Press Reviews

Philipp Schaufelberger - BONN
Tobias Meier, Dalia Donadio, Berni Doessegger - A Linear Thought

Philipp Schaufelberger - BONN
WER039, 2018

freiStil, 2018

"Wenn ein Schweizer Akustikgitarre live in Deutschlands ehemaliger Hauptstadt bearbeitet, bedeutet das zunächst einmal gar nichts – abgesehen vom französischen, ähnlich buchstabierten Wort für gut. Besonders gut klingt nämlich Schaufelbergers melodisch-experimenteller Umgang mit dem durch Lagerfeuerromatizismen in Verruf geratenen Instruments. Improvisation mit Herzschlag, komplexe Einfachheit ohne überflüssiges Fitzefatze, ausgefeilte Technik im Dienst der Ausdruckslust, das sind nur einige der Charakteristiken in Schaufelbergers Gitarrenspiel. Und zum Drüberstreuen, als Schlagobershäubchen, aber bitte nicht Sahne dazu sagen, kredenzt der Saitenspringer relativ lässig Thelonious Monks Misterioso. Bonn: schlicht, ergreifend, gut. Bon voyage bzw. bonne journée." (felix)

Vital Weekly, 2018

"Title of this work refers to the city where it was recorded: Bonn, the former capital city of West-Germany. Recorded live at St. Helena church on September 15th  2017. With this album Philip Schaufelberger presents his first solo work, playing acoustic guitar. He is a German musician – based in Zürich - playing and touring since the 90s with people like Pierre Favre and Lucas Niggli. And worked with Michael Brecker, Paul Motion, Kenny Wheeler, etc. A musician with a solid background in jazz. He also composes for ensembles of contemporary music like Ensemble Tzara. As a performer of modern music he often works with the Ensemble für Neue Musik Zürich. Turning to ‘Bonn’, each side of the LP has four works: a short improvisation, a guitar arrangement of an original composition by Schaufelberger, a contemporary piece by Michael Heisch (a Swiss composer and journalist, who as a bassist worked for example with Luigi Archetti) and a jazz classic by Monk (‘Misterioso’) respectively Ellington (‘African Flower’). Although the material comes from different corners and angles, there is a strong unity between them, brought about by the direct and intimate recording, and above all by Schaufelbergers’ consequent style and treatment. Both standards are in an original way deconstructed by Schaufelberger but remain recognizable. This is characteristic for the other works as well. Abstract on the one hand, but interwoven with melodic elements on the other. A coherent and interesting work. (DM)"

Tobias Meier Dalia Donadio Berni Doessegger - A Linear Thought
WER034, 2018

The Sound Projector
Ed Pinsent, 2018

The Voice Of Reason

The seven-inch single A Linear Thought (WIDE EAR RECORDS WER034) represents the integration of three artists – four, if you count the design of the cover – into a single statement. Tobias Meier, the Swiss composer who also plays free jazz saxophone, and runs the Wide Ear Records label, composed the work; Dalia Donadio, a singer from Zurich, sings it with her voice; and theorist / artist Berni Doessegger provided the texts that are printed on the (heavy cardstock) inner sleeve. Studio Eusebio is credited with graphic design, which has emerged very much in the Russian Konstructivist mode with its red, black and white colour scheme and its diagonal blocks. I was supplied with a translation of the printed text, which I think is written in German, and one part of it refers to the constituent parts of the human anatomy used to make sound, or to talk (throat, tongue, lips, glottis, lungs) while other paragraphs speculate on the connections between sounds and time; “sound is stretching time,” is just one of the metaphysical claims made within this conceptual framework. Well, the music itself makes its point over two sides of the single; on the A side, it starts out hesitant, a whispering and halting voice which gradually forms notes, but in a broken pattern. By the time of the B side, a confident single tone has emerged, bolstered by harmonies and layers, and it forms a continual sound for most of three minutes. At all times, I was aware of the breath of the singer, which may well be intentional. One could read this work as a schematic diagram of how communication began, how people learned to talk. Or perhaps as a conceptual art statement about the apparatus of language, calling attention to things we might consider so obvious and every-day as to leave them unexamined. In the creators’ own words, A Linear Thought “tells of intimacy and universality, of the voice as a primal personal organ for communication and emotion”. It took about two years from the creative impulse to the completion of the finished work, so enjoy these intense six minutes; they clearly took a lot of effort to produce. (16/03/2018)