Conrad Schnitzler “Cassette Concerts”, conducted by Wolfgang Seidel
Borngräber & Strüver
In a further tribute to the work of Conrad Schnitzler, Wolfgang Seidel, co-founder of Ton Steine Scherben and a long-standing friend of Schnitzler will conduct a two-part »Cassette Concert«. Seidel is namely one of the few players Schnitzler personally authorized in his lifetime to perform this work. In the intermission, Borngräber & Strüver will play improvisations with a prepared piano, and electronica, and further instruments.
Conrad Schnitzler developed the »Cassette Concert« in the 80s as a dynamic method by which to simultaneously compose and perform electronic music, one that allowed elements of structured, composed, improvised and conceptual music to be fused at will. He thereby resolved also to render performance of his music independent of his own person, claiming that a »Cassette Concert« could in principle be performed by anyone, anywhere, anytime. All that it takes to do so is several playback devices, a mixer, and a number of pre-prepared cassettes (later CDs, both supplied by Schnitzler), containing single tracks of a larger composition. The performer freely combines these single tracks, regulates the volume and equalizer settings and so, in co-authorship with Schnitzler, generates compositions that, although always identically underpinned, unfold unpredictably, as unique pieces. The »Cassette Concert« makes coincidental processes and shared authorship constitutive components of composition and performance. Static recordings are liquefied in an open-ended process with infinite possibilities.
Berlin musicians Borngräber & Strüver describe their minimalist pieces as »21st-century electro motoric kraut«, which pretty much sums up their musical frame of reference and general orientation. Borngräber & Strüver lean on the levers of current sound design in order to heave the Berlin School legacy into the present. And not only in terms of their music but also as curators of the m=minimal label, they are very well versed in Berlin’s current range of musical levers. As special guests for their CTM concert they have invited Henning Rice and Florian Schäffer.
Wolfgang Seidel (DE)
Wolfgang Seidel co-founded the politically influential band Ton Steine Scherben and worked frequently with Conrad Schnitzler. He is now a member of the trust that manages Schnitzler’s musical legacy. Seidel himself was also involved in the Zodiak in his youth, and ranked among the few people Schnitzler personally authorized to perform his music. Seidel aka Sequenza keeps the spirit of the Zodiak alive with his own improvisation project, Free Arts Lab. Scherben, his book about Ton Steine Scherben, was published in spring 2005.
Borngräber & Strüver (DE) Jens Strüver and Christian Borngräber have been making music together since 1999. Ten years later they founded the m=minimal label, eventually also releasing work by Conrad Schnitzler, as well as their own albums »in g«, »urlaub« and the Conrad Schnitzler / Borngräber & Strüver cooperation »Con-Struct« (2011). They are now members of the trust that manages Schnitzler’s musical estate, with the plan to make some of Schnitzler as yet unplublished works available, as well as to commission reworkings of the pioneering artist’s material by contemporary artists.