Award-winning organist Martin Sturm invited the Berlin-based composer Rishin Singh to repeat some famous “ländlichen Orgelexperimente” or “rural organ experiments” with him and they chose the organ at Denstedt, now named in honour of Franz Liszt, as the best instrument to do so.
In the 1850s the influential composer Franz Liszt, who was living in Weimar, Germany at the time, teamed up with the cantor Alexander Wilhelm Gottschalg to carry out a series of “ländlichen Orgelexperimente” in Thuringia, investigating various instruments and their capabilities for contemporary music, and used the organ at Denstedt. The result from Sturm and Singh is mewl infans, a contemporary classical piece that invites audiences to think about the history and legacy of organ music. It will arrive on July 29th, 2022, from Beacon Sound in digital and vinyl LP formats.
The artists describe the 44 minute experimental recording thus:
Throughout the larger architecture of the four movements, melodic motifs return over and over, fractured by noise, fragmented by carefully calibrated alternate tunings, dissolving into thin air, and generating drones which then transform into new melodic variations. Over the 44 minutes of the piece the organist at times attempts to exert complete control over the instrument, and at other times relinquishes all control entirely.
More about Martin Sturm and Rishin Singh:
Martin Sturm, born 1992 in South Germany, in an International award-winning organist (ION, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Festival St Albans, Haarlem, Bavarian Culture Prize, and Keck-Köppe Foundation). He performs regularly as an interpreter and organ improviser at festivals, churches, and concert halls around the world. In 2019 he was appointed Professor for Organ and Organ Improvisation at the University of Music “Franz Liszt” in Weimar (Germany), after teaching at the Universities of Music in Würzburg and Leipzig.
Rishin Singh (b. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) is a composer and trombonist living in Berlin. He has been commissioned to compose for the JACK Quartet (US), Piano+ (US), Claire Edwardes (AUS), DNK Ensemble (NL), Prof. Martin Sturm (DE), the Amsterdam Wandelweiser Festival (NL), Quiet Music Ensemble (IE), and others. Upcoming premieres include “every day” a concerto for organ, timpani, and string orchestra (Martin Sturm, Thuringia, 2022), and “melancholy objects” a string quartet (the JACK Quartet, New York, Spring 2023). He is currently working on his first chamber opera and is the composer and lyricist for the art song ensemble Leider.