Walter Fähndrich

Räume Spazi Espaces Spaces

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Mostly known for his viola playing, Walter Fähndrich is also a sound installation artist and electro-acoustic composer. This CD taps into both of these interests. With the word "space" being repeated four times in different languages, the album's title makes the intent pretty clear: This is music to inhabit space. The seven pieces (all untitled) can be grouped into two categories. First there are delicate compositions made of long, pure electronic tones separated by silences. They dance slowly, evoking slow strokes of the bow on the viola, filling the space the way some of Ryoji Ikeda's pieces do -- or even Morton Feldman's. In another group, two pieces are made up of pizzicato sounds. They are busier, somehow more artificial-sounding, closer to computer music. They disrupt the flow of the album and completely miss the point in terms of relation to space. There was no need to illustrate in electronic form both basic techniques of the string player. All pieces are cyclic, with no beginning or end, which reinforces the feeling of a sound installation in your living room. Räume Spazi Espaces Spaces may be uneven, but the clarity of the first two tracks makes it worth seeking out.