Marcus Maeder – Topographie Sinusoïdale


CD + booklet – Domizil

You have to turn up the volume to fully perceive the first loops of Marcus Maeder’s Topographie Sinusoïdale, release by Domizil. Topography concerns itself with studying the surface shape and features of the Earth and providing descriptions of such features in the form of maps and other diagrams. At the same time it could be considered the configuration of an environment and its parts. In a similar fashion, music deals with the organization of parts in a larger context and manipulates spatial metaphors to produce special characteristics. The highly dilated drones in this work are precisely assembled and collocated as if set in a landscape: the artist sets higher and lower boundaries on objects and “scenes”. In the more muted passages hisses and acutely fashioned audio emergencies still stand out. The textures morph with changing density, pitch variation and alternating harmonic configurations producing dissonances, reoccurring scans and clusters. Maeder’s continuum has a confusing effect, making it difficult for the listener to ‘feel at home’. The abstracted topographic landscapes are idealized and project the listener into unfamiliar locations. The listening here is not easy and the extremely stylized atmospheres are not always confortable. The elaborations should be scientific but they don’t seem to follow a “geometrical” scheme. The composer does, however, understand his work intimately: it seems like he is swallowed by it – as if he lives inside his own elemental universe.


Marcus Maeder live at the Lodge/Zurich – excerpt