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Strictures, Livres I & II

A 2 track avant-garde album (1h 3m 7s) — released June 18th 2021 on The Tapeworm

The works on this cassette are based on a historic recording of "Structures I" by Pierre Boulez. Tom Schneider cut it into shreds – samples which he then mapped onto a MIDI keyboard, ready to be played freely while pulverising any overarching structure.

In addition to improvisational reshuffles, acts of sock-puppetry join the resulting collection: The thinking behind other seminal works for piano such as John Cage's "4'33" and Helmut Lachenmann's "Guero" are linked to the audio or parametric content of "Structures". "0.433" takes the original recording's pauses and sequences them into a bumpy stretch of silence. For "Boulero", temporal and tonal properties of one of the underlying works drive the shape of the other.

Further pathways open up through MIDI data-extraction, generating new layers, organised into musical units which then can be played on a keyboard: Authentically serialist extensions of the limited parameters available to the pen and paper of the original composer.

Stefan Goldmann's remixes of Schneider's work are based on different types of MIDI data-extraction, with the results being routed to FM synthesiser presets. Further historic concepts and techniques are filled with the shreds of "Structures" – one of Schneider's selective loops is 'phased' with two different durations rubbing against each other. The focus however is on spontaneous order and emergent phenomena. Different MIDI-fication methods escalate from solo piano to robotic fusion trio in three steps. "Str_ct_r_s" is driven by multiple layers of the same material, slightly trimmed back into half-coherent shape by broad-brush deletion of MIDI notes. Most extremely, Schneider's "0.433" is restored to Cage's original duration by plain time stretching. The detected MIDI information is thus entirely accidental, with automation conjuring content out of the void.

Tom Schneider is a pianist and composer. As a member of the trio KUF, he has released three albums and performed extensively across Europe and East Asia. Sampling is integral to his work, which he applies to band interaction in multiple ways.

Stefan Goldmann is a composer and DJ of electronic music. His work offers close re-examinations of the aesthetic and technological foundations of techno, from shifting metres and designing tuning systems to re-imagining the technological fundamentals of storing music.

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