Tag Archives: saxophone

Five examples from the soundtrack of my life

From the soundtrack of my life I picked out 5 records, all of them absolutely no easy listening. If you don’t take your time to listen carefully this music will be annoying. On the other hand this is music with a lot of emotion and music thinking. I get a lot of inspirations by only reading about it, by listening to an alternate version by another artist or just by looking at the album covers – that definitively gives me a ‘musical cue’.

Naked City by John Zorn and Naked City
Great players, great songs, great power and a great life performance.
Video (not original band, but a good start)
Listen to it!



Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata by Rhasaan Roland Kirk
this is a duo record of one saxophone player and one drummer, just listen.
Video about this virtuoso and great inspiration for a lot of musicians.
Listen to it!


Ascension by John Coltrane
End of the 70s I read a lot about John Coltrane and his innovative and game changing record Ascension. In that time there was no internet, so you really had to be lucky to find a record store that would sell it. It happened when I was on holiday with a friend in France, that we popped into a record store and by accident I found a copy of Ascension. I was so excited to hear this record that I decided to not listen to it in the store, but to buy it, wrap it into a plastic bag and fix it with tape on a plane wooden surface in our camper to assure that the record won’t bend or got destroyed on the sweaty summer in France. After 3 weeks of holiday I put the record on my record player and listened to it very carefully – and … I really didn’t get it. I thought this is one of the most overrated records ever. But I didn’t give up and listened to it two more times in a row. After the third time I began to understand and after that I listened to the record many times: as a background while learning or even on a long drive with my car.
Read more!
Listen to it!


Hymnen by Karlheinz Stockhausen
This is maybe the record I have spent the most time in my life in many different variations plus the original material that was used to make this concrete and electronic music. I worked in a two year research project at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, together with Prof. Frisius, we also made a copy of the original 1′ tapes on DAT in the WDR studio, which means that the original material IS the tape and not the score (that was done afterwards with the purpose to read while listening to the recording for a better understanding!).
Read more!
Listen to it!


Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman
a collective improvisation by Double Quartet (saxophone, trumpet, bass and drum ) with a picture of a Jackson Pollock painting
Read more!
Listen to it!

No time to listen to all this? Here is a time saver:

Free Jazz Ascension Mash-Up by Dick Whyte: Supercomposer: Free Jazz Ascension – Listen to it!






Sound experience of 2 times 9 saxophones

The new CD of Raum-Musik für Saxophone has arrived: DOUBLES

Five years ago in spring 2005 I had the idea of a triple concert:
1. a ‘normal’ concert with single microphones attached to each saxophone plus ambient microphones to record the special acoustics of the different rooms of the venue. The single tracks per saxophone could be used for concert nr. 3 and the ambient mocrophones for concert nr. 2
2. a live concert with a loudspeaker orchestra where the registration (or parts of it) from the first concert were diffused via a loudspeaker orchestra and where the 9 saxophones would interact live with the material from the first concert and with each other.
3.  a live diffusion concert of 9 saxophone tracks (single tracks recorded during one of the concerts) via 9 iPods and 9 dedicated loudspeakers. So there would be 9 players, everyone with a single iPod and a single speaker. All the 9 players would play together in the concert (going backward and forward on the single saxophone track like a Ipod DJ). You would hear 9 saxophones improvising together with original material from one of the saxophones, but no saxophone would be seen. The iPod would be the actual instrument.

The new CD of Raum-Musik für Saxophone DOUBLES is the recording of the second concert (with material from the first), a live improvisation between 9 saxophones in the room and 9 saxophones via 40 speakers of the concert the day before. There were 140 people in the audience. You hear the following saxophones: bass, baritone, tenor, alto, soprano and sopranino.

I hope we can perform one day the third part to make it finally TRIPLES. Here are two pictures of the 12 page booklet I designed, the CD will be available via the RMfS website or RMfS facebook page. All pictures are taken by our friend Irmtrud Saarbourg.


Christof Zürn

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