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Parzival Overture
Etude

KONRAD BECKER (MONOTON) Grand Piano Classics

2CD album | gg143
Konrad Becker's work as a sound artist and composer is mostly known for his pioneering achievements in electronic music under the name Monoton. Until this day documents of his acoustic works remain extremely rare. The pieces for 4 painos remain a central element in his oeuvre and it is for the first time that these historic recordings are made available. Recorded in 1982-83 for the international performance series "Program for the 100% resocialization of the devil" and the "Parzival" opera in May 1984. Three previously unpiblished "Zero Oxygen" tracks contrast the almost 30 year old analogue sound documents. In 2002 the piano pieces for mechanical instruments were amended by a digital postscript of virtual grand pianos. Special price. Deleted 24.11.2014, sorry.

Konrad Becker is a High Magistrate of Hypermedia. A polymath involved in numerous interdisciplinary fields of study and endeavor. (...) Music fans will know him for his accomplished forays in electronic and computer music under the name Monoton, a project that begin in 1979. The acoustic works on this album expose another facet of Konrad’s complex working methods, and his fascination with mathematical structures. The songs on the two-disc set are not arranged sequentially. Two of the long players, both over 40 minutes, preclude that possibility. Disc one opens with “Parzival Overture” from 1984, moving in a non-linear manner afterwards.The song is thunderous and dense, and all four pianos are multi-tracked, played by Konrad. He hits the notes in rapid fire succession, a characteristic that the other concertos share as well. Resonating overtones give wings to the imagination. All smashed up into a thick wall of sound, it seems as if the notes spent some time together in the Large Hadron Collider. The rhythmically vibrating strings cause me to lock in step and oscillate at the same high rate. The manner of playing focuses on the percussive element and is akin to a shaman beating on a frame drum to induce out-of-body journeys and it would not surprise me if this was also Becker’s intention. songs on the two-disc set are not arranged sequentially. Two of the long players, both over 40 minutes, preclude that possibility. Disc one opens with “Parzival Overture”from 1984, moving in a non-linear manner afterwards. The song is thunderous and dense, and all four pianos are multi-tracked, played by Konrad. He hits the notes in rapid fire succession, a characteristic that the other concertos share as well. Resonating overtones give wings to the imagination. All smashed up into a thick wall of sound, it seems as if the notes spent some time together in the Large Hadron Collider. The rhythmically vibrating strings cause me to lock in step and oscillate at the same high rate. The manner of playing focuses on the percussive element and is akin to a shaman beating on a frame drum to induce out-of-body journeys and it would not surprise me if this was also Becker’s intention."
(Brainwashed, June 2010)

If you don't know Konrad Becker, you should be ashamed of yourself. Well, no, perhaps, not, but his Monoton records from the early 80s are simply the best in the minimalist electronics.(...) It would be too easy to make that very obvious reference to the work of Charlemagne Palestine or early Steve Reich. Although Becker's work is very minimal, with repeating phrases at different intervals all the time, there is one difference: the sustain pedal is hardly used. Especially the two long pieces, 'Parzival Overture' and 'Danse Diable', remind me of the work of Simeon Ten Holt, the Dutch composer of piano works which are long (compared to his work, these Becker pieces are ultra short). Especially 'Parzival Overture' is a great piece, which comes across more clearer and more refined than 'Danse Diable', which is clearly a spooky, haunted piece of music."
(Vital Weekly, June 2010)

Konrad Becker, known in his other life as electronic sound artist Monoton, considers these pieces for four multitracked pianos ro be central to his thinking, and reveals his unplugged side for the first time on CD. (...) Becker brings his electronic sensibility into play: hammered arpeggiations generate a viscous wall of low frequency tones and overtones, and incidental overlaps and clashing harmonic interferences override the fascination of the 'source' patterns themselves."
(The Wire, July 2010)

Klanggalerie goes Klassik? Das Cover der vorliegenden Konrad Becker- Doppel-CD scheint dies jedenfalls zu suggerieren und auch der erste Höreindruck zu bestätigen. Rasant angeschlagene Piano-Akkorde dominieren die insgesamt 7 (zum Teil recht langen) Stücke und treiben in ihrer hypnotisierenden Monotonie fast schon in Trance."
(Black Magazine, November 2010)