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Less Action, Less Excitement, Less Everything

by The International Nothing

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Sleep! 09:46


The International Nothing
Less Action, Less Excitement, Less Everything

Kai Fagaschinski, clarinet (right)
Michael Thieke, clarinet (left)

P & C 2010 Ftarri

All compositions by Kai Fagaschinski (AKM) & Michael Thieke (GEMA), 2006 - 2009.
Recorded by Michael at ausland, Berlin, March 23rd & 24th, 2009. Mixed by Michael and Kai in September 2009. Mastered by Martin Siewert at Motone Sound Services, Vienna.
Cover designed by tanabemse.
Supported by ske/austro mechana. Thanks to ausland, Axel, Nicola, Martin, Masae and Erykah. Greetings to our magic colleagues Maggie and Christof.



released May 1, 2010


The Watchful Ear
[…] The sense of mutual understanding is present throughout what is a consistently impressive album that oozes a delicate subtlety that requires careful listening to get the most out of. Notes swell out of the silence rather than just begin, and they slip away with a similar charm. The attention to detail is remarkable, not only in this kind of exit and entrance technique, but in the accuracy of the combined tonal playing. Despite there being extended use of harmonic systems here I can’t find a single mistake, a single loose wavering note, a single missed entry point. In short, it is a beautiful set of five fine, compact pieces that have been executed very well indeed. Simple ingredients, well combined by very talented people. [...]
by Richard Pinnell (England, September 2010)

The Wire
[…] Whatever notation Fagaschinski and Thieke have devised is obviously a good one. It lends their ideas an elegant sense of order and licenses the unforeseen, as difficult-to-realise notation keeps the narrative dangerous and unsteady. After all, sound couldn’t care less whether it has been written down or not.
by Philip Clark (England, August 2010)

No pyrotechnics here ― there isn’t a staccato, fortissimo or 16th note to be heard. But Berlin-based clarinettists Michael Theike and Kai Fagaschinski have developed such sensitive awareness of one another’s instrumental gestures and sonorities that their sounds become fused, creating shimmering fields of multiphonics or hovering mists of subtone dronishness that convey the woody essence of their instrument. The twosome find combinations of pitches that reveal interesting presences, sometimes of ghostly different tones. They worry a single pitch, detuning to produce throbbing beats and then finding pure unison, they depart. Lip slides, false fingerings, the entire encyclopaedia of clarinet sound resources are referenced in the Nothings’ five-track explorations. The pieces share a minimalist, ambient atmosphere that gradually reveals itself at a slow, gentle pace. While moments can be somewhat intense, the disc’s overall state is meditative, tranquil and, curiously for its definite “avant” aesthetic, relaxing. Light a candle, soak in a warm bath and let these guys take you on a fascinating voyage.
by Glen Hall (Canada, October 2010)

[…] Bevor es zu Missverständnissen kommt, weil die Musiker zu wörtlich genommen werden: Ja, natürlich wurlt es auf „less action, less excitement, less everything“ nur so von klanglichen Aktionen, von aufregenden Passagen und von allem, was undogmatische Kammermusik an Reizen zu bieten hat. Empfehlung.
by Andreas Fellinger (Austria, September 2010)

Bad Alchemy
[…] Fünf Kompositionen, darunter mit ‚Dichtung und Wahrheit‘ eine nur 1-min. Miniatur, zielen dabei auf Ohren, deren Empfindsamkeit denen feiner Briefwagen nahekommen muss. Gilt in der Sound Art Francisco López als Theseus der Labyrinthe des Schweigens und in der Neuen Improvisation etwa Polwechsel als Polarforscher, die 90° 0‘ N eng umkreisen, dann ist die dröhnminimalistische, reduktionistische Glasbläserei der beiden Nothings in ihrer Lessness ebenfalls ein Maximum an Minimum. Wobei bei allem Pianissimo keine Minderung oder gar Löschung per se auf dem Programm steht. Vielmehr scheinen Feinheit, Zartheit und eine Schönheit, wie sie Jo Kondo, Howard Skempton oder James Tenney ähnlich entfalten, das Maß der Dinge zu sein, nach dem dieser meist unisono und wohlklingend gehauchte ‚Crystal Clear Fog‘ gemessen werden will. Schwebende Klangfäden und kristalline Lufttriebe wechseln mit insistierend wiederholten, schlafmohnhaltigen Tönen, soweit so etwas Feines überhaupt insistieren kann. Freilich, Zartheit ist nicht gleich Schwäche. Lord L‘zoril, der Traumweber, ist einer der sieben Ewigen (engl. endless), wenn denn dieser Lessness ein Less noch gefehlt haben sollte, und gebietet zuletzt sein: ‚Sleep!‘.
by Rigobert Dittmann (Germany, August 2010)


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The International Nothing Berlin, Germany

The International Nothing is a psycho-acoustic clarinet duo formed by Michael Thieke and Kai
Fagaschinski in 2000. They collectively compose multilayered sound sculptures using multiphonics, beat frequencies
and difference tones as an integral part of their language. The duo released five albums on the Japanese Ftarri Label and played concerts in Europe, East Asia and North and South America.
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