlin.

He has introduced revolutionary playing techniques to brass instruments, initially through the discovery of the 'noise-valve' in 1996, and later through the development of the first fully microtonal tuba in 2009. In 2012 he invented the Hayward Tuning Vine, partly out of a desire to visualise the harmonic space implicit within the microtonal tuba. In 2005 he founded the ensemble Zinc & Copper to explore brass chamber music from an experimental music perspective.

Robin Hayward has toured extensively both solo and in collaboration, and been featured in such festivals as Maerzmusik, Fri Resonans, Donaueschingen, TRANSIT festival, Ghent Festival of Flanders, Ostrava New Music Days, Sound Symposium, Kieler Tage für Neue Musik and Wien Modern. Collaborations include such musicians as Charles Curtis and Roberto Fabbriciani, along with composers such as Christian Wolff, Alvin Lucier and Eliane Radigue. His approach to the tuba has been documented in the solo releases Valve Division, States of Rushing, Nouveau Saxhorn Nouveau Basse and Rubble Master, along with numerous collaborative releases, such as with the microtonal tuba trio Microtub and the tuba and double bass duo Reidemeister Move. He has lectured at such institutions as Stuttgart Musikhochschule, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, UDK Berlin, Dartmouth College and Wesleyan University. He has also worked regularly with such orchestras as the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and from 2002 to 2012 was a member of the new music ensemble KNM Berlin.

In 2012 the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA) presented him with the Clifford Bevan Award for Excellence in Research for his 2011 article on the history and development of the microtonal tuba. In 2016 he received the ITEA's Jim and Jamie Self Creative Award for his work with the microtonal tuba and Hayward Tuning Vine."

-Robin Hayward Website (

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"Rainer Killius was born in Lahr/Schwarzwald in 1969. He studied flute and music theory in Freiburg/Breisgau and composition in Frankfurt/Main.

Private singing studies with Verena Rein in Berlin. He works freelance as a lied and oratorio singer, voice teacher and coach, composer, arranger and stage musician ("Schichtwechsel" at Neukoelln Opera House 2004, "Bohème der Republik" at "Klub der Republik" 2005, "The Tales of Hoffmann" HAU 1 2011)."

- schindelkilliusdutschke (

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"Aleksander Kolkowski (born 1959 in London) is a British musician and composer whose work combines instruments and machines from the pioneering era of sound recording and reproduction (Stroh violins, wind-up Gramophones, shellac discs and wax-cylinder Phonographs) to make live mechanical-acoustic music. He lives and works in London, England.

Kolkowski studied music at the University of London, Goldsmiths College, violin with Clarence Myerscough at the Royal Academy of Music. Taught by John Tilbury, Hugh Davies and in 1982 participated in seminars and performances directed by John Cage.

Over the past 25 years he has worked internationally as an improvising violinist, interpreter, solo performer and composer for dance, theatre and film (Sasha Waltz, Rose English, Corinna Harfouch and Anzu Furukawa among others). He created several mixed-media projects in the UK and in Germany together with artists, film-makers and choreographers. From 1996 to 2003 he was resident in Berlin.

His latest work combines instruments and machines from the pioneering era of sound recording and reproduction (Stroh instruments, wind-up Gramophones, shellac discs and wax-cylinder Phonographs) to make live mechanical-acoustic music. Since 1999, he has actively explored the potential of pre-electronic sound reproduction technology in live performance. This work has been shown in Germany, Holland, Poland, Italy, Austria and the USA, and featured on WDR and Deutschlandradio radio stations.

In 2002 he founded Recording Angels, a series that examines our relationships to recorded sound using antiquated home-recording devices such as Phonographs and acetate record cutters in performances and installations. Projects include "Voices and Etchings" for 6 singers and Gramophones (Staatsbankberlin, 2003) and "Mechanical Landscape with Bird" (MaerzMusik, Berlin 2004), featuring live singing canaries, wax cylinder Phonograph recordings and a rotating horned string quartet. Collaborations with artists include: Martin Riches, Apartment House, Kairos Quartett, Ute Wassermann, Anna Clementi, Aki Takase, Tony Buck, Hayley Newman, Phil Minton, Tristan Honsinger, Tony Oxley, Evan Parker, Sainkho Namchylak, Louis Moholo, Jon Rose, Matt Wand, Richard Barrett, Phill Niblock, Christian Wolff, Claus van Bebber, Boris Hegenbart, and many, many others.

Since 2013 Kolkowski is a collaborator in The X-Ray Audio Project by The Real Tuesday Weld frontman Stephen Coates. In 2015 Kolkowski was selected for a residency with the British Library Sound Archive."

-Wikipedia (

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"The drummer Kurt König was born in Trier in 1955. He studied at Karl Peinkofer in Munich and at the jazz school there. He played, sang and performed in a rock theater group and plays in different jazz and rock formations.

His own concepts are concerned with the musical design of interior and exterior spaces. Among other things, he has performed with the performance group "L'Autre Pas" Eg 2 x 6 ways in situ at Pfefferberg, Quadrature III , the dance video The gray wedge in cooperation with the Tanzwerkstatt Berlin, or with Groscht among others in the ceremonial master . This includes the collaboration with dancers and choreographers. For example, he worked for the Tanzfest "Tanz im August" with the choreographers Klaus Abromeit, Luisa Casiraghi, Lucinda Childs, Regina Baumgart, Reinhild Hoffmann and Joel Liennel. He works as a music pedagogue with children, young people, adults and disabled people. Since 1991 he has been a member of Ensemble Zwischentöne."

-Ensemble Zwischentoene Website (Translated by Google) (

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"... [Annette Krebs] wanted to play the guitar since she was four years old, but only eleven years later this dream came true. Her first teacher was a jazzmusician who led her more practically and gave her the basis of the most varied styles. From the beginning she made improvisational and compositional songs about the school and the things around her. At sixteen she wrote her own protestsongs, played a little rock, a little this and that. When the time for studying came, she chose classical guitar. Jazz and modern music did not interest them at first, modern art was even more so: she painted, was fascinated by Dadaism, Schwitters' Merz and others. She tried to play what she painted, to paint what she was playing. Of the fact that the other were similar, she had no idea at that time.

In Frankfurt, where she at that time studied guitar, she also tried to penetrate the authentic interpretation of baroque music, discovered the European tradition and composed intensively. At the same time, however, she lured the abstraction - the pictorial as well as the musical. In her own compositions she stayed with pure tones, from which she formed her "abstract" melodies.

Now Frankfurt is a very lively city, and Annette Krebs took everything that was going on around her: concerts of contemporary music, jam sessions and joint improvisations and debates with other musicians. When she finally moved to Berlin, she began to break out of the world of classical music. First, she tried to put her guitar in an informal context, playing classical repertoire in pubs, which was almost surreal, but she soon sought another The instrument was accessible to the instrument itself. She held it between the knees like a violoncello and reduced the number of strings. So she started to use the electric guitar as well. She tirelessly studied the possibilities of other forms of play, Until she finally put the guitar on the table. This had quite practical advantages: All "boxes" and the mixing console were so at hand. Similar to Keith Rowe, she developed a certain "sculptural" approach to her instrument. But the resulting distance began to disturb her with time, so she put the guitar on her knees to strengthen the immediate contact with the instrument. Although the gameplay remained basically the same, the gameplay was quite different; The instrument was so much easier to master. The range of instrumental and additional sounds stretched them in all directions - even those who see Annette Krebs play can hardly say which are from their guitar and which not.

In the multicultural and musically vibrant Berlin she joined the thriving improvisation scene. Chris Dahlgren, Chris Dahlgren, Chris Dahlgren, Rhodri Davies, Jim Denley, Axel Dörner, Robin Hayward, Marcus. The list of people with whom they have collaborated is impressive: Chris Abrahams, Natasha Anderson, Alessandro Bosetti, Burkhard Beins Heike, Charlotte Hug, Sven-Ake Johansson, Christoph Kurzmann, Sachiko M, Coffee Matthews, Wade Matthews, Chico Mello, Toshimaru Nakamura, Andrea Neumann, Bhob Rainey, Taku Sugimoto, Luca Venitucci, Michael Vorfeld, Marc Wastell, Steffi Weismann, Otomo Yoshihide ...

In the year 2000 the seven-head ensemble phosphorus, In which Annette Krebs on Burkhard Beins (drums), Axel Dörner (trumpet and laptop), Robin Hayward (tuba), Andrea Neumann ("Inside-Piano"), Michael Renkel (acoustic guitar, laptop) and Ignaz Schick (electronics) , Gramophone). They all combined the need for increased concentration of musical expression and the effort to achieve clarity and transparency. In place of dense sound, silence was the starting point. The sound events and phenomena were carefully positioned in the imaginary space and meticulously measured their relationships (volume, character, sound start and end, contrasts, transitions, and collisions) and precisely measured with a view to the balance of the whole. Since these sounds were generally very quiet, a wide spectrum "

Outside of phosphorus, Annette often appears alone or with other musicologists. The Japanese guitarist Taku Sugimoto or the Italian saxophonist Alessandro Bossetti are close to her. For several years she appeared in the duo with Andrea Neumann, in Vienna she plays with Christoph Kurzmann and Burkhard Stangl. She also works with Sandra Becker or Steffi Weissmann on their video projects. Together with the latter, for example, she has created a funny variation on the subject of "alienation / deprivation" with the title Le vol 1-3, a parody on pop music videos, in which the two authors make a cheerful raid in the department store to the sounds of "recycling music".

The music of Annette Krebs is full of opposing qualities: On the other hand, she is "ascetic" - she works with large portions of silence and delicate noises. On their CD Guitar Solo (Fringes Recordings, 2002), the first normal guitar sound can only be heard after about six minutes. On the other hand, it is very rich - it works not only with differently transformed guitar sounds, but also with laptop, radio or cassette recorder, from which, inter alia, fragments of the real world (talks, different sound environments, etc.). Annette Krebs teaches us to listen to what we have long known. Even the most common sound is re-evaluated. Her music slips smoothly into the mysterious gap between life and art that Robert Rauschenberg once spoke of. Annette Krebs is a charismatic personality that is always good for a surprise. Their game is full of unpredictable interruptions, sudden outbursts and trembling excitement."

-Annette Krebs Website (Translated by Google) (

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"Inge Morgenroth, born 1950, lives in Berlin. Studied literature, German literature and philosophy. Lektorin at the LILITH-Verlag / Berlin. Saxophonist of the Berlin rock band "X-Tra" until the end of the 80s, setting aside anagram poems Unica Zürns, since 1991 initiator and organizer of the festival "Wie es ihr gefällt". Starting from 1993 compositions EM, since work in the TU studio. Saxophonist and performer from 1995 to 2000 in the ensemble "Zwischentöne"." (

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"Natalia Pschenitschnikowa is a Russian composer, flute player and singer born in Moscow. She has worked with various artists of the Moscow avantgarde and performed contemporary music as well as baroque repertory. Pschenitschnikowa was part of the Ensemble Zwischentöne from 1995 to 2001. Since 1993 she has lived in Berlin.

Her name in Russian is Наталья Пшеничникова, and it can also be transliterated as Natalia Pschenitschnikova and Natalja Psenitsnikova." (

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"Helles Weber, piano, accordion, studied sound engineer at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin and since then has been working as a freelance sound engineer and musician in various fields. He is a member of Ensemble Zwischentoene."

-Ensemble Zwischentoene Website (Translated by Google) (

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"Peter Ablinger was born in Schwanenstadt, Austria in 1959. He first studied graphic arts and became enthused by free jazz. He completed his studies in composition with Gösta Neuwirth and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Graz and Vienna. Since 1982 he has lived in Berlin, where he has initiated and conducted numerous festivals and concerts. In 1988 he founded the Ensemble Zwischentöne. In 1993 he was a visiting professor at the University of Music, Graz. He has been guest conductor of 'Klangforum Wien', 'United Berlin' and the 'Insel Musik Ensemble'. Since 1990 Peter Ablinger has worked as a freelance musician. 2012-2017 research professor at the University Huddersfield.

Festivals at which Peter Ablinger's compositions have been performed include the Berlin and Vienna Festwochen, Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, and festivals in Istanbul, Los Angeles, Oslo, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, New York.

The Offenes Kulturhaus Linz, the Diözesanmuseum Köln, Kunsthalle Wien, Neue Galerie der Stadt Graz, the Kunsthaus Graz, the Akademie der Künste Berlin, the Haus am Waldsee Berlin, the Santa Monica Museum of the Arts have showed his installation work over the last few years.

Peter Ablinger is one of the few artists today who uses noise without any kind of symbolism - not as a signifier for chaos, energy, entropy, disorder, or uproar; not for opposing something, or being disobedient or destructive; not for everything, for eternity, or for what-have-you. As in all these cases of music deliberately involving noise, noise is the case, but for Ablinger: this alone Peter Ablinger has also come a long way in questioning the nature of sound, time, and space (the components usually thought central to music), and his findings have jeopardized and made dubious conventions usually thought irrefutable. These insights pertain to repetition and monotony, reduction and redundancy, density and entropy.

"Sounds are not sounds! They are here to distract the intellect and to soothe the senses. Not once is hearing 'hearing': hearing is that which creates me." The composer Peter Ablinger (born in Schwanenstadt, Austria in 1959) is, as Christian Scheib once put it, a "mystic of enlightenment" whose "calls and litanies are aimed at cognition." At the same time, the composer, who - after studying graphic arts - studied with Gösta Neuwirth and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, and since 1982 lives in Berlin, is also a skeptic who understands the cultural rules and (destructive) habits enforced by tradition: "So let us play further and say: sounds are here to hear (-but not to be heard. That's something else). And that hearing is here to be ceased ('Das Hören ist da um aufzuhören'). More I can't say." (Text: Christian Baier, translated by Bill Dietz)"

-Peter Ablinger Website (

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track listing:


1. Vergnugen (1:27)

2. Berlin Exercises (I-IV) (20:34)


1. Exercise 14 (11:26)

2. Exercise 15 (Piano Solo) (9:12)
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"'Exercise' indicates relatively shorter pieces in which the process of work, of practicing and of trying things out within specified limits, in short a kind of discipline in process, are being attempted. I regard them as both exercises in composing and for performers, especially as the performers function as members of an ensemble."-Christian Wolff

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