vexations, in reference to the famous composition by Erik Satie, is a kind of homage to an instrument that, right form its beginnings, has overtly influenced the history of music the world over: the piano. It is not piano music that you find on this CD as much as the piano itself as an apparatus whose inherent programmatic becomes a subject for musical research when subjected to an array of delicate digital disruptions. The album focuses on the love affair with the instrument and, at the same time, with the computer and its powerful digital possibilities for creative transformation.
Schurer's release brings together twenty-eight sketches, ideas, compositions, and re-inventions in a methodical, yet very sensuous way. Rather than being interpretations, these pieces are designed as originals; originals with a certain historicity and which deal with memory as well as remembrance. They are artifacts that resemble other original pieces and that can be interpreted as a special performative or psychological form . Repetition is used as a code to insist on this particular quality (which is crucial to Satie’s original vexations composition). It is, therefore, some kind of machine with its own mind and memory, some kind of third being that interacts with the listener on both the conscious and subconscious level.
Bernd Schurer (aka teleform) explores with a very unique, poetic "metamusical" approach and achieves a careful cyclical arrangement of fragments of melodies and whole compositions on the disc. The fragments can be taken as vignettes or as a compass, mirrors of delicately distressed and filtered digital miniatures. References are sometimes eradicated but never lose their connection to what is supposed to be the key to this kind of memory-automation: melody. They are certainly romantic, sometimes very fragile, and then abstract, to the point of labyrinthine elegance. They come across as a kind of playful nocturne, perfectly aware of their emotional evocativeness, too soon destined to disappear after an ephemeral, imperfect flicker, a brief but beautiful life.