Maumee-based composer,producer, and performing artist Tim Story is internationally acclaimed for his electronic and acoustic music. A long-time collaborator with composer Hans-Joachim Roedelius (founder of the influential German music groups Harmonia and Cluster),Story has revisited a decade of recording sessions with Roedelius on piano, cutting apart tracks and recombining very small cells of this material into layered, evolving patterns.
The Roedelius Cells, in a limited edition of just 500 Cd’s, documents a unique multichannel-audio installation, composed by Grammy-nominated composer Tim Story and featuring original piano recordings by Hans-Joachim Roedelius. Intricate, superimposed layers of piano coalesce and recombine into shimmering soundscapes that move from lyrical intimacy to pulsing syncopation.
It’s often been said by sound artists that “one man’s noise is another man’s music.” The Roedelius Cells imagines the possibility that one man’s music might also quite literally become ‘another man’s music.’
During recording sessions over the past decade for several of their collaborations, Tim Story and Hans-Joachim Roedelius often ‘left the tape running,’ capturing many hours of Roedelius’ intuitive solo piano improvisations. Rediscovering these informal recordings years later, Story began treating them more as ‘found sounds’ than finished compositions. Cutting apart and recombining very small cells of this material into layered, evolving patterns, Story began creating compositions solely from the source piano recordings, but which differed greatly from Roedelius’ originals. These superimposed layers each often consist of just a few seconds of repeated sounds – the 6th movement alone contains well over 450 of these separate audio ‘events’ in less than 7 minutes of playing time. The result is a syncopated, prismatic interplay more reminiscent of Steve Reich’s structured minimalism than Roedelius’ expansive lyricism. Snippets of conversation, accidental sounds, and extraneous noises find their way into the cells and repeat, creating a kind of human percussion for some of the pieces.
Limiting himself to the sounds of the piano - one of the most identifiable and accessible of instruments - Story hopes to focus the listener on the process itself, lending a musical yet undeniably disorienting perspective to the expectations of ‘piano music.’ To expose this process, and extend the act of ‘re-composition’ to the listener herself, Story incorporated a playback system that spreads the individual cell layers discretely amongst 8 speakers. In travelling through the physical space, the juxtapositions of the cells’ interactions evolve in unique and unrepeatable ways, and in essence invite the listener to reinterpret Story’s reinterpretations.