FRANZ HAUTZINGER – Gomberg II “Profile”

(Loewenhertz)

Austrian trumpeter Franz Hautzinger published “Gomberg” on Grob in 2000; this, after seven years of waiting, is the second chapter. The only featured instrument is quartertone trumpet, superimposed and processed; on the contrary, the live performance of this piece, premiered at the “Contrasts 07 – Strange Music” festival in Krems, was presented by an ensemble of real wind players. Sticking to the recorded version under examination here, we’re in front of an instantly captivating work whose main influence seems to reside in historic minimalism – Steve Reich on top – as Hautzinger’s repetitive figurations and harmonic constancy manage to elicit in the listeners that virtual perception of imaginary lines, and even voices, that a massive superimposition of akin timbres and geometric patterns generate. The different tracks build their momentum on this incessant flow of contrapuntal stability, just slightly perturbed by thematic embryos (“Tara”) or vaguely reminiscent of more esoteric settings, Jon Hassell-style (“S.Gone”, “Fahne”). The composer succeeds because, right where one would expect some sort of orchestral representation of “EAI absence”, he strikes instead with a bodily sonic phenomenon welcomed by the ears as a battalion liberating the music from a sense of restraint that, in such an occasion, is not necessary. The bomber-like rumble of the amassed trumpets in “Loha” recalls indeed an attack from the sky, and the conclusive, Niblockian “Pitch” is yet another outstanding moment of intrigue in a very solid outing.

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