catalog no. 314.01
First-ever release for Darmstadt-based composer Hans Essel who has been active in improvised music and Grundlagenmusik (foundational music) for more than 20 years. This LP showcases his project Saitensack (string-bag) in which he develops new ways of playing the violin and viola. Comparisons could be drawn to other experimental violinists like Tony Conrad and Takehisa Kosugi but Hans Essel uses a far more stripped-down approach: The instruments are neither modified nor amplified. Strings are not pressed by fingers but rather damped. Only through bowing, they are excited to complex free vibrations, sometimes harsh and noisy, at other times reminiscent of uilleann pipes with cracking and breaking like in yodeling. Saitensack focuses on the origin of tones out of the noise, zooming into the very character of string instruments. Saitensack is pure violin. The essence of violin playing. Side A features an overtone-rich performance from 1994. Side B has a harsher 1999 recording: 24 minutes of pure violin noise bliss. Edition of 500 with printed inner sleeve featuring a Saitensack discussion transcript.