A1. Mar Baltico
A2. Mar Del Nord
A3. Mar Ligure
B1. Mar Tirreno
B2. Mar Adriatico
B3. Mar Mediterraneo
CATALOG: mikroton cs 72
RELEASE: September 2017
All music by Kurt Liedwart
Mixed at Partisanstudio, Moscow
Mastered by Kurt Liedwart
Design by Kurt Liedwart
In “Mare” I selected the works I composed during 2015–2017 using mostly sound sources from electronics and synthesizers. I constructed the compositions using studio improvisations from different times, I found this method quite good for finding interesting and different sounds. At the same time I wasn’t releasing many solo recordings although my hard drives got packed with recordings done for 20 years. I felt my older sounds still pursue me and the only way to get rid of them is only through publication or otherwise I could’ve drowned in the seas, or mari in Italian, of old sounds. Noise, drones, polyrhythmic excursions, glitchy unstable playing on the modular synthesizer, processed field recordings and employment of light and movement to produce sounds, all these were combined and formed the pieces on the album.
On the cassette ‘Mare’ (the Latin word for ‘sea’) he uses mostly synthesizers and electronics, and sounds from previous works he did (mostly field recordings I think) and did a whole bunch of improvisations over a longer period of time. From the improvisations he edited the compositions, which is something that his label is known to do. Rather than releasing improvised music the releases on Mikroton are compositions based on improvisations. These are mostly quiet; or rather ‘soft’ in volume, not necessarily quiet. It is, in a way, like listening to an oceanic soundscape, I think. The white noise from the machines emulate the seaside sounds of slow cascading waves; beautifully subtle and yet not entirely ambient. There is a shimmering noise side to these pieces, and that is the beauty of this. The field recordings, whatever they originally were, tumble and rumble nicely and altogether this is a great cassette. More varied, so it seems than the ‘Tone’ CD, building in intensity of the pieces and I think it’s a pity that this regaled to a cassette only. So be it.
My ageing brain doesn’t work properly (read: according to disgusting laws of convenience) when it comes to the interpretation of another person’s ambitions. Expressing supposedly profound concepts, the fulgent words used to explicate a disconcerting loyalty to certain principles usually reveal the desperate quest for attention typical of beings deprived of the ability to quiver. Basically, they are stratagems to trap innocence inside a constitutional sickness.
Therefore it was relieving to learn the undraped motivation behind Kurt Liedwart’s Mare. He just wanted to publish at least a part of the sea (“mare” in Italian) of materials gathered over a twenty-year span, which risked to literally submerge him. Of course I was eager to know why a Russian sound artist would choose to use this reviewer’s native idiom. I didn’t deepen the issue, but the attraction was immediate: in fact, I consider il mare as my first and foremost counsellor ever since the puppy age. Moreover, two of the seas mentioned by Liedwart (born Vladimir Kudryavtsev) have cuddled your host’s reflections and body during a sizeable chunk of his existence. For the curious, they are Mar Tirreno and Mar Ligure.
The sea is a metaphor of uncorrupted love, that which is never betrayed. The substance informing this tape is a vivid acoustic epitome of that impression. Achieved by assembling diverse ideas shaping up a distinctive integrity, the sonorities created by Liedwart (on modular synthesizers, electronics and processed field recordings) are at the same time imposing and inspiring in their richness of life forms. Every decent humanoid wishes to be surrounded by beneficial waves; this applies to the marine waters, but also to the constructive vibrations originating from a rewarding communication. By plunging into the frothy currents of this release – even without stressing that it’s a superb container of enlivening sounds – we’re allowed to fantasize a bit on our utopian desires.
The sea, the silence and momentous music are the lone necessary milestones in one’s brief and unrepeatable transit across dimensions “comprehended” only via defensive fantasies.
Lastly we have Kurt Liedwart again with a cassette called Mare (MIKROTON CS 72). This is of course the Italian word for seas, which Kurt seizes as an apt metaphor to express his own creative dilemma. He makes too much music, he is too productive, and at times feels he might be awash in it, drowning in it, or even swept away by the waves of that sea of abundance. “I felt my older sounds still pursue me,” is his lament, “and the only way to get rid of them is only through publication, or otherwise I could’ve drowned in the seas, or mari in Italian, of old sounds.” As you can see, the solution he finds is to publish work, release it; in this way, he himself is released from the burden of its curation (or even the burden of simply keeping the sound files on his computer). I think the source materials on Mare come from 2015-2017, but it seems he used earlier (improvised) pieces as the basis for their construction as compositions. Mostly if not exclusively electronic music is what you get. Quite nice, but mostly just minimal patterns and textures; a lot of it feels like a sketchbook of unfinished work, and in many cases the intention or direction of the music is not clear.