Lena Selyanina and I have just released our seventh album titled Vienna Blue
. All our albums so far have fitted into the broad genre definition of ambient, but this one is something else. To put some sort of label on it, I would characterize it as avantgarde with influences from classical, jazz, blues and even electronic music.
The album started to unfold from the track Der Leiermann
which we recorded in May 2008. The song was inspired by the similarly titled song from Franz Schubert's Winterreise song cycle - a work that had made a deep impression on both Lena and me. While working on our neoclassical ambient albums we had occasionally speculated about doing something Schubert related but we rejected the idea every time because Schubert's music just did not have that air of ambience in it. Then one evening Lena just sat down at the piano and started to improvise around Schubert's Leiermann theme... and what came out sounded so good to me that I immediately started recording.
As it often goes, the song soon started to live its own life and was fairly quickly and easily finished. We liked the strange and mystical atmosphere of the track so much that we again considered working on a Schubert themed album. Realizing it would not be ambient but something else, Lena started to compose and improvise totally fresh material from all sorts of musical and thematic associations she had from Schubert. And that turned out to be a real inspiring source for her, as Schubert was her absolute favorite among the classical composers ever since her conservatory years.
This album is above all a demonstration of Lena's creative genius as a composer and of her multifaceted skills as a pianist. It is an adventure that takes the listener into various inner and outer places and situations, from the soberness of a cold winter landscape where a wanderer leaves the safety of his home (Wanderer
) to the longing, emotional blue of rainy Vienna (Vienna Blue
) to a scary encounter with one's doppelgänger (Doppelgänger
) to the diagnostic beauty of a lunatic asylum garden where a well-medicated Shostakovich Memory Orchestra is playing beautiful neoclassical music for Doktor Freud on a lovely sunny summer afternoon (Impromptu
). The listener gets also to taste the erotic joys of a sensual waltz (Naughty Waltz
) and the beautiful passion of a classical romance (An die Romanze
) until at the end the we are to meet the solitary reaper himself in the form of an old hurdy gurdy man (Der Leiermann
Enjoy the adventure!