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.
Composition in the sense we discuss it here becomes a tool that is more efficient in prying open interior dialogues within the musician than any score-less method; a tool whose sharpening is the result of a simultaneous rejection of Romantic ideals, various amalgamations with new technologies and improvised methods, and the embracing of the earliest written music practices.
The music you hear throughout this episode comes from Christoph’s bewildering piece Missa, recorded in Basel in 2016 and featuring many of the musicians and singers from the Millefleurs ensemble.
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.