HEINER GOEBBELS — „A HOUSE OF CALL: My Imaginary Notebook“ (Aug. 19th, 2022)

GERMANY flag                HEINER GOEBBELS — „A HOUSE OF CALL: My Imaginary Notebook“ (Aug. 19th, 2022)
•ƒ•  (ECM NEW SERIES 2728/29)
Born: 17 August 1952 in Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Location: Germany
Album release: Aug. 19th, 2022
Record Label: ECM
Duration:     100:03
01. I. Introitus (A Response to Répons)   8:69
02. II. Immer den gleichen Stein   6:52
03. III. Under Construction   8:34
04. I. Nu Stiri   6:50
05. II. Agash Ayak   8:34
06. III. 1346   6:11
07. IV. Krunk   6:31
08. I. Toccata (Vowels/Woven)   6:20
09. II. Achtung Aufnahme   3:29
10. III. Nun danket alle Gott   3:09
11. IV. Ti gu go Inîga mî (Some of them say)   7:14
12. I. BakakI — (Diálogo)   5:01
13. II. Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen   4:27
14. III. Kalimérisma   10:02
15. IV. What When Words Gone   7:40
•  Ensemble Modern Orchestra
•  Vimbayi Kaziboni conductor
•  Recorded: September 2021 by Bayerischer Rundfunk, Prinzregententheater, München
•  Engineer: Clemens Deller
•  Recording engineer: Gerhard Gruber
•  Mixed and mastered by Clemens Deller, Heiner Goebbels, and Gerhard Gruber
•  Cover photo: Gérald Minkoff
•  Executive producer: Manfred Eicher
•  Release date: August 26, 2022

•ƒ•  With A House of Call, Heiner Goebbels peels back his most significant layer of multimedia music for the stage. This self~styled “imaginary notebook” incorporates archival recordings of prayers, songs, and other speech acts into dialogic relationships with a full orchestra. Much of what we hear is old and anonymous, barely hanging by a thread of preservation and never imaginable in a concert setting. And yet, here it all is, wired together like some elaborate lie detector of our shared past, pinging with increasing frequency to signal every denial of complicity by proxy. Tempting as it might be to view such a project through an archaeological or ethnographic lens, to do so would strengthen the very contradictions it wishes to dilute in its reckonings of time and place. “The music is a direct response to the complexity and roughness of the voices,” says Goebbels in his liner note, pointing also to the radiance thereof against the opacity of present traumas.
•ƒ•  Across four thematic assemblages, the Ensemble Modern Orchestra, under the direction of Vimbayi Kaziboni, draws upon an intimate relationship with Goebbels to bring his vision of death to life. Part I, “Stein Schere Papier” (Rock Paper Scissors), cites Pierre Boulez’s orchestral work Répons as foundation, magnifying its call~and~response principle with glimpses of Goebbels’s art rock band Cassiber from the same period (the early 1980s). The initial stirrings of a privileged crowd indicate the biological venues we often fail to maintain. The instrumental colors are fluid, attentive to detail, and indicative of various styles pouring from many portals at once. The story of Sisyphus, as retold in Heiner Müller’s “Immer den gleichen Stein” (Always the same stone), wraps the orchestra in a chameleonic skin. And as the street noise of a Berlin building site from 2017 stirs up a vortex of unread manifestos, faded newspapers, and other detritus, we begin to treat all words as fair game.
•ƒ•  Part II, “Grain de la voix,” borrows from the Roland Barthes essay of the same name, in which the French philosopher asserted the power of language to shield oneself against the glare of mortality. Ghosts from the Caucasus region open their lungs, strings trembling beneath the surface as a violin leaps in sporadic response. Thus, the hypocrisy of destroying the questions of culture to answer them is outed. When more modern recordings, like that of Iranian musician Hamidreza Nourbaksh intoning Rumi from 2010, reveal themselves, they take on a volition that blinds the orchestra’s feeble attempts at imitation. The juxtaposition is critically self~aware, a score written in scars. The evocation of Komitas and Armenian soprano Zabelle Panosian hints at the spiritual planes being razed in addition to the physical, as scrutinized in Part III, “Wax and Violence.” The title refers to the wax cylinders weaponized by pseudoscientific ideologues whose voracious appetite for the “exotic” was only the beginning of their consumption. In particular, Hans Lichtenecker’s xenophobic aural documents of the very people German soldiers would later destroy through genocide pull us by the ears. A recording of school children in the Namibian village of Berseba is even more haunting and spawns a big~band catharsis — if falsely so called, for what do we have to be released from by comparison? The effect is even stronger in the laments and incantations of Part IV, “When Words Gone,” wherein Amazon rituals conducted in lost languages blend into lines from one of Samuel Becket’s last texts amid digital whispers.
•ƒ•  The danger of all this is reading the wrong kind of sorrow into everyone we hear. We latch on to familiar names like life preservers, forgetting that the nameless have been speaking truth all along. And so, while it would be easy to call this the pinnacle of Goebbels’s work, it might be more appropriate to see it as his valley of the shadow of death. We walk through it, guided by hands unseen, in faith that hope awaits us on the other side. But to get there, we must be willing to face the hostile forces of collective memory, thick with the mud of misunderstanding.
•ƒ•  https://ecmreviews.com/2022/08/17/heiner-goebbels-a-house-of-call-ecm-new-series-2728-29/
WEB: https://www.heinergoebbels.com/en/news/2022
WEB: https://www.ensemble-modern.com/en/projects/heiner-goebbels-2020 booklet HEINER GOEBBELS — „A HOUSE OF CALL My Imaginary Note