Despite having an undeniable canon, the minimalist music movement which developed during the 1960s and continues to flourish and evolve today, is defined by a remarkable breadth in ideas and compositional approach. Particularly in Europe, it rapidly took on a diverse number of influences and became very much its own thing. Of the composers who proposed an alternate reality for this territory of sound, there have been few more accomplished than the German composer, Walter Zimmermann.
All too often overlooked, his remarkable body of work stretches over 40 years. Now, expanding on their long-standing dedication to championing his work, we’re overjoyed to highlight the New York based imprint Mode Records' expanded reissue of Zimmermann’s seminal work, Lokale Musik, originally issued 1982 and out of print for decades since.
Long been celebrated for his seminal book on American minimalist composers, Desert Plants, the music of the Cologne School associated composer and student of Werner Heider and Mauricio Kagel, Walter Zimmermann, veers far afield from dominant historical notions of what the idiom was and is. Lokale Musik, among his most important works and originally stretching across a full three LPs set, remains the near perfect casual of his singular approach and ideas - drawing on historical, social, and psychological considerations of sound, with starting points for melodic material often derived from the Franconian folk songs of his native soil.
Slow moving, threaded by expansive of space and jarring articulations of time, the individual works across these three CDs - the first two containing the complete original set of Lokale Musik, with the third delving into recently recorded supplemental material and performances, issued for the very first time, explode with abstraction and complexity, aesthetically falling far closer to the constrained musics of Feldman and Cage, rather than the ecstatic modalities for which Minimalism has largely become known. This is an avant-garde music of social and cultural consciousness, with arguable proximity to the some of the ideas proposed by Zimmermann’s great teacher, Kagel, bubbling at their core.
Fascinating, beautiful, engaging, and endlessly challenging, at long last the seminal Lokale Musik returns to the world in this wonderfully expanded triple CD edition packaged in a deluxe slipcase, complete with a 60-page book, containing the original liner notes by Zimmermann, a new essay by the composer, a text by Christopher Fox, and numerous photos and illustrations.
Unquestionably essential for any fan of Minimalism and 20th and 21st century avant-garde avant-classical music.