Günter Schlienz – Organ Studies


Günter Schlienz
Organ Studies
Constellation Tatsu, 2013

Yesterday I happened to be at opera theater with "Aida" by Giuseppe Verdi. The performance was wonderful, impressive and very intense. Listening to unstoppable flow of musical themes and rich palette of singers voices, I thought about how much my mind is immersed in minimalism. Opera passages are so changeable and transient, that my used to the constant repetition and monotonous hum consciousness had some hard moments. Do you think that long-term drone-ambient listener experience doesn't affect the perception? It certainly does! During the opera I also had the idea that if I had to listen to this music every day, I would certainly behaved like an old "Pentium 2", which attempts to launch HD-video. And then I thought about Günter - he is working as sound engineer at the opera and probably knows more about these experiences. It is part of human nature - to get used to everything, but leave man alone and he will immediately do what he really loves to do. For Gunther such occupation is a long and meditative creation of analog synthesizers followed by the composition of contemplative music with them. Resulting compositions can be surely attributed to the academic music, but they are so far away from the operas of Verdi as the Andromeda from our galaxy. Günter Schlienz is the same inveterate minimalist as I am.

In some ways Organ Studies sounds much more minimalistic than, for example, synth works by Terry Riley. For someone this may be the reason to call this music post-minimalism, but, in my opinion, the prefix "post-" is best suited only to the word "apocalypse". In this case, much more likely to talk about the prefix "pre-", because Günther's music has vector, that is confidently directed to the future, yet being rooted in minimalism of 60s. Point here is not futuristic sound, but deep energy of this music. It is felt at the level where emotions and thoughts are only in the form of interference. This is high level of contemplation, without any effort on yourself - there is only an ineradicable desire for knowledge. Not only cognition of the world or themselves, but relationships between these two entities. The music in this case is both an instrument of knowledge and its result. A feedback loop spins this process like a giant spiral, expanding the orbits of knowledge to astronomical scales.

Once Günter said that he is often asked whether he is into yoga or any spiritual practices. But the only and the most natural experience for him is circuit boards soldering, the best fragrance - the smell of heated rosin and tin. In his enthusiasm, Schlienz reminds me of King Tubby, another famous lover of steaming solder and sound experiments. I admire purposefulness of these people, it can lead to incredible discoveries. The whole value of them will become apparent only after some time. I'm not going to tell you what you can hear on this album, will only say that it definitely should be heard.

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