Fritz Hauser

22132434141

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There are only a couple of drummers from the avant-garde who are worth listening to solo; Han Bennink is certainly one, Gerry Hemingway is another, and perhaps Fredy Studer is another. The last in this quartet is Fritz Hauser, who has made a career of performing solo. Perhaps that's why he could ask 11 different composers to write solo percussion pieces for him and have them accept. 22132434141 is a new perspective on solo percussion, appearing from many dimensions simultaneously. Hauser takes on the works of Bun-Ching Lam, Joey Baron, Warren Smith, Rob Kloet, Pauline Oliveros, Franz Koglmann, Stephen Greider, John Cage, Pierre Favre, Robert Suter, and Mani Planzer. To look at these names one would wonder what they could possibly have in common when composing for solo percussion (each piece for a different percussive element), but that element is the personage of Hauser, who plays everything from space to cymbals, tom toms, and bass drums to gongs and more space, and finally he performs -- at least in the Cage and Oliveros pieces -- to the silence itself. Here depth, timbral invention, patience, flexible instinct, and an open ear are the necessities of performance. Timing and coordination are more like the heart beating blood through the veins in this material. The reason is simple: all of it is conjecture; these composers had no idea what these works would sound like when interpreted and performed by a drummer like Hauser whose every breath is a percussive statement. The articulation of the composers' various fictions into expressions of reality in this recording is an awesome event, an enigma of sonic proportion and the sound of a small crack in your temporal lobe as it is realigned for a different set of musical priorities.

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