Bernhard Günter / Heribert Friedl – ATARAXIA

trente oiseaux

This is a world where silence is scary, since it forces people to confront themselves – and no one understands that better than Bernhard Günter, whose trente oiseaux label specialises in the essential naked beauty of sound verging on the unsustainable. In line with his recent tendency to use his electric cellotar both in improvisational and more determined contexts, Günter joins forces here with Austrian sound artist Heribert Friedl (check out his discography at http://www.con-v.org), who will issue a further chapter of this collaboration, Transformer, on his new Non Visual Objects label. Adding two shakuhachi and a hackbrett (cymbalom) to the cellotar, Günter and Friedl maintain a composed attitude in music that pays an undisguised homage to those Zen masters who play each note as if it’s the single meaningful gesture in a lifetime. Each subtle nuance of harmonics and breath is exalted by an intelligent mix where instruments are allowed to bathe in their own aura without the slightest hint of the shallowness that could poison the enchantment of this sacred trance. A little more “present” than Günter’s +minus recordings, Ataraxia is nevertheless another moment of intense reflection by two craftsmen of the untold, who look into the void without fear as they extrapolate a concrete, painful purification from the shadows of incorporeality.

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