Berlin Bülbül | David Rothenberg & Korhan Erel


Berlin Bülbül | David Rothenberg & Korhan Erel
Gruen 159 | Audio CD > [Sold Out]


There are three distinct ways nightingales sing and countersing to each other, beginning late at night and ending by dawn in the first weeks of spring. Most males are ‘inserters,’ meaning that they wait about one second after a neighbor’s song finishes before starting their own. Songs alternate between one bird and another. Then there are ‘overlappers,’ who start their song about one second after their neighbor begins, as if to cover up or jam the neighbor’s signal. It may be some kind of threat or a mask of the first song, cutting into his air time. Then there are ‘autonomous singers,’ who sing and sing according to their own schedule, paying no heed to what any nearby nightingales are doing. Sounds like a good analysis of the three kinds of jazz musicians one might run into on the stage: the one who give you space and trades choruses, another who tries to interrupt everything you do, and finally the boss who cares about no one’s licks but his own.


Berlin is probably the best city in Europe to make music live with nightingales, because of its spacious parks and the large number of enthusiastically singing birds. Strangely enough, nighttime nightingale jamming doesn’t seems to be as popular an activity as one might expect, but we have shown that it does actually work. Almost everything one plays to a nightingale will encourage him to sing more.


Berlin biologist Silke Kipper is worried by the occasional penchant of the male nightingale to sing a strange buzz in the midst of his clarion whistles, clicks, and ratchets. She admits she finds this buzz sound unpleasant, and says that does not matter because the female nightingales find it especially pleasant. This sound already has something particularly cool that the nightingales would sing only occasionally, like an ornament, grace note, or more honestly a blue note, that cool in-between unclassifiable sound human music is known to offer up in many forms. When a female hears the buzz, she knows that this male singer is strong, solid, and a good choice with whom to mate. It gets her excited. She just might fly right into the midst of the nettles to find him…


What is it like to play along with a nightingale? It becomes a direct window into the unknown, a touch of communication with a being with whom we cannot speak. The play of pure tones jarring against click and buzz, it all becomes not a code but a groove, an amphitheater of rhythms in which we strive to find a place. Even when we are back in the studio the possibility of contacting the musical mind of the nightingale still influences us. What is special about this moment is that the birds are leaving space for each other, they are in that back and forth, territory-defining state, and thus they welcome me perhaps more than usual. Occasional human cries in the distance, that’s right, everyone can find their place, all are welcome…. Finally one screech—is it someone blowing against a blade of grass?—will that silence our bird? No, absolutely not, nothing will. For he is born to sing.



Track list:


01 – The Night the War Ends (9:03)
live from Treptower Park at midnight, May 9, 2014

02 – A Long Note’s Invisible Beam (3:10)

03 – Unearthly Untaught Strain (3:51)
04 – Treptower Monument (3:46)
live from Treptower Park 1am, May 1, 2014
Monika Dorniak, whistling

05 – Omnibus (4:11)

06 – Nachtigall Imbiss (4:30)

07 – Her Pipe in Growth of Riper Days (3:13)
08 – Dark with Birds and Frogs (6:01)
live from Treptower Park at midnight, May 9, 2014
09 –  From That Moonlit Cedar What a Burst (3:34)

10 – No Two Sound Alike (2:30)

11 – Hasenheide Night Circus (4:11)
live from Hasenheide Park at midnight, April 15, 2014

12 – Interfused Upon the Silentness (1:58)


12 Tracks (49′54″)
CD (1000 copies)



David Rothenberg, bass clarinet, clarinet, effects
Korhan Erel, Samplr on iPad, Omnibus
nightingales live in the parks of Berlin


Recorded at live on location and at Draakonipuu, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Spring 2014
Produced by David Rothenberg


Special thanks to Chaos Chen and Xinglang Guo of Wie:Kultur for helping to make this project possible. To Dietmar Todt, Silke Kipper, Ofer Tchernichovski, Marc Naguib and Christine Roeske for sharing the science. And to all who joined us for our midnight concert in Treptower Park last May 9th, the night the end of the War is celebrated.


Artwork and design by Bernhard Wöstheinrich,


All titles published by Mysterious Mountain Music (BMI)
Many title names adapted from lines in Edward Hirsch, ed. To a Nightingale: Poems from Sappho to Borges (George Braziller, 2007)
© & ℗ 2015 Terra Nova Music | University Heights | Newark, NJ 07102 | USA | TN 1511


Sound Art Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2015 / Gruen 159 / LC 09488 / BMI / EAN 4050486928066





Whilst listening to David Rothenberg and Korhan Erel’s ‘Berlin Bülbül’, roughly translated as ‘Berlin Nightingale’, its hard not to smile. This comes from the intricate interplay of the playing. Rothenberg’s runs are graceful but belie the complexity that lies beneath. Erel’s electronics fill some of the gaps left by the sonorous clarinet. Instead of trying to fill all the space with dense sound, here they let each other have room to breath and work. The results are striking, whilst being enjoyable. Then there is the sound of birds, peppering each track. As they cheap, and flutter about, it gives the sounds a sense of rhythm they would not have had. And it is this rhythm that is fundamental to the album’s charm.


Opening track ‘The Night the War Ends’ is a nine-minute monster. After a call and response between the birds and clarinet, the album begins in earnest. Rothenberg’s playing is underpinned by Erel’s subtle electronics. Instead of coming in all guns blazing, he wraps Rothenberg in a swaddle of synths. At first you do not notice what he is doing, as your attention is drawn to the clarinet and birds, but he is there. However, when you do start to notice his work you cannot unnotice it. ‘Omnibus’ is the wonkiest of the tracks on ‘Berlin Bülbül’. Here Erel steps from out of the shadows and let us rip in places and glitches out. The juxtaposition of deep, warming clarinet tone and the stark static electronic sounds works wonderfully. In fact, it works slightly too well, as you are left wanting a bit more throughout.


Ultimately ‘Berlin Bülbül’ is a comforting album. The music is soothing, while the samples of birdsongs grounds everything in the real world. We have all been distracted out of our daily lives by the sound of birds. Sometimes for the better, others for the worse. The album is reminiscent of Evan Parker’s 2004 classic ‘Evan Parker with Birds’. Like ‘Berlin Bülbül’ his playing was backed by birdsong, but Rothenberg and Erel have a slight edge, as what Erel does with Rothenberg’s clarinet. He takes the wafting melodies and grounds them in real life. While an album of Rothernberg honking and hooting is great, the inclusion of Erel’s bird sounds soundscapes really lifts these solos. Here they rise and fall gracefully, while gentle maelstroms buffett around them.


This is an album that you can truly get lost in. It is an album that with each listen revels more and more of its secrets. But most importantly it is an album that is incredibly fun that manages to take you out of the mundanity of life with every listen.


Rothenberg we have met earlier on Gruenrekorder releases, like ‘Bug music‘(2013) and ‘Cicada Dream Band’ (2014), that he recorded with Pauline Oliveros and Tomithy Hill. From that you may remember that this composer takes inspiration from nature. It is here that Rothenberg likes to find his fellow musicians. For instance he composed several works that depart from sounds produced by insects. But let us not forget that he also played with Marilyn Crispell, Jan Bang, Scanner, Glen Velez, Peter Gabriel, a.o. and has twelve cds out under his own name. On his new recording he collaborates with Berlin-based Turkish electronic musician Korhan Erel. Computer musician, improviser, sound designer Erel was one of the pioneers of the free improvisation scene in Turkey. He works in very different contexts (dance, video, installations, theatre, etc.). On ‘Berlin Bülbül’ Rothenberg and Erel report from their midnight sessions with singing nightingales. Rothenberg plays clarinet and bass clarinet plus effects. Erel uses samplers. Everything we hear is recorded live in a park in Berlin. Rothenberg and Erel interact with nightingales. “What is it like to play along with a nightingale? It becomes a direct window into the unknown, a touch of communication with a being with whom we cannot speak. The play of pure tones jarring against click and buzz, it all becomes not a code but a groove, an amphitheatre of rhythms in which we strive to find a place”. Of course there are also some other environmental sounds in the background, like a siren of an ambulance for example. It is difficult to determine from the recording whether the nightingale’s are stimulated in whatever way by the playing by Rothenberg and Erel. Both gentlemen however are, which makes this an interesting and pleasant experiment.


Guillermo Escudero | Loop
This is a collaboration between the German musician, composer, author and philosopher-naturalist David Rothenberg on bass clarinet, clarinet and effects and computer musician, improviser, sound designer Turkish Korhan Erel based in Berlin on computer, iPad and live sampling.
‚Berlin Bülbül‘ (which means nightingale in Turkish) is a living recording on location and at Draakonipuu, Kreuzberg, Berlin (an important heritage area of the city with several parks and museums).
According to the liner notes about nightingale behaviour there are “three ways by which they sing and countersing to each other, starting late at night and lasting until dawn during the early weeks of spring. The male is typically an ‘inserter,’ which means he waits a moment after another’s song ends before starting his own, and thus a resultant song is formed from their alternations. There is also, however, the ‘overlapper,’ whose singing begins about one second after another’s, and the ‘autonomous singer,’ who blithely sings according to his own schedule, indifferent to whatever else is happening nearby”.
The prolific interaction between the sinuous Rothenberg clarinet sounds and sound explorations with electronic abstractaciones Erel, maintains an ongoing rich in nuance dialogue between music and nature.


[…] A woodwinds-based duo recording of radically different character from Komplex is Berlin Bülbül (nightingale in Turkish), which features clarinetest David Rothenberg working with Korhan Erel, who’s credited with computer, iPad, and live sampling on the fifty-minute CD. Ostensibly a follow-up to Rothenberg’s 2013 Bug Music release, Berlin Bülbül finds the musician shifting the focus from insects to nightingales. The two are a natural fit: Rothenberg is an intrepid musician who regards non-human creatures as sparring partners; for his part, Erel, a Turkish electronic musician now residing in Berlin, enjoys sampling birds in their natural habitat. Many pieces on the twelve-track collaboration are live recordings of human-nightingale encounters at various Berlin parks, while the others are constructed tracks fusing clarinets and electronics.


The liner notes prove enlightening for the listener new to the nightingale’s song. There are, it appears, three ways by which they sing and countersing to each other, starting late at night and lasting until dawn during the early weeks of spring. The male is typically an ‘inserter,‘ which means he waits a moment after another’s song ends before starting his own, and thus a resultant song is formed from their alternations. There is also, however, the ‘overlapper,‘ whose singing begins about one second after another’s, and the ‘autonomous singer,‘ who blithely sings according to his own schedule, indifferent to whatever else is happening nearby.


Rather than retreating into silence at the sound of Rothenberg’s clarinet playing, the nightingales seem emboldened by its presence and respond to it enthusiastically, and the interactions between them can prove fascinating to witness. During “The Night the War Ends,” a live ‘duet‘ recorded at midnight in Treptower Park, Rothenberg alternates between repeating a nightingale’s chirp and serenading his feathered friends with bluesy runs, with all of it developing against a background of electronic thrum, live sampling, and audible traffic sounds and sirens. Another creature even gets in on the act during “Dark with Birds and Frogs,” also laid down at midnight in Treptower Park.


In a non-live piece such as “A Long Note’s Invisible Beam,” on the other hand, the clarinetest continues his blues-soaked musings but this time against a backdrop of insectoid whirr and click generated by Erel. But as generally interesting as the non-live settings are, there’s a side of me that would have liked to hear Rothenberg interacting with another musician, perhaps a saxophonist or violinist, in addition to Erel, a move that might have made for a more rewarding result, especially when the abstract textures created by Erel grow less interesting as the album advances. As splendid as Rothenberg’s playing is in both contexts, it’s ultimately the live pieces that are Berlin Bülbül’s primary drawing card and selling point.


Łukasz Komła |
Jak to jest grać razem ze słowikami?


Wiosenne miesiące (kwiecień-maj) to doskonały moment na rozpoczęcie obserwacji słowików przylatujących z Afryki. Możemy je spotkać w prawie całej Europie i nie tylko. Co ważne, śpiew tego ptaka jest niezwykle donośny, urozmaicony oraz posiada dużą skalę tonów. Dwóch wyśmienitych twórców postanowiło wejść z nimi w muzyczny dialog. Korhan Erel to turecki artysta dźwiękowy, improwizator i konstruktor, który obecnie mieszka w Berlinie. W swoich pracach korzysta zarówno z elektroniki cyfrowej, jak i analogowej. Jest członkiem-założycielem Islak Köpek – grupy tworzącej w duchu wolnej improwizacji. Uważa się, że ten zespół w znacznym stopniu przyczynił się do rozwoju sceny improwizowanej w Turcji. Korhan kreuje systemy/instrumenty komputerowe nazywane przez siebie Omnibus. W trakcie komponowania używa konkretnych dźwięków (sampli, nagrań terenowych), a następnie je przekształca i przetwarza w czasie rzeczywistym.


Z kolei David Rothenberg to amerykański klarnecista, kompozytor, profesor filozofii, absolwent Harvardu, a także wykładowca na New Jersey Institute of Technology. Na koncie mam sporo płyt solowych, w tym album „Na Cliffs of the Heart” uznany przez magazyn „Jazziz” za jedną z dziesięciu najlepszych płyt roku 1995. Jest autorem wielu interesujących książek [np. „Why Birds Sing” (2005), „Thousand Mile Song” (2008)] i filmów dokumentalnych, w których opisuje i bada muzykę przez pryzmat świata zwierząt. W ubiegłym roku ukazało się znakomite wydawnictwo „Cicada Dream Band” (recenzja, Gruenrekorder) tria Pauline Oliveros/David Rothenberg/Timothy Hill, gdzie mieliśmy improwizowane nagrania w otoczeniu odgłosów cykad, świerszczy, humbaków, żab czy ptaków.


Za sprawą tegorocznego krążka „Berlin Bülbül” przenosimy się do świata naznaczonego rozkosznym śpiewem słowików. Rothenberg (klarnet basowy, elektronika) i Korhan (sampler, iPad, Omnibus) eksplorują miejskie parki Berlina w poszukiwaniu odgłosów tych ptaków, po czym nawiązują z nimi interaktywne porozumienie (szczególnie wyróżniają się świetne partie klarnetu). Berliński biolog Silke Kipper od lat zgłębia dźwiękowy aspekt śpiewu słowika i towarzyszące temu różne zawiłości, polegające na odmiennych tonacjach, jakie wydają z siebie samiec lub samica w różnych okresach swego życia. Autorzy „Berlin Bülbül” oczywiście skorzystali z wiedzy niemieckiego naukowca, aby jeszcze głębiej dotknąć tematu.


Soundartowe zabiegi duetu zostały zaprezentowane w bardzo kreatywny sposób. Niekiedy czysty śpiew ptaków staje się równoprawnym partnerem do wspólnej improwizacji, a innym razem zostaje poddany dodatkowej obróbce, dzięki czemu uzyskane „deformacje” nabrały jeszcze szerszego kontekstu i wymiaru. Elektroniczna tkanka wytworzona przez Korhana na pewno nie przeszkadza i nie stara się dominować, lecz doskonale uzupełnia całość.


Na „Berlin Bülbül” noise’owo-glitchowy kalejdoskop uzyskany przez Korhana w fascynujący sposób zazębia się z improwizującym klarnetem Rothenberga i wyrazistym śpiewem słowika. Teraz pozostaje tylko wyjść do parku (polecam świt albo późny wieczór) i nawiązać własną nić porozumienia z tymi ptakami, ale mając w słuchawkach nagrania z „Berlin Bülbül”.


Sesi ‘bülbül gibi’ sanatçıların albümüne alışığız da bizzat bülbülün enstrümanlara eşlik ettiği bir albüm yabancı bize. Fakat bu kez sahne bülbüllerin. David Rothenberg ve Korhan Erel, Berlin’de bir parkta gece boyunca bülbüllerle müzik yaptı. Ortaya ‘Berlin Bülbül’ adlı albüm çıktı.


Birbirini daha önce hiç görmemiş, biri Amerika’da biri Berlin’de yaşayan iki müzisyeni bir araya getiren nedir? Yaptıkları sıra dışı işler olabilir mi? Çok muhtemel. Geleneksel ve kalıplaşmış formların dışına çıkarak müzik yapan David Rothenberg ile Korhan Erel’e olan da tam olarak bu. Rothenberg, bir klarnet sanatçısı ve klarneti eline aldığında ona eşlik eden kuşlar, böcekler hatta balinalar… Korhan Erel ise Almanya’da yaşayan bir bilgisayar müzisyeni. Onun da enstrümanı gitar, piyano, keman filan değil, bilgisayar ve aklınıza gelebilecek her türlü doğal ve doğal olmayan sesler… Rothenberg, Berlin’de olduğu bir sırada Korhan Erel’in de sahnede olduğu bir konsere denk gelir. Kendisi gibi sıra dışı işler yapan bu adamla tanışmak ister ve birkaç ay sonra Berlin’de gerçekleştireceği bir konserine davet eder. Bu konserde ilk defa birlikte çalarlar, ardından da Treptower Parkı’nda ikinci bir konser verirler. Bu kez onlara eşlik eden birileri daha vardır. Bülbüllerin ta kendisi… Epeyce dinleyicileri vardır gece bülbüllerle canlı yapılan bu konserin. Bülbüller gece öttüklerinden günün ilk ışıklarına kadar sürer konser. 9 Mayıs 2014’te gerçekleşen konserde ve sonrasında kaydedilen özgür doğaçlama kayıtlarından oluşan ‘Berlin Bülbül’ adıyla bir albüm hazırlar Rothenberg ve Erel. Albümlerinin ilk lansman konseri geçtiğimiz hafta Borusan Müzik Evi’nde gerçekleşen iki sanatçıyla İstanbul’dayken görüşme imkânı bulduk.


‘Hayvanlarla müzik serüvenim beni bülbüle ulaştırdı’
Rothenberg’e ilk sorumuz ‘Hayvanlarla müzik yapılabileceğini nasıl keşfettiniz?’ oluyor. Rothenberg, söze hayvanların ‘bizim şu anda müzik diye adlandırdığımız şeyi’ insanlardan çok çok daha önce yapan canlılar olduğunu ve onların dünyasında şarkı söylemenin diğer bütün dillerden fazla olduğunu anlatarak başlıyor. Aynı zamanda felsefe profesörü olan Rothenberg, 15 yıl önce hayvanlarla müzik yapan kişileri araştırarak bir kitap yazmış. Rothenberg’in bu kitabını okuyan Michael Pestel adlı bir başka müzisyen kendisine Pittsburg’daki Ulusal Kuş Parkı’na gitmesini önermiş. Parkta klarnetiyle çalarken bazı kuşlar hiç aldırış etmezken bazıları dikkat kesilmiş. “O parkta gülen ardıç kuşu, özellikle klarnete eşlik edince fark ettim ki diğer canlılarla iletişim kurmak için müziği kullanabilirsiniz. Ve birlikte hiçbir canlının tek başına yapamayacağı türde bir müzik yapabiliriz. Bu beni bir yola soktu ve eninde sonunda bülbüle ulaştım.” diyen Rothenberg, nedenini ise şöyle açıklıyor: “Bülbül, Amerika’da gerçek bir hayvan olmaktan çok efsanevi bir canlı. Çünkü yok. Biz bülbülü hep Avrupa edebiyatından öğreniyoruz. Böyle sesi flüte benzer bir hayvan zannediyoruz, halbuki gerçekte elektronik müziğe benziyor. Bülbül sesini hiç bilmeyen insanlar daha çok şiirleri, fablları okuduğunda onlara bülbüller sizce nasıl ötüyor, diye sorduğunuzda, çıkarttıkları seslerle bülbülünkü arasında alaka bile olmadığı cevabını verdikleri anlaşılıyor.”


Rothenberg’de durum bu. Peki Korhan Erel’in daha önce hayvanlarla müzik yapma deneyimi var mı? Erel, akla gelebilecek her sesi kullandığından bunun içinde kuşlar da varmış tabii. “Benim uzun yıllar kullandığım bir enstrümanım vardı. Evin camına konan kuştan kayıt aldığım seslerden oluşuyordu.” diye anlatınca merak edip, “Enstrüman derken?” diye soruyoruz “Bilgisayarda enstrümanlar tasarlıyorum. Çeşitli kumandalarla çalıyorum ve o enstrümanlarda da genellikle yaptığım kayıtları kullanıyorum. Evde, doğada yaptığım kayıtlar. Veya bir yerde bir ses buluyorum ve o sesi alıp bir enstrümana çeviriyorum.” diyerek açıklıyor yaptığı işi. Bir de hâlâ kullandığı bir enstrümanı var ki gerçekten çok ilginç. Köpeğin yemek yerken çıkarttığı ağız şapırdatma sesi… 4 yaşında piyano dersleri almasına, konservatuara gitmesine ve birçok aleti çalmaya denemesine rağmen müzikte geleneksel kalıplara karşı çıkarak bilgisayar müzisyenliğine yönelen biri için çok da şaşırtıcı şeyler değil anlattıkları.


Sifonun dolma sesinden parçalar yaptı
Korhan Erel’e bu zamana kadar enstrüman olarak kullandığı en sıra dışı sesi soruyoruz. Gittiği bir kafede bozuk olan sifonun dolma sesinden bahsediyor: “Fark ettiğimde hemen kayıt cihazımı aldım ve tuvalete kapanıp 15 dakika sesi kaydettim. Daha sonra birçok parçada o sesi kullandım. Söylemezsem kimse anlamıyor sifon sesi olduğunu. Flüt, saksafon hatta kapı gıcırtısı sesi olduğunu zannedenler var.”


Rothenberg, “Dünyadaki bütün diller kuşların şarkı söylemesinden bahseder. Ama biz bilmeyiz şarkı mı söylüyor yoksa konuşuyor mu?” deyince bu konuda onun fikrinin ne olduğunu soruyoruz. Farklı zamanlarda ikisini de yaptıklarını söylüyor: “Kuşlarınki gerçekten müzik. Çünkü belli bir mantığa sahip. Bülbülün şarkısının büyüleyici olmasının sebebi ciddi müzikal cümleler içeriyor olması. Bu cümlelerin giriş, gelişme, duygusal birikim ve boşalma gibi tıpkı müzikteki benzer yapılara sahip olması çok büyüleyici.” Seslerini iletişim için de kullandıkları olduğunu söyleyen Rothenberg, “Küçük bir kuş diğerlerini uyarmak için yukarıdan geçen şahinin sesini çıkarır, bu konuşmadır. Ama şarkıda böyle bir amaç yok. Erkek kuşlar dişi kuşların ilgisini çekmek için şarkı söyler mesela. Bazı kuşlar bunu iki-üç notayla yaparken bülbül uzun seslerle yapıyor.


Kambur balinalar 24 saat aralıksız şarkı söylüyor
Rothenberg’e birlikte müzik yapmaya en müsait hayvanın hangisi olduğunu soruyoruz. Güneydoğu Asya kökenli bir tür olan ‘gülen ardıç kuşu’ndan bahsediyor. İsminden de belli zaten, gülme sesine çok yakın bir ses çıkardığı için bu ismi almış. Bir de kambur balinalar var. Üç hafta önce Dominik Cumhuriyeti’nde onlarla müzik yapmış. 24 saatten uzun bir süre boyunca hiç aralıksız şarkı söyleyebiliyormuş kambur balinalar. Dominik Cumhuriyeti’ndeki son deneyimi ise işitme engelli çocuklarla olmuş. Kambur balinaların müziğinin notaya dökülebilen bir müzik olduğunu söyleyen Rothenberg, “Sağır çocuklar elini alıp balinanın gırtlağına koyduğunda o sesi hissedip kendileri de şarkı söyledi. Şarkı söyletmek, onları konuşturmaktan daha kolay.” diyor.


Holger Adam | testcard #25: Kritik
Draussen vor der Tür: Field-Recordings und Sound-Art von Gruenrekorder
In der letzten Gruenrekorder-Kolumne war ja bereits die Rede davon, dass man ziemlich herum kommt mit den Ohren, wenn man sich mit den CDs des Labels beschäftigt, und das war natürlich ausschließlich positiv gemeint. Die Aufnahmen, die Gruenrekorder veröffentlicht, werden ansprechend präsentiert und sind ein Abenteuer für die Ohren. So auch dieses Mal.


RODOLPHE ALEXIS entführt mit The Glittering Thing On The Mountain erneut auf ferne tropische Inseln, wo Vögel wie Synthesizer klingen und mitunter auch bühnentaugliche
Namen wie Ruddy Kingfisher tragen! Es zirpt Tag und Nacht, und noch viele andere Geräusche dringen aus dem Urwald ans Ohr. Wie immer atemberaubend, spannend und entspannend. Noch relaxter geht es bei HAFIS BJARNADÓTTIR zu, deren Sounds Of Iceland überraschend reduziert rüberkommen. Es plätschert, taut, blubbert, rauscht und kocht – je nachdem ob das Mikrophon vor Bäche, Gletscher, heiße Quellen, Wasserfälle oder Lavaströme gehalten wurde. Wasser, Gezeiten, Naturgewalten und gigantische Naturschauspiele, die überraschend intime Sounds generieren. Trotzdem wird es beizeiten recht kalt oder heiß gewesen sein, wobei es sich in angemessener Funktionskleidung sicher neben dem Mikrophon hat aushalten lassen. Die Aufnahmen selbst machen wenig frösteln, im Gegenteil, sie wärmen eher – auch wenn einem der Wind um die Ohren bzw. aus den Kopfhörern pfeift. Großes Kopfkino liefert auch, man mag es nicht meinen, der Rhein. Es muss nicht immer Island sein, Karlsruhe hat es auch in sich. Das Duo RHEIN _ STROM bestehend aus Lasse-Marc Riek (Aufnahmen) und Thomas M. Siefert (Location Scout), dokumentiert den Klang des Rheines und seiner nahen Umgebung Von der Rheinquelle bis Hafen Karlsruhe auf der ebenso benannten CD. Das sind ein paar Hundert Kilometer, festgehalten in 21 Ausschnitten. Und – im Unterschied zur zivilisationsfernen Wildnis einer tropischen Insel oder der relativen Unberührtheit Islands – um den Rhein herum menschelt es, Flugzeuge überfliegen den Fluss und Schiffe befahren ihn, Autos und Züge begleiten ihn. Auch das hört man. Und so stellt das Booklet zur CD die Frage: »Wie können wir als heutige Menschen zu diesem Fluss in Beziehung treten, ohne in der Begegnung mit seiner an manchen Stellen erhaltenen Schönheit wieder einem Romantizismus zu verfallen bzw. im Konfrontiertsein mit den irreparablen Eingriffen sich frustriert und desillusioniert abzuwenden?« Eine Audio-Aufnahme des Flusses und seiner nicht nur natürlichen Geräuschkulisse mag da einen weniger voreingenommenen Zugang gewähren. Der Rhein als Fluss und von Mensch und Maschine geformte und genutzte Ressource klingt hier und da wie eine elektro-akustische Komposition (im Hafen Karlsruhe etwa, wenn sich unter Wasser aufgenommene Schifffahrtsgeräusche in der Aufnahme wiederfinden). Das klingt alles recht spannend und wirft anregende mithin schwerwiegende Fragen auf, die nach Umweltschutz beispielsweise. Eine ökologische Frage, auch für die Ohren. Was muss man nicht alles hören, tagein tagaus! Und was will man nicht hören bzw. was hört man überhaupt, wenn es zirpt und raschelt? So harmlos geht es nicht zu, so unberührt ist die Natur nicht. Wie (drohende) Umweltverschmutzung als Field-Recording klingt, diese Erfahrung kann man sich am Beispiel von MIKEL R. NIETO und seinem Dark Sound eindrücklich vor Augen bzw. Ohren führen. Die Aufnahmen kommen zusammen mit einem pechschwarzen Buch und dokumentieren Naturaufnahmen aus dem Yasuni-Nationalpark in Equador, dessen indigene Bevölkerung und tierischer Artenreichtum durch Bohrungen nach einem Ölvorkommen tief unter dem Naturschutzgebiet nicht mehr nur bedroht ist – die Zerstörung und Vertreibung ist bereits in vollem Gange. So stellt sich beim Zuhören die Frage, ob der Tropenregen schon auf aufgewühlte Erde fällt, die von Rohöl verschmutzt ist, und es knattern auch die Fördermaschinen auf der CD, die dem schwarzen Buch beigelegt ist. Man könnte fragen, ob nicht mit dem schwarzen Buch (schwarzer Druck auf schwarzem Papier) der pädagogische Holzhammer herausgeholt wurde – andererseits entspricht das schwarze, beinahe unlesbare Buch in seinem Aussehen den ölverklebten Vögeln und Meerestieren, deren Bilder in Europa noch am ehesten mit Ölkatastrophen assoziiert werden, und insofern ist die Aufmachung genau passend. Dark Sound zeigt eindrücklich die politische und unbequeme Seite dessen, was Field-Recordings auch sein können. Ähnlich unheimlich auch die Aufnahmen von CHRISTINA KUBISCH / ECKEHARD GÜTHER , die auf Unter Grund Grubenwasser zu Gehör bringen, das sich in stillgelegten Untertagebauschächten sammelt und dort abgepumpt und umgeleitet werden muss, damit es das Trinkwasser in der Region nicht verunreinigt und den Grundwasserspiegel nicht derart anhebt, dass sich das Ruhrgebiet mit der Zeit in »eine riesige Sumpflandschaft« (so ein Zitat aus dem Beiheft zur CD) verwandelt. Langzeitfolgen des Kohlebergbaus, gruselig, hier nachzuhören. Verlassen wir diesen Horror und wenden uns noch kurz der Field-Recording basierten Klangkunst und Musik zu. KG AUGENSTERN sind per Kanalschifffahrt von Berlin bis Maguelone am Mittelmeer gelangt. Das scheint zu gehen und sie haben auf Tentacles ein Klangexperiment festgehalten, das sich wie folgt erklären lässt: Lange Stangen auf dem Kahn kitzelten bei jeder Durchfahrt unter einer Brücke deren Eisenkonstruktion und der dabei entstehende jeweils spezifische Sound wurde festgehalten und im Rahmen von Klanginstallationen in diversen Museen zugänglich gemacht. Das klingt aufwendig und phantasievoll, es scheppert auch ordentlich, aber auf der Reise stelle ich mir das Spektakel interessanter vor, als das konservierte Ergebnis klingt. Das je eigene Klangprofil der Brücken, von dem KG Augenstern im Booklet zur CD schreiben, es kommt nicht so recht rüber. Kommen wir zu DAVID ROTHENBERG / KORHAN EREL. Rothenberg hat ja schon mit Zikaden musiziert, und auf Berlin Bülbül spielt er zu Field-Recordings von Nachtigallen Klarinette. Das ist nach all dem Rauschen und den ökologisch katastrophalen Perspektiven je nach Geschmack läppisch oder erholsam. Es ist beides, lang lebe der Zwiespalt. Ganz unzweideutig Nerven zerfetzend ist das Ergebnis von CLUB BLEU , die auf Dark- Asian- Energy Field-Recordings der Stadt Singapur elektronisch ergänzen, verfremden und bis zur Unkenntlichkeit verzerren. Heraus kommt dabei ein elektro-akustischer Höllenritt. Mir zu stressig, aber möglicherweise hervorragend geeignet, morgens statt mit Kaffee mit dieser Musik in die Gänge zu kommen. Lieber greife ich abschließend zu Sonic Drawings von ROLAND ETZIN , die CD liefert auch nicht gerade Easy-Listening, aber das Soundmaterial ist weniger chaotisch organisiert. Etzin kombiniert Field-Recordings unterschiedlicher Herkunft und verfremdet sie ebenfalls elektronisch. Das geht, um es mal etwas flapsig zu formulieren, bei ihm eher in Richtung Nurse With Wound und nicht – wie bei Club Bleu – in Richtung Atari Teenage Riot. Das mal als lahmer Vergleich zum Abschluss.