CONTINUUM - a musical journey of discovery through the centuries
Like a good wine, music needs air to breath. This also applies to the creative processes of compositional development and musical arrangement, and also to the place in which the music is played. We have found a special environment for our first CD production "Continuum": the concert hall in the picturesque Marienmünster Abbey. This time-honoured monastery was the perfect space for us. It inspired, and motivated us. Again and again it fired us to new heights. The result is our repertoire of spiritual and secular music of the Baroque and Renaissance, mixed with elements of jazz, which we present to you on this CD.
We have chosen both well- known, and lesser-known pieces, which we would like to present to you in this Jazz‘N'Spirit adaptation.
Join us on a musical journey of discovery, which takes us through the centuries, ending in the present day.
It is a diverse journey of discovery, which overarches classical music, jazz, world music and sometimes pop - attractive, emotional and manifold and a pure sound experience.
Dear Music Friends
The choice of music had been made, the arrangements completed and intensive weeks of practice were behind us, as in July 2010, we were to about embark on our two days of recording in the Marienmünster Abbey near Detmold. Our luggage: instruments, music scores, lots of enthusiasm and much positive anticipation of our first CD production with our new ensemble. Still, there were some open questions. It was quite clear to us during the preparations that we wanted to play without amplifiers and with room microphones rather than one for each instrument. Furthermore, we wanted to achieve as pure as sound as possible for our CD »Continuum« with the undiluted acoustic sound of saxophone, guitar and double bass. The as yet unknown
acoustics of the concert hall were also a real challenge: but it became clear after just a few bars - this is the right place and the ideal stage to express perfectly the musical intentions of Jazz'N'Spirit. Inspired by the very special atmosphere of the historic building, and excellently supported by our sound engineer Holger Schlegel, who brought the production on with sensitivity and expertise, it was now down to putting things to practice. The result was 12 pieces of music, which bridged jazz and classical, fixed notation and improvisation. Capturing the special atmosphere of the moment.
We hope through our interpretation of these Baroque and Renaissance pieces that we have been able to create for you an inspiring and above all thrilling musical experience.
CONTINUUM booklet notes
1. Becker-Psalm 58 (Heinrich Schütz 1585-1672/ Arrangement: Martin Flindt)
This arrangement is really closer to 'pop' music - all three instruments follow the transcribed theme. We have distanced ourselves here somewhat from the gist of the text, which is about the thirst for revenge against an unjust ruler, who should be serving God.
2. Nach grüner Farb‘ mein Herz verlangt [For green shades my heart does yearn] (Michael Praetorius from ‘musae sioniae' 1610 / Arrangement: Martin Flindt)
This arrangement was created just before the recording. The special energy and cheerful mood of the original piece appealed to us.
3. Come again (John Dowland 1563-1626/ Arrangement: Dirk Piezunka)
... a wonderful and well known love song by John Dowland. It is often heard in its choral arrangement, but here our orchestration sets free the musical substance of the work for us, this shows how music can withstand time. Whenever we play it, we rediscover the youthful freshness and emotionality of this musical declaration of love by John Dowland, who died hundreds of years ago.
4. Das alte Jahr vergangen ist [The Old Year now hath passed away] (Johann Steuerlein 1588/ Arrangement: Dirk Piezunka)
This poignant and melancholic melody describes the winter mood at the change of year. The free improvisation at the beginning used the excellent acoustics of the room and lead to a tapered, harmonic interplay.
5. Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten [If you but permit God to prevail] (Georg Neumark 1657/ Arrangement: Dirk Piezunka)
Not every choral melody is appropriate for jazz re-harmonisation. This melody however inspired us all und stimulated us to create something new.
6. She moved through the fair (Irish song, composer unknown. First published 1909/ Arrangement: Dirk Piezunka)
The inclusion of this traditional Irish piece in the repertoire is thanks to one of those special moments: Dirk's partner Aike-Sofie sang it in a small Danish village church, and it created a moment of memorable intensity. The text describes unfulfilled love, as with many other traditional Irish songs, and evokes a deep melancholy, like the mist, which hangs heavy over the Ring of Kerry.
7. Andantino aus Opus 35 (Fernando Sor 1778-1839/Arrangement: Martin Flindt)
"I began playing classical guitar as a young boy - and Fernando Sor is a typical composer of Etudes with which one almost inevitably comes into contact. Since then I have always loved this particular piece..." says Martin. Originally written in 2/4, it
takes on a completely new dynamic in 3/4 beat.
8. Lobt Gott ihr Christen alle gleich [Praise God now Christians, all alike] (Nikolaus Herman 1554/ Arrangement: Dirk Piezunka)
One of the best- known Christmas chorales. The uneven groove of the arrangement is carried by the bass clarinet. This
creates space for a exchange of roles: Jens bows the choral melody on the double bass. A quote from Joni Mitchell 'I had a King' is embedded into the piece.
9. Pavane (Toinot Arbeau 1589/ Arrangement: Dirk Piezunka)
This is also well known choir music; one of the most beautiful mediaeval love songs. It always deeply moves.
10. Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott [Strong Tower & Refuge us our God] (Martin Luther 1528/ Arrangement: Martin Flindt)
The original choral arrangement appealed to us a lot, and so we had the idea of arranging the four voices so that the soprano plays the 1st, the guitar the 2nd and 3rd and the double bass the 4th parts. At the recording, we spontaneously built in some collective improvisation, which works with contrapuntal voices, and which develops slowly from baroque to jazz. At the end we develop the arrangement back to the starting point.
11. Lobet den Herren [Praise to the Lord] (1665 unknown composer. Text by Joachim Neander 1680/ Arrangement: Dirk Piezunka)
Perhaps the best- known of choral melodies. In this re-harmonisation we play the piece in the style of a standard jazz classic.
12. Nun ruhen alle Wälder [Now all the Woods are sleeping] (Paul Gerhardt 1647 / Arrangement: Martin Flindt)
The singer Hanna Jursch brought this piece to our attention and we dedicate this arrangement to her. From the start we knew this would be last piece in our recording session, played in the late evening, as it gets dark outside, when the impression looms that the work is already done.