same difference, Bernhard Gal’s eighth full length audio publication, features for the first time a selection of Gal’s compositions for traditional Chinese instruments, in conjunction with other thematically related works. The CD was conceived as a continuous, homogenous sound work: five transitions - titled ‘a thousand’, ‘times’, ‘and again’, ‘and never’, ‘the same’ - connect the individual pieces.
East Asian cultures, with their musical traditions and ways of thinking, have been of great influence in Gal’s artistic oeuvre, be it in his ongoing collaboration with the Japanese architect / installation artist Yumi Kori, in duo projects with the Taiwanese composer Tung Chao-Ming, or in composition for Chinese instruments and various electroacoustic works. Frequently, the challenges and limitations of any intercultural endeavour are addressed or ironically reflected: Western avantgarde concepts merge with the sound colours of traditional Chinese instruments (Of Sound and Time), the potential of a ‘hybrid’ quartet constellation is tested (vür vier), sounds of the Chinese zither guzheng and the Chinese mouth organ sheng are interwoven with their electroacoustic derivatives within a space-oriented concert installation (uh-jeh-gal), and a ‘musical’ sauna session is combined with the airy sounds of the Chinese bamboo whistle koudi (in fusion). In UTOO, the delicate instrumental overlay of a Berlin subway ride might find its equivalent in the abstractions of contemporary Chinese bamboo painting. The ‘eternal same’ is explored in six (nearly) equally tuned guitar strings (e-musik), the ‘eternal other’ is meditated upon in circular movements of singing wine glasses (xuan zhuan).
Press release (pdf, english)