FMP/FREE MUSIC PRODUCTION - An Edition of Improvised Music 1989-2004


Tristan Honsinger


In the seventies I started to have a need to chart out the boundaries of my territory keeping in mind the ever deconstruction of my background as an observer of European music and my ever conscious construction of a discovered ethic in the way. I don't know if I was aware of what I was doing but it came from a natural death; that of an interpreter to a player.

In the eighties I was dissatisfied with, only sniffing around someone else's back garden so I decided not to have any neighbours for a change. That led me into a very important problem. What was I doing with all this space? So I began to write what I liked to hear which from were I was at the time that I escaped, was in a very unaesthetic place what I fell in love with what I had deconstructed from. I wrote songs and with these songs I tried to incorporate improvisation from them. Usually I asked people that had an enormous intuition to participate in my search to combine the past to the ever necessary intention to follow the way. At first it was a revelation to me and my colleagues but for us it was not a conclusion, but what was? Of course there are moments of brilliance in improvisation which can be or not sustained but it is the process that is relentless. So on my way in working with songs and improvisations I discovered that if we could introduce these songs in the improvisational process that it does not disturb the way then the two couId be compatible.

At this time in history I made a theatre music piece in which we tried to make a cut-up narrative using a cueing system to break up the story line so that we could stop the linearity of the narrative at any point with a cue that would lead it to another point in the story before or after. Anyway it led to a constructed chaos that inspired a heightened sense of communication between the participants. That experience led me into this group concept.

The string quartet is something very close to my background and would complement my way of writing from the Cello, which is not exactly counterpoint but is an extension of my way of improvising and what I sometimes like to hear when I improvise. I asked Louis because he comes from a tradition of independence of line, which I think European improvising has as a necessity.

The pieces on this recording were made from a collection of work made for dance and theatre-music performances so they were inspired from different moods which has nothing to do with the outcome of the music. They are inserted and return on the way. What I tried to do was, to make a complete score including all the pieces on one visible chart so that any of the musicians can introduce any one of the pieces at any time in the improvisation. Yes and, sometimes two pieces are introduced at the same time. Well, in pure improvisation two concrete initiatives occur at the same time as well. I felt in listening to the concert that we performed in Berlin that what I tried to do somehow is representative of the obstacles that I, put in front of the group. And my conclusion is that the songs influence the improvisation and the improvisation gives always a special version of the song chosen from the map but it will as well create doubt and hopefully associations.

I met Stephano Lunardi in Livorno, Italy, where he was born. I was seduced by his warmth sense of humour almost immediately. His background when I come to think about it is very similar to mine, and so on an intuitive level his improvisations are very complementary.

Aleks Kolkowsky actually gave us the opportunity to play together, the three of us as a part of a larger ensemble, so I was attracted to the special relationship that was created between the two violinists. Aleks comes from London but his background is unique in that his roots are Russian and Spanish, and he has similar interests to mine in the Theatre and Dance world. He was also a member of the Theatre Music group that I mentioned earlier that was so influential for my ideas about this group.

Ernst Glerum is quite simply a bassist with wide musical depth and also takes the place of the violist in the classical string quartet. I chose him because of the connection he has with the percussion and because of his variety of musical knowledge.

I asked Louis Moholo because I wanted to bring percussion into the string quartet world or the chamber music concept. Louis for me is unique as a drummer in his own right and also one of the few people that can complement such a group seduce the sound and be seduced by it. His importance to European improvised music as a South African is felt in the architecture of it from the beginning.

I think that Europe and Africa must have something in common. Well, they both are at the same time as the world turns. Enjoy!!

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