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Eternity Cult

Birgit Ulher: trumpet, radio, speaker, objects
Damon Smith: double bass
Chris Gogburn: percussion, electronics

1. Is the Longest Disease of Mankind (35:05)

Balance Point Acoustics

Bad Alchemy

Mit Der ewigkeitskult ist die älteste krankheit der menschheit. WANN gespielt wird ist ebenso wichtig wie WAS gespielt wird überschrieb Nam June Paik 1965 seine 'Symphony No. 5', für deren Dauer von Years, Centuries, Mega-Years er den Weltmeistertitel als Heavyweight Composer beanspruchte. Mit pick up your old impotent penis with your finger and play the first piece of Czerny-etude with this penis, on keyboard... & hold the bow of the violincello in your beautiful vagina, and play an attractive music... (preferable Saint-Saens' death of swan) - im 1003. Jahr (!) der Aufführung – dachte er zudem, dem sexuellen Manko von Musik abzuhelfen. John Cages 'ORGAN2/ASLSP' (1985) ist mit seinen nur 639 Jahren in Halberstadt daneben bloß mickrig und unsexy. Dass die Weltmeisterschaft im Lang- & Weitpinkeln über dem Grab des Fluxus-Buddhas durchgeführt wird, hat daher schon seine Richtigkeit. Mit The Eternity-Cult (Balance Point Acoustics, BPA-12) erweist ihm nun auch BIRGIT ULHER die Ehre, im texanischen Zusammenklang mit dem Kontrabass-Champion DAMON SMITH und CHRIS COGBURN an Percussion & Electronics, der seit seinen punkigen Anfängen mit Artless Motives und über Anáhuac hinaus attraktive Musik auch schon mit Jaap Blonk und mit Smith zu machen versucht hat. Ich gehe mal davon aus, dass die Streicheleinheiten und die Knarzologie des Bassbogens keine Vaginalabstriche einschließt. Und wie polymorph-pervers Ulher da auch immer am Trompetenmundstück nuckelt, zirpt, schmatzt, faucht und röchelt, man muss selbst Kindern davor weder Augen noch Ohren zuhalten, im Gegenteil, lustvolles Kindeswohl ist hier oberste Maxime. Wobei Cogburn mit elektronischem Zirpen und händischem Fummeln und Streicheln mit diebischem Spaß vormacht, wie spielerisch er die 'Trompete', Ulhers blechernen Krimskrams und den Bass nachmachen und die Wahrnehmung austricksen kann. Kindern dürfte auch gefallen, wie heimlichtuerisch und mucksmausig die drei da den Sinnen Streiche spielen, drahtig murksend, saitig fieselnd, mit den Lippen blubbernd, schlabbernd und züllend, mit Metall kratzend und dongend. Also: Spiel & Sport als fluxus-gewitzte Alternative zu Popanzerei jeder Couleur, trifft es das?

Rigo Dittmann, BA 113 rbd,

Vital Weekly

Now, suppose the Ulher/Vbra release is the result of two days playing together and editing and mixing the results. In that case, the trio disco of Ulher (now trumpet, radio, speaker, objects) with Damon Smith (double bass) and Chris Cogburn (percussion, electronics) is the result of playing live and releasing it on record. The concert (no name of a venue is mentioned, so maybe it is a private live recording?) took place on Feb 17th, 2018, in Denton, TX, and this time it is more a straightforward work of improvised music. In the thirty-five minutes (although the cover says thirty-seven!), these three players explore their instruments, all three of them combining traditional and non-traditional techniques to extract sounds from their instruments. At the same time, I suppose there is the interaction between the three players, that much-needed chemistry that makes improvised music tick. The chemistry is great here. Throughout this piece, this trio creates excellent dynamics, combining the loud and the soft, exploring combinations, keeping them going for a while, and then moving back to something new, different and leaving space between them, so that at some point there is only one player, picking up a new thread. Everything is played with a steady pace, nothing too slow, nothing rushed. The objects and electronics were used to add a layer of alienation, adding to the multi-coloured variety of this release

Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

The Squid's Ear

A blend of intonation and improvisation, The Eternity-Cult is a harmonies-across-the-seas program featuring the trumpet and objects of Birgit Ulher from Northern Germany with the double bass (Damon Smith) and percussion and electronics (Chris Cogburn) from the southern US. Despite geographical distances the three are equally committed to free-from improvisation. This disc's single 37-minute track finds the trio exploring textures and pitches from minimalist to embellished, while maintaining linear flow.

Ulher, who has worked with Smith in other contexts, deconstructs conventional brass tones by substituting dead air forced through the horn with no valve movement, mouthpiece sucking, stuttering blows and narrowed squeals. Swelling her adaptation of radio-sourced static as well as spitting yelps created by pressing the trumpet bell against unyielding objects, she frequently unearths distinctive leitmotifs when joined by crackling wave forms from Cogburn's electrified beats. Meanwhile whether the others produce whiny cries or concentrated buzzing, Smith's subtle and dedicated string strategies add extra pumps and shakes to preserve concentrated steadiness. During a few hushed interludes where Ulher's half-valve effects brush up against sul tasto rubs from Smith's bass and Cogburn's programmed voltage, hisses are also negotiated succinctly. Then at the two-thirds mark, the instant composition reaches a crescendo of string buzzes, metallic percussion rustles and portamento brass effects. Shaking and burbling, the resulting sequence settles into a conclusion that highlights joint innovative sound extensions; connective threads mean that unusual textures can be appreciated at many junctures.

Although no cult members are involved, the music itself has been captured for eternity.

Ken Waxman, The Squid's Ear

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