Nils Bultmann

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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San Francisco-based violist and composer Nils Bultmann first documented both his innovative style at the instrument and his original fusion of composition and improvisation on Forgiveness (2003), including his Solo Sonata for Viola and duets with Noah Onstrud on didgeredoo and Andy Ewen on electric guitar.

Terminally Unique (Mutable, 2008) delivers 14 short computer-manipulated compositions/ improvisations. The viola solos are very brief meditations that hark back to classical music but stress the timbres and the tempos to the limit (notably Again, The Pulsing and Primal). The Madness is a more complex seven-minute sonata for Bultmann's viola, Roscoe Mitchell's tenor saxophone, Parry Karp's cello and Paddy Cassidy's djembe. The strings alternate between orgasmic crescendoes fueled by their own symbiosis and Platonic stases sustained by the brittle percussion sounds. A simple duet between piano and Parry Karp's cello, Marched Upward, manages to achieve a menacing symphonic density. The galactic tide of Ocean is perhaps the most disconcerting piece, a sort of Strauss' Zarathustra for a parallel universe. One can only regret that the pieces are so short to barely hint at what Bultmann has in mind.

Bultmann has also composed chamber music for solo instruments, string quartets and orchestra.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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