The Squid's Ear Magazine
Squidco: Improvised, Composed & Unusual Music from around the globe
Cart Checkout   Log In/Register
Squidco? New Releases Just In Restocked Upcoming
Artist Title Label

Gartmayer, Susanna / Christoph Kurzmann: Smaller Sad (Klanggalerie )

The first meeting between the Austrian duo of bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer and Christof Kurzmann, here using ppool software, voice and rubber band, creating 4 elusive and immersive works that float somewhere in the void between experimental electronics, improvisation and song, creating diaphanous tension and mysterious environments; spellbinding.

Price: $17.95


In Stock

Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
product information:

UPC: 5052571087329

Label: Klanggalerie
Catalog ID: GG348
Squidco Product Code: 29667

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Germany
Packaging: Digipack
Tracks 1, 2 and 3 recorded at Smallforms Sessions, in Vienna, Austria, by Gustavo Oetek.

Track 4 recorded at Festival Opposition, in Novi Sad, Serbia, by Polgar Zsolt.


Susanna Gartmayer-bass clarinet

Christof Kurzmann-software, voice, rubber band

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

Highlight an instrument above
and click here to Search for albums with that instrument.

Artist Biographies:

"Susanna Gartmayer studied painting and printmaking and is self trained in bass clarinet and composition.

She is part of many ensembles of elusive musical genres, for example the experimental rock band Broken.Heart.Collector or The Vegetable Orchestra (music for instruments made of out of vegetables). She is participating in the SHAPE platform with three different projects.


2015 saw the release of Gartmayer's debut solo recording, AOUIE. In this album, mouth cavity shapes and vowel sounds, necessary for multiphonic wind instrument playing and the shift of overtones were the starting point for a multidimensional journey into the bass clarinet's sound. The Guardian wrote: "Bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer is a mainstay of the Viennese improvised music scene and AOUIE, her debut solo release, is long overdue.(....) This piece opens with cascading note patterns - a springboard for Gartmayer to indulge in her wonderland harmonies and her palette of flinty percussive clicks and spits."

Gartmayer's live show, based on this album, is played without amplification. She exhibits the same attention to detail - the setup for each tune is slightly different, taking into account the way the audience is sitting as well as venue acoustics and the playing position she wishes to adopt.


The trio Möström was formed in 2010 and consists of Gartmayer, Tamara Wilhelm (DIY electronics) and Elise Mory (keys). The group is specifically interested in weird sound worlds and their humorous potential, as well as playing with stereotypes. Comments about their debut album range from "genre defying", to "barking mad, laugh out loud even". Michelle Foster of The Quietus concluded her album review with the following words: "For those who will come to it open-minded and brave enough to embrace the darkness with the light, the known and the unknown, Möström's debut album is an endless journey of inspiration."

Duo with Brigitta Bödenauer

As of 2012, Susanna has often worked with Brigitta Bödenauer, who has been active in Vienna's noise and experimental music and film scene since the early '90s. Their collaborative work focuses on abstract soundscapes and polyrhythmic figures as well as stage performances as a visual statement. The duo's debut album is coming soon."

Susanna Gartmayer website

-Shape Platform (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Christof Kurzmann (vocals, lloopp, clarinet, alto sax), is an Austrian musician, performer, composer currently living in Buenos Aires. Beginning in 1994 he started his work in the field of experimental electronic music. Since that time Christof has collaborated with some of the most significant artists working in contemporary music and improvisation- including Toto Alvarez, Martin Brandlmayr, John Butcher, Eden Carrasco, Sebi Ciurcina, Werner Dafeldecker, Kai Fagaschinski, Fernanda Farrah, Bernhard Fleischmann, Michaela Grill, Margareth Kammerer, Leonel Kaplan, Bernhard Lang, Andrea Neumann, Fernando Perales, Eva Reiter, Marina Rosenfeld, Ursula Rucked, Burkhard Stangl, Michael Thieke, and Clayton Thomas- in groups such as El Infierno Musical, The Magic I.D., and Schee. During the course of his career, Christof has performed throughout Europe, Japan, North and South Amercia. He has also been a music curator since the mid 1980's, and in 1999 founded the record label, Charhizma, which has released more than 30 cds."

- (Ken Vandermark Website)

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. Smaller Forms 8:58

2. Little Rage 8:10

3. Dip 4:20

4. Novi Sad 16:36
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Susanna Gartmayer is an Austrian composer and bass clarinet and sax player working in the fields of experimental rock music, multi idiomatic improvisation, jazz and contemporary music. She is especially interested in the sound possibilities of the clarinet and the theory and practical implications of working together in bands cnd collcetives.

Christof Kurzmann is a performer, musician, composer and curator. After a seccessful start with his first band Extended Versions he continued his work in experimental electronic music. He has worked with people like Luc Ferrari, Fred Frith, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark, and has released more than 30 CDs.

Smaller Sad is the first album by this duo and was recorded in various locations at various times. Gartmayer and Kurzmann create an often fragile music somewhere between jazz, songwriting and improvisation. Susanna plays bass clarinet, Christof plays ppooll, rubber band and sings. They first performed together at an open session in 2014 and play together regularly since 2018 as a duo. Although the music is improvised, they always focus on melodies, too."-Klanggalerie

"One of the first things you notice about Smaller Sad, the new album by Susanna Gartmayer and Christof Kurzmann is how roomy it feels. I'm not saying there is enough space to house a 10ft sofa, couple of armchairs, a pool table that doesn't encroach on a Persian rug, but there is definitely more space than your first room at uni. With this space, Gartmayer and Kurzmann can give their compositions room to move and grow. If the songs were tightly packed, claustrophobic things a lot of the enjoyment from them would be lost.

The standout tracks are 'Little Rage'. Despite its name there is nothing little about this one. Opening with Gartmayer played a fantastically distressed bass clarinet while Kurzmann just builds the tension in the background is a masterstroke. As the tension swells, so does the bass clarinet. The phrases get longer and raspier Kurzmann's vocals start. They sound like an incantation from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but more glitchy. As they progress, they start to take on the inflexions of the bass clarinet until its hard to tell the two apart. This is one of the most enjoyable portions of the albums, and one I didn't want to end. As it gradually mutates before our ears the sound of a needle stuck in a records runout starts to kick in. This rhythmic loop adds another level of texture. All the while Gartmeyer has been playing a slightly gentler phrase that gets more abrasive as we reach the song's conclusion. The end of 'Little Rage' sounds like an emergency vehicle siren. But this leads to a question. Is the siren to warn us that it is approaching or that the song is coming to an end?

'Smaller Sad' is an enchanting album full of twists and turns. Each track offers up a kaleidoscope of sound and texture. Due to the improvisational nature of the recordings sometimes Gartmayer and Kurzmann get stuck in a corner and it takes a while before they figure a way out and back to more interesting avenues. A third of the way through 'Smaller Forms' it all feels a tad stagnant. The same clarinet motif is repeated too many times with either little variation from Kurzmann. These moments aren't unenjoyable but to do throw you off a bit. Saying that, once they get back to the good stuff all is forgiven as the music is glorious."-NR, Vital Weekly

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at Vital Weekly
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
Staff Picks & Recommended Items

Search for other titles on the label:
Klanggalerie .

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:

About Squidco Contact Us Log In/Register Squidco?
The Squid's Ear Magazine

Rapid SSL





American Express

© 2002-, Squidco LLC