Wolfgang Schliemann

Tre Pezzi per Percussione

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Wolfgang Schliemann's Tre Pezzi per Percussione (Three Pieces for Percussion) is subtitled "Spesso Usate in Maniera non Convenzionale": often used in not conventional ways. Most of the time, Schliemann's approach is closer to sound art than, say, jazz or contemporary classical. This German CD contains three pieces, all improvised, all solo percussion. In "Presque Vu (En Suite)" ("Almost Seen [In a Suite]"), sparse sound events unfold through nine parts over a total of 44 minutes. Most sounds cannot be traced back to a regular percussion instrument, but rather to a technique, a movement: here it is scratched, there it is bowed, or hit, or ripped. The sound palette is surprisingly varied, but one needs to turn the volume considerably high and pay close attention in order to have a chance to be sucked in by the piece. Its low event/time ratio and lack of surprises make it hard on even the most sympathetic listener. This way of playing percussion as minimal sound art can be compared to artists like Mirko Sabatini, Raymond Strid (his duo CD with Michael Zerang, Scratch Match), or even Michael Vorfeld. The 12-minute "Tanzklangfarbe" is more rewarding: Schliemann uses mostly skin and wood-based instruments, moving from drums to marimba and finally timpani. The last work, "Seven Friends/Sieben Freuden" (a title Vorfeld also used for his 1995 CD) sees the percussionist devoting a couple of minutes to seven different instruments. This piece provides a playful conclusion to this otherwise austere CD -- austere but not without its appeal, enhanced by the beautiful packaging including real black and white photos.

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