Resonant Dowland | Matthias Engelke

 

Resonant Dowland | Matthias Engelke
Gruen 197 | Audio CD > [order]
Reviews

 

Resonant Dowland represents an individual and contemporary interpretation of the songs of Renaissance composer John Dowland. His songs, flying in from the past, become completely subjective by their full integration into an electronically generated world of sound where they are absorbed structurally, gesturally and sonically. This digital recomposition and the aura of Dowland`s songs meld together in a surprising, gentle and respectful, even symbiotic way. The resounding fragments from a mysterious past find their echo in the acoustic chamber of our present world, which receives them into its own digitally-processed musical space without endangering their centuries-old magical essence. Resonant Dowland connects a creative musician of the Elizabethan age, on the threshold of discovering musical individuality, with his colleague who, separated by centuries, lives in an age of digital absorption of sound, in music whose unequal layers shine iridescently through each other. The central idea of this electronic renaissance could be represented by the image of the palimpsest, the res facta of the past, that has seen several lives.

 

Tracklist:

 

1 | Weep you no more, sad fountains
(The Third And Last Booke of Songs or Aires, 1603, no. 15)
2 | Interlude
3 | Sorrow, stay
(The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, 1600, no. 3) > MP3
4 | Flow my tears
(The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, 1600, no. 2) > MP3
5 | Come again: Sweet love doth now invite
(The First Booke of Songes and Ayres, 1597, no. 17)
6 | Go crystal tears
(The First Booke of Songes and Ayres, 1597, no. 9 )
7 | Fine knacks for ladies
(The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, 1600, no. 12)
8 | I must complain
(The Third And Last Booke of Songs or Aires, 1603, no. 17)
9 | White as lilies was her face
(The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, 1600, no. 15) > MP3
1 0 | The lowest trees have tops
(The Third And Last Booke of Songs or Aires, 1603, no. 19)
1 1 | Lady if you so spite me
(A Musicall Banquet, 1610, no. 9)
1 2 | In darkness let me dwell
(A Musicall Banquet, 1610, no. 10)

 

12 Tracks (78′59″)
CD (500 copies)

 

CD contains:
Foto series „Licht/Light“ by Gustav Franz / www.gustavfranz.de
Essay „Palimpsest“ in German and English by Christian Lemmerich

 

Sound Art Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2020 / Gruen 197 / LC 09488 / GEMA / EAN 195497263899

 


 

Reviews

 

Guillermo Escudero | Loop
This is a new release in the Sound Art Series on the German label Gruenrekorder. This is a work of German composer and sound artist, Matthias Engelke, who performs the songs of Renaissance composer John Dowland.
Engelke composes music for theater with analog electronic devices where music, sound, dance and movement interact.
Tenor singer hold the romantic Renaissance charm and brooding character of Dowland’s songs. As the electronic arrangements flow and weave a perfect symbiosis between two different worlds and different times. And here we can see how complementary they can be. For example, the rhythmic beats in “White as lilies was her face” perfectly match his playful nature. On „The lowest trees have tops“ the string arrangements give a ceremonial aura to a nostalgic song.
„Lady if you so spite me“ at times approaches the IDM genre with its emerging beats, while the singer coexists in a different space, as if he were in a parallel dimension.
This parallel and complementary dimension on paper is perhaps difficult to imagine, however the textures that occur between Renaissance song and current electronics allow for a surprising sound experience.
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Rigobert Dittmann | Bad Alchemy Magazin (109)
Ach, semper Dowland, semper dolens. MATTHIAS ENGELKE, manchen vielleicht bekannt als Hauskomponist der Choreographin Irina Pauls, vergegenwärtigt auf Resonant Dowland (Gruen 197 w/Booklet) den elisabethanischen Lautenisten und Songwriter John Dowland auf gleich mehreren Ebenen: Bildlich mit der Fotoserie ‚Licht/Light‘ von Gustav Franz, textlich mit dem Essay ‚Palimpsest‘ von Christian Lemmerich und den von Sadness, Sweetness, Darkness erfüllten Lyrics der einst in London oder für den King of Denmark angestimmten Songs, die, anders als ich sie etwa durch Deller Consort kenne, nun ‚for Tenor and Electronics‘ erklingen. Was immer tiefer in der Zeit versinkt und als Geschichte verkrustet, zoomt Engelke heran, ungeachtet dessen, dass von Love, Pleasure und Melancholia, wie sie die Lovers & Ladies um 1600 bewegten, nur der schöne Schall nachhallt, ob in ‚historisch informiertem‘ Retro als Countertenor-Kitzel, ob in der Aboutness Benjamin Brittens oder Stings. Das ist mit Gemeinplätzen wie ‚Liebe ist nur ein Wort‘ oder ‚Ich parshippe jetzt‘ doch schon alles durchgewunken. Das Stichwort ‚Palimpsest‘ lobt an Engelkes Resonanzen von ‚Weep you no more, sad fountains‘ über ‚Flow my tears‘ bis ‚In darkness let me dwell‘ die Courage des Überschreibens. Als Annäherung, die wie bei Ernst Jünger auf Berauschung abziehlt, mit Musik als deren Medium und Schlüssel, nicht in die Vergangenheit, doch jederzeit zu den sad fountains in uns. Der klassische Tenorgesang ist gebettet auf Keyboardklänge und auf Drones, zu elektroperkussiven Akzenten und gepixelten Beatketten. Bei ‚Go Crystal Tears‘ versucht ein Cello das Eis zu brechen, ‚White as lilies was her face‘ schwärmt groovy animiert, ‚Lady if you so spite me‘ fiebert Come kiss me sweet and kill me . Die heutige ‚Instrumentierung‘ und die anachronistische Manier, so zu singen, dass es sich aristokratisch oder mit Bürgerdünkel vom Volkston absetzt, das ergibt ne bizarre Paarung. Der ungenannte Sänger ist dennoch bemerkenswert, weil er weder knödelt noch mit Vibrato falsche Gefühle aufblustert. Dass Engelke die Stimme gelegentlich verdoppelt oder verhaspelt, befreit Dowland nicht so aus dem Gewohnten, wie etwa Bernhard Schütz Robert Schumanns Heine-Lieder oder Josef Bierbichler Schuberts ‚Winterreise‘ ins Volksvermögen zurückführen. Insofern, I must complain, yet do enjoy the songs. True hearts have eyes and ears… They hear, and see, and sigh, and then they break.
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