FMP/FREE MUSIC PRODUCTION - An Edition of Improvised Music 1989-2004

OWN 90005

Jonas Bergler


First of all: you need to listen to this loud, better still with headphones, otherwise those sounds that hover between the notes, those tiny, lingering vibrations, in brief, all the subtle nuances of this music could get lost in the quotidian around you.

Bernhard Arndt, the Berlin pianist, composer and improviser, cuts a brilliant figure, walking the line between musical frontiers. In addition to composition work, intensive engagement with jazz and new music has brought him together with musicians like John Tchicai, Cecil Taylor and Butch Morris, including the latter's group Berlin Skyscrapers. Now we hear him play solo piano. Bernhard Arndt improvises and composes. Inside the piano, inside sounds. He's pretty good at it, as you'll hear.

What improvisation offers is a continual opening up of new dimensions of sound and sound experience. Thus we get new compositions. Compositions which will, in turn, be improvised upon. A kind of game in which a knowledge of the harmonic potential that each improvisation produces blends with the recognition that at, yes, nothing is quite what we expected. A quick decision, a new direction, a new attempt, a new idea. Or back, do I control the instrument, or does its sound somehow control me? Can we trust ourselves? We can.

All these takes were recorded without overdubs. As they were played, you hear them. Arndt knows what he's doing. What's more he has an ear for the inner life of the piano. Glass, wood, rubber and electronics change, widen, and enlarge the sound spectrum. The time, intensity and pitch of individual notes are bent, expanded: moments are stretched and compressed, either through electronic or manual manipulation. "inside insight" is a series of sound shapes, talking form through the series of overtones produced by the strings as they are struck, and set in motion by the dynamics of continually altering levels of pitch ...

This music grows from deep inside the concert grand itself. Listen to "inside". Experience the interior life of piano sounds, as only Bernhard Arndt can show it to you….

Translation: John Hartley Williams

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