Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer
Tomie Hahn Director
hahnt "at"




Global Reflections

Jonas Braasch

The core of the project "Global Reflections" is a collection of Binaural Soundscapes which were recorded between the years of 1998 and 2006. They are presented on the odd tracks of this CD. What has fascinated me most about these pieces is nature's ability to align independent events to form interesting patterns. For this, I took the standpoint of the observer; my credits are merely due to choosing the time and place of the recording. Consequently, the effect is often similar to aleatoric works of music. I hope you will share my enthusiasm about the variety of auditory icons in each Soundscape, which makes a city identifiable. All even tracks contain pieces of my own work. The solo improvisations in Tracks 2, 6, 10, and 14
can be seen as an abstract transformation of my perceived environment. Only the beginning theme in Track 2 was fixed before the recording. In Track 10, you might be able to notice my affection for repetitive and machinery like sounds.

Tracks 4, 8, and 12 consist of ensemble recordings with soprano saxophone, Moog bass, and Soundscape fragments. One goal was to preserve the original character of each instrument or environmental sound opposed to making their origin unidentifiable through extensive electronic processing. Indeed in some cases, the lengthy Soundscapes shape the character of the piece, and again I am surprised how often their aleatoric elements tend to fit perfectly into the music. "A Night in Battambang" was written in 1995 while visiting my parents in Cambodia. The piece was performed using the classic rock trio formation of lead instrument, bass and drums when I arranged the song for this CD. "Time to Move On" is based on a Turkish 9/8 rhythm, the Karsilama. Originally, the piece had a theme but in the end, I liked the track better without it. I decided to counterpoint the long, circular-breathed saxophone phrases with abrupt changes for the remaining instruments. The ballad, "Blues Me," started as an experiment while wondering why tenor saxophone ballads are usually slower than alto and soprano saxophone ballads. At 50 beats per minute, this ballad is at the lower end of most Tenor Ballads. Long Soundscape passages were chosen to reflect the lethargy.

Jonas Braasch is a soprano saxophonist, improviser/composer, acoustician and a dedicated collector of binaural soundscapes. He grew up in the Ruhr Area, Germany's cultural melting pot, and Pusan, South Korea. His saxophone style expands the traditional repertoire [in both Classical Music and Jazz idioms] by incorporating various non-western elements, as well as original extended techniques.

Another aspect of his work is the integration of soundscapes and other concrete elements, a clear reflection of his personal relationship with the environment. This sensibility has inspired him to create complex synthetic sound fields which he then integrates into his compositions. To improve the control over the spatial parameters of these sound fields, he developed a
virtual environment to simulate sound recording techniques based on Virtual Microphone Control (ViMiC).
This recording has been optimized for sound reproduction with headphones.

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Price: $16.00

Sonic Territories: Jonas Braasch

Sonic Territories is 12 works for 12 distinct acoustic spaces. Composer/performer Jonas Braasch utilizes soprano saxophone, field recordings, and electronic processing.

"Sonic Territories investigates the creative potential that various acoustic environments can unleash. Opposed to the current ideal of quiet recording studios that do not distract the performer from inner thoughts, I was looking for spaces that inspire and mess around with me, by influencing and guiding my performance. A number of the recorded spaces, I only encountered once to capture my initial impression. Other spaces I have fought with until I found something that sounded better in this space than anywhere else in its own right." - Jonas Braasch

DVD is region free, instrumental music, with Dolby 5.1 surround sound

Price: $15.00