Wie Das Wispern Des Windes
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An electronic musician, now alone and unaccompanied on the Rolls Royce of 19th century grand pianos.
Finally re-released by Bureau Buskies after being out of print for 25 years, Like the Whispering of the Wind is one of Roedelius' paradigm shifting albums. He's traded in his Farfisa organ for a 120-year Bosendorfer grand piano - "A beautiful instrument with the sound of a lost age". There's a special pleasure to be had from listening to a skilled electronic musician as he grapples in private with the limitations of a two-track recorder and a grand piano whose multitue of possibilities he was still learning about.
Laying bare his delicate technique, "And Searching for Nothing" was proof that Roedelius wasn't merely a loop merchant he was often made out to be. His expressive piano technique explores the subtleties of touch, tonal colour, sustain, pedals. Despite the classical mood, there's no stuffy dinner jacket, stage curtain or chandalier here. Instead a new kind of freshness and intimacy. The crystalline "Breaking Ice" plays a set of chords, fragments them, drifts and recombines into ever changing patterns. With barely a faint shimmer of electronics here and there, at the time this was effectively an album without a market that needed an obscure Norwegian label Cicada to gain release at all.
Yet its all quite hypnotic; the slow dribbling metre of the 11-minute "Raindrops" comes on like Satie on dope, while the featherweight allegro "Breeze" sounds exactly like the title.
Excerpt from Painting with Sound - the life and Music of Hans-Joachim Roedelius by Stephen Iliffe, publ. by Meridian Music Guides.