9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
ECM around the World.,
This review is from: Sounds and Silence: Travels with Manfred Eicher [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
ECM have been producing great music of consistently high quality for many years now and it's certainly worthy of a documentary like this. It's certainly also worth getting this on Blu Ray disc, as the Dolby 5.1 surround mix greatly enhances the experience.
The documentary follows Manfred Eicher as he travels the world, getting involved in producing music for ECM - from their base in Munich, to Greece, Estonia,Argentina, Italy, Denmark, North Africa - in fact I lost count of all the different places which are intercut. But through all this diversity, there is a consistency to the music, which must be down to Eicher's ever-present involvement.
The music all has a certain seriousness and intensity - virtuoso playing, which is not about showing off, but rather about making a beautiful sound. Every recording is given time and great attention to detail. You can hear this very clearly in the recording and I was very impressed with the 5.1 mix. So, when Arvo Part is listening to his new work - you can hear the wonderful reverberation of the acoustic - all around you.
The sound quality of each recording is obviously very important to Eicher and he explains how he changed from being a bass player, to somebody who was very good at listening. You can see the many hours of effort that go into finding the perfect venue - like the stunning outdoor amphitheatre in Greece - and the perfect recorded sound, from the best equipment available.
I enjoyed all the music and the visuals enhanced this with shots of nature and travel interspersed with the live action of the musicians playing. It all made me want to hear more of each artist and more of this kind of music in surround sound. There are only a few extras, but I realy liked the short film of Manu Katche and his group, which again had excellent sound.
I think that anybody who enjoys the kind of music that ECM put out, will find this documentary fascinating and it is also a good "taster" or introduction to their style of music. If you know about Jan Garbarek and Arvo Part already, then you will have some idea of this and I felt their music benefited from being heard in surround sound - the immersive nature of it.
This is also an interesting documentary for anybody who wants to know what a music "producer" actually does - from this evidence, it seems that Manfred Eicher might well have many people's dream job!