Unfinished. For William Turner, Painter
"The sun is God." --The last words of painter JMW Turner; "Which side of the picture should be hung uppermost?"; "2003, London: the first time I visited Tate Britain, Tate Gallery, and the first time I saw and really experienced the paintings of JMW Turner (1775-1851). Overwhelmed, especially by his late and unfinished works, I was stunned by the power of the stillness of his work. Twenty-five years before that something similar; me, as a young man in Madrid; Prado, Goya paintings and etchings -- for me an initiation which opened up the door to earlier art and its pioneers. Like Goya one generation before him, Turner is one of those artists whose language was becoming radicalized in the high age. (In the field of music he is the contemporary of Beethoven.) His later paintings transcend light, full of poetic imagination, exquisite, liquid calm. Free pure painting -- nothing as light, air, and water. When I left the exhibition, it was clear to me that this visit was the starting point for my musical approach to his paintings. Over the years, it was a pleasant challenge to get closer and closer to the painter's complex simplicity, transforming the enigmatic atmospheres of his late and unfinished works into personal tempting musical soundscapes." --Burkhard Stangl, September 2013; Burkhard Stangl has been collaborating with Fennesz for many years. They first met at musicology and ethnology courses and lectures at the University of Vienna in the 1980s. In 2000, they composed, arranged and recorded music for several Gustav Deutsch films (Film ist. 7-12.; Welt.Spiegel.Kino; Film ist: a Girl and a Gun) and they released Polwechsel/Fennesz on Erstwhile in 2002. Stangl also contributed to Fennesz's Venice in 2004 ("Circassian" and "Laguna") which led to his first direct contact with Touch. On this album, track two was recorded live at Amann Studios and took one take. Fennesz also premastered the entire album before it was sent to Denis Blackham at Skye for mastering. Burkhard Stangl: electric guitar and tapes (electronics and field recordings). "Unfinished 1 (mellow)" is based on Stangl's composition for three zithers "Mellow (My Feldman)," dedicated to and played by Trio Greifer. Photography by Jon Wozencroft.