Rüdiger Carl & COWWS-Quintet
Preis / Price : 40.39 € (Tripel CD)
Bestell-Nr. / P/O No. : FMP CD OWN-90007/9
Rüdiger Carl accordion, clarinet, percussion, piano
Irène Schweizer piano, percussion
Phil Wachsmann violin, viola, electronics
Stephan Wittwer electric guitar
Jay Oliver double bass
Arjen Gorter double bass
Mayo Thompson voice & drum machine (CD 1:4, 6, 11, 18, 23; CD 2:4)
Lars Rudolph guitar (CD 1:1, CD 2:9)
Joe Sachse guitar (CD 2:2)
Shelley Hirsch voice (CD 1:3; CD 2:13, 15, 21)
Hans Reichel guitar, daxophone (CD 1:13, 20, 24; CD 2: 1, 13, 15, 21)
Han Bennink drums (CD 1:4)
Louis Moholo drums (CD 1:21)
Günter Baby Sommer drums (CD 1:15)
  CD 1: Tracks # 1 - 24 58:31
  CD 2: Tracks # 1 - 22 60:36
  Recorded between 1979 and 1996
  Virtual Cowws 53:51
  CD 3: Tracks # 1 - 7

All music composed by Rüdiger Carl
Recorded by Roland Häberli (Radio DRS Bern) on November 1-2, 1996
Production: Swiss Radio DRS
Produced by Rüdiger Carl and Jost Gebers
Cover-design: Günther Förg Photos: Fred Burkhart, Dagmar Gebers, Walter Kranl, Matthias Osterwold, Benjamin Katz, Konstanze Binder, Hans Reichel, Pablo Otin
Layout: Rüdiger Carl
Liner notes/Booklet CD 1 + 2: Andreas Kallfelz

First published in November 1998
Excerpt from the booklet:
(...) The combinatorics of BOOK folloe the rule of mutual proportioning and overt ambiguity. Against the expectation of a self-contained musical system it presents a tableau beyond ´good and evil´, a collection of relative motifs, with a tendency to linking together, on the quiet, with a mixture of innocence and impudence.
At first sight, we are dealing with a musical family album, with group excursions into the wilderness, concentrated exchanges of thought, amusing-raving parties, contemplative moments with pets by the fireside and so on, the hours you spend alone and the ones spent in the company of others. A collection of fragmentary stories from a period of more than 20 years.(...)
In fact, this is about communication, negotiation, possible levels of communication and contact. But the principle of authorship (composition) and the one of the closely-knit-community (improvisation) united by a blind understanding, two possible models for clear-cut relationships, dissolve in favour of a third, in fact impossible or at least non-linear principle where the communication partner is subject to a definite structured system (…) without really being governed by it and without complying with it in a restrictive sense. (…)
The interplay of the controlled framework and what emerges from the control within this framework marks a free space between the participants where the (confidential) communication happens through taking on different possible locations. (…)
Andreas Kallfelz
Translation: Isabel Seeberg / Paul Lytton
AK: What was the intention, the idea behind the project VIRTUAL COWWS?
Rüdiger Carl: Over a period of almost ten years we had tried out the sound spectrum of the quintet in a wider variety of directions and had also sorted out the potential of the various musicians pretty well in order to get closer to the things we had in mind. (…) This meant finding an approach to translate it into action. (…) I was interested in combining Improvised Music with a ´cool´ head and a certain feeling of distance. (…)
I had the intention of doing eight pieces, four times eight minutes and four times ten minutes; this represents roughly the length of a CD. (..) At the end I had a collection of pieces with numerical values which were supposed to determine phases of activity for the various instruments. Subsequently, everything was put down graphically, the voices were superimposed on top of each other, some things were rearranged and turned around, and this became the point of departure.
Later I thought of offering such a work to two friends who are number specialists which led to two things Ludwig Gosewitz and Meuser did. Meuser worked out numerical series which were logical but in the end turn out peculiarly clumsy. Ludwig Gosewitz who has been dealing with numbers in the area of Astrology used the sine curve calculation of a six-sided star as a base and then sent me his figures and the corresponding drawings. (…)
AK: And then the various musicians went into the studio with the respective instructions for these eight pieces.
Rüdiger Carl: Yes, those were two days of studio at Radio DRS in Bern. (...) Each musician was singly in the studio, without anybody being there apart from the sound engineer, the others didn´t know what had been played and I gave the begin and the end signs with the Stop watch. The situation was strange for all of us, to be motioned in separately and then to work with extreme concentration without knowing what was to come. (…)
Basically, it was strictly a job for Improvisers; you can´t expect that of just anybody, to play ´icy´ for two seconds, then play rumbling sounds for 27 seconds and so on. (...)
AK: More or less arbitrary directives leaving quite a lot of space for the musicians is something already John Cage used as the basis for many of his pieces.
Rüdiger Carl: I already mentioned to you (…), before I called the project VIRTUAL COWWS , it was called ´50 Jahre Absichtslosigkeit´ (50 years without intention). It has been half a century noe since Cage began making decisions on music by throwing dice and using the pendulum. (...) My things are different, with more connection to the history I am involved in which means that the whole project and its realisation had absolutely to do with the people who played the music and with my relationship to them. (…)
Interview: Andreas Kallfelz
Translation: Isabel Seeberg / Paul Lytton

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