Von Lilienstern: Couture

Album cover art for upc 4010228643923
Label: WERGO
Catalog: WER64392

Volkov, Ilan; Ensemble Garage; Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks; Jönsson, Lars; Elbers, Soetkin; Kobler, Benjamin; Vargas, Johanna; Voyles, Scott; Ensemble Interface; Chiacchiarini, Mariano

The fact that Genoël von Lilienstern's childhood falls in the 1980s is proven by his portrait album in many ways: On the one hand, it is synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7 that shape the aesthetics and sound of his works; on the other hand, the radio, as the supplier for countless mixtapes at the time, is the focus, sometimes directly, sometimes more hiddenly. Booklet author Julian Kämper refers to their special quality when he describes von Lilienstern's recourse to pop cultural artifacts and practices of the Eighties: "Thanks to the new studio facilities of that decade, a distinctive sound was newly defined and perfected, a sound which, von Lilienstern maintains, has ‘never mouldered away’ and has remained all-pervasive to the present day through ceaseless daily bombardment on radio and television, in department stores and on the internet." In “Voz Comercial”, for example, the Berlin composer uses transcriptions of radio commercials from Mexico and Peru; in “Big Picture”, in turn, a one-hour recording of worldwide Internet radio stations serves as the source material. In both works, the vocals of Johanna Vargas respectively Soetkin Elbers, take on a central role and, in their interplay with the Ensemble Garage, evoke an image that oscillates between excessive consumer society and acoustic reflection. In the two other pieces on the portrait album – “Couture” and “Top” - synthesizers dominate: von Lilienstern uses them as sound generators of a bygone era. In the case of Couture, they mix with the SWR Symphony Orchestra, so that the individual musical sources are sometimes no longer discernible.

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