IRMIN SCHMIDT’s new album 5 Klavierstücke is out now on Mute in conjunction with Spoon Records on vinyl, CD and digitally – Listen and order the album – ahead of the German premiere of Can Project on 16 December at the Volksbühne Berlin.
Irmin Schmidt, talking about the new album, explains: “The tracks are spontaneous meditations, only played once and recorded simultaneously – no edits or corrections. They are formed from an emotional memory in which Schubert, Cage, Japan (Gagaku) and Can are equally present.”
5 Klavierstücke was recorded and produced by Gareth Jones in the South of France on Irmin Schmidt’s two grand pianos. Schmidt partly prepared his Pleyel piano, in the way he was taught by John Cage himself, and the other piano – Irmin Schmidt’s 100-year-old Steinway – remained unprepared. Several pieces were recorded in one session on the prepared piano only, others contain recordings from both pianos. All ambient sounds were recorded on site – around Irmin Schmidt’s studio – and there are no other instruments or electronics of any kind.
As a composer and as one of Can’s founding members, Irmin Schmidt has scored more than one hundred soundtracks. Outside of his work with Can, he has released over a dozen solo albums and written an opera, Gormenghast, based on the novels of Mervyn Peake. In 2015, he was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to art and culture, one of France’s highest honours, and in 2018 Faber Social published Can – All Gates Open, a two part book – the first section is Can’s biography, written by Rob Young, and the second section is Can Kiosk, a collage of diary entries and interviews edited and written by Irmin Schmidt.
Next month, the Volksbühne in Berlin will honour Can with a special German production of the Can Project – the first since it premiered at the Barbican in London. Irmin Schmidt will be conducting the Deutsche Filmorchester Babelsberg, presenting some of his latest compositions for the first time in Germany: Irmin Schmidt Filmmusiken I/II/III and Can Dialog (co-written with Georg Schwellenbach).
This will be followed by a Can Tribute concert curated by Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten / AUTOMAT) taking over the second part of the show for a special Homage a Can (with guests Peaches, Gemma Ray, Tikiman, Bettina Köster, Max Loderbauer and Andrew Zammit).
Later that week, the Babylon Cinema in Berlin will be screening a retrospective of Schmidt’s film work with a Q&A scheduled with Irmin Schmidt and film director, Dominik Graf.
“CAN-PROJECT” concert in two parts:
1. Irmin conducting Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg:
“CAN-Dialog” and “Filmmusik”
2. CAN – Tribute concert curated by Jochen Arbeit
“Retrospektive Irmin Schmidt” Films and Q&A.
Listen to ‘Klavierstück III’
Listen to ‘Klavierstück V’