Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gerhard Ruhm - Several works & info (NWW List)

Ubuweb happens to have a handful of Gerhard Ruhm (of RR&W) solo pieces that some people may not be aware of (I wasn't for a long time, at least) and will probably would be interested in. They're all sound/concrete poetry, and he actually had some pretty interesting ideas going on with his works. All tracks are taken from the 5-LP Futura Poesia Sonora sound poetry compilation from Cramps records (which might be uploaded in the future). To download:

From Ubuweb:

Gerhard Rühm was born in Vienna in 1930. He now lives at Cologne and teaches at the Hamburg Superior School of Art.
In these pieces, Rühm imitates a lecturer who, while speaking, is continually interrupted by the censor; the public applauds with enthusiasm as if it was not aware of the manipulation. The six texts we present are lightning-fast phonic gags, with the exception of the last, "The Bird Paradise", and covers a wide range of the author's activities.
"Gebet" (Prayer), 1954, is an example of vocal constellation. The succession of vowels "a, e, i, o, u" repeated in this order is wrapped up in consonants to the point of producing syllabic coordinations. The title refers to the meditative nature of the composition. "Hymne an Lesbierinnen" (Hymn to Lesbians), 1956-75, consists of a sound text in three parts, at first in 1956, only declaimed, later revised in a recording studio. The three parts of the basic text are arranged in different tonalities and also in reverse and then mixed together in a new simultaneous version. "Blätter" (Leaves), 1965-73, is an example of visual poetry translated phonically. The word "leaf" - like a leaf that, falling from a tree, flies about and changes shape - gradually changes in tone and timbre as a result of electronic manipulation. "Berührung" (Contact), 1965-73, is meant to be the sonic ideogram of a contact. The words "to touch", "touched", "to have touched" (in German, naturally) are resolved into their phonemes, to which is assigned, from time to time, a determinate duration of sound or of interval. The whole is arranged in the form of a canon in diminuendo, dynamically differentiated so as to create a close counterpoint. "Verkürzte zeitspanne mit melodischen extrakt (Abbreviated pause with melodic summary), 1973, is based on the word "now" (in German "jetzt") pronounced in moderate tone, a tone modified on repetition. A short final part describes the melodic curve of the text: the "e"s of the "jeutz"s are aligned to provide a different tonal scale. This text is the sonic translation of an earlier concrete poem. "The Bird of Paradise" (1975), was suggested by Robert Ashley's "She Was a Visitor" and by Charlie Parker's jazz piece of the same name. It is dedicated to Valie Export. From a mechanically repeated phrase depart single sounds which gradually forms inversions in a higher tone and interweave to form a succession of new sound combinations. Unexpectedly there emerges the phrase " the bird of Paradise is dying", which suggests the situation it indicates.