Lilienweiss: Zwitschern-Zyklus

No group sounds quite like Lilienweiss and it's not only because of the group's unusual software-enhanced clarinets-electronics mix. The five compositions comprising Zwitschern-Zyklus (“Twitter Cycle”) also reveal German duo Dorothea Herrmann (clarinets) and Thorsten Scheerer (electric guitar and bass) to be provocative composers. A given piece typically presents a swirling backdrop on top of which Herrmann and Scheerer weave multi-directional melodic strands. In “Zwitschern 1,” synthetic droplets offer a pitter-pattering background for a small clarinet army, while crystalline tones form a distinctive backdrop in “Zwitschern 2.” The clarinet's titular twitter is again spotlighted in “Zwitschern 4,” this time augmented by angular guitar stabs and undulating electronic treatments. Even more unusual is the closing piece, “Ach, Gott! (Tu se' morta)” which adds Bach organ fragments to the sonic mix. Herrmann is an especially versatile player and her staccato flutters and swooping lines help make Zwitschern-Zyklus a remarkable collection, despite its fleeting, twenty-one minute running time.

January 2008