The idea of an improvised remix concert of original, pre-recorded sound, was realized by nobody more fully than Conrad Schnitzler
, the pioneering musician who convinced Tangerine Dream and Kluster (Cluster) to delve into the then-unexplored realm of synthesized sound, with his Kassetten Konzert. Prefigured by Pierre Henry
performing live mixes with tapes, not unlike Stockhausen working his potentiometers, or Brian Eno, who processed Phil Manzanera's guitar solos with Roxy Music, Schnitzler nevertheless made the Cassette Concert his own with the unique and very influential techniques he developed in the 80s. Composers including David Myers and Gen Ken, David Prescott, Giancarlo Tonuitti, and Serge Leroy now use similar systems, and echoes can be found electronic dance music; Richie Hawtinís live fragment-assemblage DJing, for example, and indeed, much laptop live performance.
In the 80s, Schnitzler developed the concept of cassette concerts to create larger, more complex sound as a soloist for his live performances, and later used the techniques as a means for his music to tour without needing to travel himself, requiring a "performer" other than Schnitzler to select the material, adding uncontrolled, unforeseen elements to each concert.
As each tape contains only one component of the piece, they are selected and combined differently forming the same basic, but variable and unpredictable composition. Cassette Concerts allowed Schnitzler to combine the best elements of structured composed music, improvised music, and conceptual music into a workable method of both composing and performing live electronic music. As predecessors of todayís computational generative systems his techniques introduced a new take on electronic music performance, transforming static recordings into evolving event with an infinite number of outcomes. Other than the concrete differences that come from selecting the various tracks, there is variation through the mixing of volumes, the adjustment of equalization, and the placement of the speakers, both in stationary positions and with movement.
For tonightís performance, Schnitzlerís long time collaborator, Wolfgang Seidel
, is the assigned "player". Seidel was involved in Schnitzler's Zodiak Free Arts Lab
. Disenchanted with rock music, Seidel began collaborations with Schnitzler aimed at re-negotiating the roles of performer/listener and creating free-flowing improvised sound.
The cassettes have been replaced by CDs, with additional and updated signal processing of original sounds, but the techniques remain otherwise unchanged. Some of Schnitzlerís rarely seen videos from the 80s will also be screened during the performance.
> See also > HANDCLAPS > 8 films on and about Conrad Schnitzler
Kindly supported by Deutscher Musikrat