Andrea Neumann / Mads Emil Nielsen

December 27, 2018


Arbitrary 09

A brief – 21 minute – 10 part electro-acoustic composition, Refound shows how much can be done when two creative minds record and remix controlled improvisations. With a genesis in freeform playing by Berlin’s Andrea Neumann’s tone separations from inside a grand piano blended with Copenhagen’s Mads Emil Nielsen’ electronics, the computer recalculations use rhythm, repletion and almost visible physicality to create the program.

Specializing in graphic scores, theatre productions and sound installations, Nielsen’s oscillating drones, vibrations and dial-twisted spatial separations dominate the wave form portions of the tracks that were remixed by both musicians. Meanwhile Neumann, who plays with ensembles such as Les Femmes Savant and Splitter Orchestra, confirms the human qualities of the 10 tunes. While buzzing, crackling and ring modulator-like bell ringing may help define the sound, especially on Side A, her soundboard resonations also seem to involve sympathetic vibrations from the speaking length. Besides guitar-like twangs and staccato string excitement the initial climax arrives as concentrated textures whoosh from one side of the mix to the other.

More overtly percussive, Side B brings forth guttural sequences that suggest looming thunder clouds, plus seminal pulsations. Although the program ends with string stops and intermittent reverb fragmenting into conclusive pops and squeals, the penultimate track knits the motifs into defining chromatics, with flanged pitter-patter and encapsulated buzzes and on/off buzzes moving seemingly backwards as well as chromatically forward.

By definition these tracks that are “re-found” or found again through stretching, splitting and layering of the initial musical timbres. Still these reconfigurations are used sympathetically enough here to isolate novel sequences which can be appreciated through either casual or deep listening.

–Ken Waxman

Track Listing: Side A: 1. Refound 1 2. Refound 2 3. Refound 3. 4. Refound 4 5. Refound 5 Side B: 6. Refound 6 7. Refound 7 8. Refound 8 9. Refound 9 10. Refound 10

Personnel: Andrea Neumann (inside piano and mixer) and Mads Emil Nielsen (electronics)