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   Brot & Sterne: Tales of Herbst: Release Information

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Release Date: 03.03.2017
EAN/UPC: 705304464328
TT Catalogue No: 4643

Brot & Sterne - Tales of Herbst

Slightly distorted

The most famous listing of musical instruments in pop history goes like this: “...grand piano...reed and pipe organ...glockenspiel...bass guitar...double-speed guitar” -  a soft but clearly audible narration which then goes on, not without pride: “two slightly distorted guitars.”*
What has that whispered list got to do with this CD? And why exactly did Mike Oldfield´s  words “slightly distorted” („Tubular Bells“, 1973) occur to me as I listened?

Firstly, a picture is often rendered beautiful by adding only a slight distortion. The same can be said of sound. Sometimes a bit of dirt under the fingernails of the music-makers’ hands appeals to us. Now and then, Matthias Loibner’s hurdy-gurdy sounds “slightly distorted”, and this effect doesn’t necessarily have to be made with the help of electronics. When Loibner activates his buzzing drones (please don’t ask me how this works, you can read about it on his web site), a bolt of lightning flashes through the music.

Franz Hauzinger’s sound palette covers “slightly distorted colours”, too, as if a piece of tissue paper were laid over his clear tone. And finally, it is self-evident that Peter Rosmanith’s boundless variety likewise includes “slight distortion”.

Secondly, I wish, time and again, that someone would whisper in my ear, tell m which instruments are playing, what is “happening” with them at any given moment. Like good synchronization at the lower edge of the screen, hearing something like this would make listening easier. Naturally, the musicians would tell me that such a guide is impossible, “des spüt’s ned”, (“that’s out of the question”). And that is fine, because you should slip into the music with your ears, to make sense of it, track by track, piece by piece.

The whole-, half-, and quartertone trumpeter of all classes, the liberator of the hurdy-gurdy, and the honourable professor of rhythms: They have played extensively, for decades they have been present in a music scene that has defies any labelling. Each of them has his delicatessen, ”Brot und Sterne - (Bread and Stars)” making only a small portion of their broad array of wares. And it couldn’t be any other way, if you want to keep your head above waters that flow far from the mainstream. I do not know if the title of their CD „Tales of Herbst (Autumn)“ has anything to do with their biographies. Maybe there´s a hint that Autumn is the best season for creating stories.
Stressful multitasking among the most diverse projects has made Hautzinger, Loibner, and Rosmanith into incomparable language artists. Their vocabulary is so rich, that they can afford to take the risk of free improvisation. There certainly is no dearth of ideas - it is rather a question of leaving the superfluous. Thus the most magical moments of this album come out of deliberate sound-castigation, taking the silent way. It is nothing more than logical, that, among a plethora of their own compositions, the only cover version on the CD is on a work with very few notes …

Finally, when I listen to this wonderful album, two other song titles  come to my mind: They precede the original “In a Silent Way (1969): “shhh/peaceful”…

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