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Celestial Harmonies
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Jazz Podium

the project

Deceptive simplicity and stunning complexity alternate to produce these percussive compositions which at times sound genuinely primeval. Jon Hiseman

"The music for Flip: 12 Pieces for Drums, Cymbals and Percussion was recorded at Radio Studio Zürich in Switzerland. Studio 2—where these recordings were realised—is a generous room with a high ceiling and very natural acoustics.

"The drum set pieces (tracks 1, 3, 5, 7) are free improvisations and were mixed directly to two-track with no overdubs. The other pieces—connected improvisations—were recorded in a way that the components would finally form the desired compositions: Track 2 is a combination of three layers of cymbals. For track 4 three different flatride cymbals were recorded in slightly varying tempos to result in a constantly changing time pattern. Track 6 consists of several layers of woodblocks. Track 8 is composed again with multiple layers of cymbals but also with the sound of rubbed woodblocks (with added reverberation, the only electronic effect on this CD). Track 9 features a juxtaposition of two recordings on the same drum set, once played only with the left hand using a brush, the second time with the right hand using a normal drum stick. In track 10 I just added the cymbal background and track 11—featuring 4 dampened cymbals played with different sticks—was played straight to two-track. Again, track 12 consists of multiple layers of cymbal sounds.

"The instruments I used for these recordings are an ayotte drum set consisting of a bass drum (18"), a snare drum (12"), three tom-toms (6", 8", 10"), a set of 5 woodblocks, a variety of cymbals (small to large), and a hi-hat.

"On the drum set I applied all kinds of dampening devices such as cloth, metal plates, chains etc. I also used some of the smaller cymbals in a double layer fashion; for instance, a small bell cymbal covered by a splash cymbal of the same size. For track 10 I used a collection of noise and sound devices which I have collected over the years, most of them every-day objects.

"The cymbal installation for ocean one, two and three consists of a selection of Zildjian cymbals of practically all sizes and types. Rather than placing the cymbals on stands in the traditional manner, we hung them from racks. The hanging position allows the cymbals to ring freely and hence produce much more sound. Martin Pearson used several microphone set-ups (ambient and very close) to capture the whole range of the sounds produced.

"In a similar way the drum set was recorded. Spot microphones provide the presence of the individual elements of the set-up, ambient microphones convey a natural sense of the space."

Fritz Hauser

the composer

Born in 1953 in Basel, Switzerland, Fritz Hauser develops solo programs for drums and percussion which he performs worldwide; cross-media works with dancer/choreographer Anna Huber and architect Boa Baumann and director Barbara Frey; compositions for percussion ensembles and soloists, sound installations, radio plays and music for films and readings. In the field of improvised music he has worked with numerous musicians and since the Stockholm International Percussion Event in 1998 he has collaborated with many percussion groups and soloists around the world.

His previous recording for Celestial Harmonies, with Michael Askill, is Space: Music for Bells, Cymbals and Gong (13262-2) .

tracklist

1 Disturbed Balance 5'17"
2 Ocean One 8'19"
3 Puzzle 6'53"
4 Flatland 5'16"
5 Say Again 3'54"
6 Strange Neighbors 3'08"
7 Different Times 6'03"
8 Ocean Two 5'41"
9 Twice 1'14"
10 She is Sleeping Now 6'40"
11 Empty Corners 3'54"
12 Ocean Three 5'19"
  Total Time: 61'38"