cdwhon012, released in april 2006, 1 track, 18'28".
aare am marzilibad
Manu Holterbach is a young French sound artist who proposes his many-faceted talents since already more than 10 years. He invents new instruments, spatialization devices and mutant loudspeakers that were showed around the world in diverse installations and performances, in solo or in collaboration with a.o. Sophie Durand, Pierre Berthet, Jean-François Laporte, David Maranha.
You can listen to his beautifull "verres enharmoniques" instruments on his highly acclaimed CD recently released on the now defunct label cloudmirror, and to "parenthèses flottantes" a piece freely available online on Happy New Ears (look for the www.creaties link).
He is actually working on a biography of the French composer Eliane Radigue.
Manu also composes pieces realized with natural and industrial environmental sound recordings, like the one we proudly propose on erewhon, Aare am Marzilibad.
This piece realized in 2003 is a ready-made recording of a Swiss choppy river, the Aare, done with a microphone hermetically locked into a bottle. What you can hear is the sound of thousands of pebbles that knock together in the powerful stream. It illustrates perfectly Manu's focus on microscopic events and fragility.
[...] An amazing experience, an exploration of a rushing river, heard from within, a hissing,
soft focus drone being the constant, quite mesmerizing and strangely melodic.
Listening at high volumes in headphones reveals still more strange sonic mysteries,
giving one the sense, with eyes closed, of actually floating down the river,
encased in glass, a fantastical sonic journey for sure.
Holterbach's eighteen-minute opus of gurgling musique concrète, various water permutations hissing like Venusian acid rain, is so totally compelling its completely perfect, both in its brevity and total actualization.
e/i, june 2007
[...] Keine Overdubs, keine Montage, nur der unverfälschte Sturm im Wasserglas, bei dem jedes Max/MSP-Patch brausen gehen kann.
skug, october 2006
M Holterbach is a young French musician whose new release is one of the wettest sonic experience in a while. Built from sounds recorded inside a bottle floating on Switzerland's Aare River, the results are not like anything else I can name. There is a feeling of compressed space, seeping water, the roil of motion and a kind of weightlessness that is pretty incredible, especially heard in a dark room at decent volume.
The Wire 271, september 2006
[...] An interesting ep for those into pure field recordings, and surely a nice one to add to, say, Tsunoda, Toy Bizarre, Small Cruel Party, Loren Chasse, etc.
Chain D.L.K. august 2006
[...] So this is 21st century sound art's response to The Police's "Message In A Bottle". Which reminds me, I could never quite work out what ol' Gordon Summers was going on about in that song; I was sure it was "a year has passed since I broke my nose" instead of "a year has passed since I wrote my note". Oy vey, I just have to listen more carefully in future, that's all. And I'd much rather listen to Manu Holterbach than Sting.
Paris Transatlantic Magazine, august 2006
[...] If you open a bottle of some drink with bubbles, you might be fascinated at the sounds of the bubbles escaping. The first half of this piece sounds a bit similar, but if you listen carefully you can also hear voices from aside of the river. But they are far away, and as the piece progresses, they become louder. Perhaps the bottle washed ashore? It's a pretty single-minded concept that however works out very well. It's a beauty to listen to. Somewhere between highly filtered rain sounds and opening the next beer can.
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 526, may 2006
[...] Une immersion dans le son qui nous invite à modifier notre écoute en abandonnant nos repères habituels de consommateurs musicaux. L'or s'est changé en eau, le silence a quitté le métal pour gagner l'élément liquide.
Octopus, july 2006
[...] Musique concrète als Feldaufnahme ohne großen Schnickschnack. Für 18 Minuten teilt man die Audiosphere mit einer Forelle.
Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy 51, july 2006
[...] Ein unterhaltsames Experiment.
asb, de:bug no 104, july 2006