back in stock as of
march 11th, 2011
first in stock on
april 21st, 2010
|western vinyl (usa) #west 075 cd |
small music (germany) #small music no. 1
rolf julius “music for the ears • small music no. 1” compact disc
- song from the past (29:15)
- music on two high poles (26:09)
|april 2010 release ; ah, here’s something we don’t get in every week (or ... year for that matter) - a reasonably priced, domestic issue of historic sound-art ... in this case a pair of extended takes recorded in 1979 by pioneering german artist rolf julius ...|
rolf’s been on my own radar since discovering his work via the sublime series of edition rz-distributed “small music” discs released throughout the 90s ... those recordings of his site-specific works ; often involving series of tiny speakers used both to excite resonant materials (dirt, paint, etc ...) and amplify sound-waves (usually recordings of naturally occurring sounds ; animals, insects, etc ...) were something of a gateway for me into the whole “broken music” sector, and remain some of my all-time favorite comminglings of visual & sonic art ...
both pieces here (seemingly) incorporate some sort of overdubbed flute / electronics setup that yields a variable-width array of floating timbres ; the first has an almost feldman-ic pace (each iteration is cut with at least a minute of near-silence) & the second more of a continuous flow of shifting chord-clusters and a persistent sub-drone that recall both terry riley’s “time-lag accumulator” outings & the earthen wood / wire space of yoshi wada’s 70s music ...
huge kudos to western vinyl for reinstating the series here (note: this isn’t a reissue of the previous “small music vol. 1 • white • yellow • black” set but in fact an otherwise un-issued work) ; hopefully these will file out in regular installments over the next year or so ... highly recommended !!!
|western vinyl press release...|
music for the ears
a western vinyl release
wv075 || format: cd
release date: 04/13/2010
|for a long time i’ve been thinking about how to create spaces into which one can retreat, where one can find quiet, where one can see, hear, where one is able to concentrate, where one is isolated from the world around but still is able to participate in it…by means of art or music or both|
– rolf julius, 1987
futurism and dadaism both made use of the synthesis of audio and visual arts to create a singular experience greater than the sum of its parts. this idea was further advanced by the fluxus and minimalism movements. born in 1939 in wilhelmshaven, germany, rolf julius was profoundly influenced and inspired by these movements while he studied art in bremen and berlin.
years later, after immersing himself in musical works by artists like morton feldman, john cage, and la monte young, julius began to shift his focus from visual art to the synthesis of sound and visual art and nature, exploring the relationships between sounds and objects and environments. julius soon discovered how sounds can influence vision, creating simple tones to be presented in conjunction with his early photographic work.
such experiments culminated in the creation of his pioneering work “dike line” (1979), which combined visual images with texture-inducing tones. this piece was presented at the ground breaking exhibition “f r augen und ohren” in 1980. mythical in scope, this was the first major european exhibition attempted to map international research by artists exploring relations between sound and visual art, bringing together work by john cage, luigi russolo, nam june paik, joe jones, bill fontana, milan knizak, harry bertoia, david tudor and rolf julius.
over the next 30 years julius went on to create some of the most meaningful and moving works in the grey area between music and art, between sound and silence. alongside takehisa kosugi, terry fox, and akio suzuki, he has emerged as one of the most important and influential sound artists of our time.
since the early 1980’s julius has referred to his compositions as small music, receiving international acclaim from those in the fields of contemporary art and music for calling the origins of sound and vision into question. small music not only describes julius’ approach to composition (soft and compelling sounds from simple instruments and nature), but also a way in which to view his works and ultimately the world. art historian bernd schulz once wrote “if one recalls john cage’s central theme of “silence” then rolf julius is the contemporary artist who approaches him most closely”. julius’ small music has the distinct ability to heighten our perception such that “silence” becomes a positive quality of a place and a situation, and not just an absence of sound. whether using photographs, ink drawings, audio compositions, or subtle and sometimes almost hidden outdoor installations, rolf julius’ works serve as catalyst, increasing our awareness of the great beauty of the world that surrounds us.
western vinyl is proud to release “music for the ears” the first in a series of small music releases by rolf julius. with a goal of creating solitary sound environments, the small music series will culminate into a boxed edition of seminal works by this master sound artist. “music for the ears” is comprised of two long tracks of gently weaving tones exploring the possibilities of spatial experience. the cover image depicts julius’ sound installation in a bamboo forest in kyoto, japan where his music is placed high in the air, by speakers hanging freely from the branches of the trees. as the music suspends itself in the air, the tones sway in the wind floating ever so gently, caressing the ears, the trees, the light, and clouds.
|julius' pioneering work “dike line” (1979), was presented at the ground breaking collective exhibition “f r augen und ohren” in 1980, together with works by john cage, nam june paik, joe jones, bill fontana, harry bertoia, and david tudor. alongside takehisa kosugi, terry fox, and akio suzuki, he has emerged as one of the most important and influential sound artists of our time.|
julius's works have since been shown in countless major exhibitions and important musuems around the world, such as new york's ps1 (1983), the 1985 paris biennial, documenta 8, kassel (1987), the hamburger banhof, berlin (1998), pittsburgh's mattress factory (2001), the centre pompidou, paris (2004), the two editions of sonambiente, berlin (in 1996 and 2006), museum bochum (2006), national museum for modern art, japan (2007), as well as in various galleries and non-profit spaces in berlin, paris, tokyo, bordeaux, san francisco, montpellier and barcelona. in 2005, in berlin, julius was awarded the prestigious hannah-höch-preis for an outstanding artistic life's work.
this release is the first of 8 which will cover rolf julius’ work over the past 30 years.