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Irmin Schmidt

Nocturne (live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) LP

Label: Spoon Records

Format: 2LP

Genre: Library/Soundtracks

In stock


**Limited to 1000 copies worldwide. Double white vinyl. Live album from the legendary founder of Can.** Irmin Schmidt goes back to his Stockhausen roots with a new live album. Nocturne (live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) comprises three pieces performed live on a partly prepared piano, along additional pre-recorded soundscapes. The live performance of 'Klavierstück II' is a pensive improvisation using essential elements of the original piece. 'Nocturne' starts with the ambient sounds whilst the piano seemingly melts into the soundscape and eventually grows into a long meditative piano solo. 'Yonder' is a much more dramatic piece, dominated by the overwhelming sounds of church bells, a sort of "dies irai", radical, emotional and fiercely poetic.

Irmin Schmidt on ‘Nocturne’: “The same as one can see faces and animals in the shapes of clouds, one can sometimes – particularly at night between the state of sleep and consciousness - let music structures appear out of the noises that surround you.”  Irmin Schmidt on ‘Yonder’: “Church bells: A sound that has deeply and contradictorily touched me since my childhood. After the war we lived surrounded by ruins, only the church tower was intact and the bells would burst through the ruins every hour of the day. Watching Notre Dame burn on live TV evoked the memory. Three weeks later I started to write Yonder.”  From All Gates Open (by Schmidt and Young, Faber & Faber), Irmin Schmidt expands: “On the streets one afternoon I hear the beautiful bells of St Martin’s church. Minutes pass. The ringing subsumes all the sounds of the city around me, coalescing them into a single sonic space. Harmonies and hues all around me, vibrating, shimmering. I stand and listen. Sometimes, within sounds of church bells, I feel strangely at home and secure.” 

After an extensive classical education as pianist, conductor and composer, Irmin Schmidt – who studied under Stockhausen and Ligeti - co-founded Can in the late 60s, combining classic new music with rock and jazz. Outside of his work with Can, Schmidt has released over a dozen solo albums and written an opera, Gormenghast, based on the novels of Mervyn Peake. In 2015, he was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to art and culture one of France’s highest honours, and in 2018 Faber Social published Can – All Gates Open, a two part book – the first section is Can’s biography, written by Rob Young, and the second section is Can Kiosk, a collage of diary entries and interviews edited and written by Irmin Schmidt.  Irmin Schmidt’s last album, 2018’s 5 Klavierstücke was a piano work using partly prepared (in the way he was taught by John Cage himself) and unprepared piano, recorded and produced by Gareth Jones in the South of France and a recently updated collection of Irmin Schmidt’s solo work, Villa Wunderbar, was released on vinyl at the end of last year.  Schmidt's sound-trips combine what normally competes and conflicts: rock, pop, jazz, classic, electronic, ambient, drum 'n’ bass, waltz, eastern... He is a musical alchemist.

Cat. number: Spoon62
Year: 2020

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