The Five Points
Martin Schlumpf, born in 1947 in Aarau, Switzerland, studied clarinet and piano with Warren Thew, conducting with Ferdinand Leitner, and theory and composition with Rudolf Kelterborn in Zürich from 1968 to 1973. In addition, he studied in Berlin with Boris Blacher in 1974. From 1977 until 2011 he was Professor of Music Theory and Improvisation at the Zurich University of the Arts. He was especially active as a composer in the area of serious music until 1980 (winning first prizes at the composition competitions of the City of Zurich in 1972 and 1979 and at the Tonhalle Competition in 1975). After that, he returned to improvised music as a saxophonist and clarinettist, especially with his own groups (Bermuda Viereck). Since the late 1980s he has been active in the interface between composition (classical) and improvisation (jazz) in a new "post-modern" environment with a strong focus on rhythmic language. His compositions, which range from solo pieces to large concertos, are performed in many countries. Schlumpf: "This CD The Five Points brings together five of my most important chamber works of recent years: a quintet, two trios and two solo pieces. In all these compositions, I tell imaginary stories. Starting from clear yet differing points of departure, I have allowed myself to be driven in an improvisatory manner whilst writing (like a jazz musician), following a thread, bringing something new into play, allowing different characters to enter into dialogues, arguing, rebelling or becoming reconciled. Time and again, however, this quality of being driven is also 'controlled', encouraged by my architectonically-formally thinking mind: the emotional aspect is formed by the rational, head and heart complement each other." Includes Spiegelbilder (Mirror Images) for viola, cello and piano (2013) performed by Michel Rouilly (viola), Thomas Grossenbacher (cello), and Petya Mihneva (piano); Push and Pull for accordion solo (2013) performed by Sergej Tchirkov (accordion); The Five Points for clarinet and string quartet (2012) performed by Matthias Müller (bass clarinet) and the Galatea Quartet; Puzzle for bass clarinet and computer (2011) performed by Matthias Müller (bass clarinet); and Pandora's Promise for alto saxophone, cello, and piano (2014) performed by Harry White (alto saxophone), Pi-Chin Chien (cello), and Edward Rushton (piano).