Stefan Thut – Among

 

1. Among I (6:40)
2. Among II (7:18)
3. Among III (8:36)
4. Among IV (7:21)
5. Among V (8:08)
6. Among VI (6:26)
7. Among VII (7:15)

 

· Félicie Bazelaire: double bass
· Léo Dupleix: sine waves
· Fredrik Rasten: acoustic guitar
· Stefan Thut: cello

 

Score composed by Stefan Thut in 2018
Recorded by Stefan Thut at Säulenhalle Landhaus in Solothurn, Switzerland on 28/06/2020
Edited and mastered by Stefan Thut with the help of Léo Dupleix
Text and score graphics by Stefan Thut
Graphic design by László Szakács
Produced by László Juhász

 

a practice of noticing among others

The piece among is scored for three string players and sine waves which a fourth performer is responsible for. Aside of the usual purposes the three string instruments – in the present version a double bass, an acoustic guitar and a cello – also serve as resonating bodies for loudspeakers: the sine waves are sounding by means of transducers attached to the three wooden boxes. The instrumentalists attune initially to their respective sine wave, and then continue in ratios of imaginary odd-numbered partials up to the 17th. However, the frequencies of the three sine waves are multiples of either prime triplets or consecutive prime numbers like for instance on page one – 23, 29 and 37. This kind of harmonic space is more obfuscating the process of tuning than making things harmonically comprehensible as a whole. In fact, to begin with the performer of sine waves, the acoustic conductor, divides the three instrumentalists into three individuals. They can only act in self-reliance to their own tone and with confidence to the others. Because of the very high order of the intervals occuring between the three, they mostly remain indefinable regarding specific tunings and open up a territory of the unknown. Still for me, the evolving harmonies appear as “just” due to the thoughtfulness and dignity of the ensemble. Here it is not a matter of tuning to each other (as it is the case in a majority of music practices) but noticing among each other in playing some tones: an actual model for a co-existence.

Stefan Thut
September 2020

 

Released: October 2020 / first edition of 300 cds
Direct purchase: Bandcamp / Discogs

 

 


 

GALLERY ↓

 


 

REVIEWS ↓

 

“As if to emphasise the breadth and variety of Thut’s music, Among is completely different to Atama, both in its conception and execution. (Anyone noting a certain pattern in Thut’s album titles – About, Atama, Among – should note that the Wandelweiser website also lists Thut compositions entitled Along, Apart, Around, Away, Amidst… One is reminded of the late, great Steve Lacy’s penchant for single-word album titles beginning with ‘s’.)

Recorded in Solothurn, in June 2020, Among features a seven-part piece which Thut composed in 2018, scored for three string players – double bass, acoustic guitar and cello – and a fourth player who was responsible for sine waves. The album sleeve includes images of parts of the score plus a sleeve note, entitled ‘a practice of noticing among others’, in which Thut explains his methodology and thinking behind the piece. Each of the instruments also served as the resonating body for a loudspeaker; sine waves were sounded by means of transducers attached to the three wooden boxes of the instruments. Each player initially attuned to the sine wave from their instrument. The sleeve lists these sine waves’ frequencies for the seven parts – 230, 290 and 370; 140, 220 and 260… As these frequencies are multiples of either prime triplets or consecutive prime numbers, the three players were effectively individuals who ‘can only act in self-reliance to their own tone and with confidence to the others’.

If that sounds like a recipe for anarchy and/or cacophony, rest assured that the reality is very different, with the musicians – Thut included – producing impressively rich music based largely on sustained tones which interweave and complement one another beautifully. As the seven parts of the composition – which range in duration from six-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half minutes – each have different frequency initial sine waves for the players, there is enough variety across the piece to make it both engaging and satisfying. All credit to Thut and his fellow musicians for an impressive achievement which demands to be heard again and again…” / John Eyles, All About Jazz, 24 January 2021

 


 

RADIO PLAYS ↓