|photos: chiyoko szlavnics
Burkhard Beins : percussion, objects
Axel Dörner : trumpet, laptop
Robin Hayward : tuba
Annette Krebs : electro-acoustic guitar
Andrea Neumann : inside piano, mixing desk
Michael Renkel : acoustic guitar, laptop
Ignaz Schick : turntables, electronics
The electro-acoustic composer-ensemble Phosphor was formed in 2000 by 7 Berlin-based musicians, who had been developing a similar musical language during the '90s. Common to all of them was a basic need for more concentration and clarity in their music. Instead of letting the sound material develop in a constant flow of events, they therefore chose silence, in which the material was placed, as a point of departure. This lead to a more deliberate way of dealing with the material. In particular the beginning, end, duration, dynamic, intensity and quality of each sound event were critically assessed, together with their relation to other sound events (contrast, layering, overlapping/eclipsing etc) and their significance in relation to the structure and form of a whole piece. In addition there was a tendency to work mainly with very quiet material, thereby opening a microscopic dynamic sprectrum with a large potential for differentiation. Although the musical spectrum has since opened out in many different directions, this 'reductionist' phase of clarification may still be clearly heard in the real-time compositions of the ensemble. Solistic passages continue to be restrained in favour of a complex interlocking group structure, and even the densest passages are still marked by transparency.
"The members of this septet are keen listeners and they develop pieces full of inner drama through an animated balance of density and dynamics."
"There's no doubt that, in reacting against musical bluster and expressiveness, Phosphor have produced some remarkable ensemble sound."
"The participants validate the premise that first-class electro-acoustic improvisation isn't limited to small combos."