Out Of the Stillness
Multiinstrumental world music sound collages between improvisation and composition on an assortment of most unusual instruments. This music is experimental and traditional at the same time. The visions of Hildegard von Bingen are transformed into multicultural sound pictures and sound worlds, alluding to musical traditions from around the world and combines them with a new, unusual expressivity of the 21st century.
The sound collages of “Out of the Stillness” were recorded with multi-tracking. The two musicians play the following instruments:
Gernot Blume: didgeridoo • harp • organ pipes • frame drum • guitar • mandolin • sitar • concertina • violin • bass • Indian shruti box • Swedish nickelharpa • recorder • accordion • bagpipes • music box • Irish whistles • Bolivian tarka flute
Julie Spencer: tongue drums • voice • Swedish nickelharpa • Finnish kantele • gong • glass marimba • organ pipes • rattles • Indian tabla • African balafon • Balinese gangsa • ceng ceng • wind chimes • tambourine • drum set • congas • djembe • dumbek • various percussion
“The compositions of Hildegard of Bingen were created in her belief that music is the true bridge to celestial harmony. Solemn melodies carried by pure female voices over the foundation of basic instrumental chords - just as echoed by the American marimbist and singer Julie Spencer and the multi-instrumentalist Gernot Blume in the introductory The Seer of the CD ‘Out of the Stillness’. The daring compositions of the two artists who live in Bingen produce a perfect symbiosis of meditative, dance-like, and percussive interpretations, complemented by folkloristic sound-textures.
Streams of notes pearl from the marimba, mystical and exotic atmospheres develop with mandolin, sitar, and violin to the rhythmic backdrop of tabla drums. Truly angelic vocalizations and spiritualized speech-song create profound and sacral impressions. Buoyant dance-like instrumental parts with bagpipes or accordion evoke Gaelic or related medieval music. Almost always are the melodies led over bass foundations, at times created by exotic instruments like the didgeridoo or the shruti-box.
Harmonic experimentation characterizes Places of Cleansing. The meeting of the African wood-xylophone called balafon, bass drum, cow bells, tambourine with a Bolivian flute and contrabass paint a musical picture of the creation of the world. Inspired by the visions of Hildegard of Bingen and the miniatures to her theological writings, Julie Spencer and Gernot Blume have created a dialog across the boundaries of time and musical categories. World-Jazz in the broadest sense. Klaus Mümpfer, Jazz Journalist
“The listener remembers as a reverberation from this music the comfortable emotions of these incredibly colorful and multifaceted pieces. From the highly original and diverse instrumentation, the spontaneous and secure improvisations to the song-like expressiveness of the vision topics, the two musicians have accomplished something extraordinary, something akin to a musical anthology of medieval spirituality. The sensitive sensations of Hildegard become by way of this musical translation and transcendence completely timeless, free of ethnic and cultural limitations, expressed with modern means, and appreciable by the listener as an intuitive and personal experience.” Dr. Michael Herzog, Author, Film maker