Instruments Henrik Schwarz & Dan Berglund
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- 1Walk Music Four06:31
- 2Marvin Two10:23
- 3Leave My Head Alone Brain Seven05:57
- 4In Björndal01:37
- 5Cloud Three03:28
- 7I Exist Because of You Two05:06
Info for Instruments
„Instruments“ is an acoustic project by internationally celebrated producer/performer/composer Henrik Schwarz. He is an artist highly on request to create energetic dance music productions for Boy George, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, indie stars Ane Brun, The Foals, Omar, or jazz legends like Mark Murphy. His intense laptop performances in major clubs and at the largest international music festivals in Japan, USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America catapulted Schwarz into the Top Ten League of electronic music performers.
The classical arrangements on Instruments are created by Johannes Brecht as a fully acoustic listening experience of Schwarz's chart topping melodic compositions. On this album, 7 of his compositions are transcribed for a contemporary music ensemble, including the first single ever released that got worldwide attention – "Marvin" (which came out in 2002).
Both performed and recorded strictly acoustic, without the backbone of any electronic instruments, the pureness and elegance of wood brass, strings and percussions are transporting the repetitive grooves and hymnal anthems into renowned concert halls.
The recordings made in Japan supplied the source material for Instruments. Included are acoustic chamber music arrangements of Schwarz's EDM hits like the 2006 remix of "Wamims" and "Walk Music," which he has used as an opener for his live sets, plus one new composition "In Bjorndal."
All the pieces have been arranged for a complete body of strings (violins, violas, cellos and double bass). The strings are joined by low woodwind (bass flute, bass clarinet and bassoon), which not only supply individual timbres, but are also a source of rhythm like a vibraphone, a percussion instrument that is also a part of the new arrangements. In this context, the focus is on the magic and the magnetic power of minimalism, something that American composer Steve Reich used to influence the pop and techno scene with his cleverly interlocking rhythmic chains.
Right at the outset of "Walk Music," there is a magical combination of single, lyrical notes from the strings and mysterious vibraphone figures in the background. The following track, "Marvin," literally sprouts from a single note that is constantly repeated. Here, the bass flute, the viola and the cello evolve a rhythmic energy whose slightly burlesque tone is initially reminiscent of the neo-classicism of Stravinsky – at least until the orchestra strikes up a groove in several parts.
Nor is this by any means the only reference to the great classical masters: inconspicuous reminiscences of this kind are cunningly sprinkled in at liberty. The piece "In Bjorndal" radiates a curious and seductive melancholy magic that could almost be a tribute to Arnold Schonberg and his prismatic style. For "Leave My Head Alone Brain Seven," arranger Johannes Brecht added to the ensemble a bassett horn, a member of the clarinet family that Mozart was particularly fond of. In "I Exist Because Of You" the cello sometimes plays the so-called 'Bartok pizzicati' that go back to the Hungarian composer: the cellist twangs the string and then lets it spring back against the fingerboard.
The harmonies and sounds of the original tracks are played here by the strings and also a number of woodwind instruments, among which the bass clarinet has the starring role. Time and time again, production techniques from electronic music such as loops or low-cuts are transformed into orchestral arrangements, with frequencies being muffled over the space of several bars (e.g. in "Leave My Head Alone Brain Seven"). The result is a new kind of music played on classical instruments. A music that doesn't deny its roots in the club world and could only be created on the computer; a music that manages to transport the energy of electronic dance music to the classical concert hall – with the bass drum only present in the listener's head.
The internationally celebrated producer/performer/composer for electronic music Henrik Schwarz always expresses an eclectic approach towards music, composition and sound design. He easily and uniquely bridges the gap between performances for seated audiences at renowned concert houses and his dance sets around the globe.
Henrik Schwarz is an artist on one hand highly on request to create energetic dance music productions for Boy George, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, indie stars Ane Brun, The Foals, Omar, or jazz legends like Mark Murphy. His intense laptop performances in major clubs and the largest international music festivals in Japan, USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America catapulted Schwarz into the Top Ten League of electronic music performers.
As remix producer over 200 releases on major and indie labels saw the light of the world so far. 5 albums/ compilations on !K7 Recs and Universal Music are added to this in the last years.
Over the last two years Schwarz developed an innovative approach to transfer his personal aesthetics of modern techno productions into acoustic chamber music arrangements. The Tonhalle Zurich, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester & Deutsches Kammerorchester commissioned arrangements to be performed in their residential venues. The concert at the Kammermusiksaal of the Berlin Philharmonic Hall was sold out.
These arrangements are created by Johannes Brecht as a fully acoustic listening experience of Schwarzs chart topping melodic compositions. 8 compositions are transcribed for an impressing 10 piece contemporary music ensemble. Both performed and recorded strictly acoustic, without the backbone of any electronic instruments, or pretending to be dance music at all, the pureness and elegance of wood brass, strings and percussions are transporting the repetitive grooves and hymnic anthems into renowned concert halls.
Henrik Schwarz was born and raised in South Germany where he also took his first musical steps as a DJ in local Clubs playing Rap, Hip Hop, Rare Groove and Jazz and Detroit Techno. Soon after he started to spin regularly he was also interested in computer music production and started to do his own productions in 1992 with a few drumachines and synths. When he got his first Laptop in 1998 he started to integrate it into his DJ-Sets and soon the Laptop played an important role in all his music activities. The software got better and better and Henrik was enjoying the new possibilities.1999, after he had finished his studies in Graphic Design, Henrik decided to move to Berlin and worked as a Graphic Designer for several years. By-and-by things developed nicely also on the music side and he had the chance to found his own label SUNDAY-MUSIC together with Sasse Lindblad who had just released Henrik’s first ever Vinyl 12? called “SUPRAVISION EP” on his label Moodmusic Records in 2002. “Marvin”, one of the tracks on the record, got attention from many DJs around the world, especially BBC’s Gilles Peterson took it in his show and played it with immediate effect. From that moment things made a great leap forward for Henrik: He received first remix requests and started to travel to the UK and other European countries. His next releases “Jon” on SUNDAY-MUSIC and especially “Chicago” on MOODMUSIC became very successful and made him shift his activities more and more from Design towards music production and travelling.
Over the last years with international bookings all around the globe, with regular appearances in Japan, America etc. Henrik improved his HENRIK SCHWARZ LIVE show and is now one of the most requested live acts in the dance scene. At the same time Henrik produced a string of very well received remixes and own tracks: WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES for Coldcut on Ninjatune became one of the biggest club hits of 2006, LEAVE MY HEAD ALONE BRAIN bridged the gap between Jazz and Techno and Soul and was super well received by Deejays from Hip-Hop to House to Techno and became the biggest hit for SUNDAY-MUSIC so far. Until today he has done remixes for many very well known names like Mari Boine (Universal), Kuniyuki (Mule Musiq), DJ Hell, Tosca (G-Stone), Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (Deeper Soul), James Brown, Dark Globe feat. Boy George, Omar feat. Stevie Wonder, Jazzanova, Jesse Rose, Detroit Experiment, Michael Jackson (Motown) and many others. Today many fans are awaiting his debut album which is in the works effectively since a few months.
2006, as a result of him getting more and more known by a wider audience, Henrik was asked by !K7 to do one of their famous DJ-Kicks series and the result has been regarded as “one of the highlights of the series” and led to another cooperation of the label and Henrik: HENRIK SCHWARZ LIVE with recordings from his intoxicating live shows from all over the world.
With Dixon and Âme from Innervisions Henrik released “Where We At” with Derrick Carter on Vocals which became an instant classic and marked the beginning of a fruitful and close collaboration between Henrik and Innervisions until today with successful releases and remixes like AMAMPONDO AND HENRIK SCHWARZ – I EXIST BECAUSE OF YOU (Amampondo is a very famous south african percussion group), ANE BRUN – HEADPHONE SILENCE (Henrik Schwarz Remix, Dixon Edit), Crocodile IV-RMX for UNDERWORLD, HOLD MY HAND IV-RMX for UNKLE and many others culminating in the first unforgetable Laptop Supergroup Live show of the dreamteam together “A CRITICAL MASS” in Amsterdam and more gigs around 2009 at Melt!, Dissonanze in Rome, Detroit Electronic Music Festival, NY, Japan and many others to come.
2009 also saw the release of a very well received compilation called THE GRANDFATHER PARADOX where Henrik Schwarz, Âme and Dixon were looking back at the last 50 years of minimalistic music from Stevie Reich to Robert Hood and correlated the past and today to throw a glance at the future with the help of todays technology.
Early 2010 Henrik released the SCHWARZONATOR. It is a music software plug in on the basis of the music programming environment MAX/MSP. SCHWARZONATOR helps creating complex harmonic structures for the computer musician. It can also help interacting with instrumentalists and led to another major discussion about the use of the computer as a musical instrument. More software like this will be written by Henrik in the future to expand the performance and improvisation possibilities given by computers today.
Henrik already worked with the Chicago based Jazz trio ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE on live performances earlier in his career with gigs in Bordeaux and Chicago etc. His most recent Live duo project together with world-famous Jazz virtuoso BUGGE WESSELTOFT from Norway happened at several venues all over Europe in 2009 with gigs in Berlin, Oslo, the Jazz Festival Montreux and others. It is about the free improvisation between a laptop and a grandpiano played by two musicians who both have a great knowledge from the other one’s musical background. 2010 took the duo to a sold out London’s Royal Festival Hall with more gigs in 2010 for example at the Philharmonic Hall Cologne or the Norway Numusic festival and many other venues around the globe. WESSELTOFT & SCHWARZ DUO album will be released in June 2011 worldwide through UNIVERSAL/JAZZLAND.
A CRITICAL MASS (H. Schwarz, Âme, Dixon) wrote a new scoring of the black and white horror movie classic “Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari” which was performed live by the group at the Jetztmusik Festival in Mannheim early 2010. The future looks bright as we will see more of his one-of-a-kind remixes and remarkable releases in the near future, more collaborations with Bugge Wesseltoft, Dan Berglund (E.S.T.), percussion legend Guem, Jesse Rose as Black Rose more Live shows!
2011 his duo ensemble with norwegians famous jazz artist BUGGE WESSELTOFT, a grammy honoured pianist, got signed to Universal Music. They are performing to a mixed audience of jazz and electronic music lovers at concerthalls like Royal Festival Hall, Philharmonic Halls and international jazzfestivals.
This album contains no booklet.