GLOSAS This is the sequel to the “Yr a oydo”-CD by Spanish ensemble More Hispano. I recorded this one in the same recording session as the previous CD, but the music is quite different. Not much free improvisation, but more of Vicente Parrillas own embellishments on 16th Century music. Again with Raquel Andueza singing and all the other musicians from the band playing, but more in smaller settings, rarely playing tutti. Its a nice introverted CD with really beautiful music. And it is our first CD in the back-then new cardboard Profilepack packaging, which I chose to avoid plastic packaging as much as possible, and because it looks and feels nicer than the jewelpacks. We also printed the CD booklet on recycling paper. Cover and boklet photos for this CD were also made by Julia Steinbrecht. http://www.carpediem-records.de/en/glosas
Today I present a CD that is very dear and special to me. Recorded in 2008, released in 2011, “Engels Liedt” by recorder genius Gerald Stempfel is not only one of many recordings of the music of Jacob Van Eyck. To me, it is more a piece of sound-art, or the destillation/manifestation of a unique interaction between the musician, the music, the sound engineer(s), and the room, here also including those who live in that room or who lived there, long times ago. Gerald Stempfel wrote about our meeting in the CD booklet:
“On the evening of the second recording day of the “John come kiss me now” chamber music album in August 2008, I was practicing the recorder by myself in the church, preparing for the next day, while Jonas, the producer, was storing away a bunch of cables. Then, it was all quiet. At some point, I took a break to make myself some tea. Jonas was still standing around in front of the church, absorbed in thought. Seeing me coming, he said he had heard me practice and thereupon come up with an idea for a van Eyck recording: during my play he had been hearing the Lachrymae variations of van Eyck in his mind’s ear. I was utterly puzzled – hadn’t it been Jacob van Eyck, and in particular his Lachrymae variations, which had moved me deeply as a child, such that I had been convinced of my vocation to become a recorder player. Thus, spontaneously, this solo album came about in a single night at the end of the chamber music recording. “
What Gerald did not mention here was the ghost of an ancient knight who was buried in the church, and who visited the recording just at midnight, leaving the sound of his gloomy footsteps on our harddiscs. The presence of beings more subtle and immaterial than us boosted some great creative moments. Listen to these sound samples and see if you get a glimpse of it: http://www.carpediemrecords.de/en/engels-liedt (JN)
Being my second collaboration with lutenist Toyohiko Satoh, this CD was recorded in one of my favorite recording spaces, the small church of Schönemoor, near Bremen. Toyohiko’s wife, Chiyomi Yamada, had conceived this program of Japanese and European songs from the 16th and 17th century, a beautiful compilation with a long and fascinating story to it, which you can read yourself in the CD booklet :-)
It was really interesting to work with those three musicians (David van Ooijen was playing theorbo). Chiyomi’s voice is so delicate and soft that sometimes the lute was almost covering her singing, which I have never experienced anywhere else. So we created a very silent music, delicate and fragile as a Japanese painting, or a flower arrangement. Photos for this one were taken by Toyohiko’s and Chiyomi’s daughter Miki Satoh near their home in southern Japan. It is an extraordinary place as you can see: http://www.carpediemrecords.de/en/kurofune-songs-from-the-black-ships (JN)
This is the debut CD of Alina Rotaru which I recorded and released in 2010. I remember her playing a demo tape of her Sweelinck playing to me, and I was immediately hooked by the musicality and singularity of her interpretation. We recorded in a church somewhere in the middle of nowhere in northern Germany, but as people were cutting trees or something in the direct neighbourhood, we could record only in the evening & night. I recall it still took us only two days for the actual recording, as on the second day Alina got into an incredible artistic flow and just put in one piece after the other until it was done and over. The photos for this one were again taken by Leif Marcus. http://www.carpediemrecords.de/en/fortune-my-foe (JN)
To record this CD by ensemble Le Concert Brisé (dir. William Dongois) we went to Neuchatel/Switzerland. Actually it is a real live recording – the only one on the label so far. The ensemble played three concerts on three consecutive days in the museum of art and history, as they happen to have an original Ruckers harpsichord from 1632 there, which is a most beautiful instrument that I have used for another recording two years later as well. They played those three concerts in a way that each program would be different, but still every piece would appear twice during the whole time, so that we had some choice for the editing later. The music is beautiful, quiet and soothing, and the photos, taken by Dominika Bonk at the shores of the Neuchatel lake, add perfectly to this atmosphere. The recording work was done together with my friend and colleague Johannes Wallbrecher. http://www.carpediemrecords.de/en/style-fantastique (JN)
“Yr a oydo”, recorded and released in 2009, is probably one of the most underestimated, and somehow overlooked, Early Music CD releases of the last decade. It features the Spanish group More Hispano directed by recorder player Vicente Parrilla.
Again I travelled to Sevilla for the recording, and we spent four insanely busy and creative days with those 7 musicians. The music that we recorded existed only partially in written form, much of it was spontaneous improvisation, and every recording take of each piece would be different and offering new possibilities, ideas and musical outcomes. I remember that in one piece, the band made it only once all the way to the end because they would always go astray in wild improvisations, so we had only one ending and it was a hell of an edit work to put everything together afterwards – but I believe I managed :-)
Other things I remember is the really spooky church that belonged to some really spooky catholic brotherhood, lots of cerveza during the breaks, the incredible voice of Raquel Andueza, whom I met there for the first time and immediately became a fan of, and a good amount of crazyness and laughter all over the recording.
The disc even got a rave review in the New York Times, but somehow never made it into the charts of classical music, which is a shame as it would really have deserved it. Never have I heard a Passacaglia, Chiacona or the like played so lively, joyfully and inventive, with a band playing completely without restricting themselves in any way musical. Still it is a “true” Early Music recording and has nothing of a superficial crossover project, which makes it a valuable proof for the fact that Early Music doesn’t necessarily have to be stiff, boring and narrowminded.
Photos for this project were taken by Julia Steinbrecht, a German photographer who accidentally happened to be in Sevilla when we were recording, and then came by and captured some singular moments for the CD booklet. The cover picture was…
This CD (released winter 2009/2010) holds nice memories for me as I met Rosario Conte for the first time. I did not record the CD myself but found it so beautiful I just had to have it on the label. I met Rosario in Basle and we became friends and recorded some more projects together in the following years. He is a highly talented and sensitive musician and I am always happy to work with him, which usually involves insane amounts of Italian espresso, laughing and great musical moments. Photos for this CD were taken by the multi-talented Dominika Maria Bonk. Track No. 13 is my personal favorite: http://www.carpediemrecords.de/en/une-larme (JN)