Reviews that mention Brigit Ulher

February 1, 2018

Birgit Ulher

Matter Matters
Hideous Replica HR 14

Warning: This is not a trumpet recording or in most cases the recording of a trumpet. That’s because in her playing Hamburg-based brass players Birgit Ulher has gone beyond operating the valves, bell and mouthpiece in even an unconventional manner. Now she has evolved to using the horn as one sound source among many others. On this three-track solo outing the trumpet is part of spectral; explorations that also involve a radio, speaker, so-called objects, a splitter and tape.

Although “From Die Schachtel [2013]” is her interpretation of the graphics, numbers, texts and pitch structures created by Christoph Schiller the strategy Ulher uses doesn’t sound that far removed from the improvisations that surround that track. One defining feature is that by the composition’s mid-section she creates a veritable Catherine Wheel’s of harsh and percussive strops and pops. This follows initial tone elaborations which involve the propelling of air and tonguing without valve pressure and ends with descriptive rubato bites and slurs that with aviary squeaks stretch the initial structure still further. MORE

August 26, 2015

Birgit Ulher/Leonel Kaplan

Stereo Trumpet
Relative Pitch Records RPR 1030

Itaru Oki & Axel Dörner

Root of Bohemian

Improvising Beings IB36

Creating unaccompanied free-form duets can be more of a challenge with trumpets than any other instrument. With no series of keys like a saxophone or even the additional timbres stretching from a trombone slide means that inspiration must be expressed through fingering and breath control. Two international brass duos – German Birgit Ulher and Argentinean Leonel Kaplan plus German Axel Dörner and Japanese, long-time French resident Itaru Oki – deal admirably with the situation. Yet each twosome untangles the puzzle in a unique fashion. MORE

April 22, 2015

Birgit Ulher & Gregory Büttner

Araripepipra
Hideous Replica HR4

Birgit Ulher

Live at Teni Zvuka 2012

1000fusler 24

Continuing her journey to unite the improvisational autonomy of Free Music with the grinding aggression of Noise Music, Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher is ranging further afield sonically and geographically. Although Araripepipra was recorded with fellow Hamburger Gregory Büttner, the well-travelled electroacoustic sound artist creates his textures from computer, loudspeakers, objects and an electric fan. Travelling eastwards Live is one long solo piece plus a shorter collaboration between the trumpeter and two Russian specialists in exceptionally amplified improvisation. Both St. Petersburg-based, Ilia Belorukov uses an ipad with sine waves, mini-speakers with preparations and objects, while Andrey Popovskiy sticks to motors, an e-bows, mini-amp, Dictaphone, contact mic plus, surfaces and objects. MORE

April 22, 2015

Birgit Ulher

Live at Teni Zvuka 2012
1000fusler 24

Birgit Ulher & Gregory Büttner

Araripepipra

Hideous Replica HR4

Continuing her journey to unite the improvisational autonomy of Free Music with the grinding aggression of Noise Music, Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher is ranging further afield sonically and geographically. Although Araripepipra was recorded with fellow Hamburger Gregory Büttner, the well-travelled electroacoustic sound artist creates his textures from computer, loudspeakers, objects and an electric fan. Travelling eastwards Live is one long solo piece plus a shorter collaboration between the trumpeter and two Russian specialists in exceptionally amplified improvisation. Both St. Petersburg-based, Ilia Belorukov uses an ipad with sine waves, mini-speakers with preparations and objects, while Andrey Popovskiy sticks to motors, an e-bows, mini-amp, Dictaphone, contact mic plus, surfaces and objects. MORE

December 1, 2012

Birgit Ulher

Hochdruckzone
Entr'acte 134

Myelin

Axon

Intonema INT 003

Christoph Schiller/Birgit Ulher

Kolk

Another Timbre at 52

Consistently operating on the cutting edge of contemporary improvised brass music, Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher is prepared for all sorts of challenges. This triptych of CDs recorded during one four-month period is particularly notable. Using the multiphonics available by processing her sounds through an attached transistor radio while employing various objects to alter the resulting timbres, she has produced an appropriately abstract solo threnody for Bill Dixon, another trumpet explorer, as well as demonstrated how timed reductionist improvising can be spread between two musicians. MORE

December 1, 2012

Myelin

Axon
Intonema INT 003

Christoph Schiller/Birgit Ulher

Kolk

Another Timbre at 52

Birgit Ulher

Hochdruckzone

Entr'acte 134

Consistently operating on the cutting edge of contemporary improvised brass music, Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher is prepared for all sorts of challenges. This triptych of CDs recorded during one four-month period is particularly notable. Using the multiphonics available by processing her sounds through an attached transistor radio while employing various objects to alter the resulting timbres, she has produced an appropriately abstract solo threnody for Bill Dixon, another trumpet explorer, as well as demonstrated how timed reductionist improvising can be spread between two musicians. MORE

December 1, 2012

Christoph Schiller/Birgit Ulher

Kolk
Another Timbre at 52

Myelin

Axon

Intonema INT 003

Birgit Ulher

Hochdruckzone

Entr'acte 134

Consistently operating on the cutting edge of contemporary improvised brass music, Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher is prepared for all sorts of challenges. This triptych of CDs recorded during one four-month period is particularly notable. Using the multiphonics available by processing her sounds through an attached transistor radio while employing various objects to alter the resulting timbres, she has produced an appropriately abstract solo threnody for Bill Dixon, another trumpet explorer, as well as demonstrated how timed reductionist improvising can be spread between two musicians. MORE

November 5, 2011

Birgit Ulher/Lucio Capece

Choices
Another timbre at41

Gail Brand & Mark Sanders

Instinct & the body

Regardless Records R01

Rampersaud/Shaw/Martin/Neal/Krakowiak

Halcyon Science 130410

Barnyard Records BR0323

Rent Romus’ Lords of Outland

Edge of Dark

Edgetone EDT 4112

Something in the Air: Brass-y Women Stand Up and Stand Out

By Ken Waxman

Enhanced freedom in music over the past 60 years has involved more than the addition of new instrumental techniques and compositional strategies. Recasting of gender roles has also taken place. No longer are women instrumentalists expected to play traditionally delicate female instruments such as violins or flutes; or those where they sit demurely such as the piano, harp or cello. This change is most obvious in improvised music, where the number of women who stand up to play has multiplied exponentially. Many have chosen to become brass players, adapting their skills to apparatuses which demands power and stamina. MORE

July 3, 2010

Densités Festival

Fresnes-en-Woëvre, France
October 23 to 25 2009

A rural French hamlet in the Lorraine countryside isn’t the setting you imagine for a world-class festival of unadulterated Electronic and Free Music. Yet the Densités Festival in Fresnes-en-Woëvre – population 500 – about 80 kilometres from Nancy, is that. During three days in late October, the 16th Edition presented a sonic banquet of unstoppable Free Jazz, minimalist improv, sound installations, electro-acoustic meetings, poetry recitations and interactions between instrumentalists and dancers. MORE

March 8, 2010

Birgit Ulher

Radio Silence No More
Olaf Bright OBCD 22

Treating as full partners the extended drones and blurry hisses that emanate from a stand-along radio and its speaker, Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher uses mutes plus her improvisational prowess to shape this program. On nine mid-length tracks here – all with the suffix “-welle” or “-wave” – buzzing mouthpiece growls rubbed metal abrasions and prolonged, strident whines enliven, wrap up or complement the unpremeditated wave forms and sideband echoes heard from the untouched appliance. MORE

February 21, 2010

Ulher/Shibolet/Snir/Brenner/Mayer/Smith/Bymel

Yclept
Balance Point Acoustics BPA 014

Günter Baby Sommer

Live in Jerusalem

Kadima Collective KCR 19

Fraught with extra-musical baggage, the idea of a co-operative session between German and Israeli improvisers seems bizarre. Yet, as these first-rate CDs demonstrate, commitment to free-form experimentation and open-minded sound extension overcomes any number of polemics. The only people who likely will be surprised, shocked or offended by such cross-cultural understanding are those whose ignorance of Middle Eastern realpolitik is likewise endemic. MORE

December 7, 2009

Gino Robair/Birgit Ulher

Blips and Ifs
Rastascan Records BRD 062

Percussion doesn’t have to involve bombast, beats or even a full drum set. That’s the idea of Californian Gino Robair who played with Toronto improvisers at Somewhere There the last week of November.

Robair, a Free Music veteran who uses drums as resonators for bowed scraped and rubbed objects and amplifies his instrument using circuit-bending electronics, demonstrates the resulting sonic freedom on the onomatopoeically titled “Blips and Ifs”. Partnered by German trumpeter Birgit Ulher, whose understated brass timbres are processed through radio speakers, the two express the cited sounds and many others in seven improvisations. MORE

March 28, 2009

HumaNoise Congress #20

Wiesbaden Germany
September 26 – 28, 2008

Like an improvised music version of TV’s Survivor – although no one gets voted off the stage – the participants in HumaNoise Congress (HNC) #20, held in Wiesbaden Germany, about 16 kilometers from Frankfurt, had three days in which to discover each others’ talents and technical skills. Unlike the reality show however, the players don’t form alliances among themselves, but instead are organized into different combinations throughout the sessions to see what unexpected sonic sparks could be struck. It’s a testament to the musicians’ listening skills and familiarity with extended techniques that so many one-of-a-kind meetings were so memorable. MORE

November 17, 2008

mikado im innerklavier

20. HumaNoise Congress
Tage Improvisierter Musik in Wiesbaden

[English below]

Sinn und Zweck eines Kongresses ist es, lebendige Interaktion zwischen den Mitgliedern einer Gruppe zu ermöglichen. In diesem Sinne war der dreitägige HumaNoise Congress im Wiesbadener Kunsthaus ein voller Erfolg. Zum 20. Male hatte die Kooperative New Jazz im September 2008 10 internationale Musiker zu einem langen Wochenende mit öffentlichen Proben und Konzerten eingeladen.

Die klanglichen Errungenschaften der großen (Tutti) und verschiedenen kleineren Besetzungen sind um so bemerkenswerter, als alle Teilnehmer sich der Freien Improvisation widmen. Musikalisch immer auf des Messers Schneide balancierend, ohne Partitur oder vorgefassten Plan, vertrauten die Spieler ihrer Vorstellungskraft gepaart mit technischer Versiertheit, um gehaltvoll miteinander zu kommunizieren. MORE

November 14, 2008

Stephen Haynes-Taylor Ho Bynum

The Double Trio
Engine e026

Mazen Kerbaj/Birgit Ulher/Sharif Sehnaoui

3:1

Creative Sources CS 110 CD

Throughout the history of improvised music and jazz, two-trumpet sessions have never been as popular as duets between saxophonists. Oh there were dates featuring Art Framer and Donald Byrd in the 1950s, for example, and Roy Hargrove and Marlon Jordan in the 1980s, plus a whole collection of Norman Granz-instigated blowing sessions in between. But it seems as if the preferred locus for dual improvising is a commingling of many saxophone keys rather than sets of three valves. MORE

November 14, 2008

Mazen Kerbaj/Birgit Ulher/Sharif Sehnaoui

3:1
Creative Sources CS 110 CD

Stephen Haynes-Taylor Ho Bynum

The Double Trio

Engine e026

Throughout the history of improvised music and jazz, two-trumpet sessions have never been as popular as duets between saxophonists. Oh there were dates featuring Art Framer and Donald Byrd in the 1950s, for example, and Roy Hargrove and Marlon Jordan in the 1980s, plus a whole collection of Norman Granz-instigated blowing sessions in between. But it seems as if the preferred locus for dual improvising is a commingling of many saxophone keys rather than sets of three valves. MORE

July 28, 2006

Birgit Ulher/Damon Smith/Martin Blume

Sperrgut
Balance point bpa009

Birgit Ulher/Lars Scherzberg/Michael Maierhof
Nordzucker
Creative Sources CS 052

Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher never misses an opportunity to challenge herself with new improvisational partners – even if she has to leave the country to do so. Take these memorable CDs. Although both are nine-track discs showcasing the trumpet’s reductionist style in a trio setting, the similarities end there.

Recorded in Oakland, Calif. in October 2004, Sperrgut finds Ulher in the company of local bassist Damon Smith and percussionist Martin Blume from Bochum, Germany. The drummer of course, is an old hand at kind of stop-and-go improvisation, with partners like British violinist Philipp Wachmann, while Smith has extended his interactions past the Bay area to play with Europeans such as German reedist Frank Gratkowski and Wolfgang Fuchs. MORE

January 9, 2006

Birgit Ulher/Gino Robair

Sputter
Creative Sources

Birgit Ulher/Michael Zerang/Lou Mallozzi
Landscape: recognizable
Creative Sources

Punctual Trio
Grammer
Rossbin

By Ken Waxman
January 9, 2006

For years North American improvisers have gone to Europe to play with like-minded musicians; today the traffic is as frequently the other way .Sputter and Landscape: recognizable are a couple of souvenirs from Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher’s recent American odysseys that show her interaction with similarly minded Yank music experimenters. Meanwhile Grammer captures an earlier meeting in Chicago between Portuguese violinist Carlos Zingaro and two locals, one of whom is also on one of the trumpeter’s CDs. MORE

December 6, 2004

UNSK

Tidszon
Creative Sources

Axel Dörner/Greg Kelley/Andrea Neumann/Bhob Rainey
Thanks, Cash
Sedimental

By Ken Waxman
December 6, 2004

Listening to Thanks, Cash and Tidszon together is a bit like playing those Metronome All-Stars sessions from the late 1940s, when Miles Davis and Fats Navarro sat next to one another in the trumpet section one year, and when Dizzy Gillespie was the sole trumpeter the next.

That’s because with Axel Dörner and Greg Kelley on the first CD and Birgit Ulher on the later you can hear representations of the sort of brass evolution Davis, Navarro and Gillespie were attempting in their time. Plus, to confirm the all-star sobriquet a little further, Kelley and Axel Dörner are joined by soprano saxophonist Bhob Rainey in that quartet, and Ulher by multi-reedman Martin Küchen in UNSK. MORE

May 15, 2001

KLAPPER/ULHER/MORGENSTERN

Momentaufnahmen
Nurnichtnur CD 1001030

Has Spike Jones become some sort of exemplar for certain players in the improvising tradition? Certainly there are times when the sounds produced by the likes of composers John Zorn and Willem Breuker or drummers Günter "Baby" Sommer and Han Bennink veer perilously close to the musical mayhem perpetuated by Jones and his anarchistic City Slickers in their 1940s heyday.

But while the products of Jones' sound factory were presented as divertissements, pure and not so simple, there's often a more serious undercurrent to present day "noise making". For a start, musicians are confirming that every sort of sound can be musical, not just those parts of the well-tempered scale. Secondly, in opposition to the dour demeanor and funereal air of most neo-con performers, they're allowing the audience to laugh good naturedly at the music being producing and to have fun listening. Laughter doesn't necessarily mean hostility or derision. Serious artists ranging from Louis Armstrong to Misha Mengelberg have proven that good times and important musical statements aren't mutually exclusive impulses. MORE