Freiland Klaviermusik


If experimental minimalistic dance music as we know it today had existed during the lifetime of Arnold Schönberg and Paul Hindemith, it might have sounded much like this present album. Something fascinating and possibly well known, is that Kompakt label founder Wolfgang Voigt has a fondness for historical music like this. Freiland-Klaviermusik stays true to this idea, maintaining its focus on music composed for the piano, but composed with a very different approach. It's once again Voigt's effort to find a musical structure that eliminates the boundary between freely-improvised "virtuosic" music and fine-incremental sequencing of a computer matrix. In Voigt's Freiland project there is one underlying theme; one single sound varied in many different ways surrounding the main idea of minimal-techno music: the four-to-the floor bass drum. In this case, it's a synthetic piano, which moves between rhythmic and abstract, between deliberateness and coincidence, within a somewhat predefined structure. Sometimes the clock of the bass drum does not accompany its presence at all. The present aesthetics of atonal, sometimes Kafka-esque and early 20th century classical music are rather a "pleasant by-product" than an authentic classical-music statement. Blasting borders and breaking rules to create apparently new revelations has always been Voigt's drive. Apart from his timeless preference to adopt different musical styles such as classical-music, jazz, schlager or brass music into his own music, in this case, Voigt's encounter with the music of composer Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997) was an important influence. In Nancarrow's work, Voigt found strong parallels to his own; the search for unpredictability and spontaneity, often affecting his way of working, to find a symbiosis between man and machine. This approach has also influenced Voigt's work as a visual artist. The front cover of the record presents an excerpt from one of Voigt's Tetrapak-paintings, in which he covers, combines, and confronts a predetermined mechanical structure (pattern, wallpaper ≙ loop, pattern) with more or less a free, progressive, and rhythmic painting technique. The current releases on Voigt's re-launched '90s label Profan together with the reunion of his music with his lesser-known work as a performing artist represent that in 2010, Voigt sees minimal music through as it relates to minimal art rather than minimal techno. It could also be that Voigt believes that art can express complication and pain in ways that the minimal techno of today cannot.