schindler / holzbauer / lillmeyer



UDO SCHINDLER, free player of the soprano saxophone and bass clarinet in Wörthsee
(Upper Bavaria) - joined here by Munich cellist MARGARITA HOLZBAUER and
the Munich incomer, guitarist HARALD LILLMEYER, both of them crossover
daredevils firm in the depths of newest and still nameless music - doesn't
let himself be stopped by anyone when his city lights have turned red:
ROT (cs151). The three met through playing in the Munich Instant Orchestra.
Lillmeyer is the best-known among them having interpreted Scelsi or Riehm,
guested with Ensemble Recherche and played with the electric-guitar-quintet
Go Guitars. As far as extended techniques are concerned his partners are
in no way behind him, which makes this suite of 15 improvisations scratch
the guardrails of tonality with a bruitist and microtonal gusto which
mellows the distinctions between acoustic and electric sounds generated
by Lillmeyer, and even blurs those of the instrumental voices. Whatever
the fingers might tickle or the mouth may bubble, what lips may breathe,
what the cello may bow or the plectrum scratch, can only be found out
during concentrated listening. Yet right at the next moment, at the next
breath, contrasts bubble up only to get right back into the river of sound,
which the three impassioned wrong-way drivers always take against the
current. Once a cello sounds solidly full-bodied it begins to fray at
its fringes, once the music sounds sustained and soft the electronics
scream its poison in or corrode a yawning hole inside the boom minimalist
soundscape, having macro and micro voltages alternately hum along, sizzle
or fly sparks. Into jagged, scabby or laboriously smoothed-down sounds
the estranged guitar enflames stinging or indefinably rustling sounds,
which turn out to be the sigh of the cello, soon as the guitar surprisingly
begins. Much is deceptive east of the ROT and you're listening unauthorized
so to say and at your own risk. Bad Alchemy (Rigobert Dittmann)

"schindler / holzbauer / lillmeyer" is a trio that was formed following the
musicians' successful collaboration as members of the 'Munich Instant
Orchestra'. Defining influences for their improvised chamber music include
the confrontation of the players' respective musical roots (free jazz,
ancient, experimental and contemporary music), electronic and acoustic
sounds, augmented playing techniques (multiphonics, microtonality, preparations,
electronic sound design) and the masking and pseudo-concealment of a sound's
origins. The improvisation result ranges from barely audible, through
subtle to highly energetic sound events. Udo Schindler: soprano saxophone,
bassclarinet; Margarita Holzbauer: violoncello; Harald Lillmeyer: electric
guitar, electronics. In December 2008, the 'creative sources' label,,
published their first CD: 'rot' [cs 151].

Apart from occasional but nontheless charming excursions to more noisy pastures,
the dominating trait of "rot" is calm, concentrated improvisation.
The range of delicate and delicately worked structures covers a spectrum
from gentle to fragile. Having worked together as members of the Munich
Instant Orchestra, the influences of this trio converge here from the
- often very different - genres of chamber music, jazz, experimentation,
ancient and comtemporary art music. Schindler, Holzbauer & Lillmeyer
contrast this generic conglomerate with electronic, prepared, multiphonic
and microtonal accomplishments. And, as if by magic, this multiple, polylingually
inclined mongrel brings forth new creations. New areas of sound are formed,
and on these the pervasions and blends resurface once more. This cutely
hybrid music functions like a game of cards: shuffle, deal, play. But
don't forget to cut. Andres Fellinger (freistil#23)

The album "rot" is by no means something you would want to just
put on and have playing in the background. Recorded by Harald Lillmeyer
(electric guitar), Margarita Holzbauer (cello) and Udo Schindler, the
Steinebach-based architect's saxophone and bass clarinet are supplemented
by all sorts of sounds. They usually emanate from the instruments themselves,
but without giving the listener a clue as to the actual source of the
sound. There are only very few musically contiguous passages.
In "Nr. 2", these passages take the form of a quiet, floating
echoing of the electric guitar accompanied by the creaking, snapping sound
of cello strings. When Schindler sets his saxophone quacking into the
picture, we get the feeling that this untitled piece is not so much about
melody but more about imitating the sound of ducks arguing in their pond.
The trio also has little to offer in the way of classical onomatopœia,
more a collection of short soundtracks for as yet unscripted technoid
fantasy films.
Track 3 could be interpreted as an impression from inside a submarine,
the engines humming electronically and the seams creaking under the pressure
of the ocean surrounding it.
In title 10, the crescendo of the electric guitar comes screaming at us
like a jet aircraft. Then silence, and the cello scrapes with the sound
of panic and deathly convulsions. Is this one of the World Trade Center's
towers on 9/11?
Track 4, on the other hand, places the clarinet's forlorn whimpering in
opposition to the rough buzz of the guitar's strings. The pauses between
the individual sounds offer vacant space for echoes and reflection, the
perfect musical source for a wide range of scenarios which could cover
radio plays, vernissages or memorial services. The individual, tones,
sounds and noises only vaguely conjoin to produce a puzzling and decelerated
jazz collage. Cohesion, tension and, on occasion, wit successively find
their physical expression.
The album is a source of pure avant-garde. The trio is planning performances
in Munich, Switzerland and Austria in the autumn. Udo Schindler regrets
that his local "district and region in general don't offer all that
many chances for performing". The story behind the CD is as full
of contrasts as "microtonality, preparations and electronic sound
design" (Schindler). It was recorded in a hall in Miesbach and has
now been released on the Portuguese label "creative sources recordings"
in Lisbon. Andreas Bretting (Münchner Merkur)

A trio of soprano/bass clarinet, cello and guitar/electronics, woven into
something that threatens here and there to break out into some harsh freebop
groove, but manages instead to maintain a discipline and focus that gradually
elides the difference between the instruments and generates a group sound.
The 15 tracks are mostly short, but unlike many improve CDs where such
a programme would dissolve into one long continuous piece, these are very
distinct performances, each with a definite premise and sonic destination.
Brian Morton (The Wire)

At times full of energy, at other times completely distant: A musician with
two very different CDs
…Udo Schindler on the CD ‘Kleine Klassiker’… This
is quite different from the CD "rot" where each of the 15 passages
simply has a number. It is a collection of experiments about reacting
to each other. Together with the cellist Margarita Holzbauer, they have
taken a tonal change of direction which requires more empathy and which
pledges itself more to new music than to free jazz. As in the case of
Holzbauer, Harald Lillmeyer, tutor for guitar and new music at the Munich
Academy of Music, understands how to extract surprising sounds from his
instrument, the few and targeted electronic elements painting a very different
picture for the listener. Whereas Schindler was the dominating force on
the previous CD, he now withdraws into the distance with his soprano saxophone
and bass clarinet. From barely palpable spheres, unconventional playing
techniques and contrasting minimalisms punctuate the action with comments.
His powerful interjections which impose themselves on us with their graphic
presence come as an even greater surprise. This is music which has little
to do with passively consumable entertainment; instead, it offers a gripping
sound adventure. Reinhard Palmer (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

The way in which the music of this trio develops is unspectacular and nonetheless
unmistakeable. You notice it without having your attention drawn to it
by sound information. It makes its presence felt, articulates itself and
then disappears; music that takes hold without taking over. Schindler,
Holzbauer and Lillmeyer first met when they performed together as members
of the Munich Instant Orchestra. As a trio, they delve into the fascinating
infinities between chamber music and noise. Each of the 14 tracks is between
two and five minutes in length; none have titles. To the listener, however,
the album still seems to be completely rounded. You can listen to the
tracks like a suite which forms and re-forms itself from the tiniest of
particles, wondrous sounds and surprising fusions. The three musicians
take their time. They are not overwhelmed by an intention which forces
them to offer something. They move in a concentrated and playful way in
their electro-acoustic cosmos. The music falls gently like snow, by no
means in the romantic sense, but rather with regard to the lightness of
its structure. Sounds behave like snowflakes that move and change in continuously
varying correlations until they are absorbed into the stable order of
matter (buildings, nature). Pirmin Bossart (

There comes a time where, when confronted by John Cage, George Crumb or Derek
Bailey's extended performance techniques, a young musician decides "I
can do that". After several misguided compositions and hours of aimless
floundering, he or she relents: this is something one might be able to
achieve only after a sincere lifetime of dedication. Fortunately, guitarist
Harald Lillmeyer, cellist Margarita Holzbauer and wind player (soprano
sax and bass clarinet for this recording) Udo Schindler persevered in
this sonic realm — one riddled with cliché and gambit —
to achieve mastery over this advanced language.
Rot t, if you haven't guessed by now, is saturated with the trio's ability
to unlearn traditional tactics (which must be hard, as all are award winning,
formally trained veterans) and speak in other-worldly tongues. Similar
to a Paul Klee image (i.e. The Tightrope Walker, Reconstruction t), the
sophisticated nature and sublime, often spiritual, expression in these
works isn't noticeable at a CD-skipping glance. However, an examination
of the subtle internal critique and connectivity — personally and
globally from artist to artist, track to track — reveals the prowess
of this Tower of Babel. On "4:56" (track one), Holzbauer introduces
the program with idiosyncrasy (a lyrical dip almost resembling a melody)
and the most base of extended techniques, the sul ponticello t. Immediately,
she objects by twisting her line with scratchy bowing, microtonality then
hyperactivity. Schindler and Lillmeyer respond with the visual equivalent
of controlling another's shadow, pulling the cellist's (ahem) strings
via sly contortion and rumbling echo. The piece burgeons as Schindler
moves to the foreground with fey, sustained baritone notes that cadence
in harmonics; Lillmeyer opens his electronic tool kit and gently chafes
his axe with bit-reduced filters. As clamorous as this appears on paper,
the trio opts to garner attention, not through screaming, but by demanding
the listener lean in (and rewind) to perceive the murmur. In other words,
rot is more likely to push you into a lucid trance than cause ear fatigue.
By the same token, the fourth member of the group, silence, plays an indispensable
role in the success of these pieces. Even at their relative loudest on
the bent-pitch drones of "2:14" (track four), the wah-wah infested,
bow-bouncing "1:49" (track seven) and the clanking, banging
feedback of the closer, "4:14" (track fifteen), the group employs
the grandest of pauses, permitting 1) an enigmatic, breath-holding allure
2) distinction of formal and gestural shifts 3) the musicians to gather
their thoughts on the moment and authorize movement towards the most exciting
outcome (which, somehow, always pans out during this hour-long journey
into sound).
Throughout the disc, the trio inhabits this similar spectrum, holding
to a manifesto of sorts, yet never running out of ideas; the obvious understanding
they have with their instruments allows for never ending jump-off points
— even with modest creaks, twitches and simple finger placement.
Coalescing screeches, skittles, broken strums, multi-phonic conversations,
plucks, manipulations and whispered apparitions, the group gracefully
chisels out a logical, organic and musical experience, a hand book for
anyone who dares delve into this turf. Dave Madden (The Squid's Ear)

Classily rigorous, probing improvisations for soprano sax/bass clarinet (Schindler),
cello (Holzbauer) and electric guitar/electronics (Lillmeyer). More oriented
towards the archetypes of XX-century chamber music than your average CS
release, Rot is distinguished by the considerable methodological preparation
of all participants. Preparations, in another sense, are also utilized
on the instruments to generate a hybrid electroacoustic connectivity whose
transcendence rate is to be determined via its balanced investigational
ramifications, often hiding behind silence, thus eliciting a mood of enigmatic
mystery in various tracks. Specifically, Schindler is a dispassionate
dispenser of pragmatic countermeasures whenever the collective need arises,
his firm statements and sudden deviations freshening the air even in the
(rare) cluttered sections. Holzbauer is as supportive as remarkably delicate,
extracting individual reminders and caveats from the cello in a kind of
visionary discipline. Lillmeyer’s six-stringed inventions make him
appear loyal yet slightly noncompliant, an ideal partner for the depiction
of defaced prototypes. The record definitely does not belong to the iPod-on-the-beach
category but after three spins everything is falling in place, working
impeccably. Speakers in a silent setting highly recommended. Massimo Ricci (Temporry Fault)

The trio from Wörthsee perceive themselves as being 'close to the depths
and abysses of the newest music for which a name has yet to be found',
and already we're on the edge of our seats. The combination of soprano
saxophone, bassclarinet, violoncello, electric guitar and electronics
creates an unusual mix of free jazz and experimentally contemporary music
which is probably best described as improvised chamber music. (Platten aus München)

Chamber music spatial frameworks produce connections where there was once nothing
at all; they make things and relationships audible which would have been
imperceptible without this three-person frame. And it is this tighly coupled
(or should we say "tripled"?) connection that gives the album
"rot" true significance. The musicians give the listener access
to a rotational profile which is fixed and skilfully realigned using the
sounds of the soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, violoncello, eletric guitar
and electronics. Across highly artificial terrain, structural overlaying
perpetuates a flow which appears to eliminate all observance of rules
and regulations. It is impossible to distinguish the figure from the base,
but regardless of this, the fifteen polyvalent guises never lose their
autonomy. These musical settings represent an emancipatory effort to achieve
spatial liberty and distance from the ground, and after just over an hour
the gateway to this tonal anti¬podean atrium is closed once again
until we choose to reopen it. Michael-Franz Woels (Skug 79)

Idiom:spokój Przekaz:multi- i mikrotoniczny
Rozk?ad:karty- tasowanie, rozk?adanie, granie Astipalea Records (Felthat Reviews)

Utilizing two strings and one woodwind, a recital formation favored by Schubert
and Debussy – and in jazz by Jimmy Giuffre – each of these
ensembles brings unique, ambitious strategies to the resulting blend.
Both paths are valid, with the divergence mostly related to preferences
for acoustic over electronic interface or vice versa, and of the improvisations
clinging to remnants of the song form verses a commitment to absolute
[…] Rot’s participants are all Munich-based. Lecturer in guitar
and New music at the Richard Strauss Conservatory and at the University
of Music and Performing Arts, Harald Lillmeyer is also a member of the
Go Guitars ensemble and has played so-called classical music. So has cellist
Margarita Holzbauer, as well as having an involvement in sound installations,
film and theatre music and improvisation. Like Trio Hot, this formation’s
senior member is also a reedist: soprano saxophonist and bass clarinetist
Udo Schindler. Involved with self-invented techniques to enlarge the limits
of reed sounds, he has worked with Go Guitars plus improvisers such as
trombonist Sebi Tramontana.
Schindler’s research extends to the integration of electronic media
in performance, and on the 14 untitled pieces here, the contrapuntal mating
of his reed plus Holzbauer’s squeaks or plucks – sometimes
lyrical, but more frequently powerful and abrasive – add the requisite
shading when the others’ unconnected timbres approach chiaroscuro
and threaten to remain understated to the point of inaudibility.
More notable are when sul tasto patterning as well as below-the-bridge
spiccato from the cellist bring out connective responses from the guitarist
and reedist. At one point, for example, that strategy causes Lillmeyer
to put aside folksy strumming for sudden bursts of feedback and Schindler
to mutate his blowing into a cyclone of intermittent peeps and continuously
breathed trills.
Elsewhere, Lillmeyer’s outer-space-like oscillations meet up with
quivering bass clarinet split tones forced from the bell with intense
overblowing, as the cellist accompanies the others with harmonics. Honking
reed altissimo trills and basso sul tasto cello actions entwine contrapuntally
until the crackling pulses push the program into silence. Klangfarbenmelodie
is often apparent along with the polyphonic tone variants that encompass
wobbly, staccato or fortissimo tones. Juicy reverb and echoing whistles
from the reedist; shuffle-bowed ricocheting lines and hammering against
wood and strings from the cellist, and blustery drones and processed electronics
pulses show up singly or in triple counterpoint as well.
[…]Fine example of mature Euro-Improv trio session, the usual evasive
and derogative meaning of Rot is not proper description for this session.