Bernhard Günter (b. 1957)

Un Peu de Neige Salie (1993)

1. Untitled I/92

2. Whiteout

3. Untitled IV/92

4. Untitled I/93

The first track of Un Peu de Neige Salie, UNTITLED I/92, is the only work using synthesized sounds I have ever released. UNTITLED I/92is actually a 'glitch' piece in the literal sense: I used a Prophet 2000 key- board's sequencer to overload the MIDI input of a Yamaha TX816 (a rack unit consisting of eight modules, each representing the original Yamaha DX7 FM-synth; four modules were used playing two sounds I had programmed). Very dense chords played using fingers, hands, and forearms (being arpeggiated by the Prophet keyboard's built-in arpeggiator) quickly surpassed the modules' capacity of 16 notes, resulting in clicks when notes broke off. I recorded my playing with the Cubase sequencer, and so became able to edit and compose the density and frequency content of the sound, as well as the glitches, to which I added a new element by inserting an 'all notes off' MIDI command at strategic points, resulting in a strange resonating sound beginning with a loud pop coming from the TX816. I still like this piece very much, and frequently use it as the opening piece for my concerts.

UNTITLED IV/92 is based on a five second sample of a person taking a deep breath during a voice per formance; this is the only material used, treated and modified to provide all the sounds you hear in the piece, giving the piece a somewhat 'organic' sound world. Its formal structure is rather perculiar, as the piece has two beginnings, starting twice, at different pitches (listening to the beginning I was not really that satisfied, had it start again, but somehow had the inspiration to keep the original beginning), and a long drawn-out ending questioning the very idea of an end before softly disappearing.

UNTITLED I/93 is a quite particular work for me, a work of very intimate character and atmosphere, trans parent and fragile I made in an almost unconscious way. I sometimes refer to it as 'the realm of hungry ghosts' (one of the Buddhist versions of hell in which the lost souls wander) in my mind because of its other-worldly feel. I don't associate it with hell, though, and asking myself how I could describe its mood, I came up with 'comfortable loneliness'.
-Bernhard Günter

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