Sun Nov. 5, 2017

Christian Muthspiel & Steve Swallow Simple Songs (A/USA)

Christian Muthspiel: trombone, piano, e-piano
Steve Swallow: bass guitar

SIMPLE SONGS is the title of Christian Muthspiel’s latest album, which was recorded in 2013 in duo with Steve Swallow and which is scheduled to be released on 12 September 2014 on the IN+OUT Records label.

Aside from Werner Pirchner‘s "Himmelblau", the eleven duos which Christian Muthspiel composed especially for this CD form a cycle of duets in the mood set by the first track, "Pas de deux tranquille". Muthspiel is featured on trombone, piano, e-piano, toy piano and once even on the recorder, alongside Steve Swallow, whose distinctive sound on the bass guitar is perfectly suited for this project.

Overdubs, loops and other electronic effects were intentionally avoided in order to focus on the pure quality of the playing. The underlying principle for all of the compostions on this album was to keep it simple, both in terms of composition and sound; to seek refinement in simplicity and to follow the natural, consistent development of one small musical cell per song.

The progression of keys, modes and tempos from one piece to another also played an important role.

Leaf notes on SIMPLE SONGS by Christoph Ransmayr are included in the album.

Christian Muthspiel produced the artwork for the CD cover and booklet using a special Hinterglastechnik, done with wood ash and white acrylic paint behind glass. Through the combination of text and image, this series of Muthspiel paintings entitled "Pas de deux" rounds out this important recording project which Muthspiel managed to achieve in the past year, step by step, song by song, finding his way back to composing and playing music after a pause of several months due to a condition which caused a serious loss of hearing.