Books and Magazines

Selten hat eine Radio-Institution in so kurzer Zeit eine solche Spur in der Musikgeschichte hinterlassen. Das 1951 gegründete Studio für Elektronische Musik des WDR gerät früh in die Schlagzeilen, es verwandelt die Domstadt zeitweise in die Metropole der Neuen Musik, die nicht nur Komponist:innen anzieht. Radio Cologne Sound zeichnet in Essays, Tonaufnahmen, Bildern und persönlichen Erinnerungen die bewegte Geschichte des Studios nach: von den goldenen 50er und 60er Jahren über Zeiten der Öffnung wie Stagnation bis zur späten Blüte. Drei Portraits widmen sich den Studio-Leitern Herbert Eimert, Karlheinz Stockhausen und York Höller. Weitere Texte beleuchten das intensive Wechselspiel zwischen Technik und Ästhetik, Teamwork im Studio, internationale Ausstrahlung und die wichtige Frage der Aufführungspraxis: Wie kommt elektronische Musik auf die Bühne, wenn die Technik längst museumsreif ist? Herzstück des Buchs ist der Sound von „Radio Cologne“: 28 Stücke auf fünf CDs lassen ein halbes Jahrhundert Revue passieren. Rarely has a radio institution left such a mark on music history in such a short space of time. Founded in 1951, the WDR Studio for Electronic Music hit the headlines early on, at times transforming Cologne into the metropolis of new music, attracting not only composers. Radio Cologne Sound traces the eventful history of the studio in essays, recordings, pictures and personal memories: from the golden 50s and 60s through times of opening and stagnation to the late heyday. Three portraits are dedicated to the studio directors Herbert Eimert, Karlheinz Stockhausen and York Höller. Other texts shed light on the intense interplay between technology and aesthetics, the teamwork in the studio, its international appeal and the important question of performance practice: How can electronic music be brought to the stage when the technology has long been ready for the museum? The heart of the book is the sound of “Radio Cologne”: 28 tracks on five CDs allow us to look back over half a century. CD 11 Heinz Schütz Morgenröte (1952) 2 Karel Goeyvaerts Compositie Nr.5 met zuivere tonen (1953) 3 Gottfried Michael Koenig Klangfiguren I (1955) 4 Giselher Klebe Interferenzen (1955) 5 Karlheinz Stockhausen Gesang der Jünglinge (1955–56) 6 Franco Evangelisti Incontri di fasce sonore (1957) 7 György Ligeti Artikulation (1958) 8 Herbert Brün Anepigraphe (1958) 9 Mauricio Kagel Transición I (1958–59) 10 Herbert Eimert Epitaph für Aikichi Kuboyama (1960–62) CD 21 Johannes Fritsch Fabula rasa (1964) 2 Michael von Biel Fassung (1964) 3 Karlheinz Stockhausen Mikrophonie II (1965) 4 Peter Eötvös Mese (1968) 5 Mesías Maiguashca Hör zu (1969) CD 31 Nicolaus A. Huber Aion (1968/72) 2 Henri Pousseur Lob des Langen Marsches (1972–73) 3 Winfried Jentzsch Cellomusik (1972/74) 4 Rolf Gehlhaar Fünf deutsche Tänze (1975) 5 Thomas Kessler Dialoge (1977) CD 41 Iannis Xenakis La Légende d’Eer (1977–78) 2 York Höller Schwarze Halbinseln (1982) 3 Michael Obst Chansons (1986) 4 John McGuire Vanishing Points (1988) CD 51 Youngi Pagh-Paan Tsi-Shin-Kut (1991/1994) 2 Jonathan Harvey One Evening… (1993–94) 3 Luc Ferrari Porte Ouverte sur Ville (1994) 4 Marco Stroppa Zwielicht (1994–99) erscheint: 12. Dezember Deutsch and English  

Radio Cologne Sound - Das Studio für Elektronische Musik des WDR

“In the spring of 1977, two musicians – Han Bennink and Peter Brötzmann – disappeared into the depths of a German deity named Dark Forest…” – David KeenanSchwarzwaldfahrt 1977 is a magical document of a moment out of time, a moment when the saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and percussionist Han Bennink made a series of journeys deep into the heart of the Black Forest with a bunch of cameras and some early portable recording equipment in order to capture the sound of the moment. The recordings that they made there were released as the Schwarzwaldfahrt album by FMP in 1977 and it remains a free music classic, recorded completely in the open air, with Bennink and Brö duetting with the birds, playing in the water, drumming on great natural xylophones made of logs and catching the sounds of airplanes strafing the skies. It is a music of eternal expansion, of elemental communion.This new book comes with the original recordings on a CD and is assembled round a treasure trove of newly-discovered photographs taken during the trip by both Brötzmann and Bennink – photographs of each other, of their lodgings, of their ritual communions, of their route into, and out of, the forest. To contextualize the photos – and the music – the award-winning author David Keenan (This Is Memorial Device/Monument Maker et al) contributes an evocative/poetic text that situates the duo’s radical musical action in the context of their work while riffing on the uncanny beauty and long-ago aura of these evocative photographs, photos that seem to echo the very sounds of the Dark Forest itself.“It’s so lonely, this music, these two friends, making music on their own, in all of this space, and back of time, now, too, a document of a world that seems less populated – by people, by ideas, by demands, by the tyranny of modern time, itself.” – David KeenanEdition of 1000 copies. 120 pages. 20 x 22cm.Published November 2022

Schwarzwaldfahrt – BRÖTZMANN / BENNINK

‘The Music Mind Experience’ is all about how we can transform our playing and listening into convincing performances and satisfying meditations every time. No neuroscience here: this book is thoroughly practical, intuitive, chock-full of simple practices and deep, common-sense insights. “A fantastic resource. Karl’s purpose is to reach beyond all intellectual concepts and feel the magic of intuitive playing and listening that we are all born with. Very easy to read and follow“ says the world-renown keyboardist John Medeski. The Italian composer Luciano Troja adds: “Karl’s book is miraculous because it speaks in a simple but profound way to musicians and listeners of any background. It opens worlds“ ‘The Music Mind Experience‘ speaks for all kinds of music and styles, because it addresses the elements common to all the music in the world. The great guitarist John Scofield comments: “Karl’s book reminds me of what I‘ve learned from conversations with the great musicians I‘ve known. These masters spoke the truth about getting in the ‘flow’ and the best mental attitude while playing. I‘ve found that these techniques are universal.“ In this book we emphasize the extraordinary power of our intuitive minds. The masters‘ ‘techniques’ that John Scofield is referring to are all explored here in surprisingly simple practices and exercises. We learn to integrate them into our daily routines of musical practice and listening with astounding results: our satisfaction and confidence is growing strong and steadily.Pianist/composer Carla Bley refers not just to this book only, but to Karl Berger‘s life-long work at the now world-renowned Creative Music Studio when she says: “Karl has made it ok for hoards of musicians to explore their particular and personal identities without fear of censure“. The German composer Markus Stockhausen says: “Karl shows us that we all have a hidden capacity of unexplored, infinite creative potential“. And he concludes: “Listening is the key to all the music mind.”

Karl Berger – The Music Mind Experience

With contributions by Lasse Marhaug, John Corbett, Gérard Rouy, David Keenan, Karl Lippegaus, and Jost Gebers Brötzmann has always created and still creates the covers of his recordings himself – sometimes also for other musician colleagues – and in the past also often the posters for various FMP projects (Workshop Freie Musik in the Academy of Arts or Total Music Meeting in the Quartier Latin, later in Podewil). Looking at his early posters and record covers it“s striking how fully formed his visual sense was from the very beginning. He had a background from both advertising and Fluxus art and built upon that. Just like his playing, he knew what he wanted to say with his graphic design. The music and visuals were coming from the same place. And there“s no question who it“s coming from. When you see a design by Peter there is little doubt who made it. His work has such a strong character that when we try to copy the style (and many have) it“s obvious who we“re stealing from – so we fail. (Lasse Marhaug) In his graphic endeavors, Brötzmann has in fact made a body of work consistent with his music and his art, an oeuvre that undermines the presumption that design is inherently rigid. More than just the decoration of information, Brötzmann“s five decades of design bear witness to a sophisticated, delicate, and earthy sensibility, along with a dogged sense of internal logic. His record covers and posters are passionate and thoughtful, playful and brutal, basic and human. (John Corbett) This catalog with about 260 works is published to the exhibition at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Sept. 2016

Graphic Works 1959-2016 – Brötzmann

An investigation of the cultures and technologies of early radio and how a generation of cultural operators—with Schoen at the center—addressed crisis and adversity. Dials, knobs, microphones, clocks; heads, hands, breath, voices. Ernst Schoen joined Frankfurt Radio in the 1920s as programmer and accelerated the potentials of this collision of bodies and technologies. As with others of his generation, Schoen experienced crisis after crisis, from the violence of war, the suicide of friends, economic collapse, and a brief episode of permitted experimentalism under the Weimar Republic for those who would foster aesthetic, technical, and political revolution. The counterreaction was Nazism—and Schoen and his milieux fell victim to it, found ways out of it, or hit against it with all their might. Dissonant Waves tracks the life of Ernst Schoen—poet, composer, radio programmer, theorist, and best friend of Walter Benjamin from childhood—as he moves between Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, and London. It casts radio history and practice into concrete spaces, into networks of friends and institutions, into political exigencies and domestic plights, and into broader aesthetic discussions of the politicization of art and the aestheticization of politics. Through friendship and comradeship, a position in state-backed radio, imprisonment, exile, networking in a new country, re-emigration, ill-treatment, neglect, Schoen suffers the century and articulates its broken promises. An exploration of the ripples of radio waves, the circuits of experimentation and friendship, and the proposals that half-found a route into the world—and might yet spark political-technical experimentation.

Sam Dolbear & Esther Leslie – Dissonant Waves