subota, 29. lipnja 2013.

U.S Steel Cello Ensemble - Bitter Suites (1979)

Sviranje na plahtama metala kao da se radi o violončelu. Izum slikara Roberta Rutmana.
Zvuk zavijajućeg svemira.

Bob Rutman (Steel Cello) Coventry Cathedral, 2002 [1.49MB]

Wolfram Der Spyra (Bow Chime, Electronics) Studio, Berlin 2004 [1.55MB]

Adrian Palka and Mark Bowler (Bow Chimes) St. Petersburg, Russia, 2004 [1.38MB]

Bob Rutman, Tiergarten Tunnel, Berlin, August 1999
The Steel Cello and Bow Chime were made by US abstract expressionist painter Bob Rutman in the late 1960s. They grew out of an artistic collaboration with musician/artist Constance Demby for the exhibition Space Mass, at Rutman’s New York gallery. Rutman conceived them as musical-sculptures, a form in which both their visual presence and sound qualities are of equal and inseparable importance. They were designed as objects to be played and it’s from this combination that their unique qualities arise.
Since the 1970s Bob Rutman has produced a continuous stream of recordings and live performances. The Steel Cello and Bow Chime are extremely versatile and performances have been shown in a remarkable range of locations. These include major museums and arts galleries, such as MOMA, New York, and the ICA, London, as well as Coventry Cathedral and the Tiergarten road tunnel in Berlin.
Their versatility also leads to a wide range of interdisciplinary collaborations. In the 1970s and 1980s when Bob Rutman was based in the US, he collaborated with major performing artists and directors including Robert Wilson, Merce Cunningham and Peter Sellars. Since moving to Berlin in 1987 the Steel Cellos and Bow Chimes have been used in major musical theatre productions such as Walden by Heiner Goebbels, dance collaborations with Tanzfabrik Berlin, and a tour with the band Einsturzende Neubauten. They are regularly seen at art and cabaret events in Berlin and indeed through out Europe. There is also a Steel Cello in the collection of major German contemporary art collector, Erich Marx.
10th Festival of Experimental & Performance Art  St. Petersburg, Russia, August 2004There are several other practitioners who work with versions of the Steel cello and Bow Chime. Adrian Palka has been performing with the Steel Cello and Bow Chime since a London based collaboration with Bob Rutman in 1996. He currently works with Mark Bowler, a music graduate from Coventry University. Their work operates across a number of interdisciplinary projects and explores relations between sound, video projection and live performance. Wolfram Der Spyra is a musician and sound artist from Kassel in Germany. In his work he incorporates the Bow Chime as a sound source integrated into a keyboard and computer based set-up in the live performances of electronic music.

The original steel cello was constructed out of an 8 by 4 foot piece of sheet matte steel. The steel vibrates when the string is bowed. It produces sounds which range from deep drones to high-pitched squeaks. It is capable of producing subtle micro-tones and delicate harmonic overtones as well as overwhelming crashing cacophonies. The Bow Chime works on a similar principle to the Steel Cello. A horizontal steel sheet is made to vibrate through the action of a bow on vertical, tuned steel rods. Recent experiments at Coventry University with infra-sound expert, Vic Tandy, have recorded infra sound levels down to 2 Hertz, well below audible levels. It is possible that the emotional impact of the sounds is enhanced from sub sonic frequencies sub-consciously registered by the brain and organs of the body. -

Italy's excellent Holidays Records follow-up crucial blasts from Bellows and Ghédalia Tazartès in 2013 with this reissue of Robert Rutman's 1979 masterpiece, 'Bitter Suites' with the U.S. Steel Cello Ensemble, released to coincide with his 83rd birthday. It'll become hard to believe once you've heard it, but all the sounds are live recordings of the Bow Chime and the Single String Cello - six foot, sheet-metal instruments capable of an astonishing range, from keening falsetto to voluminous bass drone, evolved from a decade of research and refinement by Rutman. The A-side is a recording of two Bow Chimes played by David Zaig and Suzanne Bresler, accompanied by String Cello played by Rutman at The Showing Room, New York, summer '79, sounding out a breathtaking scape of wide, snaking bass drones and ferrous high end with the doomy intent of contemporary Eyvind Kang or Hildur Gudnadottir compositions. And the B-side, recorded in spring '79 at the Helen Shlien Gallery, Boston, is darker still, featuring four Bow Chimesplayed by Jim Van Denakker, Rex Morril, Steve Baer and Robert Rutman to sound like a tuned squadron of low flying bombers. They're phenomenal recordings. - boomkat 

Those marvellous people at Holidays have sent us a couple more records this week which I’m pleased about because their output is at worst interesting. This one here is a deluxe reissue of an LP originally issued in 1979, containing music performed on Robert Rutman’s Bow Chime and Single String Steel Cello - astonishing devices which utilise the resonant qualities of large pieces of sheet metal by turning them into bowed instruments.
What resulted was an LP which, even 30 years on, sounds haunting and otherworldly. The metal buzzes and squeaks and rumbles magnificently as the ensemble tumble through droning, semi-melodic compositions which sometimes have the mournful, controlled emotion of a string orchestra and elsewhere delve into magical freeform romps which sound almost subaquatic, like a choir of whales, and in other places still the sound is reminiscent of buzzing, plaintive trumpets and saxophones in shuddering primitivist contemplation. Both sides are surprisingly enjoyable listening for music this experimental, the hypnotic orchestral-sounding drones of the second piece being especially delightful.
If you’re a fan of the no-wave/primitive/extended music composers of the late ‘70s this is surely something you’ll want to pick up. It’s in an edition of just 300 with lovely silver-on-black screened covers and an insert with photos and Rutman’s own descriptions of the instruments. Super.- Norman Records

Robert Rutman (Berlin, 1931) went to the USA to study art in 1955. In 1975, he started building steel-metal sculptures to be played with a bow, like a violin, and founded the U.S. Steel Cello Ensemble. 1939 (Pogus, 1990) documents some of these resonating sculptures and their ghostly drones: Tabla and buzz chime, Steel cello and bow chime, Chant bow chime and horn, Three bow chimes, Song of the steel cello.
After a long hiatus, new compositions began to appear on Music To Sleep By (Tresor, 1998), Song Of The Steel Cello (Pogus, 1999), that contains the title-track, Zuuhh Muttie Mum (1999).
This is a recording of a concert by Robert Rutman and his steel cello's recorded sometime in the late 70's at a New York Art Gallery. If you are unfamiliar with the Steel Cello Ensemble, it's basically a few people playing large sheets of metal which produce totaly amazing, spooky, droning outer-space sounds. Very much in the same league as Bertoia's sound sculptures. -

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