Rolf Julius: Small Music

Image:, "Further Away (Music For The Glance Downwards)", 2008
Image:, "Further Away (Music For The Glance Downwards)", 2008

Over the past week I’ve been enjoying listening to Rolf Julius’ Small Music Volumes 1 to 4, released between 1994 and 1996.  They collect together works from the 90s and each of the releases are tied together by respective themes which allude to colours (Vol. 1 White, Yellow, Black), environments (Vol. 2 Klangboden, trans. ‘earth sound’, Vol. 3 Music For A Garden)  or shapes/objects (Vol. 4 Dance For Two Blue Rectangles.)  I hadn’t heard these releases until very recently when a kind soul somewhere in Europe made these ‘available’ to me.  I had been trying to obtain legit copies in the past, but on the couple of occasions I’d pursued the Japanese distributor my order/shipment got lost in translation and transit.  I love the music on these volumes – Julius’ work is remarkably unique sounding, all at once chaotic and simple compositions made up from cyclical patterns of metallic drones, sibilant hisses, mock birdcalls, mutant crickets and camouflaged field recordings.  Listening to these you can visualise places, locations, sensations and colours – the music dissolves into your surroundings and consciousness.   I’ve had a lot of enjoyment in listening to these works in various contexts too – situated in the backroom, the study, the garden, the park or on my iPod in the city.  I still have much to learn about Julius’ work (as his work makes up a fair portion of the masters thesis) but these releases make the process all the more enjoyable and rewarding.


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