Realtime Composition for prepared marxophone, feedbacker guitar, clarinet and electronics. Design of interactive kinetic sculputres for  project “Sur le fil” by Gregor Siedl.

“SUR LE FIL” – Interactive kinetic sculptures

Cao-Keller-Siedl is a Swiss-Austrian-Vietnamese trio, with Beat Keller (CH) on a customised feedbacker guitar, Gregor Siedl (AT) on clarinet and electronics, and Cao Thanh Lan (VN/AT) on self-built electronics and prepared marxophone.

Serious series festival Berlin 2019, Foto: Cristina Marx
CAO KELLER SIEDL live concert at FIM Basel 2019

Audio CD Release “Modulus of Resilience” on Attenuation Circuit, Feb. 2019

The title of this debut release by the Swiss-Austrian-Vietnamese trio of Beat Keller on a customised feedbacker guitar, Gregor Siedl on clarinet and electronics, and Cao Thanh Lan on electronics and prepared zither is absolutely programmatic. (By the way, the fact that Lan also calls her instrument “marxophone” does not necessarily have political implications, in fact it was named after instrument builder Henry Charles Marx.) “The modulus of resilience is defined as the maximum energy that can be absorbed per unit volume without creating a permanent distortion” (Wikipedia), and in the three to nine minute real-time compositions on this album, recorded at various live concerts and in studios in Austria and Switzerland in 2018, the trio is constantly testing ways to approach this level of maximum energy.

That does not mean, however, that they are always aiming straight for the noisy breaking-point of high-volume power play, although they repeatedly show that they are perfectly capable of that, high-pitched dissonance between the metallic zither strings and the surging guitar feedbacks included. For Cao Keller Siedl, “energy” means “intensity,” and of course musical intensity can be at its maximum in the quietest moments. Pulsating patterns of high-frequency beats, suddenly emerging dreamy chords, then again deep growls of feedback that come rising up from the lower registers are only a very few of the varied, but never arbitrary, structural devices of this music. The way in which the players manage to craft suspenseful dramaturgy even within only a few minutes’ time proves that they have already developed an elaborate shared musical language, and gives this debut album a decidedly mature feel in the best sense of the word. Creating beauty from harsh and tender materials alike, their music certainly has a redeeming quality in facing some of the ugliness of the human condition. So perhaps the title could eventually be programmatic on another level as well, because in psychology, “resilience is the ability to cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly.” (Wikipedia). Text: Gerald Fiebig

attenuation circuit ACU 1010 ° 2019

  1. yp – 6:25
  2. pen – 3:34
  3. heaven – 6:41
  4. square – 5:39
  5. winter – 4:05
  6. ham – 7:27
  7. k – 8:21
  8. margareten – 7:30

All compositions by Cao Thanh Lan, Beat Keller and Gregor Siedl.

Recorded by Gregor at Atelier Sachlink Vienna, Celeste Vienna, Beat´s studio in Winterthur, Studios 8 in Klosterneuburg between January and June 2018. Mixing and mastering by Gregor.

Thanks to Philipp, Fritz and Sascha for their support.

Release date: 17. February, 2019


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