What well-springs feed acts of creation? Intuition? Experience? Where are creativity and inspiration located? Within or without?
Simon Zöchbauer brings existential questions into play with his debut solo album as a composer. As you listen, a mystical home gradually unfolds before your inner eye, opening up space for intimacy and spirituality. Not for nothing is the album entitled “Achad” – a word of Hebrew origin expressing the concept of one, of unity or wholeness. Insight is often only unfurled in the unity of the moment, such as you may find in meditation or musical improvisation – an instant in which the relation between present, past and future is revealed.
So it is not surprising that, concerned with issues of identity and belonging in his musical past to date, Simon Zöchbauer set out firstly to search for his musical roots. During his many years of exploration of traditional forms of music, and the ensuing formation of the now internationally successful ensemble Federspiel, he laid the groundwork as trumpeter, zither player and composer for the spaces available to him today, which now open more to the future than to the past. In this, agreement and universality are more central to his work than concentration on what it stands for alone.
Simon Zöchbauer has now brought in the Koehne Quartett as his playing partners – a string quartet which count as one of Europe’s leading ensembles in the field of contemporary music. Close cooperation with composers is of particular importance to the members of the ensemble to ensure they are able to penetrate into each individual tonal language. So, too, in the collaboration with Zöchbauer the musical power lies in the mutual understanding and the flexibility of the body of sound.
Second companion and co-producer of “Achad” is Sixtus Preiss – a tinkerer with sound who takes full advantage of the present as the experimentation field for his creative fantasy, tirelessly feeling his way towards its limits.
Zöchbauer’s diverse musical influences are always subtly noticeable in “Achad”, including sacred or contemporary music as well as echoes of folk music – but it is his individual and intuitive process of creation which is always to the fore. “Achad” can thus be understood as the result of a musical search for traces of spirituality and timeliness – a search on which we ourselves may now set off.