"'Air" is yet another utterly impressive offering from, in my opinion, one of the most consistently extraordinary composers at work today, one who continues to unveil new facets of her persona. Hear it." - Brian Olewnick
"And if you would ask me for a statement to composing, to my composing – I would answer: listening becomes the awareness of fading sound. Fading sound is the link between life and art; between perception in daily life and perception while performing, while composing. And the awareness of fading sound may become the awareness of presence.
I am pianist and – in addition – organist. As organist I never forget that the organ is a wind-instrument. My pieces for organ and my “installations” for organ (the installations last many hours) ask: Am I realizing a piece? There is hardly anything you may hear in the church. The organ releases as a jewel each single sound; each stream of air; each noise: disappearing into the space of the hall.
The listener will find the way to listening: in this particular room with this particular organ and its streams of sound/ air/ wind. All sound, all streams of air and noises are quiet; sometimes hardly recognizable.
The sound of music; the noise of music; the sound and noise of everyday life: they cut into each other. Both sound and noise of music do not depend on silence as with a piece of music. Both sound and noise do not need any silent location: they are quiet themselves; their quietness creates silent rooms, which welcome all sounds.
It is organ the machine and human beings working together. Man cannot breathe sounds of almost eternal duration; but the organ must not be considered a machine. My pieces for organ require the player: moving the keys; make the winds stream.
Sounds, wind, noises of the organ as a wind-instrument and the silence at sacred spaces: not a coincidence. Churches’ sacred spaces turn into locations for people to nothing more than just be there and breathe; where people can listen – unhindered by any possible meaning of sounds and streams of air.
In spite of the fact that the organ may have an endless breath – I composed one of my first organ pieces dazwischen (between) (2000) with two drones – you can hear “nearly nothing” by listening to the streams of air." - Eva-Maria Houben
Recorded 2014, ref. church Elgg, Switzerland (ein schlummer), Hardstudios Winterthur, Switzerland (aufhören; atmen V: flutes), St Margareta, Dortmund-Eichlinghofen (atmen 5, organ)
Available as a 16bit FLAC or 320k MP3
1. ein schlummer (a slumber) (2013) for flute(s) and organ - 13:21
Flute – Ruth Walser
Organ – Barbara Müller-Hämmerli
2. aufhören (coming to an end) (2013) for recorders: g-bass, c’-tenor, c-bass (1 performer) - 16:24
Recorder – Ruth Walser
atmen V (breathing V) (2014) for recorder(s) (1 performer) and organ
3 I - 8:02
4 II - 6:09
5 III - 6:57
Eva-Maria Houben has been performing works for the organ for more than 30 years. As she is related to the “wandelweiser-group” of composers, her compositions are published by “edition wandelweiser”, Haan. Her list of compositions up to now includes works for the organ, piano, clarinet, trombone, violoncello and other solo instruments, works for voice and piano, for wind and chamber ensembles, for orchestra and for voice and orchestra, works for choir (www.wandelweiser.de). She publishes on subjects of contemporary music (Steiner, PFAU, Edition Howeg, bis-label Oldenburg). Since 2000 her music has been published by Edition Wandelweiser (Haan). CDs have also been released by Another Timbre, Irritable Hedgehog and Makro. In 2012 she founded her own label diafani (www.diafani.de).