I spent several days last summer with composer, improviser and spinet-player Christoph Schiller at his somewhat legendary studio in Basel. Given the concentrated subject matter, and the sheer length, of the discussions, I decided to make a three-part Echo Chamber special that deals overall with the question of freedom in musical composition:- composition as an emancipatory means to deeper reflexion and a more sincere gestural approach.
Toward the end of our three days of conversations, we focused on the problem of words; the problem of musicians trying to communicate between one another despite speaking different languages, ideas becoming lost in translation, and the difficulty of choosing the right words in even one’s own language.
We also look at the problems posed by the following quote from my late musicologist dad: “the more that people believe that music expresses or arouses emotions, the more they want others to agree.” This takes us onto the descriptive words used for music, and leads us to consider the deliberate theatricality of Baroque music amongst others.
The music featuring in this episode comes exclusively from the sublime album ‘Tse’ by Christoph Schiller in trio with Pierre-Yves Martel and Cyril Bondi.
Find about more about Christoph on his website.
PS Don’t adjust your sound system! There’s an intermittent buzz in the right-hand channel of these recordings, due to my faulty Zoom microphone. Sorry.