Gruenrekorder AudioArt Compilation 02


AudioArt Compilation 02 | Various Artists

Gruen 030 | Audio CD > [order]


01 Costa Gröhn

Zwergohreulen in der Vikos-Schlucht

Field recording, 29/08/2004, 21:10h, Vikos-Canyon/ Greece

© 2004 Hamburg/Germany



02 Martin Moritz

No Input Output

Excerpt from Live-Performance at Gruenrekorder Hoerkunstfestival #03 / 15/04/05, Gallus Theater

© 2005 Frankfurt am Main/Germany


03 Thomas M. Siefert

No I, Improvisation gong

© 05/2005, © 2005, Walluf am Rhein/Germany


04 Lasse-Marc Riek


Field recording 12/10/2004, 13:54h, Lübecker Bucht, Ostsee/Germany

© 2004, Frankfurt am Main/Germany


05 Suspicion Breeds Confidence

Ein Abenteuer ist zumeist nur eine verpaßte Mahlzeit

© 2004, T. Schmitt/T. Bucalic, Germany



06 Dirk HülsTrunk


Taken from blitzkrieg gemutlichkeit

© 2004, Frankfurt am Main/Germany


07 etzin


Improvisation electronic-fields

© 2005, Frankfurt am Main/Germany


08 gran où lée

bird cage blues

Taken from bow, A caged bird, deranged, threatened by the phantoms of his fear

© 2000, Daniel Knef, Koblenz/Germany


09 Dirk HülsTrunk

fall out

Taken from blitzkrieg gemutlichkeit

© 2004, Frankfurt am Main/Germany



10 Waldlust


Excerpt from Live-Performance at Galeria Happihone, Helsinki, 2004, Finland

© 2005, Schmitt/Riek, Frankfurt am Main/Germany


11 gran où lée


Based on the soundtrack of the short film inlay

© 2002, Daniel Knef/Koblenz


12 etzin

Voegel-Verteidigung der Nester

Field recording, 10/04/2005, 11h, Bad Bramstedt/Germany

© 2005 Frankfurt am Main


13 Ohrginal

Kombinationen 04

Taken from Kombinationen

© 2003-2004, Tier-Wolff, Hannover/Germany



14 Dirk HülsTrunk nie

live at Green Mill, Chicago 13/06/2004 ,Taken from blitzkrieg gemutlichkeit

© 2004, Frankfurt am Main/Germany


15 gran où lée

let it flow

© 2004, Daniel Knef/Koblenz



16 Costa Gröhn


Field recording, 08/07/2004, 15:00h, St.Pauli-Hamburg/Germany

© 2004 Hamburg/Germany


17 Thomas M. Siefert

No II, improvisation gong, 05/2005

© 2005, Walluf am Rhein/Germany


18 Riek/etzin

Canis lupus

Soundscape of field recordings of Eyla, Kahn, Scott-Cisco, at Wildpark Alte Fasanerie, Klein-Auheim/Hanau, Field recordings at 25 + 28/02/2005

© Frankfurt am Main/Germany


19 Ohrginal

Kombinationen 17

Taken from Kombinationen

© 2003-2004, Tier-Wolff, Hannover/Germany


19 Tracks (71’26“)
CD (500 copies)


Compiled by Gruenrekorder/Frankfurt am Main

Mastering: Tobias Schmitt/Lasse-Marc Riek

© By the artists of Gruenrekorder

© Text: Gabi Schaffner/Hamburg

© Photos/Artwork: Hartmut Wirks/Frankfurt am Main

Layout: E6

Thanks to: Dr. Marion Ebel (Collaborative work, Track 18) Ingar Alan Milnes (Translation support)

Gruenrekorder / Germany / 2005 / Gruen 030 / LC 09488


© Photos/Artwork: Hartmut Wirks/Frankfurt am Main


A Bird – a Ghost – a Machine

7 Descriptions of Gruenrekorder Music (Out of 81)


1) A bird in the ghost of a machine?


Gruenrekorder examines the possibilities of musical perception in the fields of sound, aesthetics and society. This compilation combines raw, uncut and cut field recordings with electronic, instrumental and material arrangements. Two modes of composition seem to oppose each other: Clippings from reality versus organized sound. What diffe-rence does it make?

Evidently it is man’s need for order that presupposes or seeks order in natural processes, which he or she perceives. Order and disorder (chaos) form a seemingly „natural“ dichotomy; still, upon closer scrutiny, one will find that, between the two, there exists less of a clear boundary than a variety of processes shifting in both directions. The same applies to the related concepts of music and noise. From the beginning of the 20th century on, modern composition focused upon the immanent qualities of sound material. In order to achieve a non-syntactic structure, many composers used the mathematical patterns of nature: fibonacci series, the golden section, fractals, serial permutation, transformation formulas, magic squares and aleatorics. The emergence of noise-music and environmental taping mirrored the need to reflect upon the increasing dissociation within Western civilization, and to operate with music, which suggests an anti-hierarchical organization of sound.


2) The machine of a ghost in a bird


The venture of hearing (to be „all ear“) turns out to be an adventurous and unpredictable one. Is this flagpole sequence looped? Fractal programming? Or is it „pure nature“?

Electronic music has ever since kept a fond memory of the „natural“ world. Countless mo-dern arrangements mimic the low frequency chirping of crickets. Bioacoustics, stellar and atmospheric noise feature prominently as settings for electronic compositions, either built-in or faked.

As a simple fact, no kind of musical composition can be exempted from nature, as the very principles of rhythm, pitch and phrasing are derived from man’s early environment: „It is not hard to imagine that, should birds have never existed, we would have no music beyond rhythm“. (1)

Soundscape composition encompasses diverse norms regarding musical fields: musique concrète, computer music, electroacoustics. Often, it consciously embeds and documents social reality.

Of the soundscapes presented here, some are „composed“, and others are perceived … maybe even conceived – by the composer and by the listener. One third of the tracks are live impro-visations/compositions.

The multifold works can be loosely split up into four modes: cut and uncut field recordings, electroacoustic soundscapes, sound poetry and sound performance.


3) The bird in the machine of a ghost


Irregular structure, unexpected pauses, wild combinations of source material and the frequent lack of final cadences make listening to field recordings an incalculable experience. More so, when the ambient sounds of the listener’s immediate environment mingle with those of the recording. This method of composition is often reproached of arbitrariness.

It has been argued about whether a simple, un-altered recording can be considered a soundscape composition. Nobody actually would ask this question in relation to contemporary photography. Field recordings are „audiographies“ of a given stretch in time and space. Composition, in this case, is defined by the choice of the artist, to extract (and replicate) this particular scene/event. By means of cutting and combi-ning, space and/or time can be additionally condensed and merged into one piece of art.

Often though, the recorded sequence is so cunningly intricate that the listener is misled into believing that this cannot be „pure“. The slightest impression of a regular beat, repetitive structures or melody – and the recording is considered cut, looped, pitched, etc. Some of the field tracks on this album are „pure“, others have been modified. The distinction is difficult, as the listener can easily put to test: tracks 01, 04, 12, 16 and 18. In field recording, no difference is made between rural and urban sound space.


4 The ghost of a bird in a machine


What if an electronic soundscape is shaped the same way we imagine a so-called natural environment… a meadow, set nearby a pine forest, a haystack with mice, an occasional bird? Who is playing the trick? The musician? The machine? The listener? Is it the idea of perfection mixed with irregularity and a finale that constitutes our concept of nature? The evolution of sound synthesis led music from mimesis to fake. Track 02 is based solely on the sound of electric circuits being opened or closed, serial feed backs and modulated effects.

The use of „proper“ instruments (guitar, bass, keyboard, drums) as source material does not prevent the ambient effect to slip into existence. This aural fake is often involuntarily produced: If the given piece presents unordered, archaic sounds, which cannot be conceived of as clear patterns, the listener feels drawn towards the world of imagery and situation. Vice versa, any seemingly rhythmic or melodic structure suggests something like dance or song fragments.


5 The machine of a bird in a ghost?


The rhythm of speech has ever since been em-bedded in musical thought. Language „like music“ is organized in phrases, accents, notes and cadences. Unsurprisingly, both are pro-cessed in the same brain region.

The use of human language as raw material for electroacoustic compositions challenges our immediate notion of sense and symbolism.

D. H. establishes an autonomous poetic concept by changing accent, pitch and length of spoken everyday words. His concept comprises a reorganization of „sense“ in a poetic way. Onomatopoeia plays an important role, as well as technical modes such as sampling and delay. In a Dadaist assemblage fashion, familiar words (and phrases) are looped, echoed, varied and remixed. Repetition, variation and redundancy are syntactic categories of both: machines and languages. Composition takes place somewhere between these systems, and occasionally it is hard to tell which came first.

The initial word/sound pattern of track 09, for example, existed for quite some time as a (sampling) output-composition and was only later transferred back into spoken language.


6 A ghost in the machine of a bird?


The physical properties of sound reverberate within our body and mind. Several types of vocals (chanting, choruses, war cries) and electronic music (drones, tone clusters) function only by means of specific pitching and reverberation. But apart from this, each object and each material in the world resonates with its own frequencies. Metal, stone and wood form a part of the semi-acoustic improvisations of tracks 03 and 17. Despite the occasional use of electronic equipment, the ceremonial-like performance focuses upon a complex pattern of sequenced musical actions, moves and gestures. An order is established in this act of live-improvisation, but it is unique, singular, non-compelling, variable.

One striking fact about audioscape perfor-mances is that, with few exceptions, the ritual gestures of speech and play have become minimized: they have „turned digital“ or have even become virtually invisible.


7 A bird in the machine of a ghost


Few attempts have been made to bridge the conceptual gap between the so-called musique concrète (i.e. plain field recordings) and soundscapes as electroacoustic, „aural“ compositions. The difference though, lies in the canon of musical perception. It is a matter of perspective and definition whether a given piece of „music“ is perceived as organized sound (E. Varese) or as environmental noise.

Listening to music does not mean 3 minute-emo-food-consumption. It is about paying attention and it is a participatory process. So, listening to music means listening to all noise, realizing that its appropriation and control is a reflection of social encoding. In the end, it is you who decides whether music is a territory divided up among various dogmas or an open source of inspiration. Be prepared.


Gabi Schaffner, 2005-06-17


(1) Bill Hammel in: An essay on patterns in musical composition transformations, mathematical groups, and the nature of musical substance.






01 vital weekly/frans de waard

More than the previous ‚Der Michel Und Der Dom‘ (see Vital Weekly 470), this new compilation serves as a mission statement of the label. The booklet has seven texts (out of 81) which describes what Gruenrekorder Music is all about, which field recordings, musical structures, nature but also sound poetry and listening. Which is what we get on this lengthy compilation.

Nineteen pieces of experimental music (Suspicion Breeds Confidence, Waldlust), field recordings (Costa Gröhn, Lasse-Marc Riek, Etzin), improvisation (by Gran Ou Lee, Thomas Siefert) and sound poetry (by Dirk Hüls Trunk). A pretty varied bunch of musical directions here, but it somehow makes sense all together. As a mission statement it works quite well, without any real high-flyers here.



02 de:bug/bleed

„Vage umschrieben würde ich jetzt mal sagen, diese CD ist so eine Art Ambient-Kreuzfahrt aufs Land. Die Tracks können auch schon mal – aber eher als Ausnahme – Melodien im klassischen Sinne haben, aber lieber untersuchen sie Geräusche von Dingen und wie sich daraus ein Klangraum basteln lässt, in dem man eine Stimmung – das ist das Schöne an dieser Platte – sehr präzise einfangen kann. Ziemlich kurze Tracks zumeist, die voller Effekte sind, aber immer auch etwas anderes in den Geräuschen durchblitzen lassen.



03 fieldmuzick/marcus obst

very fine compilation of the -gruenrecorder- label with pure field recordings, electronic processed sounds, voice experiments. I like Lasse Marc Riek’s track very much. He recorded the „pinging“ of the flagholder on a flagstaff.



04 Contributed by John Kealy

This compilation of German experimental music from the last five years is a nice sketch of what is going on outside of Berlin these days. The material covers field recordings, atmospheric electronics and bits of noise. The material also covers the good, the mediocre and the bad.

Gruenrekorder | Thankfully like in all good stories, the good prevails. The field recordings sound a little clichéd but etzin’s „Voegal- Verteidgung der Nester“ is a wonderful piece, four minutes inside of a murder of crows is exactly what does it for me as regards field recordings. On the other hand, the album’s opener „Zwergohreulen in der Vikos-Schlucht“ by Costa Groehn documenting insect life in Greece is a bit tedious. Groehn wins me back with „Baustelle“ later on: a far more interesting recording of percussive rhythms from what sounds like a canteen or a factory.

In more traditional music areas on AudioArt Compilation 02, Ohrginal are the highlight. Their „Kombinationen 04“ is the least experimental thing on the album: it is straightforward and simple with a drummer playing a lazy beat in front of mainly synth-produced rhythms and melodies. It is one of those musical nuggets that is worth keeping a compilation for. What is not worth keeping a compilation for is the work of Dirk HuelsTrunk and three tracks are given up to this man. „Forward“ and „Fall Out“ are two of the most boring things I’ve heard in a long time, both consist of chopped up vocals, whereas „Nie“ is just annoying. All of his work on AudioArt Compilation 02 sounds pretentious and amateurish. I’ve no problem with being pretentious once you have the material to back it up. HuelsTrunk does not have said material.

Apart from these tracks mentioned the rest of the CD is a mixture of noise and electronic music that vary in quality from pieces that provide good ambience in your chosen listening space to some pretty decent recordings. AudioArt Compilation 02 is a mixed bag, the majority of pieces will cry out for repeated playings and others I wish would apologise for wasting my valuable listening time. Such is the nature of compilations.



05 KindaMuzik | Vincent Romain

AudioArt Compilation 02 | Diverse Artiesten

Manipulatie van omgevingsgeluiden levert boeiende compilatie op.

CD, Gruenrekorder

tekst: Vincent Romain

Deze boeiende compilatie van het Duitse Gruenrekorder staat in het teken van field recordings, oftewel musique concrète. De artiesten trokken er dus op uit om omgevings- en natuurgeluiden (je herkent onder andere krekels, wolven en allerlei soorten vogels en insecten) vast te leggen, die dan daarna in de studio gearrangeerd, geremixt of op nog andersoortige manieren gemanipuleerd werden. Op die manier hopen ze meer te weten te komen over de relatie tussen maatschappij en geluidsesthetiek. Dat klinkt overdreven intellectueel en het concept is natuurlijk ook allesbehalve origineel. Het levert wel interessante muziek – of moet ik zeggen geluid? – op.

De bovengenoemde manipulatie kan alle kanten uitgaan. Er zijn artiesten die de omgevingsgeluiden haast volledig intact laten, anderen voegen schaarse elektronische ritmes toe, nog anderen laten een hele batterij effecten en machines op de geluiden los. Het resultaat is dan ook elke keer weer anders. Soms zijn het niet meer dan wat spookachtige drones, andere keren klinkt het als een occult ritueel. Op bepaalde momenten lijkt het ook gewoon alsof je in de buurt van een bewegend stuk metaal, hout of ander materiaal staat te luisteren. Niet alles is even pakkend, dat kan ook niet met negentien composities die allerlei richtingen uitgaan, maar deze compilatie toont nog maar eens aan hoe oneindig de mogelijkheden zijn als je de studio even laat voor wat hij is en je oor te luisteren legt in de buitenwereld zelf. Voor de nieuwsgierigen en andere geluidsfreaks onder ons zeker een aanrader.



06 GIAG | Merje Lõhmus (a.k.a. Mad Sister)

Most of this disc is experimental and often downright odd. The tracks that are good are really good, but some of this is just a minimalistic ambience, drifting somewhere inbetween camp humour and complete seriousness. The overall soundscaping is very lo-fi and analogue, the arrangements on the other hand are a bit too strange for my test, but professional stuff this is.



07 GIAG | Oleg Manson

?????? ??????????? ?????? ?????????????? ???????????, ???????????, ??????? (????? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ???????? ?????) ? ???????????????? ??????? (????????? ? 2000 ?? 2005 ???) ?? ????????, ???????? ?? Gruenrekorder – ???????? ????????, ?????????????????? ?? ????? ? ?????????? ?????????????. ?????? ??????????? ?????? ?????? ?? ??????????? – ? ??????? ?????, ? ???????, ????? ?. ?????? (Thomas M. Siefert) ?????? ??????? ????? ??????????? ??? ??????? ?????????????, ???? ??????? ??????????????? ???????????? ? ????. ?? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????: ????? ????? ???????? ???? ?????? – ??? ??? ??????????? ????????? (???, ???, ?????, ??? ????? ??????????????? ? ?? ???? ????? ?? ??? ???? ???????????? ? ????????????) ???? ???? ??????????? ????????? ??????, ???????????? ???????????? ? ???????????, ? ??? ??? ???????? ? ?????????. …? ??? ????? ???????? ? ?????????? – ??????????? ???? Ohrginal „Kombinationen 04“, ?????????? ???? ????? ?? ????????????? ? ???????????? ??????????, ? ??? ?? ?????????? ??????? „Kombinationen 07“, ??????????? ???????.

* ?????? ?????: ????-??? ? ????????????? ??????? „Let It Flow“ ?? Gran Ou Lee (???? ?????, ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ?? ???????) ? ?????????? ????? ??????, ?????????????? ???????? ? ??????????? ?????? „Canis Lupus“ ?? Riek/ Etzin.



08 auralpressure | RJS

Clearly inhabiting the more academic end of experimental music, this compilation is primarily concerned with music theories relating to field recordings. The liner notes contain a lengthy text showcasing a solid grounding in compositional theory, evidenced by the following quote: „Gruenrekorder examines the possibilities of musical perception in the fields of sound, aesthetics and society. This compilation combines raw uncut and cut field recordings with electronic, instrumental and material arrangements. Two modes of composition seem to oppose each other: clippings from reality verses organised sound. What difference does it make?“. The cover continues with a lengthy analysis of the overall theme, which taken holistically is as important and interesting as the music itself.

19 tracks spanning 70 minutes are presented on the CD, featuring 11 artists of whom none I am familiar with (the greater majority seem to be from Germany though). As with some academic sound experimentation releases, the end result is sometimes not entirely engaging, however this compilation suffers no such fate, maintaining focus and interest throughout. In giving a broad impression of this compilation, the subtleties of the various field recordings are evocative and taken in context of the albums ethos, part of the experience is attempting to decipher if the tracks are raw and uncut or have been tweaked in the studio. On the other hand, the remaining tracks are clearly the product of experimental composition and of these there are quite a number of gems for the discovery (hint: the tracks from Martin Moritz, Suspicion Breeds Confidence and Ohrginal get my vote!).

Without simply listing all contributing artists (you can always point your browser in the direction of the label’s site if your sufficiently intrigued!), this is solidly grounded compilation that commendably merges experimental theory with overall focus & of greatest importance – listenability.



09 e/i magazine/Marc Weidenbaum

Gruenrekorder is, simply put, one of the foremost record labels today in the realm of using field recordings as a source of musical composition. Based out of Frankfurt, Germany, the label has quietly pressed almost three dozen albums constructed from bats sounds to dog barks to aural snapshots of the Scottish landscape, not to mention discs of sound poetry and noisy electronica. […]

AudioArt ranges in its sources from detuned piano echoed until it’s all-encompassing, to birdsong that would be unrecognizable in the forests whence it came, to brief spoken phrases broken and reconstructed with Lewis Carroll’s brand of playful malevolence. Thomas M. Siefert’s gong experiments find an undulating peacefulness, while Gran Ou Lee is more concerned with beats and fissures. The sound poems are particularly minimalistic. „Fall Out“, by Dirk HuelsTrunk, takes simple sentences and clauses involving falling (both „down“ and „in love“) and chops ‚em into a cut’n’paste that suggests the rigor of early experiments with audio tape and razors. (A live HuelsTrunk recording, three minutes built from just two words, shows that he doesn’t need much technology to achieve his ends.) The album also features insightful liner notes by Gabi Schaffner, who makes a fine tour guide.



10 Quietnoise | Tobias Bolt

[…] Solche oder ähnliche Fragen zur Wahrnehmung von Klang stellt sie selber im Booklet zur zweiten Compilation, die hier vorgestellt werden soll. »AudioArt Compilation 02« ist dabei aber eher ein Labelsampler im klassischen Sinn und deckt daher ein breiteres Spektrum ab, das sich über elektroakustische Komposition, Sound Poetry, Ambient, Improvisation und, natürlich unvermeidlich, Field Recordings erstreckt. Das Album ist insgesamt abwechslungsreich und gut zusammengestellt, ein Track jedoch, nämlich »Fahnenstange« von Lasse-Marc Riek, sticht besonders heraus, weil hier alles uneindeutig ist. Dabei ist es vordergründig nur eine Aufnahme einer im Wind flackernden Fahnenstange, aus der jedoch fast schon freejazzige Rhythmen zu entspringen scheinen. Nun kann man sich fragen, ob hier die Natur (der Wind) musiziert beziehungsweise improvisiert und ob der Rhythmus immanent oder eine Projektion des Hörers ist. Oder ob unbearbeitete Field Recordings eigentlich Musik sind. Releases auf Gruenrekorder helfen jedenfalls. Nicht unbedingt beim Beantworten – aber sicher beim Stellen solcher Fragen. Hört selbst.



11 EAR/Rational | Don Poe

It’s in German, so I don’t know what these field recordings are. But, damn, if I don’t dig on track 4! I bet it is a metal tie-wire to a flag or a boat blowing in the wind. Let’s translate the title and see how I did…. Fahnenstange means…. FLAGPOLE! I rock! Other songs are art constructions of sounds, built up of various neat sounding things to form a more complete ’song.‘ Overall, I would say there are more ‚mechanical‘ or aggressive sounding things here than buzzing bees. And, don’t forget the sound poetry!