Selected Signs III-VIII (Music for ECM - A Cultural Archeology) Box set
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In the winter of 2012/13, the Haus der Kunst in Munich - one of Europe's most important museums for contemporary art - hosted the exhibition 'ECM - A Cultural Archaeology'. The goal of curators Okwui Enwezor and Markus Müller was to show the range of the label's artistic endeavours in music, graphic art, and photography and its creative interchanges with film, theatre and literature. For this exhibition, Manfred Eicher and Steve Lake created this six-CD box-set accentuating directions in ECM's rich musical history.
Many themes and streams are touched upon here including the range of composition in the New Series, music for and from films, imaginative historical reconstructions, trans-cultural music, ambient minimalism, and jazz and improvisation of many hues, in a collection with a playing time of more than seven hours.
Featuring: Heiner Goebbels, Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, Gidon Kremer, Keith Jarrett, György Kurtág, Tigran Mansurian, Rosamunde Quartet, Betty Olivero, Kim Kashkashian, Meredith Monk, Giya Kancheli, Keller Quartet, Hilliard Ensemble, Valentin Silvestrov, Eleni Karaindrou, Jan Garbarek, Jon Balke and Amina Alaoui, Rolf Lislevand, Nils Petter Molvær, Eivind Aarset, Stefano Battaglia, Tord Gustavsen, Egberto Gismonti, Norma Winstone, Ralph Alessi, Anja Lechner, Vassilis Tsabropoulos, Colin Vallon, Christian Wallumrød, Tomasz Stanko, Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, Evan Parker, Barre Phillips, Robin Williamson, Old & New Dreams, Sinikka Langeland, Frode Haltli, Gary Peacock, Steve Kuhn, Wadada Leo Smith and many others.
'Five stars for mostly reissued music might seem generous, but the way this set has been assembled creates transporting new narratives - or meditations - from sequences that were never meant to coexist.' -- The Guardian * * * * *
'For those wondering what the point of record labels might be in the age of the download, ECM, with its pared-down, north European aesthetic is surely answer enough. Since 1969, it has championed the cool and contemplative over the shallow and shrill...an ideal soundtrack for summer.' --The Times * * * *
'Beautiful...Use it to soundtrack your own life.' -- The Independent On Sunday * * * *
'You could spend six very enjoyable evenings playing one disc per night from this set, your own private Late Junction with Eicher as silent disc jockey. That would be time more than well spent.' -- Marlbank * * * *
'A shrewdly compiled trip through ECM's back catalogue, moving seamlessly from classical to jazz to world and folk, and providing not just individual delights but also the joys of juxtaposition...a collection to treasure for the rest of one's life.--The Jazz Breakfast, (Peter Bacon)
Top Customer Reviews
If you're an ECM devotee then this probably won't be an issue. You'll already have belief in a label which has been at the meeting point between disparate genres of music since its inception in the '60s. If on the other hand you are not familiar with ECM then...the journey might be even more remarkable.
Listing tracks and artists would be to go against the spirit of this collection, which is to set the listener on a path of which the destination is - at the moment - unknowable. The only thing to do is to loose one of the CDs from its protective cover and to listen.
The experience itself is slightly disorientating, as spoken word rubs up against a fragment of early music, which then leads into a contemporary piece; or is it, are we still in music of hundreds of years ago? Jazz fuses with orchestral out of which grows solo piano; it's disarming and of course asks more questions than it delivers answers. There's a sort of overarching coherence, thanks to the expertise of those involved in curating the project, but from within the maze there's nothing to do but give yourself up to this soundworld.
Produced for the recent ECM cultural celebration in Munich, this is a testament to one man's unshakeable vision, and one which the curious should have no hesitation in connecting with.
Excellent CDs from sonic point of view..
One of the best box sets I've ever bought,though as a fan of ECM I'd trust their output.ECM started with a Mal Waldron jazz LP in 1969 and I have not yet heard a ECM release that wasn't brilliant.I love the label's own quote "The most beautiful sound next to silence"...
Why the 4 stars out of 5 - there is no such thing as a 5 star rating in my critique.
What's more, as we are going to see, it is one criticism the musicians of this ECM label leveled at what jazz had become in the consumer's society: a commodity, nearly elevator music. The danger in jazz is that it becomes, is becoming, always and systematically a standard often questioned and even rejected by some but to be replaced by another standard. It is obvious with these CDs that improvisation is non-existent since the music is recorded. They may be the recordings of improvised pieces but as soon as they are recorded they are no longer improvised. That's where the DVD would be a better medium because then we would see the improvisation, not live but dead alive if I dare say so. On a CD it is necessarily dead by dissection.
I say it is a danger in that procedure, but in these CDs many pieces are really original in tone or in treatment of the musical objects. But yet the trio or the quartet is a form that comes back over and over again.Read more ›