* 2020 stock * The structures of Chris Newman's music are apparently simple, like his music pictures: large, thick dots of notes, but a lot of space in between: "The raw and the cooked" (Roland Barthes). He himself likes to cook well and with pleasure. Just his lamb chops, for example. He only puts them in a hot pan with oil; there is also chard, just pulled out of the water, but also more complicated things: coq au vin or bœuf bourguignon.
His music has a strong physical structure, is quasi carnal, resembles his person. It always has clear, sometimes hard contours, but there is always something soft in them. His pictures and texts are also clear, almost angularly structured, but have melodic lines.
He works standing up: dressed only in an undershirt and gym trousers. Painting, singing - extroverted. Or sitting, even lying: writing - words, notes (poetry, composing) - introverted. His art is earthly, no: earthy - grounded. When he sings, he throws off his shoes, acts "stockinged" - in stockings. He needs to keep his feet on the ground. And the sung leaves sail down to the earth.
He once said - at first I find it hard to understand - that his music is "two-dimensional". In fact, differences in volume hardly play a role. It is constantly present, plays quasi on one level. Another time he revoked that. And yet his music is always multi-layered: there are overpaintings. In the front there is a motivic structure, often over Beethoven's "fate motif", behind it, underneath it is something different, also fine or even desolate. - Dieter Schnebel