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Frey, Jurg

Collection Gustave Roud [2 CDs]

Frey, Jurg : Collection Gustave Roud [2 CDs] (Another Timbre)

A double CD with five beautiful pieces that engage with the work of the extraordinary French-Swiss poet Gustave Roud, with performers including Dante Boon, Stefan Thut, Andrew McIntosh and Jurg Frey himself, 10 compositions that Frey wrote in the manner that Roud would, roaming with a sketchbook and developing the pieces based on impressions of his surroundings.

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Jurg Frey-composer, clarinet

Stefan Thut-cello

Dante Boon-piano

Andrew McIntosh-violin

Lee Forrest Ferguson-percussion

Regula Konrad-soprano vocals

Stephen Altoft-trumpet

Gustave Roud-words

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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at115x2
Squidco Product Code: 25020

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded in Aarau, Switzerland, September, 2013, and June, 2016, and in Bern, Switzerland, in May, 2014.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"With their contemplations of the Swiss countryside, the poems of Gustave Roud clearly struck a chord with Jürg Frey, whose equally contemplative music, in which silence is just as important as pitched notes, often embarks on long, slow walks through musical landscapes in which familiar objects take on wholly new identities. Frey's language is clearly rooted in that of the American experimentalists of the 50s and 60s, especially Morton Feldman, but in these pieces inspired by Roud's work, that conceptual world is given much more specificity, even if it remains as refined and remote as ever.

Of the five works in the collection, the longest, Farblose Wolken, Glück, Wind, is a setting of a text by Roud, delivered by a soprano (Regula Konrad) in long, isolated syllables, and punctuated by equally etiolated contributions from trumpet, cello and percussion. The others are purely instrumental works. Three are trios for various combinations of clarinet, violin, cello and piano, while La Présence, les Silences is for solo piano (Dante Boon), a slow-moving, 40-minute frieze of gentle resonances, repeated notes and the ghosts of harmonic progressions."-Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Another Timbre Interview with Jürg Frey

Who was Gustave Roud, and why are you so interested in his work?

The poet Gustave Roud lived in the French speaking part of Switzerland from 1897 until 1976. After his studies in literature at the University of Lausanne, he realised that he didn't want to continue the family tradition of working as a farmer. Nonetheless he lived throughout his life, together with his sister, in his parents' farmhouse in Carrouge in the countryside north of Lake Geneva. His oeuvre is relatively small, his Collected Works comprising just three volumes. However, his enormous correspondence, his diary, and his critical writings are a testimony to his prolific consideration of literature and the arts. And in recent years his work as a photographer has also become recognised.

I first encountered Roud's work more than 10 years ago, and the impact of his work on my music has been profound. I feel a close relationship to a poet whose mode of operation and sensitivity make a precise resonance in me. It's a unique poetry that speaks from beginning to end of searching for the essence. I would like to compare his mode of work with that of a painter. Every day he went out, not with an easel, but with his notebook, and he wandered through the landscape as a flaneur, observer, writer, laying the foundations of his work with his notes. For me his work constitutes a kind of 'field recording', not with a microphone and sounds, but with his soul and body, recording his environment in the broadest sense. He perceived existential dimensions in the finest nuances of the weather, the landscape and its inhabitants, and made it the basis of his work.

All the works on the album relate to Roud's work, but only one of them actually quotes from his texts. Do you nonetheless feel that the music is shaped by Roud's work in some way?

When I look at the pieces on the album, then I can easily analyse how Roud's work has left traces in the music. But it's important to point out that it's never a matter of taking a quote or an idea from Roud at the beginning and then writing the piece according to this. It's a much deeper connection. I think my process of working is similar to Roud's process of working: roaming with my sketchbook, taking a movement here, adding some notes there, following an impression, writing a little melody or a rhythmic constellation, deepening a feeling, extending a pitch, waiting and letting it happen, and over a month the possibility of a piece occurs. And then it becomes connected with a picture, a detail, or a sensation that I have encountered in Roud's work.

Ombre si fragile is a piece where I felt during the composition that it would become as fragile as a shadow; it's not just a piece about light and shade, but even more about fragility. Haut Jorat is the name of the countryside where Roud lived. The six pieces are like six photographs: sensations of air, light and landscape. La presence, les silences reflects more a feeling of being alive; standing, walking, breathing, experiencing: I am here.

Roud's landscape is not a wilderness, it's a landscape designed and machined by the daily labour of farmers and by nature. And that is why Paysage pour Gustave Roud is also a piece about form, durations, heavy or light materials, colours. Farblose Wolken, Glück, Wind may be heard as a piece with a portrait of Gustave Roud and his internal and external landscape.

The start of the quotation from Roud that you use in 'Farblose Wolken, Glück, Wind' reads "Quiet joy of being alone with my thoughts my sleep my dreams..." That seems as good a summary of the mood of your music in general as I can think of. Do you think of your music as trying to express a particular mood, or is that a misleading way of thinking about your work?

When I write music, I don't try to express a particular mood. I don't have to worry about that because it's inevitable that the piece will express a mood. I have more the feeling that my thoughts and sensations are moving within the score, and I have to take care not to disturb this process. At the same time, this process is strongly under the influence of my actions, of my dealing with the material and my decisions. And in the case of the pieces with Gustave Roud, this work takes place within a triangle of the poet, the score, and myself.

When I say that a mood is inevitably expressed, it doesn't mean that it happens inevitably, easily and by itself. Mostly it happens in an unclear way, destroyed or impaired because of uncertainties in the working process. I think a special ability of a composer is to be able to distinguish what is right from what is wrong, and then to leave aside whatever is wrong. At the end I hope to have a piece and to express a particular mood, yes!

There has been an upsurge of interest in your work over the past 5 years. Has this affected you, your music and the way you compose?

No, it hasn't changed the way I compose. But I now have a clearer view on some aspects of my life and work: how much I appreciate having good relationships with my composer friends and colleagues, how important time and the process of waiting are to my work, and how much I'm a family person. And I have a greater awareness that I have to take care of all these things.

Get additional information at The Guardian, UK

Artist Biographies

"Jürg Frey was born in 1953 in Aarau, Switzerland. Following his musical education at the Concervatoire de Musique de Genève, he turned to a career as a clarinetist, but his activities as composer soon came to the foreground. Frey developed his own language as a composer and sound artist with the creation of wide, quiet sound spaces. His work is marked by an elementary non-extravagence of sound, a sensibilty for the qualities of the material, and precision of compositional approach. His compositions sometimes bypass instrumentation and duration altogether and touch on aspects of sound art. He has worked with compositional series, as well as with language and text. Some of these activities appear in small editions or as artist's books as individual items and small editions (Edition Howeg, Zurich; weiss kunstbewegung, Berlin; complice, Berlin). His music and recordings are published by Edition Wandelweiser. Frey has been invited to workshops as visiting composer and for composer portraits at the Universität der Künste Berlin, the Universität Dortmund and several times at Northwestern University and CalArts. Some of the other places his work has developed are the concerts at the Kunstraum Düsseldorf, the Wandelweiser-in-Residence-Veranstaltungen in Vienna, the Ny music concerts in Boras (Sweden), the cooperation with Cologne pianist John McAlpine, the Bozzini Quartet (Montréal), QO-2 (Bruxelles), Die Maulwerker, incidental music, as well as the regular stays in Berlin (where during the last years many of his compositions were premiered). Frey is a member of the Wandelweiser Komponisten Ensemble which has presented concerts for more than 15 years in Europe, North America and Japan. Frey also organizes the concert series moments musicaux aarau as a forum for contemporary music."

-Other Minds (

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"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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"Dante Boon (1973) is a Dutch composer and pianist living in Amsterdam.

At the age of 14, he started his piano studies at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatorium. At the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, he studied composition with Diderik Wagenaar.

After having been the keyboard player and arranger for a major Dutch rock band for several years, he went back to the classical, especially contemporary piano repertoire.

With Samuel Vriezen, he recorded Tom Johnson's Symmetries (piano four hands) for Karnatic Lab Records. Recordings for other labels include works by Rozalie Hirs (Attacca Records) and Philip Corner (New World Records). his first solo CD cage. frey. vriezen. feldman. ayres. johnson .manion was released 2010 on Edition Wandelweiser Records to international critical acclaim."

-Dante Boon Website (

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"Described in the Los Angeles Times as "an explorer into the cracks of intonation and the quirks of symmetry", LA- based composer Andrew McIntosh is known for writing music with "soundscapes rich and immersive" (San Francisco Classical Voice) and "lavish cascades of colorful sound" (LA Times). His music is regularly performed in the US and Europe and has been featured at major venues in The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Los Angeles, and New York, including several recent performances at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series in Walt Disney Concert Hall and at Monday Evening Concerts in Zipper Hall (Los Angeles). He is also one of the six composers of The Industry's internationally-acclaimed mobile opera, Hopscotch. A recent album of his music on Populist Records, Hyenas in the Temples of Pleasure, has been described as "a shining example of the extraordinary music that the youngest generation of American experimentalists has to offer" (TEMPO) and has been recommended by Alex Ross of The New Yorker on his best recent releases list.

Also a frequent performer as violinist, violist, and baroque violinist, McIntosh is known for being a specialist in alternate tuning systems and for being a member of the Formalist Quartet, which is dedicated to adventurous and current repertoire and regularly performs around the US and Europe. As a solo artist he has appeared at venues such as Stanford University, REDCAT (in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles), the Wulf (Los Angeles), Unruly Music (Milwaukee), Hamburger Klangwerktage (Hamburg), Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemasse Muzik (Austria), Moments Musicaux Aarau (Switzerland), the Pianola Museum (Amsterdam), the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), and KPFK Pacifica Radio. He also was the viola soloist in the US premiere of Gèrard Grisey's Les Espaces Acoustiques, for which performance the LA Times said he "played with commanding beauty". As a chamber musician he has played in festivals, concerts, art spaces, and recordings around the world with the Formalist Quartet, Tholl/McIntosh duo, Quatuor Bozzini (Montreal), Wet Ink Ensemble (New York), Rohan de Saram, Marc Sabat, Jürg Frey, Dante Boon, and wild Up, and has recorded for New World Records, Innova, Mode Records, Populist Records, Wandelweiser Editions, hat[now] ART, Darla Records, and Care/Of Editions.

As a baroque performer McIntosh has concertized with the American Bach Soloists, Bach Collegium San Diego, Musica Angelica, LA Master Chorale, Les Surprises, Tesserae,​ Musica Pacifica, ​Preethi de Silva, and the Corona del Mar Baroque Festival. He also directs a small baroque ensemble which focuses on 17th century French and Austrian violin repertoire, in particular the complete Rosary Sonatas of Biber, and has performed at the Getty Museum, the Hammer Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

A native of rural Northern Nevada, McIntosh is currently based in the Los Angeles area where he enjoys a large and frequently unexpected variety of writing, performing, traveling, teaching, and recording activities."

-Andrew McIntosh Website (

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"Lee Forrest Ferguson studied as a scholarship student at the University of Iowa under Thomas L. Davis (1991-5). In 1995 he recieved a bachelor of music in percussion performance and then was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study with Bernhard Wulff at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, in Freiburg, Germany (1996-8). Lee was a member the the Freiburg Percussion ensemble which received first prize in the German Music School Competition for the category New Music (Leipzig 1998). He has played with Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Surplus, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, Musik Fabrik NRW and is a member of the New Music initiative, Suono Mobile. Lee is dedicated to the performance of new music in solo and chamber music and is a percussion instructor at the Southern Blackforest Music School in Tiengen, Germany."

-Ensemble Chronophonie Website (

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"Regula Konrad was born in Hägglingen (Switzerland). She had studied musicology and history of art before taking up singing at the music conservatory in Zurich. She then continued her training in the master class of Kurt Widmer at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel in order to achieve her concerto diploma (Konzertdiplom). This was followed by master courses with, among others, Tamar Rachum (Tel Aviv), Margreet Honig (Amsterdam) and René Jacobs (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis).

In the meantime, RK teaches at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel herself and is a sought-after soloist.

Her busy musical life leads her through the whole of Switzerland, to Austria, Germany, Belgium, Portugal and Spain. She was a guest soloist at important music festivals such as "Semana Musica Religiosa Cuenca", "Salzburger Festspiele: Barockpfingsten", "World New Music Days".

Regula Konrad preformed as soloist together with "Basler Madrigalisten", the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich", "la capella reial de catalunya", "concert des nations" and others with conductors like Christoph Coin, Tom Koopman and Jordi Sawall. With the latter she produced two CDs "Missa Bruxellensis" and "Requiem" by H. I. F. Biber."

-Il Desiderio - Ensemble for Early Music website (

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"Stephen Altoft is dedicated to the creation of new repertoire for the trumpet. As a solo artist, and with percussionist Lee Ferguson as duo Contour, he has given concerts throughout Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada. He is a member of ensemble chronophonie (Freiburg) and ensemble linea (Strasbourg). Stephen was also trumpeter in the Music theatre production, "Niebla" by Elena Mendoza and Matthias Rebstock (2007-9) at the Festspielhaus, Dresden, Berlin Konzerthaus and Teatro del Canal, Madrid. In 2014 he appeared at the American Festival of Microtonal Music in New York, the "Bending Brass" event at the New England Conservatory, Boston, USA, organised by the Boston Microtonal Society and at the Daegu International Contemporary Music Festival, in South Korea.

Stephen studied at the University of Huddersfield (1991-5) where he was awarded B.Mus Honours and Masters degrees (in performance) and the Ricordi Prize for Contemporary Performance. This was followed by periods of private study with Markus Stockhausen (Cologne 1996-8) and, with assistance from the Music Sound Foundation, with William Forman (Berlin 1998-1999).

Between 2001-2, Stephen was a consultant for the Centre for New Musical Instruments, London, where he tested a prototype microtonal trumpet. During this time he began working on a microtonal trumpet manual with composer, Donald Bousted, now available here as an online resource. After further research, Stephen developed, in collaboration with Johannes Radeke and Siegmar Fischer (Musik Gillhaus) in Freiburg, Germany, a fourth (rotary) valve mechanism to enable the conversion of his existing trumpets into microtonal instruments (a 19-division B flat trumpet and quarter-tone C trumpet).

Stephen has recorded for radio and televison (SWR, WDR, Deutschlandfunk Köln, Deutschland Radio in Germany, BBC Radio 3 in the UK, France 3 and Bulgarian National Television) and for the Budapest Music Center (Peter Eötvös), Microtonal Projects, Edition Wandelweiser and Wergo labels.


As an improviser, Stephen collaborates regularly with Lee Ferguson (duo Contour), Thomas Wenk (piano, prepared piano, cassette recorder), Harald Kimmig (violin), Ephraim Wegner (laptop) and plays in the Human Factory Band. In 2013 he began working with Jihye Kim (violin). He has also appeared in duo with Gabriele Reuter (Dance).


In 2013, Stephen began formulating concept pieces for performance on the 4-valve trumpets he developed as part of his microtonal work. This lead to the development of graphic scores, which are re-interpreted with each performance, using improvisational techniques. The series of studies explore the possibilities offered and limitations imposed by the converted microtonal trumpets, in combination with contemporary playing techniques.


Stephen teaches at the Waldkirch Musikschule near to Freiburg, Germany. He has also been Trumpet and Brass Tutor at the Bisyoc Summer Course since its inception. In 2009 and 2010 Stephen was trumpeter (ensemble linea) on the Royaumont Composition Courses in France, where he has worked alongside Brian Ferneyhough, Isabel Mundry, Misato Mochizuki and Liza Lim with student composers. He will also be teaching on the new Summer Academy that ensemble Linea inaugurated in Strasbourg in 2014."

-Stephen Altoft Website (

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"Gustave Roud (French pronunciation: [ ystav u]; April 20, 1897 Ð November 10, 1976) was a French-speaking Swiss poet and photographer.

Roud was born in 1897 in Saint-LŽgier, in the canton of Vaud. In 1908, Roud, along with his parents and sister, moved to a farm in Carrouge inherited from his maternal grandfather. He would spend the rest of his life living there. In high school Roud studied classics and took classes with the renowned Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet and the Swiss-French writer Edmond Gilliard. Roud went on to study classics at the University of Lausanne, where he obtained his "licence s lettres" (equivalent to a Bachelor of Arts). During this time, he translated the poems of Hšlderlin, Novalis, and Rilke, while also actively participating in a number of literary journals.

While living a solitary life in his family farm at Carrouge, Roud maintained numerous friendships with artists, poets, and other intellectuals such as Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, Ernest Ansermet, and RenŽ Auberjonois, Maurice Chappaz. Roud was also a mentor to the young Philippe Jaccottet, who would later become one of Switzerland's most accomplished poets.

Considered one of the greatest poets of Romandy, Roud attempts in his poetry, which is dedicated to the landscapes of the Haut-Jorat, to reach a perception of an "elsewhere" or of a lost paradise. His most famous work is "Air de la solitude".

Following his death in 1976 in Moudon, the "Association des Amis de Gustave Roud" (The Friends of Gustave Roud Association) was formed and since 1982 has published a number of unedited texts in their series "Cahiers Gustave Roud". 26 years after Roud died, a selection of his works was published by ƒditions Gallimard under the "Collection de Poche PoŽsie" imprint, featuring an introduction by Philippe Jaccottet. Roud's correspondence with the younger poet was also published by the press."

-Wikipedia (

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Track Listing:


1. Paysage Pour Gustave Roud 14:25

2. Haut-Jorat 1:22

3. Haut-Jorat 1:08

4. Haut-Jorat 1:09

5. Haut-Jorat 1:24

6. Haut-Jorat 1:13

7. Haut-Jorat 1:45

8. La Presence, Les Silences 41:07


1. Farblose Wolken, Gluck, Wind 48:10

2. Ombre Si Fragile 15:09

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Octet Recordings
Spoken Word
New in Compositional Music

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(Another Timbre)
New ensemble pieces by Jurg Frey and Magnus Granberg played by Ensemble Grizzana, commissioned by Another Timbre with the request that both start from the same two fragments of early music, one by Johannes Ockeghem, the other by William Byrd, each composer producing fascinatingly different pieces that both contain echoes of the source material.
Nono, Luigi / Jurg Frey
Works For Violin Duos
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)
Two works from two distinctive composers from different periods--Jurg Frey and Luigi Nono--both for two violins, Frey using the two violins in parallel to emphasize their distinction; Nono using powerful gestures of divergence and contrast in a dream-like duo.
Cage . Pisaro . Frey . Beuger
Accordion Music [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)
Four works interpreted for accordion performed by Edwin Alexander Buchhol, including John Cage's "Cheap Imitation"; Michael Pisaro-Liu's "Here (2)"; Jurg Frey's "Sam Lazaro Bros." and Antoine Beuger's "die geschichte des sandkorns".

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