by Wilhelm Matthies

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We breathe in, we breathe out.
We can use the metaphor of breathing
literally and figuratively as a strategy
for keeping a balanced perspective on the experiences that we have.
I used this strategy to record the 6 pieces representing this album.

The six pieces in this album were organized
using graphic compositions, with this mental image in mind.
The compositions themselves were meant to be an effort at keeping a steady, balanced flow, but they were also organized with the expectation of improvised variation and close listening as a needed and integral part of the recording process. It is analogous to having daily rituals that are closely paid attention to at the moment of realization, and done in a breathy way, a balanced way neither too excited nor under excited, but allowing for appropriate peaks to keep things alive.
The PDF booklet has images of the graphic compositions that I used to improvise with.The first three graphic compositions were made using pencil and Keynote; the second set was made using iDraw on an iPad and with Keynote.

A consistent feature of the 6 pieces is the use of spectral bowing, creating harmonics and overtones as part of the pieces. I used an erhu bow to do this, taking advantage of the way I could change the tension on the bow hairs as I bowed to achieve those tones. Please note that this recording has a very large dynamic range, from complete silence to just under clipping. I used an "average limiter" and only two reverbs (very small room and at a very quiet level a large hall.)

The first three pieces were performed on the mosesa4A, a bass-range version of the mosesa. I am still developing this instrument, and the one I used was missing a string due to an accident. The bass mosesa has the unique feature of having extra thick strings, allowing very fine, very dynamic use of overtones and harmonics.

The 4th, 5th and 6th pieces were performed using the mosesa5A, a cello-range version of the mosesa. This instrument uses a new tuner peg assembly and warmer sounding resonators than used with the mosesa 3D and the moses4A.

Please see the PDF for images of the graphic composition (visible via downloading).

Wilhelm Matthies


released 28 November 2014

Wilhelm Matthies, graphic compositions, performances on mosesa4A, mosesa5A, recording and mastering, graphic arts.



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