Title: Zweite Tafelmusik
Release Date:2017 Feb 1
License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Label: Þ Kollektiv
Tafelmusik is music performed at feasts or banquets, literally translates as “table music.” The title originated in the Baroque period. The most celebrated and popular Tafelmusik collection is by Georg Philipp Telemann. Given the setting for performance of Tafelmusik, it is typically lighter in character and can be either instrumental or vocal.
Lärmschutz: Zweite Tafelmusik
Lärmschutz is an experimental music trio from Utrecht, the Netherlands, consisting of: Stef Brans (guitar, violin, viola, objects), Rutger van Driel (trombone, electronics) and Thanos Fotiadis (drums, synth, electronics). On this recording they are joined by their friends from Römertopf: Ab Bol (Double bass ), and Jan van Wessel (Electronics). In addition, the ensemble was supplemented by guests: Carla Genchi (Vocals), and Nils Breunese (Cello).
The concept behind the series of Tafelmusik recordings is: use a set of Bartok-esque bass lines as the foundation of improvisatory pieces. All of the works on this recording are live performances. The recordings are presented un-edited. According to the recording notes, “Every piece was played one time, and one time only. The way they are presented here is unique and will never be the same again.”
The concept here is an interesting twist on the concept of Tafelmusik. The music itself becomes the event, it is music that is born from the event of the performance. This is a different take on the baroque period concept that Tafelmusik be composed or written for some specific event.
It is always difficult to explain pieces that are experimental, and even more difficult when they are improvisations.
My initial listening experience proved to be difficult. I did not expect dense, complicated pieces of music, and was not prepared for the works in this recording. Redefining the concept of Tafelmusik was not in my thoughts. Instead I expected a modern conception of Tafelmusik that modernized the baroque concept.
I set this recording aside for a while. Once I had broken away from my preconceived notion I was better able to listen to them for what they are. This was the point at which I found I was able to engage with them. There are all sorts of small details to these works that will draw you into them. However, to try to analyze them would be pointless. These are works to experience and treat as an event. The listener’s experience is defined by their ability to relate to the works as presented.
The initial experience of these works was difficult for me. I had an expectation that this work would have some kind of relationship with the Tafelmusik that I was familiar with. However, having reached the understanding that this work and the compositions themselves are the event itself freed me to listen to it without expectation. That proved to be rewarding. These are pieces that are Tafelmusik in the sense that they are to be listened to in the background. They are works that one can listen to over and over, and find something new in them on each listen. They aren’t nearly as dense as I initially thought. The communication between the performers, and their ability to frame a piece is exceptional.
(An aside: I am happy that this work is on Þ Kollektiv. This is a label that I have not written about before, but I really like a lot of the works on this label. If you are into experimental, expressionistic works, this is definitely a label to add to your following.)