mauerkrankheit

by glenn weyant

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  • Hand-assembled and numbered, limited edition (50) cd-r, with liner notes and collectable album sticker
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1.

about

Mauerkrankheit (Wall Disease) : A psychological affliction first identified in East Germany among residents living in proximity to the Berlin Wall. With the global proliferation of militarized border walls it is believed Mauerkrankheit has become a perpetual and pandemic condition.

For approximately 20 years I have been bowing, percussing and recording the urban and rural landscapes of the Sonoran Desert borderlands in Southern Arizona, United States / Northern Sonora, Mexico.

As this open land of unbroken horizons grew increasingly militarized so too did my music.

Where once I played cactus bones and simple wire fences, today I am focused upon the amplification and bowing of metal border walls which bifurcate the international landscape.

Sonically the content of my field recordings have changed as well. The songs of birds, insects and wind are now regularly peppered with the drones of drones, generators, helicopters and patrol vehicles.

These physical and sonic impacts of borderland militarization have brought on symptoms of Mauerkrankheit or Wall Disease which now manifests itself in my approach to music.

And now, for the first time this Mauerkrankheit infected music is being formally released as a digital download and a limited edition cd. Mauerkrankheit is also available via iTunes, Spotify and all of the usual streaming culprits.

When I play the cello I find no satisfaction in approaching the instrument as a cello.

Rather I treat the cello as a rusting metal border wall, applying the unique and site-specific bowing techniques I’ve been developing over the past decade for creating music with the US/Mexico border wall.

Whether bowing a border wall or cello, these extended bowing techniques lead to an initial sound which is always unexpected. From there where it leads next is never precisely known.

What is known is an approximation of the tones the extended techniques will create and how those tones can respond to the surrounding sonorous environment.

The field recording heard on Mauerkrankheit is a composition of various locations within the Sonoran Desert borderlands of Southern Arizona, United States / Northern Sonora, Mexico.

The cello composition was performed/written in response to the field recordings, just as border wall music is played in response to the landscape’s natural/unnatural environment.

With the release of Mauerkrankheit it is my hope border wall music can now be performed in venues where more traditional music is played.

However, it should be noted the cello is but a poor substitute for playing border walls themselves.

Unlike cellos, a border wall is only an instrument when someone decides to play it.

And perhaps more importantly, there is always the risk of becoming afflicted with Mauerkrankheit.

But such are the risks when pursuing one’s muse.

Stay tuned and thanks for listening,

Glenn Weyant

On this cd you will hear three main techniques or "Mauerkrankheit styles” of bowing.

Lochiel Barrier Bowing Technique - A percussive style bowing suitable for eliciting tones from the steel train rail vehicle barriers found there.

Nogales Border Wall Bowing Techniques (Old & New) – A style of long bowing calling for a firm grip and ample stick manipulations to produced deep resonate tones which were featured on The Anta Project (2006). The original Nogales Wall --- built from a series of repurposed military helicopter landing pads --- was demolished in 2010. The New Nogales Wall is a taller, “deader” sounding wall constructed from pipes filled with a concrete slurry. Techniques developed for this segment of wall emphasize copious amounts of rosin, manipulations of bow hair, stick, and nut along the surface of the wall and support beam resonators.

Sasabe Border Wall Bowing Technique – This style of bowing emphasizes harmonic overtones and the “bell-like” nuances which can be achieved by manipulating segments of the wall where there is damage or shoddy construction.

credits

released June 20, 2015

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