Schlippenbach Trio vs Noszferatu – Programme Notes

1st Set – Noszferatu

Dave Price – Twitcher

The original idea for the piece came from a seminal experience playing music for bird whistles by Kagel at the Aix en Provence Festival, where I studied briefly with the great French percussion group Trio le Cercle, to whom the piece is dedicated. More recently I had the opportunity to work in Mexico making a theatre production about the Aztecs. Whilst researching their music I learned that in pre-Hispanic Mexico there were literally thousands of different ceramic flutes and whistles, many of which imitated animals and birds. These instruments were used to create the live sound design of their rituals and ceremonies. Some of the instruments used in the piece were made by Gregorio Cortés who has researched and replicated these ancient sound makers.

Finn Peters – 43
43 is a number I see everywhere. I used various mathematical systems and formulae based on the number 43 to come up with this piece for Viberaphone, Piano and Alto flute.
Dave Price – Lee’s Game
When I first met the Korean composer Lee Chong Man, he seemed unable or unwilling to speak any recognisable language. We gradually developed our own way of communicating using bits of English, Korean and Polish. Lee’s Game uses recorded interviews with Mr Lee, whose voice is heard throughout as a narrator and vocalist. The music is entirely derived from the melodic and rhythmic patterns of his voice. The piece is a story about language, an exploration of communication and identity, and an affectionate portrait of a friend. It is featured on Noszferatu’s CD Drempel (NMC) and was nominated for a BASCA Composer’s Award 2008.

2nd Set – Schlippenbach Trio

Free Improvisation




3rd Set – Schlippenbach Trio & Noszferatu

Programme order to be announced at the performance

Joe Cutler – Flexible Music
One of the challenges in writing a piece for Noszferatu and the Schlippenbach Trio has been how to create a piece open enough to provide ample room for improvisation, but with enough structure and material to create an overall skeleton. That’s what I’ve tried to do in Flexible Music. The piece has two main sections, firstly where the Schlippenbach Trio introduce themselves one by one over a slow “groove” of chords played by Noszferatu, and secondly a rhythmic and driving section where there is far more interaction of materials between the two bands.

Hans “the cockney German” Koller* – eins zwei drei tier
The title is borrowed from a German children’s book, which plays around with the logic of word sets. I’m very drawn to the idea of unexpected, unusual and playful combinations, making connections between categories that don’t seem to belong to one another. I also like the uniqueness of the examples we make up playing this kind of game: ‘eins zwei drei tier’ can’t be translated literally. ‘one two three animal’ – it doesn’t work, of course, but it could be ‘one two three door’, for example. OMG, the animal is now a door, I hear you interject. What will the zoo director say? We don’t mind very much as we have our excuses ready: The secret connectors are rhythm and rhyme.

In my piece for tonight I hope you will enjoy ‘eins zwei drei tier’ moments in various ways/at various points: the with-each-other-familiar trios each encountering a strange new element, the other, bound together by sounding together; 3-part written structures versus improvised elements; tricords (3-note structures) making use of units of 1 + 2 (i.e. semitone + whole tones, and their rotations) set against chord changes, then in free canonic imitation; finally belonging to this list as the ‘tier’ does to the ‘eins zwei drei’: ‘eins zwei drei tier’ moments of purely your own aural imagination.
*(honorific title given by Evan Parker in a letter to The Vortex)

Hanna Kulenty – Smokey Eyes
Smokey Eyes was written for Noszferatu (piano, flute, drumkit) and the Alexander von Schlippenbach Trio (piano, saxophone, drumkit) as a double trio. I don’t think I ever wrote a composition with room for so much improvisation. Usually I am in ‘control’ over every aspect of the composition; in this work I will have to be open to surprises and I am sure I will not be disappointed.