Throughout the album, Schmidt applies different types of electronic processing to his cello work. The fourteen tracks ably demonstrate the broad extent of Schmidt’s engagement with the instrument and its sonic potential. Several months before he released můra, Schmidt released arc/hive b [classical guitar], a collection of previously unissued performances for classical guitar spanning fifteen years. As on můra so on other tracks the acoustic instrument is recognizable even as its sound undergoes metamorphoses. The title track and opening piece, for example, uses granular synthesis to transform bowed strings into skittering waves of abstract sound while still retaining something of the cello’s native sound. On zoufalství a single bowed tone surfaces and descends relative to a deep bass foundation; on hřbitor the instrument’s sound is stretched and slowed to the point where one can imagine each individual hair of the bow pulling on the string. The playing ranges from conventional, as in juuichigatsu, to largely conventional with a judicious application of extended technique (gesrah), to almost entirely unconventional (eraly dren and maqtred, the latter a delicately beautiful piece constructed almost completely from harmonics). AMN Reviews: Stefan Schmidt: můra; arc/hive b-[classical guitar] [Bandcamp]
January 20, 2021January 20, 2021 ~ dbarbiero
Stefan Schmidt, guitarist, composer and sound artist from Baden Baden, Germany, is a musician of many different sides. Prominent are pieces featuring electronic processing of the guitar, whether with granular synthesizer, loops or other forms of sonic augmentation. The latter is on display in můra, a set of nine pieces for cello and electronics. Daniel Barbiero On rubáš the cello takes on a motoric sound, revving on a slow trill. Although his primary instrument is classical guitar, which he studied in music schools in both Germany and Argentina, he also played electric guitar in punk bands and more recently has broadened out to play other string instruments and to work with electronics, which he often uses to create gradually developing, industrial- and noise-informed soundscapes. The final track, the nearly fifteen-minute-long muara, is a heavily treated performance that points forward to Schmidt’s recent work with sounds drawn from a dark ambient palette.