shut up and listen! 2009
Barbara Romen & Gunter Schneider (AUT) - Concert: Traditional Alpine Music from the 22nd Century
Barbara Romen: dulcimer
Gunter Schneider: guitar

[ Barbara Romen & Gunter Schneider (AUT); Photo: Florian Schneider ]

Traditional Alpine Music from the 22nd Century

The interpretational cooperation in the area of contemporary music and our common interest in experimental improvised music have resulted since 1997 in condensing improvisations into concepts and pieces of music. Parallel compositional work by both of us (Barbara’s book “Farbspiele” (“Play of colours”), published in 2007, with pieces for hammered dulcimer for students, Edition Tympanon, and my books with pieces for guitar, published by UE, Doblinger and Helbling are relevant) yielded fruit in this context. So during the last years there were pieces of music emerging, which we play twosome on a diatonic hammered dulcimer of Eastern Tyrol (“Seit’ an Sait’”) on the one hand and pieces of music for chromatic tenor hammered dulcimer with sordino pedal and different guitars on the other hand (beside the normal concert guitar I use a Viennese double necked contraguitar and an acoustic bass guitar). The pieces combine (juxtapose?) experimental situations – concerning playing techniques, sonority and formal creation – with (to) quite popular and songlike elements following traditions of different cultures. That’s why we chose this title – it  is a balancing act between camps, which from a longer temporal distance might be not regarded any more as opposites.

[Barbara Romen and Gunter Schneider, November 2009]

Barbara Romen und Gunter Schneider

started their professional collaboration in 1990, from that year on they have been married, too. From the beginning, contemporary music has been the central aim of their work. Excursions led to baroque sonatas for salterio (Hackbrett, beaten dulcimer) and basso continuo. Aside of main repertoire works for guitar duo (Lachenmann, Kubo, but as well Brouwer and Gnattali) a lot of works were specially composed for them, by composers like Klaus Ager, Gerold Amann, Martin Daske, Fernando Grillo, Radu Malfatti, and Burkhard Stangl. Besides, they have been developing music of their own, both for „dulcimer à due“ (performed on one traditional Tyrolean diatonic dulcimer), and for chromatic tenor-dulcimer and various guitars. The cd „Traditional Alpine Music from the 22nd Century“ was released in 2007.

Together they worked in different projects, a.o. „here comes the sun“ with Berlin based clarinet multiphoner Kai Fagaschinski, music for dance (e.g. with Japanese choreographer and dancer Saburo Teshigawara), music for radio plays, various improvisation groups, among others „harsch“ with Burkhard Stangl and Christof Kurzmann, together with Japanese musicians Sugimoto Taku, Akiyama Tetuzi, and Unami Taku, a project with stone sculptures by Tyrolean sculptor Kassian Erhart, named „tracking stones’ voices“ (ORF-SACD), and „klopfzeichen/klangschnitte“ with Japanese and Austrian printmakers and musicians. They are probably best known for their interpretation of Lachenmann’s „Salut fuer Caudwell“ (cd durian 018-2, booklet on the internet)), which they as well have been touring in a music theatre project conceived by coreographer Xavier Le Roy since 2005 („Mouvements for Lachenmann“ and „More Mouvements for Lachenmann“). In 2009 the formed the experimental house music project „quadrat:sch“ together with composer and looped-zither virtuoso Christof Dienz and his wife, double bass player Alexandra Dienz.