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Beuger, Antoine / Anastassis Philippakopoulos: Floating By <i>[Used Item]</i> (erstwhile)

Wandelweiser founder and composer Antoine Beuguer and French composer Anastassis Philippakopoulos in a work for voice (Philippakopoulos) and breath (Beuguer), employing spaces of silence against utterance and sibilant expression, a patiently developing work that floats by in deceptively simple ways, captivating through each articulation that seems perfectly placed.

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Anastassis Philippakopoulos-voice

Antoine Beuger-breath

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Label: erstwhile
Catalog ID: Erstwhile 098
Squidco Product Code: 33398

Format: CD
Condition: VG
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded in 2022.

This is a USED (previously owned) item

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.
Previously played Squidco store copy, used for cataloging and samples, in excellent condition.

"Recorded at home, states the Bandcamp page for this collaboration between Wandelweiser composers Antoine Beuger and Anastassis Philippakopoulos, but to what end and effect? Whose home, and what exactly is home anyway? These are questions paramount to releases on both Erstwhile and Wandelweiser, in which environment is integral to any musical conception. That cryptic descriptor, so familiar and somehow "other" in this context, resides at the heart of this single 74-minute study in tone, breath and the luminous spaces and forces holding and propelling them.

It may be useful, as a way into one of the most simple and complex entries in the Erstwhile catalog, to present something at least bordering on fact. As the single track moves forward, we can hear closely related melodic fragments (Bartok and Messiaen motives come most readily to mind as points of comparison) flanking or punctuating sounds associated with other exhalation of air, breathed or otherwise. The vocalizations begin and conclude the disc. There are also occasional staccato consonants, notably at around 16, 40, and 66 minutes into the piece. The elements seem to accumulate as time passes. Like the melodic motives, the breath sounds relate very closely to each other, occurring in category. They contain changeable helpings of tone, sibilance, and vowel, riding each recurrent wave with a meditative sustain. Headphones reveal some fluctuation in ambient sound as the music progresses.

Beyond these attempts at elemental description lies the magic, and there is plenty. Anyone familiar with Beuger's two other collaborations on Erstwhile (This Place/Is Love with Michael Pisaro-Liu and Where are we Going, Today with Cristian Wolff) will have some inkling of expectation. We hear similarly reflective textures and serialized sounds pervading both, and there is a serial quality to the discs as heard in sequence, leading ultimately to this new one's stripped-down aesthetic. Philippakopoulos' 2018 piano pieces employ melodies that may have provided the genesis for these floating phrases, or at least they seem similarly contoured, but none of this elucidates the sheer beauty of each subtle arc, slope, and point of sound as it emanates, blooms, and disintegrates. The voice is rife with pulse but decidedly unbreathy, save for the ends of phrases, and the breath never quite achieves fullness of tone, though it's almost always just beneath whatever surface is reflecting the encircling silence.

It could be that the silence is the real magic, the alchemist's secret beneath all occurrence. It's legion, a constant inconstancy always in process. Whether anticipating, defining, contextualizing, or commenting, it pervades the whole, amassing shape which is then just as easily dispelled. There's nothing new in that, especially in these two composers' long-nurtured soundworlds, but more than so many others less considered, this silence is layered, a protean thing in and of itself, another instrument but one whose size and composition is as varied as the sounds that frame its shifting components. That silence is both foundational and environmental, a place in which all else occurs and to which it returns, like Opener's return after the outings in Samuel Beckett's radio play Cascando. If, superficially, the piece is replete with repose, the silence adds intrigue by debunking such notions, a tacet figured bass over which sound and tone merge energetically with the overtonal harmonies inherent in their construction. Each breath and pitch is a kind of simultaneous voyage and destination, captured to be completely immersive but ephemeral. They are centers over a center, and what more inclusive vision of a home, a place in which discoveries are encouraged and considered, could one desire?"--Marc Medwin, Point of Departure

Get additional information at Point of Departure

Artist Biographies

"Composer Anastassis Philippakopoulos was born in 1969 in France. Between 1989 and 1994 he studied composition at the University of Arts (Universitaet der Kuenste) in Berlin with W. Szalonek and F.M. Olbrisch. Since 2003 he is a member of the Wandelweiser composers collective. In 2005 his first CD "solo pieces" was released on Edition Wandelweiser Records (EWR).

His music has been performed in Europe and the US by musicians including conductors Mark Menzies with the Calarts String Orchestra, Alexandre Myrat with the TSSO and the Camerata Athens, flutists Antoine Beuger, Manuel Zurria, Wilfrido Terrazas, Katrin Zenz, Ruth Molins, Natalia Gerakis and Christine Tavolacci, oboists Kathy Pisaro and Kostas Tiliakos, clarinetists Juerg Frey, William Powell, Germaine Sijstermans and Yannis Samprovalakis, guitarist Denis Sorokin, pianists John McAlpine, Dante Boon, Melaine Dalibert, Guy Vandromme, Teodora Stepancic, Erato Alakiozidou, R. Andrew Lee, Panagiotis Krabis, Mark So and Manfred Werder, organist Eva-Maria Houben, singer Irene Kurka and others.

In 2012 he visited California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles as an invited artist. He presented his music in lectures and concerts together with composers Michael Pisaro and Michael Jon Fink. In 2014 his CD "songs and piano pieces" was released on EWR. In 2019 he participated in Dante Boon's solo piano CD "hannesson . boon . philippakopoulos" released on EWR."

-Elsewhere Music (

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

"Antoine Beuger (b. 1955 in Oosterhout, Netherlands) studied composition with Ton de Leeuw at Sweelinck Coservatorium in Amsterdam 1973-78. In 1990 he began composing after an interruption of about 10 years. Two years later he founded Edition Wandelweiser together with composer/performer Burkhard Schlothauer. Since 1994 he's been active with the conception and organisation of KLANGRAUM, a concert series at Kunstraum Düsseldorf. During the years 1995-2001 he was working together with visual artist Mauser as artistic director of "Werkraum", Place for Interdisciplinary Artistic Events, Cologne. Since 1996 he's been artistic director of edition wandelweiser records and since 2004 managing director of Edition Wandelweiser gmbh."

-Last.FM (

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

Track Listing:

1. Floating By 1:14:00

Related Categories of Interest:

Used CDs
Compositional Forms
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Ambient & Minimal Music
Unusual Vocal Forms
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