Arnold Dreyblatt
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Turntable History: Spin Ensemble
Cassette Tape Issue, Important Records, SAUNA14 2013
[ more ]
Appalachian Excitation
Northern Spy, LP and CD 2013
[ more ]
Dreyblatt Live Archive
Replica Digital Releases 2013
[ more ]
Choice, 2013
LP, CD, Choose Records, Berlin
[ more ]
Turntable History
CD Imprec322, Important Records. 2011
[ more ]
Who's Who in Central & East Europe - A Journey in the Text
CD, Tzadik #8157, 2010
[ more ]
Resonant Relations
CD, Cantaloupe, 2008
[ more ]
twenty five chords in twenty five
CD, limited signed edition, 2006
[ more ]
Live at Federal Hall National Memorial, 1981
CD, Table of the Elements, 2006
[ more ]
Point Source/Lapse
LP, limited edition, Table of the Elements, 2004
[ more ]
The Adding Machine
CD, Cantaloupe, 2002
[ more ]
Escalator
CD, on "Renegade Heaven", Cantaloupe, 2000
[ more ]
The Sound of One String
CD, Table of the Elements, 1998
[ more ]
Animal Magnetism
LP, Tzaddik Records, 1995
[ more ]
eyn luftmensch in Lahore/Maximoffs Doina
CD, on A Haymish Groove, Extraplatte, 1992
[ more ]
Propellers In Love
LP, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, 1985, CD Hat Hut, 1986
[ more ]
Nodal Excitation
India Navigation, LP, 1982; Dexter's Cigar, CD 1996
[ more ]
Turntable History: Spin Ensemble
Cassette Tape Issue, Important Records, SAUNA14 2013
Arnold Dreyblatt\'s Turntable History: Spin Ensemble was recorded March 12, 2011 by Ernst Karel at Boston\'s Goethe Institut.
This performance version of the original piece (released on CD as IMPREC323) provides a different perspective on the original composition.


In Turntable History / Spin Ensemble (2011), Dreyblatt creates a palette of signals and patterns derived from his own recordings of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner (\'Siemens Magnetom Symphony Maestro Class\') in a radiological practice in Berlin. Dreyblatt was fortunate to gain rare permission to record this device in operation with a technician from Siemens who manned the machine especially for these recordings, searching for software settings related to their resulting sonic output rather for scanning particular body areas. Dreyblatt treated the device as a giant Tesla coil, in which the alignment and resonances of a powerful magnetic field is gradually altered by rotating radio frequencies. He then analyzed and deconstructed the original recordings and grouped the audio segments by pitch, rhythm and density. \'Turntable History\' was originally conceived as part of an audio-visual installation installed at the Singuhr Gallery in Berlin in 2009.

The installation was captured in a recording was issued by Important Records in February, 2011. Turntable History / Spin Ensemble (2011), was premiered at a concert at the Goethe Institute in Boston on March 12, 2011

Appalachian Excitation
Northern Spy, LP and CD 2013
Arnold Dreyblatt and Megafaun

Arnold Dreyblatt - Excited String Bass
Phillip Cook - Banjo, Modified Electric Guitar, Moog Lap Steel
Bradley Cook - Electric Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin
Joseph Westerland - Percussion, Electric Guitar

Recorded and Brian Haran and Jim Bob Aiken at Pinebox Recording, Graham, NC, 2012 ; Mixed and Mastered by Jim Bob Aiken

1. Recurrence Plot
2. Home Hat Placement
3. Edge Observation
4. Radiator

Northern Spy:

\"The meeting of composer Arnold Dreyblattand psych-folk trio Megafaun shouldn\'t be seen as unlikely just because it\'s cross-generational, or even (arguably) cross-genre. Such categorizations have to be set aside before taking in theirAppalachian Excitation. Born in New York in 1953, Dreyblatt came up under such lauded experimental groundbreakers as Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros and La Monte Young, obtaining a Master\'s degree in composition from Wesleyan University. Now based in Berlin, where he is active as a visual artist and as a composer. His music is based on his own vocabulary of pulse and self-designed instrumentation. The North Carolina by way of Wisconsin trio Megafaun (comprised of brothers Brad and Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund) has been working since 1997, when the three met at the H.O.R.D.E. festival. After a decade of crafting their sound, Westerlund contacted Jeff Hunt, owner of the Table of the Elements label, looking to get in touch with Dreyblatt, whose work all three admired. The following year they were able to schedule a week long residency at Salem Art Works in the mountains of upstate New York, where Dreyblatt taught them the just intonation tuning system he\'d developed as well as some of the instruments he\'d devised. They presented Dreyblatt\'s compositions at the 2008 Wire Festival in Chicago and concerts in Boston and NYC. Busy schedules kept them from working together again until the 2012 Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina, just a stretch of mountains south from where they\'d developed their joint sound. Excited about the performance, they booked the Pinebox Recording studio in Graham, N.C. to lay down the tracks that make upAppalachian Excitation. They connected again last February to play the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York City. The album was recorded live in the studio with no click track and minimal separation, a new experience for the men of Megafaun. It\'s \'the most rewarding way to record,\' said Joe Westerlund. \'This record with Arnold marks a step towards Megafaun becoming more of a live-in-the-studio recording band, a more traditional and time-tested method.\' Speaking from the stage at Merkin Concert Hall during their Ecstatic Music appearance last year, Dreyblatt said such genre transcending collaborations wouldn\'t have been possible several decades ago. \'We are no longer one-dimensional people,\' he announced. Experience the dimensions of Appalachian groove and time-honored minimalism anew with Dreyblatt and Megafaun.\"

Jim O\'Rourke from the Album Notes:

\"Arnold Dreyblatt once wrote on one of his earliest records that his music was somewhat akin to a juggler, he does stuff down there to make stuff happen up there. This still is the best description i have ever heard of not only Mr. Dreyblatt\'s music, but for a whole range of phenomenon that i have seen through life. It isn\'t just confined to music, or even to the subset of music that his music shares with other like-minded geniuses, it can be seen flowing through all aspects of life, some people would call it karma, on the other end of the spectrum someone might call it investment, but what it comes down to is the cause and effect of the vibrating world. The world vibrates because it is constantly changing, no matter what efforts are made to stabilize it. To try and freeze and pinpoint what is going on in Arnold Dreyblatt\'s music is like spending time looking for the wizard behind the curtain while all along there is the fantastic giant thingthere in front of you the whole time. Many times when i have tried to turn friend\'s on to his music i tell them , \"look up\" (and of course \"turn it up\"), because just like painters say that the eye must learn to read, the ear needs some help with it\'s sense of direction. And Arnold Dreyblatt\'s music is one hell of a giant intersection, there\'s no lack of propulsion; left, right, up, down, it\'s all there with a seriously overworked traffic controller at it\'s center. But above all this hubub, stories above, there is the air that is thrown into currects by all the activity below, becoming visible, crashing into each other and sending new currents on their way. I have often heard \"you can\'t grab air\", but of course you can, it just visits your hand for a moment. But with Arnold Dreyblatt, the air grabs you, and you can stay as long as you like. (and turn it up.....)\"

pdf-Download   Megafaun insert
Dreyblatt Live Archive
Replica Digital Releases 2013
Seven new digital albums of previously unreleased live recordings. Available for download and streaming from iTunes, Amazon Mp3, eMusic, Spotify, Rdio.

Based on a retrospective box set prepared for the label Table of the Elements but never released, the material ranges from 1979 to 2011 and covers the full breath of Dreyblatt\'s musical output.


Replica Releases:


1. Federal Hall 1981
2. Tonic 1999
3. The Eighties
4. The Nineties
5. Solo / Duo
6. Chamber Music
7. Spin Ensemble

pdf-Download   Replica Download
Choice, 2013
LP, CD, Choose Records, Berlin
Selected by: Jörg Hiller Mastering By Rashad Becker Sleeve Design By Hendrik Schwantes Choose Records, Berlin

Tracklist:

1. Harptones: May 26, 1981, Roulette, New York; The Orchestra of Excited Strings: Arnold Dreyblatt and Ruth Charloff (Excited Strings Basses), Randal Baier (Miniature Princess Piano), Kraig Hill (Portative Pipe Organ), Michael Hauenstein (Hurdy Gurdy)

2. Regal Sustain: November 21, 1981, Real Art Ways, Hartford, Ct.; The Orchestra of Excited Strings: Arnold Dreyblatt and Michael Hauenstein (Excited Strings Basses), Peter Phillips (Miniature Princess Piano), Greg Lewis (Hurdy Gurdy)

3. Bowing: November 21, 1981, Real Art Ways, Hartford, Ct.; The Orchestra of Excited Strings: Arnold Dreyblatt and Michael Hauenstein (Excited Strings Basses), Peter Phillips (Miniature Princess Piano), Greg Lewis (Hurdy Gurdy)

4. Striking: November 21, 1981, Real Art Ways, Hartford, Ct.; The Orchestra of Excited Strings: Arnold Dreyblatt and Michael Hauenstein (Excited Strings Basses), Peter Phillips (Miniature Princess Piano), Greg Lewis (Hurdy Gurdy)

5. Sideband: July 17, 1997, Theaterspektakel, Zürich, The Orchestra of Excited Strings: Rob Gutowski (Trombone), Dirk Lebahn (Excited Strings Bass), Jason Kahn (Cimbalom), Silvia Ocougne (Sustain E-Guitar), Pierre Berthet (Percussion), Werner Durand (Saxophone)

6. Flowchart (Excerpt): May 5, 2007, The Music Gallery, Toronto, Canada Rob Clutton (Bass), Anne Bourne (Cello), Kathleen Kajioka (Violin), John Gzowski (Guitars), Scott Thompson (Trombone), Nick Fraser (Drums)

7. The Odd Fellows: October 23, 1983, WBAI Free Music Store, NY; The Orchestra of Excited Strings with Special Guest Pipes: Arnold Dreyblatt And Michael Hauenstein (Excited Strings Basses), Kraig Hill (Miniature Princess Piano), Eric Feinstein (French Horn), Peter Zummo (Trombone)

8. Organmusic For Sixteen Hands: January 31, 1999, Kresge Auditorium, Massachussets Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Ma.; Arnold Dreyblatt (Conductor, Kresge Pipe Organ), Christine Southworth, Derek Van Beever, Melissa Mazzoli, Rebecca Zook, Mike Tarkanian, Ryan Rifkin, Nikhilm Vinod Mittal

9. Surfacetones For Solo Snare Drum: March 3, 1985, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Wolfgang Glum (Snare Drum)

10. Brushtones: 1977, Fulton Street Studio, NY Arnold Dreyblatt (Double Excited String Bass)

Recordings: Steve Cellum (1), John Gzowski (6), Brooks Blanchard (2,3,4), Bobby Bieliecki (7), Steffan Rietzentahler (5), Arnold Dreyblatt (10), Others Unknown

Selected by: Jörg Hiller Mastering By Rashad Becker Sleeve Design By Hendrik Schwantes

All Titles Registered By Gema Distributed By A-Musik

Www.Choose-Records.De

Turntable History
CD Imprec322, Important Records. 2011
Turntable History is a recording of a 40 minute multi-channel sound composition which was concieved as part of an audio-visual installation installed in the circular vaulted brick space of a historical water container in Berlin in 2009. The original sound content is derived from recordings made by Arnold Dreyblatt of a Magnetic Resonance Imagining Scanner (\"Siemens Magnetom Symphony Maestro Class\") in a radiological practice in Berlin. Dreyblatt was fortunate to gain rare permission to record this device in operation without patients being involved. A technician from Siemens manned the machine especially for these recordings, searching for software settings related to their resulting sonic output rather for scanning particular body areas. Dreyblatt treated the device as a giant \"Tesla coil\", in which the alignment and resonances of a powerful magnetic field is gradually altered by rotating radio frequencies. Dreyblatt analysed and deconstructed the original recordings and grouped the audio segments by pitch, rhythm and density. The resulting five-channel composition of harmonically resonating, pulsating signals, sounded within this voluminous reflective space (with long delay times) is wonderfully captured in this recording.

Review: Dusted, Feb. 22, 2011
Conlon Nancarrow transformed the player piano into high art. Alvin Lucier showed us the subtleties of slow sweep oscillators. Now, Arnold Dreyblatt renders poetry from an MRI machine and a vaulted water cistern. Turntable History is a document of icy beauty in which pitch, space and machine function in touching symbiosis.
In a way, the album’s title is misleading, as the turntable is a silent partner. In the 2009 installation of the same name, a “media turntable” (quotations from Dreyblatt’s website) projected images in and around the large circular space for which the project was conceived. The music was played over five strategically placed loud speakers, an effect that I imagine was somewhat reminiscent of Varese’s “Poème électronique,” written for the Philips Pavillion at the 1958 Worlds Fair. Beyond that, the parallel breaks down. According to the indispensible but scanty liner notes, Dreyblatt was given special permission to record the MRI’s unique language without a human subject, later grouping the results by sonic property to form the 40-minute composition.
As is the case with “Poème électronique,” there is obviously no way for a two-channel system to capture the full spatial impact of Dreyblatt’s sound sculpture. What is surprising, though, is just how much of a sense of space and perspective this recording affords. From the distant, pulsed trudge that opens the work, seeming to approach from ahead and to the right, the echoing timbres create an enthralling illusion of three dimensions. Echo is never overbearing, however, and in an astonishing feat of mixing prowess, each sound is layered to allow enough transparency and depth to fill any listening environment. Some sounds even seem to emanate from behind, hinting at the grandeur of the water container’s acoustics.
The mechanical sounds themselves are also responsible for the continuous illusion of perspective. As with an ensemble recording, such as 1995’s Animal Magnetism, the steady pulses traditionally associated with minimalism vie with unexpected tonal and rhythmic juxtapositions. Here, as with Lucier’s oscillators, a precision of rhythm and microtone is achieved far beyond the ability of even the finest musician to emulate, filling the soundstage with motions of their own. That opening pulse, the work’s heartbeat, creates a sense against which everything else seems somehow transient. We are also treated to similarly complex shifts in timbre. Listen to the first actual pitch of the piece, how it pulses and throbs unpredictably and how its timbre brightens. These are the relationships that propel Turntable History forward. Beats come forth from within each pitch and from the way the pitches interact, forming exquisitely intricate webs of polyrhythm that compliment the constantly morphing halos of morphing overtones. Consider one moment: at about 3:30 into the work, where a sudden shift in beat and tonality sweeps away everything that preceded it. There are too many such instances to catalog.
When we reach the concluding single pitch, and as the mechanized heartbeat fades, another sense of circularity is achieved, which was prefigured by the minute repetitions that form the music’s fabric. Even divorced from its visual elements, this is an essential addition to Dreyblatt’s all-too-small discography. It presents a facet of his art that has never been represented on disc with such clarity and fidelity.


By Marc Medwin


Who's Who in Central & East Europe - A Journey in the Text
CD, Tzadik #8157, 2010
"This is the long awaited release of one of Dreyblatt's most personal and major extended works.

Created in 1991, it combined documentary photographs, films, texts and sound materials selected from archives and private collections with original music and was a landmark in multimedia opera production, touring a dozen cities and winning the Philip Morris Art Prize in 1992." - Tzadik, 2010

Video Documention: (click "View Video" on right)
1. Excerpts from performances at Gasteig, Munich, 1991
2. Report from French Television, 1991

Concept, Text, Music by Arnold Dreyblatt
Executive Producer: John Zorn
Associate Producer: Kazinori Sugiyama

Speakers:
Peter Gilbert Cotton
Ilene Winckler
Alexandr Krestovskij
Tibor Szemzö


Voice Recordings: Choose, Berlin by Jörg Hiller
Sound Design: Jörg Hiller with Joachim Schütz, Choose, Berlin
Mastering: Mastertone by Scott Hull, 2010

Musicians and Participants:
Pierre Berthet: Water Drip Drum Installation, Percussion, Shelley Hirsch: Voice, Joachim Schütz: Guitar; Robin Hayward: Tuba; Jan Schade: Tuba; Jörg Hiller: Electronics; Hans Peter Kuhn: Sound Environment for original opera performance; Arnold Dreyblatt: Piano, Electronics, Sound Composition


pdf-Download   Full Text / Libretto
Resonant Relations
CD, Cantaloupe, 2008

Cantaloupe CD #CA21046

Track List
01 Resonant Relations 33:02
02 twentyfive chords in twentyfive in ninety four variations 12:50

"Resonant Relations":

Recording: Westland Studios, Dublin
Edited by Jörg Hiller, Choose, Berlin, 2005
Engineered by Dave Slevin
Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin

Crash Ensemble, Dublin:
Susan Doyle, flutes
Roderick O'Keeffe, trombone
Deirdre Moynihan, violin
Lisa Grosman, viola
Kate Ellis, cellow
Malachy Robinson, bass
David Adams, harpsichord & keyboards
Steve Kelly, percussion
Resonant Relations was commissioned by Crash Ensemble with funds from the Irish Arts Council

"twentyfive chords intwentyfive in ninety four variations":
Engineered, Edited, & Mastered by Jörg Hiller, Choose, Berlin, 2006
Arnold Dreyblatt, Miniature Princess Pianoforte, Excited Strings Bass
Konrad Sprenger, Sinewaves
Composed for the 25th anniversary of Gelbe Musik Berlin. Originally issued in a numbered CD edition of 25 in 2006 by GelbeMusik, Berlin.

On "Resonant Relations"
With support from the Irish Arts Council in 2004, I was commissioned by the Crash Ensemble, Dublin to compose a new work. During a series of intense working visits over a one and half year period, members the ensemble was introduced to the Dreyblatt tuning system. The Crash Ensemble is the only group outside of my own previous ensembles which has learned to perform in my intonation of 21 unequal tones based on the first eleven partials of the harmonic series and their multiples. The resulting work, "Resonant Relations" was composed for flutes (wooden and metal), trombone, violin, viola, cello, contrabass, harpsichord, and percussion (timpanies, snare and bass drum, metal pieces).
The work was first performed at the Sugar Club in Dublin on 27 October 2005 in a program co-curated with Crash artistic director Donnacha Dennehy which included performances of compositions by my two composition teachers La Monte Young and Alvin Lucier.

On "twentyfive chords in twentyfive in ninety four variations"
Gelbe Musik ("Yellow Music") is a gallery and record/cd store in Berlin which specializes in contemporary music. Internationally known, "Gelbe Musik" has become somewhat of an institution in Berlin over the years. For the 25th anniversary in 2006, director Ursula Block asked me to create an exhibition of early scores from 1976-1981, which I entitled, "Working Papers". "twentyfive chords in twentyfive in ninety four variations" was one of two pieces which I composed for the occasion, and which was presented on a limited signed edition CD of 25 copies. The piece proceeds through 95 variations of 25 chords which are based upon the pitch of the 25th harmonic, which is used in my tuning scale.

On Working With Arnold Dreyblatt
It was such a pleasure for Crash Ensemble to work with Arnold on this project. We had long been fans of his incredibly distinctive music. I remember the first day I heard a recording from his wonderfully titled Orchestra of Excited Strings. This jingly-jangly rhythmically driven obsession with the overtone series was something entirely new to me. It left a strong impression. We were delighted when in 2004 we were in a position to commission Arnold to write a piece for the group with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland. He made many visits to Dublin, even teaching the group exactly how his system worked so that they were able to understand the relationship between the numbers and the overtone series. Everyone started to listen in an entirely different, ferociously precise way. "Resonant Relations" was premiered in October of 2005 at the Sugar Club in Dublin in a programme co-curated by Arnold and I (including other pieces by him, Alvin Lucier and La Monte Young). The piece was recorded shortly afterwards at Westland Studios in Dublin.
- Donnacha Dennehy, artistic director of Crash Ensemble


twenty five chords in twenty five
CD, limited signed edition, 2006
On the occasion of the the 25th Anniversary of the famous gallery and record store in Berlin "Gelbe Music", I was invited by Ursula Block to have an exhibition of early scores and documents (see "Exhibition Music"). For this exhibition I composed two pieces for a special signed and numbered CD edition of 25 which was issued by Gelbe Music in 2006. The two compositions:

1. twentyfive chords in twentyfive in ninety four variations (12:50)
2. twentyfive chords in twentyfive in twentyfive variations (3:45)

recorded , mixed and edited by konrad sprenger at choose audio, berlin, 2006
miniature princess pianoforte, excited strings kontrabass: arnold dreyblatt
sinewaves: konrad sprenger
special thanks: jörg hiller

Copies of the edition are still available from Gelbe Music and from the composer.


Live at Federal Hall National Memorial, 1981
CD, Table of the Elements, 2006

Arnold Dreyblatt and the Orchestra of Excited Strings
Live at Federal Hall National Memorial, 1981
Table of the Elements CD
TOE-CD-54

The Orchestra of Excited Strings:
Arnold Dreyblatt: Double Bass Viols with Excited Strings
Ruth Charloff: Double Bass Viols with Excited Strings
Randal Baier: Midget Upright Princess Piano Forte
K. Mason Hill: Portable Pipe Organ
Michael Hauenstein: Hurdy Gurdy

Recorded May 28, 1981, Federal Hall National Memorial, NYC
Runnng Time: 50:25

Arnold Dreyblatt is a minimalist who never forgot that music is still the human mating call. Anyone who has experienced the composer's recordings with his marvelously-dubbed Orchestra of Excited Strings knows how madly Dreyblatt's pieces swing. They flaunt time as precisely as a Swiss watch. Indeed, music like this can put you in the mind of the whirring cogs and pulleys of some small mechanized device. Everything's moving, twitching about, a bunch of individual sounds racheting up and down in a modulated relationship to all the other individual sounds. This animated playfulness exudes a real charm. Springy rhythms dance with each other, as clipped percussion and purposefully bowed strings generate delightful harmonic chatter.
- Tabel of the Elements


This live CD celebrates the 25th anniversary of Dreyblatt's historic concert at Federal Hall in New York (where George Washington was inaugurated as President). Utilizing the natural resonances of the structure''s spectacular dome, Dreyblatt and co. romp through seven outstanding pieces for just-intoned double basses, piano, hurdy gurdy and pipe organ, emphasizing dynamics and sonorities to stunning acoustical effect.

"A composer of stature, Dreyblatt has charted his own unique course in modern classical music. Often characterized as the most rock-oriented of American minimalists, his work with the Orchestra of Excited Strings does justice to the moniker...."
Dusted

"...Rewardingly visceral, a dual exploration of how instruments react to the touch and how musicians mesh with each other ... a stellar ensemble."
New York Times

"Transcendental and ecstatic."
Downtown Music Gallery


Point Source/Lapse
LP, limited edition, Table of the Elements, 2004

Lapse, 1995
The Orchestra of Excited Strings
Live at Theater Spektakel, Zürich

Point Source, 1997
Live at Lounge Ax, Chicago
Arnold Dreyblatt, Jim O'Rourke, Kevin Drum, David Grubbs

“Table of the Elements presents the Lanthanides, a series of 14 single-sided, limited edition LPs. Each disk is pressed on clear or transparent vinyl, silk-screened on the reverse in glow-in-the-dark ink, and packaged in a clear vinyl sleeve.

As one of the most engaging of the second generation of New York minimal composers, Arnold Dreyblatt has developed a distinctive—And delightfully accessible—approach to composition and performance. Employing modified and invented instruments and a unique tuning system, his music is a vigorously rhythmic and richly textured romp through the natural overtone series. These two outstanding pieces for just-intoned electric guitar, bass violin, cimbalom, percussion and brass emphasize dynamics and sonorities, to stunning acoustical effect.” - Second Layer


The Adding Machine
CD, Cantaloupe, 2002
Cantaloupe Music, (Bang On A Can) CD 21006
http://www.cantaloupemusic.com/


Performed by The Orchestra of Excited Strings


1. International Dateline 9:42
2. The Adding Machine 8:16
3. Lapse 7:36
4. House of Twang 3:12
5. Meantime 14:33


Musicians: Arnold Dreyblatt, Robert Black, Jeff Liebermann, Laurel P. Smith, Marc Stewart, Danny Tunick, Evan Ziporyn
Special Thanks to Evan Ziporyn
Recorded on February 1, 2001 at the Endicott World Music Room, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Boston
House of Twang recorded live at Kresge Auditorium, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, January 31, 2001. Monochord built by Marc Stewart at “The Lab”, Rivington Street, N.Y.C.
Edit Reconstruction, Mixing by Jörg Hiller with Arnold Dreyblatt, at the Konrad Sprenger Studio, May – July, 2001, Berlin
Mastered by Hanse Warns with Jörg Hiller and Arnold Dreyblatt at Samples & Frames Studio, August, 2001, Berlin
Parts of this music were composed and rehearsed with support by an award from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts (1997-98), New York and a residency at the Center for the Arts, Massachussetts Institute of Technology (2000-2001), Cambridge. This music was premiered live at Tonic, New York City, January 18 & 19, 2001, in concerts produced by David Weinstein.

"Armed with a small platoon of stringed instruments, percussion and a hurdy-gurdy, composer Arnold Dreyblatt and his ensemble have created what can best be described as an "organic techno" album—that is, techno performed by humans rather than programmed by them, which brings with it inevitable (though slight) human inconsistencies in execution. Plucked and bowed strings of every sort—guitar, cello, bass and zither among them—are set atop dirty fatback drumming, like Led Zeppelin's John Bonham leading a marching band. Short musical ideas are repeated over harmonic pedal-points, changing and evolving frequently enough to avoid a feeling of stasis.


The illusion of music moving through three-dimensional space— an effect that great loopers like Plastikman and DJ Shadow create through the clever juxtaposition of static and dynamic musical elements—is not in evidence here. Instead, the delight in Dreyblatt's music comes from the details, the continuously revived freshness in the repeated gestures, and the warm pulse that comes from music actually played by bows, sticks and fingers.


While it's unlikely that Dreyblatt's album will spawn a revolution in electronica, his low-tech techno approach may inspire a new strain of minimalism within classical music, one that draws upon contemporary electronica for inspiration but remains acoustic in execution. Overall, The Adding Machine suffers from a lack of variation among the cuts, but when it all comes together, as in the syncopated, tribal Meantime, the groove is irresistible."—Ben Finane NY
PRESS


pdf-Download   Download Additional Reviews
Escalator
CD, on "Renegade Heaven", Cantaloupe, 2000

Cantaloupe CA21001
Bang On A Can All-Stars
Special thanks to Evan Zyporyn

In 1986-87 I began working on a "digital dynamic processing system" for a commission at Ars Electronicain Linz in 1987 and further developed this in a residency at STEIM in Amsterdam in 1989. This system was triggered with recorded machine tracks and interacts with acoustic instruments. Its basis are recordings of the rhythms produced by a number of malfunctioning escalators on the Blvd. Ansbach in Brussels which I made in 1987. In this version of Escalator, I notated repetitive rhythmic patterns found in these recordings and scored them for cimbalom, prepared electric guitar and cello, later adding layers of percussion, saxophone and prepared "excited strings" bass in collaboration with the musicians

This performance of Escalator for the Bang in a Can All-Stars was the first occasion where my music has been played by an ensemble other than my own. The piece had its beginnings in a duet performance piece with percussionist Pierre Berthet in Belgium in 1988, and it has been performed in various transformations by The Orchestra of Excited Strings over the years. - Arnold Dreyblatt

"Arnold Dreyblatt's Escalator is based on recordings of malfunctioning escalators. The band would hammer away on one note while the drums pounded with Beefheartian rhythms. Tense harmonies abruptly gave way to gentler sections while still maintaining typical Dreyblatt rhythms. Escalator sounded less like a malfunctioning escalators than an insanely mad town orchestra. Bang On A Can should commission more works by New York City microtonalists like Branca and Dreyblatt." - Juxtaposition Ezine


The Sound of One String
CD, Table of the Elements, 1998
"Live and previously unreleased recordings: 1979-1991, including classic works like Nodal Excitation, Propellers in Love, etc. Dreyblatt's music focuses on the harmonic possibilities of stringed music and heightened sound awareness and this is an important and supremely pleasurable sound document of his works. Includes music for various combinations of prepared double bass, miniature princess pianoforte, hurdy gurdy, pipe organ, French horn, trombone, violin, percussion, electric guitars, electronics, cimbalom, tuba, voice, etc.

Arnold Dreyblatt is a major contributor to American minimalism; yet his efforts to date, like those of fellow composers Rhys Chatham and Tony Conrad, have been conspicuously underdocumented. The tracks compiled on The Sound Of One String range from early solo performances to digital studio recordings of Dreyblatt's full ensemble; together these comprise the first comprehensive retrospective of a remarkable, twenty-year career." - Table of the Elements"



The Sound of One String may be (Dreyblatt’s) best album. It’s a collection of recordings from the late 70’s to the early 90’s, some solo, some featuring his group, The Orchestra of Excited Strings. Dreyblatt’s music is primarily concerned with the manipulation of various string instruments to produce ghost-like overtones and harmonics. The wide variety of instrumentation here (everything from e-bowed guitars to hurdy-gurdys to a conventional string ensemble) brilliantly displays the range and musicality of Dreyblatt’s sound experiments. - David Licht, Pulse.



"An expat composer, Dreyblatt has studied and played with Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, and LaMonte Young. His music is precise, gorgeous, and rich, based on the ringing, overlapping tones of droning, "excited" strings and other instruments. In his 19 years of making minimalist/maximalist music, Dreyblatt has only released three full-length works, each of which combines the visceral wallop of primitive rock & roll with the ethereal, glistening, timbral qualities of the finest orchestral string section. Fans of Phill Niblock, Tony Conrad, and the Deep Listening Band will be pleasantly excited by this collection of experiments, live recordings, and unreleased shorter works that include horns, percussion, a variety of prepared string instruments, and hurdy-gurdy put to exquisite, levitating use". - Mike McGonigal

Animal Magnetism
LP, Tzaddik Records, 1995

TZ 7004
Produced by John Zorn, 1995
http://www.tzadik.com/  

Performed by The Orchestra of Excited Strings

Point Rotation
Next Slide
Animal Magnetism
Group Velocity
Side Band
Flashbulb History
Epilogue


"While I really like everything of Arnold's, especially the more "heroic" parts of Nodal Excitations and Propellors in Love, this is the record that really steps out as the first genuinely new sound in maybe 10 years. It's as if the Dirty Dozen Brass band got a hold of some of Arnold's records and decided to give it a go. I cannot overstate how unbelievably brilliant this record is. When played loud, I firmly stand by my declaration that it is one of the 4 or so best records ever made". - Jim O’Rourke

"The bright, punchy staccato nature of Dreyblatt’s compositons allude to some of Michael Nyman’s early ensemble works, a character further emphasized by the dynamic constraints of the instrumentation... ...Dreyblatt wants you to listen through the beats in order to connect with the overtone structures and resonant sound features bouncing off the rhythmic surfaces... ...I’ve certainly grown to love it.“ - David Illic, The Wire Magazine Soundcheck Winner October, 1995

"This particular release from 1995 is initially striking because of its pure energy. I guarantee that it's one of the few releases you'll find featuring "classical" instruments which encourages you to "listen at maximum volume!" Dreyblatt also uses a wider palette than most Minimalists, as his Orchestra of Excited Strings actually consists of strings, horns, percussion, and just-intonation guitar. Yet he holds the same concern with microtonal structure that Conrad does, just through more propulsive music. Some people back in the Seventies used to talk about how the music of Steve Reich and Phillip Glass was somehow related to "rock," but those charlatans don't have anything on Arnold Dreyblatt. - Pataphysics Research Journal


eyn luftmensch in Lahore/Maximoffs Doina
CD, on A Haymish Groove, Extraplatte, 1992

Extra Platte EX 316 155

Two tracks recorded for a project of Geduldig and Tihimann (Vienna) for their CD project in 1992 in collaboration with my old collegue and friend Andy Statman. Also on this CD are pieces by Guy Klucevek and Eliot Sharp. We recorded in Brooklyn after a concert by the Orchestra of Excited Strings at La Mamma. I invited Andy Statman to play these pieces live with the ensemble at the 10th anniversary of the Berlin Orchestra of Excited Strings in Podewil in 1993.. - Arnold Dreyblatt

eyn luftmensch in Lahore, The Orchestra of Excited Strings w/Andy Statman (composed & arr. Arnold Dreyblatt) 3:53

Maximoffs Doina, Orchestra of Excited Strings w/Andy Statman (composed & arr. Arnold Dreyblatt) 5:12


Propellers In Love
LP, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, 1985, CD Hat Hut, 1986
LP, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 1985; CD, Hat Art Records, Switzerland; 1986

LP and CD are both currently out of print.
CD 6011

Harmonics
Odd & Even
Bowing
Pedal Tone Dance
Propellers In Love
Lucky Strike

CD also contains:
High Life

"Dreyblatt's ensemble, consisting of altered, adapted, and prepared instruments are in just intonation and play drones or repeated tones, setting up heady resonances with a contiually changing and complex matrix of overtones. By adding drums and other percussion, and by writing fast, sometimes furious tempos, Dreyblatt avoids the dreamy and sometimes stultifying effect that is a part of so much drone music. The entire six-part title track is lively and vibrant. High Life is similar in spirit to La Monte Young and Alvin Lucier, with its nonstop drone and lavish array of overtones to inspect and exult in." -Option

"Arnold Dreyblatt’s ensemble performed a bright, colorful work for winds, strings, guitars, cimbalom... ...an essentially minimalist impulse and a spirit that’s multi-cultural: its heavy drum beat and the freewheeling, almost manic quality of its string and wind writing made parts of the work seem a stew of primitive, ritual musics, both Asian and African.“ -The New York Times


Nodal Excitation
India Navigation, LP, 1982; Dexter's Cigar, CD 1996

Original Recording produced by Phil Niblock and Bob Cummings, India Navigation, New York, 1981
Reissue, Remastering, Produced by Jim O'Rourke, Dexter's Cigar, Drag City, Chicago, DEX 15, 1996

http://www.dragcity.com/

Nodal Excitation is a mesmerising drone composition in six movements with a sound far larger than the instruments with which it was made. Recorded in 1981, it totally rocks. Never mind that the music is consistently melodic and absolutely beautiful. And while not much happens on the small scale of listening, if you let yourself just listen to the whole thing, you’ll feel at least as swept away as you were by Minor Threat’s cover of “12XU”... ...This music will rattle yor skull and shake the worms out of your apples. It’s pretty good. - Mike McDonigal, New York Press

Nodal Excitation is a reissue of a key minimalist masterwork. Dreyblatt's documentation in the past has been slim, with albums on Hat Art, Tzadik and (shortly) Table of the Elements. This album features a 39 minute performance by Arnold's group known as The Orchestra of Excited Strings, recorded in 1981/82 "Dreyblatt only had one record Nodal Excitation (on the mostly post-AACM jazz label India Navigation), before he packed and moved to Berlin, were he concentrated on other activities, making only 2 more records over the next 10 years. But for those who caught the action, Arnold was the man. He was more rock than any of the other minimalists combined, and he was also the only one to really tap into that massive proto-minimal sound that Conrad had squelched out of his tin-contact mic violin in the early 60s. Indeed, in the early 70s, after being in school in Buffalo, where Conrad taught, Dreyblatt moved into Manhattan to work for LaMonte Young, where he witnessed first hand, and listened first-ear to those legendary recordings of the Theatre of Eternal Music. He got interested in long string sounds, and bought a bass that he wired with piano wire. By hitting the strings instead of bowing them, Dreyblatt was able to get those ringing overtones, but he also had added something new: pure rhythm...So what you have here is Dreyblatt's freshman record, a slice of minimal history that is as potent now, if not more, as it was then. It was a lighthouse that was aiming the wrong way when the tugboat came by, but now it's shining right in your face." - Drag City Press Release

“Sounding almost like dulcimers, the bowed basses begin compositions with insistent, percussive rhythms, before the rest of the ensemble gradually enters, creating dense walls of organ and hurdy-gurdy drone. The hammered “excited strings’ speed up and slow down, churning out ringing passages that shift from melodic to dissonant and back. - Badaboom Gramophone

"Reissue of a key minimalist masterwork. Dreyblatt's documentation in the past has been slim, with albums on Hat Art, Tzadik and (shortly) Table of the Elements. This album features a 39 minute performance by Arnold's group known as The Orchestra of Excited Strings, recorded in 1981/82 Dreyblatt, Michael Hauenstein (bass violas with Excited Strings), Peter Phillips (Midget Upright Pianoforte), Kraig Hill (Portable Pipe Organ) & Greg Lewis (Hurdy Gurdy). "Dreyblatt only had one record Nodal Excitation (on the mostly post-AACM jazz label India Navigation), before he packed and moved to Berlin, were he concentrated on other activities, making only 2 more records over the next 10 years. But for those who caught the action, Arnold was the man. He was more rock than any of the other minimalists combined, and he was also the only one to really tap into that massive proto-minimal sound that Conrad had squelched out of his tin-contact mic violin in the early 60s. Indeed, in the early 70s, after being in school in Buffalo, where Conrad taught, Dreyblatt moved into Manhattan to work for LaMonte Young, where he witnessed first hand, and listened first-ear to those legendary recordings of the Theatre of Eternal Music. He got interest in long string sounds, and bought a bass that he wired with piano wire. By hitting the strings instead of bowing them, Dreyblatt was able to get those ringing overtones, but he also had added something new: pure rhythm...So what you have here is Dreyblatt's freshman record, a slice of minimal history that is as potent now, if not more, as it was then. It was a lighthouse that was aiming the wrong way when the tugboat came by, but now it's shining right in your face." - Bob Simons