AMN Reviews: Florian Wittenburg – 17 Clips (NurNichtNur)

In what is partly one of the year´s most interesting cover albums, Florian Wittenburg revisits classic modern works armed with a sampler and a computer language called Kyma. On “First Patch for Steve Reich”, he uses the same marimba patterns as “Drumming” and allows the program to shift its pattern along a Gaussian curve, he explains. The “wandering” effect this creates is mesmerizing – “hi-def” crystal clarity yet still warm. On 17 Clips´ second “patch”, he interweaves a vibraphone pattern and its reverse variation. Plummy and yummy, from cradle rocking to delayed sensory discombobulation and back again.

“17 Clips” is an original composition. Wittenburg was supplied with twenty “clips” of cello and accordion by composer Stephen Froleyks, seventeen of which were finally used. “Convuluting” the original fragments, sorting them according to a proposed beginning, middle and end, he improvises a luscious arrangement, taking great gulps of air midway through, beautifully “performed” as it were, on sampler.  A sweet, slow counterimage of the implacable Reichian tattoo and in fact the highlight of the album, as it perhaps should be. Canadian video artist Marcel Wierckx created a video interpretation of quivering grids and spirographics, included on DVD in the package.

The title track is wrapped in two versions of Arvo Pärt´s “Für Alina” for the vibraphone, which capture his tintinnabuli in a unique new way while hearkening back to Baroque chamber pieces by the likes of Telemann. Each is given kid-glove treatment, shivering the air with an emotionalism the Reich pieces genetically lack. An engrossing collection of work.

Stephen Fruitman

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