Markus Eichenberger

Domino Concept for Orchestra

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The Concept for Orchestra Markus Eichenberger has created is based on simplicity. He signals changes in moods by changing between his five clarinets, markers offering a number of new possibilities each time. This results in a much friendlier and free-flowing music than John Zorn's game-pieces (which tend to be so complex and eventful rules-wise that musicians focus on "keeping up" instead of their and the others' playing) or the egocentric, ensemble-denying conductions of Lawrence "Butch" Morres. Therefore the success of the music rests on the talent of the improvisers -- talent to play and to listen. For this studio album, the Domino orchestra consists of 13 musicians from the Swiss-German axis. Eichenberger's clarinets and Dirk Marwedel's "extended" saxophones form the reeds section. A three-piece brass section, five string players (including two bassists and electric guitarist Frank Rühl), percussionist Ivano Torre and two singers (Marianne Schuppe and Dorothea Schürch) round up the formation. The absence of electronics sounds refreshing -- by 2002 it had become a rare non-feature in large groups. The music is strongly colored by playfulness and a sense of camaraderie. It could mean a fake serious-not-serious attitude, but it is not the case. The cheerful attributes of the music are the natural extension of Eichenberger's personality. He works his leadership in a understated manner, his clarinets remaining at the heart of the music without ever stealing the show. Concept for Orchestra may not hold a revolution, but it presents high-quality structured improvisation.

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