Saturday, May 14, 2016

Peter Michael Hamel - 1972 - Hamel

Peter Michael Hamel 

01. Storm Over Asia And Calm 4:10
02. Baliava I 5:10
03. Baliava ll 8:22
04. Fire Of Holy Eyes 9:55
05. Song Of The Dolphins 7:30
06. Sinking Sangsara 3:55
07. Aura 20:05
08. Gomorrhaga 8:45
09. Cathedral On C 9:20

- Peter Michael Hamel / Organ, Voice, Electronics, Piano
- Anatol Arkus / Synthesizer
- Ulrich Kraus / Synthesizer

Releases information
Limited to 500 copies. Gatefold cover reproducing the original artwork by Guntram Holdgrün from the 1972 Vertigo issue. Insert/ w liner notes. Remastered from the original mastertapes by Tonmeister Ulrich Kraus and re-released 2002. First ever reissue of this hard to find album.

Peter Michael Hamel is a German musician who was born in 1947. He is mostly known around these parts for his Krautrock band Between, which he founded back in 1970. Already then he showed obvious penchants for the Eastern way of thinking ? along with the more freely flowing music such as Indian ragas and the improvisation these could entail.

He studied musical composition, psychology and sociology in Munich and furthermore attended several workshops with Karlheinz Stockhausen. This is conveyed both through the music of Between, but also in his solo works that tend to explore meditative, improvisational and easternly tinged music that incorporates dreamy atmospheres and influences from all over the world.

During his studies he also got to work with artists such as John Cage, Morton Feldman and Terry Riley ? who all shared his love of the abstract and unfathomable in music.

Also known for his work outside of music, but still evolving around the same, Hamel wrote a book about no-European music in 1976 called Durch Musik zum Selbst (Using music to reach the Self) These thoughts around fx Indian vocal styles and tonal systems ? were catalysts on which much of work sprung out of in the 70s, and incorporating these with the improvisational approach of Krautrock.

Later on he tried removing himself from the improvised ? focusing more on the compositional side of things ? and almost eliminating the Eastern influences that were the foundation of his early work.

Since 1997 he has been functioning as professor for composition at the music academy of Hamburg. His orchestra and chambermusic is published by Schott, Bärenreiter and E.R.P./Celestial Harmonies. He composed four operas, many pieces for orchestra as Gestalt, violin and piano concertos, spiritual compositions as Missa for soprano, choirs and orchestra, Shoah (radio-composition about the Holocaust), a lot of chambermusic like four stringquartets and he is constantly working as a selfperforming artist (piano, prepared piano, pipe organ, voice and live-electronics). His first symphony has been premiered by Sergiu Celibidache in 1988, his second symphony had its premiere in April 2008 with the Munich Philharmonic.

In 2007 Hamel's Of the Sound of Life for great pianist Roger Woodward has been published by Celestial Harmonies.

Maybe also, a not so distant connection to Terry Riley's ideals and aesthetics in music composition ("Fire of Holy Eyes", track 4 is proof of it).

Michael Peter Hamel founder member of "Between" a Krautrock 70's band, kind of got his way out of the average "prog" scene, due to his actual work with not exactly "rockers" or "proggers", John Cage could hardly be considered neither.

In short, "HAMEL", 1972, has everything in terms of proposals in musical language. Some are true to the progressive electronic spirit (his own of course), others are more inclined to Cage's sonic experimentations with unorthodox approaches and intervention of their acoustic instruments. (eg: the use of the acoustic guitar's body as a percussion instrument.). Others are slow minimalistic "drone-like" pieces, which as Riley's music, also project a more "spiritual" cadence with enticing and mysterious musical lines.

Rich and sober, original in its variety of musical ideas and true to its own musical quest, this project has stood the test of time, by sounding in this 2016, fresh as new.

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