BST: VIOSILENCE

"Music?" The gradual composition of sounds while playing, in the words of MC Kleist. Mixing the colours, not on a palette, but right there on the canvas. A little pre-mixing has taken place, though: There’s a cello, a guitar, a violin that are all amplified, but in our case never in tune. There are no keys, no chords, no melodies; at least not the kind you could write down in a Real Book. We don’t arrange things beforehand, yet there are certain routines and rituals. The hands: parts of the instruments on a search for sounds that aren’t usually heard.
When we started out in free improvisation, we probably thought we were playing in the black music tradition, The Art Ensemble of Chicago…Sun Ra…all the other greats on that glorious BYG label… Well, we were, some of the time, at least that’s how we’d have wanted it. Back then, the group was different: eight-piece, composed of women and men, more open, more percussive, with a wider range of instruments... Sometimes we still play like that, but now there’s an unavoidable feeling of repetition, of imitation. You can’t beat those black horn players anyway!
Music is the healing force of the universe, as Albert Ayler put it. The world is sound. That’s the title of a series of pioneering distance learning cassettes by Joachim Ernst Berendt. He tried to explain all that is strong and beautiful on this earth by the fact that there is SOUND. On one of the cassettes, his fellow researchers ­ adventurers, sound engineers, "inhabitants of the spaceship" ­ are on a mission to install microphones on the outer limits of the atmosphere. They pick up the sound of the sun’s rays hitting the oxygen layer. It makes for interesting listening…reminiscent of improvised electronic music…or of our own stuff, for that matter…well, maybe a little on the monotonous side…not very dynamic. Just as you’d expect the divine music of the spheres to sound...Really, man can do everything better than the Gods...(but also worse).
On the CD there is this idea of light hitting a surface, rather than another expansion of the well-known Milky Way myths. You hear it as it was played, no dubbing, no music machines, electronics or remixing whatsoever. Old-fashioned musical craftsmanship, if you like, just amplified. Hand-crafted, piece-built, but never really construction-work. Much more a tearing down, a demolition of musical plans.
Strings strung between violence and silence, with a good slop of rosin on the feelers. VIOSILENCE, pretty nice word…so get it, gangsta ear…


Music: Walter Berger / Christian Schaeffer / Klaus Theweleit

Tracks:
1) Guignols Band 5:31
2) Alienoise 14:15
3) Tear Mail 10:08
4) Child runs the Voodoo down 3:28
5) Soul Readymade #7 4:54
6) Best off 2:02
7) Panzerknacker Potemkin 5:07
8) Not so bad 0:19

 

BST
VIOSILENCE
Audio-CD, 50 Minutes
ISBN 3-932513-24-X
EUR 16,80

 

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"German players Walter Berger, Christian Schaeffer and Klaus Theweleit brew up a thick aural porridge with their grinding, scraping and pounding, and achieve the Blue Cheer effect of quickly clogging up the listening space until the listener suffocates. They do it with stringed instruments, woodwinds, percussion and piano. The heavily rosined cello strings generate enough vibrating harmonics to make even Tony Conrad choke on his knish. BST stress their affinities with American jazz musicians, paying their respects to Ayler, Miles Davis, Don Cherry, and Sun Ra. Well, if we're talking stringed instrument free players of genius, you might prefer Alan Silva, Leroy Jenkins, or Ornette Coleman on the violin. BST may not possess one iota of the lightness of touch, the grace, the speed, or the freedom of the musicians they namecheck so promiscuously, but they do have an endearing earthy punk jazz simplicity. In fairness, the BST project is not to emulate free jazz - it is deconstruction, 'a demolition of musical plans'. They admit their music can be a painful listening experience. Their formless blasts certainly habe feral energy and gusto, like a garage group playing Heavy Metal. Indeed, many of these in yer face recordings quickly transcend their beginnings; acoustic Improv mutates into a Motorhead live LP. Sleeve art alludes to the German Expressionist painters Ernst Ludwig Kirchner und Emil Nolde, whose oil paintings were naive and clumsy, but painfully honest; this music aapires to the same directness of that movement, even if they players are sometimes blocked by their own gleeful, noisy ineptness, like painters swamped in impasto."
(The Wire, London)