Karlheinz Essl - Checkin' my Shrutis​.​.​.

by Nachtstück Records



Music By: Karlheinz Essl
Mixed Mastered cureated and Artworked by: Tiago Morais Morgado

This generative drone scape is based on a sequence of 25 chords which have been recorded by Karlheinz Essl on a Shrutibox - an instrument which used in traditional Indian music for creating long drones. The sound is produced by slowly moving a bellow which creates an airflow that is directed towards a series of pipes fitted with reeds. These pipes can be opened or closed with adjustable buttons. By this, a large variety of chords can be created out of 13 chromatic pitches within a single octave.

The piece starts with the note F, and slowly moves towards the dyad F-C, the perfect fifth which is often used in classical Indian music. The next chords is D-F-C, followed by the four-part sound D-F-G-C. In the fifth chord, the diatonic system is broken by replacing the D by C#. From there on, all chromatic notes are used until chord #12.

In the transitions from one chord to another, only one pitch changes which results in a very slow harmonic transformation. However, the progression does not simply move in one direction. Instead, a helix-like process is introduced that always goes back to the origin (sound #1, the F) before it reaches a new chord:

1 2
1 2 3 2
1 2 3 4 3 2
1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2
The entire process lasts 12 hours before the whole hypercycle will be starting again.

The piece was created by computer program written in Max, using compositional algorithms from my Real Time Composition Library (RTC-lib, a open-source software library for Max). Time stretching, tiny pitch deviations and the careful use of flanger and reverb create a everchanging drone scape with a surprisingly rich inner life, ideal for deep listening, meditation, and relaxation. It's cosmic music without being esoteric!


Born 1960 in Vienna. Composer, improviser and performer. He
studied composition with Friedrich Cerha and musicology in
Vienna. Besides composing instrumental and electronic music,
he performs on his own electronic instrument m@ze°2, develops
software environments for computer-aided composition and
creates generative sound and video environments.
Composer-in-residence at the Darmstadt summer courses, IRCAM
(Paris) and the Salzburg Festival.
Between 1995-2006 teaching „Algorithmic Composition” at the
Bruckner University in Linz. Since 2007 professor of
composition for electro-acoustic and experimental music at the
University of Music in Vienna.

Tiago Morais Morgado | Violetista e laptoper, estudou música clássica, musicologia, informática música e sonologia na Artave, na Esart, nas universidades Nova de Lisboa e do Minho e no Conservatório de Haia. Curador da editora Nachtstuck Records, que criou em 2014. Seleção de concertos: Frequency, na final do Termómetro Unplugged 2005, Alfândega do Porto; Orquestra Artave (viola tutti), com António Rosado e Ernst Schelle, Coliseu do Porto, 2016; Quinteto Pedro Lopes, David Filipe, Tiago Morais Morgado, António José Oliveira e Denis Ferreira, Casa das Artes de Famalicão, 2016; Tiago Morais Solo, Teatro a Barraca, 2010; :papercutz, no Inslington Metal Works de Londres (Reino Unido), no SXSW Austin (EUA) e no Exit Festival (Sérvia), 2010; Encerramento do ciclo "Colaborações Improvisações", Serralves, 2011; Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble, com Peter Evans, 2011; Com Yedo Gibson e Ofir Klemperer e como Tiago Morais Solo, no Studio Loos Den Haag, Holanda, 2011; Tiago Morais Morgado Solo, Fiber Festival Amsterdam, Holanda, 2012; Visuais, A First Approach to Morgenstra - Juan Marco Albarracin, 2012; Arnold Schoenbergzaal; Com Nicola Casetta, Maskarade Sinzine; Com James Hewitt e Renato Meganha Ferreira, Leo Svirsky House, Holanda, 2012; Tiago Morais Morgado solo, Kees van Barenzaal, Holanda, 2013; Com Teresa Matias, MNS, 2013; Com Stelios Manousakis, Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2014; Festival O Mundo Somos Nos, 2014 e 2017; Festival Dias de Música Electroacústica, 2015 e 2016; Moita Mostra, 2016 e 2017; Serralves em Festa, 2017; Com Marcelo dos Reis e Sérgio Tavares, MNS, 2017; Jose Lencastre Nau Quartet, MNS, 2017; Ocupa #2, GNRation, 2017.


released August 4, 2019




Nachtstück Records Braga, Portugal

Nachtstück Records is a label that was created with a commitment to philantropic endeavours. throughout 5 years, we donated 1000 euros to charity and moved people to do the same for us and within ourselves.

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