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Feld (2007/2017) - Enno Poppe

Tonband (2008/2012) - Poppe and Heiniger
Neumond (2018) - Wolfgang Heiniger

Have you ever experienced sound melting through your headphones? Maybe you’ve heard real-time spectral disintegration of an air raid siren? What about purposeful deformation of the natural order of sound itself? No? If those experiences pique your interest, then Tonband, an album of premiere recordings performed by Yarn / Wire will deliver a soundworld unlike anything you’ve heard before.

Feld {field} is, in many ways, the most traditional piece on the album - no microtones, no electronics. It is however a stunning tour-de-force of virtuosity - pushing individual skill and ensemble coordination to its limit. A work of juxtapositions, the pitched and percussive alternate between horizontal melodies and vertical attacks to suggest a beautiful vista full of unexpected jagged protrusions. “Feld is without question the most challenging piece we’ve ever played” says Yarn/Wire co-founder Russell Greenberg.

The title track Tonband is a 5 movement, 30 minute piece from 2008, co-composed by Enno Poppe (German) and Wolfgang Heiniger (Swiss). In Tonband {“tape” as in tape-recorder}, the acoustic sounds played by the percussionists are filtered/transformed/twisted/distorted in real-time to become otherworldly and unnatural. However, it isn’t just some inscrutable computer program in the background taking command. These sound manipulations are controlled live by the pianists on 2 full size MIDI keyboards, with each key activating a different process for nearly limitless possibilities. The percussionists generate all of the acoustic sounds in the piece, which are then passed through the keyboards as the pianists twist and alter them - all in the same instant.
Neumond {newmoon} was written specifically for this album by Heiniger as a sort of bridge piece between Feld and Tonband. As indicated by the title, the sound world of the piece a division of recalls the dark aesthetic of horror films from the 1950s-60s, reminiscent of Oskar Sala and Jean Guillou. “I like melodies and I think you can tell,” says Wolfgang Heiniger, which is a statement that requires wrapping your brain around complex microtonal gestures and inharmonic percussive attacks to confirm.

Yarn/Wire is no stranger to difficult and experimental music. Having commissioned over 100 new works, they have collaborated with a wide range of musicians, from electronic music pioneer Mark Fell, to MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey, to legendary singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens. Founded in 2005, Yarn/Wire is a New York-based percussion and piano quartet (Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg, percussion / Laura Barger and Ning Yu, pianos) and is dedicated to discovering the depth, value, and meaning in the music of our time.

credits

released September 10, 2021

yarn/wire percussion piano quartet

Ian Antonio & Russell Greenberg, Percussion Ning Yu & Laura Barger, Piano & Synthesizers

Residency and production support provided by EMPAC - The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer.

Additional support for this recording provided by the Columbian College Facilitating Fund at The George Washington University.

Yarn/Wire would like to give special thanks to Argeo Ascani and Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti for their dedication and support of this project.

Recorded at EMPAC September 19, 2017 (tracks 3-4), October 10-11 2019 (tracks 1-2); track 5: October 12, 2019 (EMPAC), December 13, 2019 (Troutman Hall), January 31, 2020 (Robbie Lee at Dungeon 2).

Engineered by Jeffrey Svatek and Steve McLaughlin.
Mastered by Jeffrey Svatek

CD Liner Notes by Bernhard Günther

copyright 2021 Wergo Records 73982

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Yarn/Wire Queens, New York

Yarn/Wire is a NYC-based piano and percussion quartet dedicated to energetic and insightful performances of today's most adventurous music.

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