BAR 007 CD

‘Notturno’ contains 10 electro-acoustic nocunes, studies on the blending of acoustic piano sounds and their electronically treated derivatives. Spacial and breathing sound sculptures are built as catles in the air. Delineated soberly, nicely shaped, breaking up here and thereto misty surrroundings and surrealistic architecture.

‘Notturno’ is the second CD-release on the Barooni label from the German sound pioneer Asmus Tietchens. To date, Tietchens has about 20 releases to his name. This CD-release is the result of several years work which began in 1984 with the release of ‘Formen Letzter Hausmusik’, an LP which marks a turning point in Tietchens’ musical development. He started to make sound collages with concrete sounds. Often Tietchens’ compositions are built up out of elements with similar sound characteristics. Tietchens used the sound of dripping water to create complete water compositions out of them, the so-called ‘Hydrophonien’. For all pieces on ‘Notturno’ only piano sounds are used. Because of the diverse and subtle sound transformations, created in the studio, the association of the acoustic piano sound with the result is not easily recognisable. Tietchens proves to command a highly personal style, in which transparent sound sculptures of a compelling nature are created by skillfull handwork. ‘Notturno’ actually dates from 1987. It was then released as an LP on Discos Esplendor Geometrico, Spain, but due to the limited quantity of 500 copies it reached very few people. We’re pleased to release these excellent, remastered recordings plus 15 minutes of recently recorded, recycled piano music (Siebte Studie für Klavier, Ein Leben geht zu Ende) on CD to be enjoyed by everyone and to be listened to as castles made of sound.

Asmus Tietchens began making experimental sound productions in 1965. In the period between ‘72 and ‘83 Tietchens made 1 record for EGG/ Barclay France and 4 records for the Sky label. He collaborated with a.o. Moebius, Conny Plank and Okko Becker. His music in that period can be best described as lightly melodic synthesizer music, or ‘pseudo pop’ as Tietchens calls it.

Cutting himself off from conventional influences and compositional forms, he has worked like a recluse. His music has therefore evolved in a world of his own making. Melody and harmony are hard to trace in his music. What remains is a highly personal style, in which the ‘sound’ as well as the method is instantly recognisable as his own.

Since 1984 Asmus Tietchens has applied himself to making tape collages. His method can be compared with that of Musique Concrète. His pieces are composed only from concrete, natural sounds. These are then treated using the possibilities that the taperecorder, the mixing desk and the wide assortment of electronic effect devices in a modern studio offer. ‘Recycling music’, Tietchens calls it.

He prefers to situate his music in the nocturnal. ‘Nachtstücke’ (Night Pieces) was the name of the debut album of Asmus Tietchens from 1980. Several releases with atmospheric synthesizer music followed. And, despite the radical developments in his work, his twelfth LP, which is now available on CD, is again called ‘Notturno’, nocturnal. The atmosphere and quietness of the late hours seems to be a requirement for an optimal concentration on Tietchens’ sound creations. Tietchens thinks of himself as a musical adventurer who wants to explore the unchartered territories in the landscape of sound, to go to places as yet undiscovered by others. Far removed from the well-worn path, this attitude has brought him to the inaccessable area’s of the Musique Concrete and the electro-acoustic music. The music of Asmus Tietchens doesn’t seem to have traceable influences, unless it’d be those of the classical Avant Garde such as Eimert, Stockhausen and Ligeti. And so a mixture of Tietchens’ unique style and Avant Garde has evolved, that has crystallised out very well on ‘Notturno’. The CD contains 10 electro-acoustic nocturnes, studies on the blending of acoustic piano sounds and their electronically treated derivatives. Spatial and breathing sound sculptures are being built as castles in the air. Delineated soberly, nicely shaped, breaking up here and there to misty surroundings or capricious, surrealistic architecture. Throughout ‘Notturno’ a ripened musical feeling of taste and subtlety resounds. Tietchens’ constructions echoes the sounds of a civilisation that approaches its midnight hour.

Even if I had never realised the irriversibillity of the situation, a glance on Europe would have been enough to make me shiver. Europe protects me from the ambiguity, it justifies, ignites and pampers my fears. For me it has the same function as a corpse which is watched over by a meditating monk. On his deathbed  Phillip II had his son visit him and said to him: “here you see where everything ends, even a monarch”. Bending over the head of Europe I don’t know the voice that whispers: “here you see where everything ends, even our civilisation.

E.M. Cioran ‘La tentation d’exister’