on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2023 10 Mai

Nothing Else

von: Henning Bolte Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off


Repeatedly I used the term Hördramaturgie er*in / dramaturgy of listening/listeners here as a dynamic view on musical ‚taste‘. Here are two quotes from my liner notes for the new album of the longstanding trio of cellist Vincent Courtois, saxophonist Daniel Erdmann and saxophonist/clarinetist Robin Fincker.


Music has no denotational meaning. Music has effects on listeners’ mind and soul, mood and imagination instead in a more holistic sense. Those effects can converge or diverge among listeners. Listeners can feel attracted, more or less, by certain tonalities, moods, energies, rhythms, orchestrations, dynamics or specific combinations of those characteristics, and, of course, also by certain musician’s personality as such. These characteristics can evoke specific inner streams, e-motions, mood-states and desire to immerse into the sounds, which can result in a more or less deep impact of the music on listeners’ senses and soul. We are used to speak of a matter of taste then, which is a relevant but a quite static view on the referred process of taking music in. I prefer to say that listeners have their own (inner) dramaturgy when listening to music, be it at different gradations of consciousness. It determines how listeners filter musical input, how they deal with it, how their inner time connects to ongoing musical time, what and how they synthesise and integrate the flow of the music (or not), how hungry or thirsty they get from its magics. 


When listeners talk about music they were/are experiencing traces of their inner listening dramaturgy appear (explicitly or implicitly). I started to pay attention to these signs of inner processes and get insight into its varieties. In the liner notes I then tried to formulate something about ingredients of my presumed own dramaturgy.


My/your own listening dramaturgy Because I know and appreciate this unit’s music and character I expect music beyond peristaltic progress, beyond a floating iridescent mode or beyond a minimalistic repetitive approach to name a few possibilities. I am eager to hear something with a strong melodic substance emerging from the hidden or undiscovered evidency, balancing on the verge of the expressible and something that gains sense, drive, moving impact and unity by manoeuvres from different angles – all executed with passion, playfulness, economy as well as joy and humour. When listening to “Nothing Else” I felt that all my needs were met, that everything spurred my imagination and deepened my immersion in the music. Also the lightness of these improvisations and at the same time their sharpness and decidedness was something that attracted me. There is something in the music that responds to my desires and offers me something freshly created and new to me. 

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