Keith Rowe / Anthony Taillard / Emmanuel Leduc / Julien Ottavi
A Quartet For Guitars
CD + DIGITAL — CATALOG MIKROTON 27 — RELEASED MAY 2014
— Can you say something about a quartet for guitars?
— Hmm. Where to start?
— Well let’s start with why “Affetuoso e sostenuto”? And what about those track tittles: “Ineptitude”, “Awkward”, “Gaucheness”, “Underwhelm” and “Failing”?
— Google “Affetuoso e sostenuto” and probably a reference to Haydn will appear on the screen, a nine minute section from his String Quartet Op. 20. No. 1 ( the third movement). For the musicians on this recording after an examination of the score their very first instruction was to listen to and watch a recording of the Lyndsay String Quartet performing this third movement, seeing… the first violinist Peter Cropper gulping in air, holding his breath, contorting his face, utterly immersed in the moment, we watch the sensitivity of each movement, the communication within the group, this is how we are going to play, this is how we going to relate to the score, but no! NO!! We can’t possibly just copy their performance, and anyhow the possibility of attempting to enter the tradition of the classical string quartet world would be delusionary.
— That’s true, but haven’t you in the past said we (all of us) need to place our work right alongside a Haydn Quartet for comparison?
— Yes, you’re correct, but on recognizing and accepting our failure in this regard we could become inspired by how Haydn constantly broke the rules, we set about to explore fresh areas of responses like ineptitude, awkward, gaucheness, underwhelm and failing.
— So the track tittles don’t relate to each track, but are an indication of areas of responses? But I hope you don’t mind me saying… they seem very uncomplimentary…insulating even!
— Hmm… yes I understand that, but I wanted to escape the descriptions of gorgeous or beautiful, stunning, striking, arresting, prepossessing, captivating, bewitching, beguiling, engaging, charming, charismatic, enchanting, appealing, delightful, irresistible etc.
— But why do you feel the need to escape from these responses?
— Oh! It seems so easy to shove the disc into the player and respond with “Gorgeous!” or “Fascinating, darling!” I’m not interested in reading a description of the music, but would rather it was ripped apart, examined, rejected or accepted, understood to see what it is saying. How it relates to Sturgeons’ law, tear it apart delve into its innards, get your hands dirty, fail. Again and again.
— Do you mean you are looking for unwanted zones or expressions? A possible response on listening might be a sense of awkwardness of uncertainty? Of maybe not knowing?
— Yes, exactly! The track tittles are the responses.
— Maybe you could say something about the score and its structure?
— The score is nine one minute strips, played in any order, then repeated over and over in different orders. Spread across the nine minutes there are twenty two motives and twenty eight spaces, the choice of a nine minute duration was Haydn Op. 20 Affetuoso E Sostenuto, and to encourage endless variations and development also tips a hat in the direction of the father of the string quartet.
— How did you rehearse the piece? Were there any particular ways to visualize the score?
— We gave ourselves a year to rehearse, sometimes spending an evening just dealing with a single “click” examining the range of how dry or wet a click might be, if there was a single approach. It might have come through a quote from a Zizek article where Deleuze refers to Proust description of Vinteuit’s music that haunts Swann “as if the performers not so much played the little phrase as executed the rites necessary for it to appear” upper most in our mind was to question the role of composition as a vehicle to be flashy showy and brilliant, we wanted the material to be stripped and laid bare, its rawness exposed, allowing the figurations to freely circulate, to play in such a way that one would be capable of discerning the echo of the non-played. (That’s a quote from somewhere… But where?)
— So… did you succeed or fail?
— Hell, no! Of course, not!!!
Keith Rowe > guitar, electronics
Anthony Taillard > guitar, electronics
Emmanuel Leduc > guitar, electronics
Julien Ottavi > guitar, electronics
91 / BURKHARD STANGL & DIEB13 Jardin Des Bruits
89-90 / JOKE LANZ / JASON KAHN / NORBERT MÖSLANG / GÜNTER MÜLLER / CHRISTIAN WEBER kangaroo_kitchen
88 / ANDREA ERMKE / CHRIS ABRAHAMS / MARCELLO BUSATO / ARTHUR ROTHER Sink
87 / LARS ÅKERLUND / ERYCK ABECASSIS Falls
86 / FEN / OTOMO YOSHIHIDE / RYU HANKIL / YAN JUN / YUEN CHEE WAI No One's Island
76-85 / FORMANEX WITH AMM, CHRISTIAN WOLFF, KEITH ROWE, PHILL NIBLOCK, MICHAEL PISARO AND OTHERS 20 Years Of Experimental Music
75 / FREE ELECTRONICS T-SHIRT
74 / WABI EXPERIENCE Wabi Experience
73 / KEN GANFIELD / KURT LIEDWART / PETR VRBA Something Wrong There
71 / JEROME NOETINGER / SEC_ La Cave Des Etendards
69 / KURT LIEDWART & PETR VRBA Punkt
68 / KURT LIEDWART / JULIEN OTTAVI / KEITH ROWE L'Or
65 / GÜNTER MÜLLER / KURT LIEDWART / NORBERT MÖSLANG Ground
64 / YUI ONODERA & STEPHEN VITIELLO Quiver
63 / ANGELICA CASTELLO & JEROME NOETINGER Disturbio
61 / THE PITCH & SPLITTER ORCHESTER Frozen Orchestra (Splitter)
60 / THOMAS LEHN & MARCUS SCHMICKLER Neue Biler
59 / THE ELKS This Is Not The Ant
57 / ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO & MIGUEL A. GARCIA Aq'Ab'Al
56 / BURKHARD BEINS / LUCIO CAPECE / MARTIN KÜCHEN / PAUL VOGEL Fracture Mechanics
54 / KURT LIEDWART / ANDREY POPOVSKIY / MARTIN TAXT Hjem
53 / CILANTRO / ANGELICA CASTELLO / BILLY ROISZ Borderland
52 / EASE / KLAUS FILIP & NOID No No No, No
50 / GEORGE LEWIS & SPLITTER ORCHESTER Creative Construction Kit™️
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47 / NORBERT MÖSLANT / KURT LIEDWART / ILIA BELORUKOV sale_interiora
46 / KEITH ROWE / MARTIN KÜCHEN The Bakery
45 / KURT LIEDWART / PHIL RAYMOND Rim
43-44 / RYU HANKIL / NOID / MATIJA SCHELLANDER AND OTHERS Foreign Correspondents
41-42 / ANGELICA CASTELLO / MARIO DE VEGA / ATTILA FARAVELLI / BURKHARD STANGL Sqid
39-40 / SIMON JAMES PHILLIPS Blage 3
38 / BURKHARD BEINS / ENRICO MALATESTA / MICHAEL VORFELD / CHRISTIAN WOLFARTH / INGAR ZACH Glück
37 / ERIKM / MARTIN BRANDLMAYR / Ecotone
36 / CASEY ANDERSON / JASON KAHN / NORBERT MÖSLANG / GÜNTER MÜLLER / MARK TRAYLER Five Lines
33-35 / VARIOUS ARTISTS Feedback: Order From Noise
32 / KEITH ROWE / ALFREDO COSTA MONEIRO / KURT LIEDWART / ILIA BELORUKOV Contour
31 / MICHAEL THIEKE UNUNUNIUM Nachtlieder
30 / ANGELICA CASTELLO / BILLY ROISZ / BURKHARD STANGL / DIEB13 Scuba
29 / COMMON OBJECTS / JOHN BUTCHER / RHODRI DAVIES / LEE PATTERSON Live In Morden Tower
28 / KAZUHISA UCHIHASHI / NOID / TAMARA WILHELM I Hope It Doesn't Work
27 / NG4 QUARTET / KEITH ROWE / ANTHONY TAILLARD / EMMANUEL LEDUC / JULIEN OTTAVI A Quartet For Guitars
26 / MARGARETH KAMMERER / Why Is The Sea So Blue
25 / ILIA BELORUKOV & KURT LIEDWART Vtoroi
24 / HANNO LEICHTMANN Minimal Studies
23 / BARBARA ROMEN / KAI FAGASCHINSKI / GUNTER SCHNEIDER Here Comes The Sun
21-22 / CATHERINE JAUNIAUX / ERIKM Mal Des Ardents / Pantoneon
20 / EL ENFIERNO MUSICAL El Infierno Musical. A Tribute To Alejandra Pizarnik
19 / ALESSANDRO BOSETTI / CHRIS ABRAHAMS We Who Had Left
17-18 / RICK REED / KEITH ROWE / BILL THOMPSON Shifting Currents
14-16 / VARIOUS ARTISTS Echtzeitmusik Berlin
13 / CHRIS ABRAHAMS / LUCIO CAPECE None Of Them Would Remember It That Way
12 / SATANIC ABANDONED ROCK & ROLL SOCIETY Bloody Imagination
11 / ERIKM / NORBERT MÖSLANG Stodgy
10 / RHODRI DAVIES / MARK WASTELL Live In Melbourne
7 / JASON KAHN / GÜNTER MÜLLER / CHRISTIAN WOLFARTH Limmat
5-6 / VARIOUS ARTISTS Klingt.org: 10 Jahre Bessere Farben
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2 / ALAN COURTIS / JAIME GENOVART / CHRISTOF KURZMANN / PABLO RECHE Palmar Zähler