• Sabine Vogel – solo

CD: "Aus dem Fotoalbum eins Pinguins - Part1 &2" cs073, creative sources recordings, Lissabon, 2006

Through different types of flute, electronics and field recordings Sabine Vogel affirms her strong compositional individuality in a truly splendid work, which uses air as a primary ingredient for a series of microscopic analyses of the sonic content of incorporeality. Vogel's phonetics are made of pretty simple elements that reveal multitudes of tiny facets; her pieces scan the no man's lands of sounds lacking the consistency of a proper body, bringing out forward-looking harmonics that render their effect similar to being caressed by marine winds or wandering through desertic desolations. Indeed the sea and the rain are an engrossing presence in "Wax and wane", possibly the finest moment of this conceptual link, a gorgeous piece where flute and bass flute seem to try and determine the geographic coordinates of a lost soul amidst a holy forest of timbral reliquiae and natural lonesomeness. One imagines Vogel with pursed lips and concentrated attitude, captured by her own thought-provoking contemplations while using her instruments for outlandish insufflations of consciousness. Quantifying the value of a record like this is not easy, but there's a definite quality in Sabine Vogel's work that's enough for me to collocate her very high in my recent preferences' scale. "Aus dem Fotoalbum eines Pinguins" is a pleasing surprise from every point of view, a mature statement which effortlessly nails a few fundamental concepts right into our system. It's music that avoids collision but also disdains dialogue, fed by its very depth which could be difficult to understand completely. Not for everybody, then - yet approaching masterpiece status. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

[...] Sabine Vogel plays flute and electronics and on her CD there are four recordings made in at a concert in Stockholm, a piece for an exhibition and whole bunch of very short field recording pieces involving ice ('just another state of water, but it makes different sounds'). In her concert pieces, Vogel treats her instrument as an object: careful blowing, producing small sounds, but it's hard to think of this as a flute, at least most of the times. In the exhibition piece see uses a large dose of echo on her field recordings of water to create an atmosphere of walking around, along with her flute, which acts as a bird. It's altogether a pretty varied disc, quiet listening music, but full of tension. Frans de Waard (Vital)
If Beside The Cage brings forward some typical elements of impro-combos, Sabine Vogel can be better qualified as many solo performers on Creative Sources and on similar labels. Does what I wrote stands for "here’s you have you're average anonymous release"? Absolutely no, with those words I simply meant if there's a modus operandi with which you can distinguish the work of a band as much as that of a soloist like in this case. But given that the world is full of contradictions, let's say if we'd not consider this one as an only acoustic/instrument cd, this should be a big mistake since the fifty percent of this whole effort is made out of field recordings. Believe it or not, the fact is that miss Vogel mixed really well some solo performances with some silent/non intrusive field soundscapes and I dare you to recognize the different sections without the liner-notes accompanying every track. The recording is superb and Sabine mixed the different elements so well it all sounds as a unique continuative trip that passes from a soft half choked blowing to a silent audio-scape. This minimal work is brilliantly engineered and conceived well enough to offer a enjoyable listening even in terms of time length.
Review by: Andrea Ferraris

"Aus dem Fotoalbum eines Pinguins" to pierwsza solowa plyta Sabine Vogel. Piszac to zdanie nie mialem na mysli omawianej plyty, lecz identycznie zatytulowany, limitowany CDR wydany wlasnym sumptem przez niemiecka flecistke przed dwoma laty. Tegoroczny "Fotoalbum" miesci w sobie caly material zawarty w poprzednim, a dodatkowe dwadziescia minut muzyki sprawia, ze to wlasnie wersja CD staje sie kanoniczna.
Trzydziestoletnia obecnie Sabine Vogel jest absolwentka Konserwatorium im. Antona Brucknera w Linzu. Zwiazana z niemiecka scena muzyki improwizowanej, wspólpracuje równiez z kompozytorami z kregu muzyki wspólczesnej w przeszlosci otarla sie tez o jazz.
Jej domena jest sonorystyczna improwizacja, przekraczajaca ograniczenia artykulacyjne i laczaca brzmienia akustyczne z elektronicznymi. Cztery utwory zarejestrowane przed dwoma laty potwierdzaja akces Sabine Vogel do grona "poszerzaczy" mozliwosci brzmieniowych instrumentów. Wydaje sie, ze jej zamiarem bylo uczynienie z fletem tego, co inni (np.: Dörner, Kelley, Rainey, Bosetti) robia z trabka czy saksofonem. Trzy nowsze utwory nie zmieniaja tego obrazu, a co najwyzej pozwalaja odnotowac, ze obecnie w muzyce Vogel wieksza role zaczynaja odgrywac nagrania terenowe. Na pozór delikatna, a w rzeczywistosci mocna i gesta, elektroakustyczna pajeczyna fletowych podmuchów, elektronicznych preparacji i field recordingu (glównie sa to odglosy wody i lodu) zachwyca misternym splotem improwizacji i kompozycji, brzmien naturalnych i preparowanych, akustycznych i elektronicznych.
Ta muzyka jest nadzwyczaj delikatna i subtelna, wykorzystuje drobne dzwieki poszerzajace klasyczny tembr fletu, ale to nie poszerzenie mozliwosci sonorystycznych instrumentu jest jej najwieksza zaleta.
Najwazniejsza jest umiejetnosc wykorzystania wszystkich wspomnianych skladników do zbudowania interesujacych, zróznicowanych form, która sprawia, ze "Aus dem Fotoalbum eines Pinguins" to pelna, dojrzala wypowiedz artystki, potrafiacej efektywnie poslugiwac sie wypracowanym przez siebie osobistym jezykiem wypowiedzi.
Tadeusz Kosiek (Gaz-Eta)

CD-R „Aus dem Fotoalbum eines Pinguins - Folge 1“, 2004

As far as flute improv with aesthetic concerns similar to Kelley, Bosetti, et al, Sabine Vogel's 2004 solo recording Aus dem Fotoalbum eines Pinguins is stunning reinvention of the instrument I've had in heavy rotation since belatedly playing it for the first time a few months ago. If anybody writes "Part Two", please don't overlook Vogel's masterpiece because of its regrettable status as a limited, demo-style CDR issue.
Michael Parker

Ich hatte noch nie zuvor jemanden so interessante und außergewöhnliche Klänge mit solch einer Energie auf der Flöte spielen hören.
Malin Bång, „Flöte aktuell“ Ausgabe Oktober 2004

• Presse über „Paddy Wack“
Michael Griener- drums
Sabine Vogel – flutes
Jack Wright: sax

Konzert mit „Paddy Wack“ auf dem San Alt Festival in San Francisco, Mai 2004
Griener’s gamut of gambits kept a smile on my face, as did Vogel’s delicate, fluttery fingerwork on her bass flute, flute and piccolo.
Tom DjillVogel's work on bassflute was a bit of a revelation - she worked through every crevice of her horn, extracted wind sounds and a variety of percussive effects - all played at a whisper.

Philipp Greenlief

Jack Wright/Sabine Vogel/Michael Griener
Compared to the colorful sites of previous Alt Fest shows, the Musician's Union Hall seemed beige. Now the home of a New Music series every other Sunday, the room soon became lively enough. The Wright-Vogel-Griener trio christened their American tour with their Alt Fest performance. Playing at the quiet, subdued end of the spectrum, the trio began with Wright muting his alto with his leg. Vogel breathed through a bass flute as Griener rubbed his hands and cymbals on drum skin. Vogel went from bass to piccolo, blowing and sucking. Wright blew overtones and flutters. Vogel suggested c-flute tones, while Griener worked with textures. Switching to soprano, Wright kept it low with occasional pops. Vogel's use of quiet extended techniques helped establish an implied tension. Wright held extended high notes with Griener matching his shriek with stick scraped cymbal. Vogel's breathed bass flute closed it. Wright continued on alto with a low growl. Vogel held tones then used breathing strategies for variations. Wright used circular breathing, and with everything kept down the sound imitated distant trains. Afterwards, Wright spoke of the strain playing music so subtle and inferred.

By Rex Butters, San Francisco Alt Fest's Cultural Quake

• Presse über “Paddy Wack” track auf der “No Idea”CD, 2004
(…)There is an incredible Bruce Lee/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar fight scene orchestrated by percussionist Michael Griener, flautist Sabine Vogel and sax man Jack Wright. You know the scene where Bruce starts popping out the paper windows to stagger the sensitive eyed center? (…)
Michael Kaufmann

• Presse über “Twilight Collider” von Malin Bång
Live Radiomitschnitt am 8.12.2004 in Stockholm
Twilight Collider für Flöte und Bassflöte von Malin Bång
„...Daß es mitunter hilfreicher ist, mit einem knappen, aber konzise formulierten Konzept zu arbeiten, bewies Malin Bång. Zum Ausgangspunkt ihres Stückes „Twilight Collider“ wurde das Energiepotential im Übergang zwischen zwei Agregatszuständen. Und man hätte wohl die bloße Plastizität bewundern können, mit der das konzept umgesetzt wurde, oder die Souveränität, mit der die komponistin und ihre Flötistin Sabine Vogel, mit der Bång gemeinsam das Stück erarbeitet hat, die Farben zwischen Instrument und Elektronik ausleuchten. Das wirklich Bemerkenswerte aber ist, daß aus Agregatszuständen musikalische Zeitqualitäten wurden: Stillstand und erregung, Statik und Verflüchtigung, kalte und warme Zeit.“
(Musiktexte 104, kalte und warme Zeit von Björn Gottstein)

• Presse über SCHWIMMER 7x4x7, cs 013, creative sources recordings, 2004
Schwimmer are a Berlin based quartet featuring clarinetist Michael Thieke, soprano saxophonist Alessandro Bosetti, flautist Sabine Vogel and percussionist Michael Griener, who, taking advantage of the multitracking facilities in Ronny Trocker’s P4 Studios, managed to record nearly the entire album by not playing together at all.
The odd collection of colour-coded symbols (microphones, headphones and scissors) adorning the booklet explains the horizontal nature of the process: Thieke recorded a seven minute solo, on top of which Bosetti improvised, followed by Vogel and finally Griener. For the second track, Thieke played along with this entire first quartet, followed by Bosetti, Vogel and Griener, after which the first quartet was erased, leaving the second.
And so on, until the seventh and last track, where all four improvised along with quartet six (duly erased). Hardly surprising then that this final piece is more concerned with sustained sonorities and harmonic colour. Elsewhere, however, the overall dynamic level remains low, the music bustles with activity, and has more in common with vintage English insect music than with what is normally described as Berlin lowercase. Griener’s tight, meticulous percussion flurries often recall John Stevens. They mesh perfectly with the stifled grunts, draughty flutters and wheezes of the wind players. To thicken the plot, the close miked instrumental tracks are mixed and panned to great effect, heightening the music’s quietly dramatic sense of timing.
Hardcore Reductionists of the Radu Malfatti persuasion will no doubt find it all too busy, and while the most effective moments occur when sustained high-pitched tones from the winds and some well-aimed thwacks and pings from Griener ventilate the structure, the album as a whole is refreshingly light and colourful.
Dan Warburton (The Wire)

If you're tired of the plastic surgeries of today's idea of freedom, it could be a good idea listening to this quartet, formed by Michael Thieke (clarinets) Alessandro Bosetti (sax) Sabine Vogel (flutes) and Michael Griener (drums). Theirs is the sound of alienated volatile creatures in an enormous metal cage, looking for the door to a just imaginary escape. Since the very beginning, the musicians apply a cold stare to introspective dialectics, rubbing, blowing and tongue-popping their instruments' cavities until air is projected in a multitude of shapes and - sometimes - in almost painful icicles for the ear. Struck by the group's engaging attitude, I can't help but looking for imaginative comparisons, actually to no avail. The whole sound organization is remarkable; minuscule fragments and more violent emissions weight the same, accumulating anxiety and tension that don't ask for help. Self constraint can yield more power than you could guess, if it's channeled into the right conduits.
Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

The portugese label Creative Sources started as an outlet for the musical activitites of Ernesto Rodrigues. But since the cd by No Furniture, a trio of Boris Baltschun (sampler), Axel Dörner (computer, trumpet) and Kai Fagaschinski (clarinet), the label gives also room to german improv projects. Listening to the cd of Schwimmer this is no surprise, because the improv music of these ensembles is comparable to the projects of Ernesto Rodrigues.
We hear the same sparse, meditative improv music, that gives room to each little sound, subtlety and silence.
Schwimmer is a quartet: Michael Thieke (clarinet, alto clarinet), Alessandro Bosetti (soprano saxophone), Sabine Vogel (flute, piccolo, bass flute), Michael Griener (drums). They recorded on a day in february 2003 in Studio P4 in Berlin.
The titles of the tracks on Schwimmer are pictographical presentations that contain some hidden logic. This shows a comparable love for abstraction. Because we cannot associate the music with the meaning of the titles, one could say that is focuses the listener more on the concreteness of sound.
The music is sometimes so intimate and modest that it disappears into silence. Schwimmer dwell in a micro-world of sound close to silence.

Dolf Mulder (Vital)

Two releases from the intriguing Portuguese label Creative Sources, each with bits and pieces to recommend it, each with the sort of commonly found flaws one comes to expect in this area of music.
Schwimmer is a quartet comprised of Alessandro Bosetti (soprano sax), Michael Thieke (clarinets), Sabine Vogel (flute, bass flute, piccolo) and Michael Griener (percussion). The album title alludes not only to the seven tracks by the four musicians but also, one assumes, the 7-minute limit imposed on each improvisation. I’m a big fan, generally speaking, of the idea of “restricted” improv, where players must contend with certain rules or meta-musical conceits, but the notion of simple time limits strikes me as somewhat trivial. Bosetti is the only member whose work I’ve been fairly familiar with and, as before, I tend to find his approach a tad or two on the academic side for my taste. This dampens the enjoyment I otherwise derive from the sound developed by the three winds which, much like that heard on the Dörner/Kelley/Neumann/Rainey disc, “Thanks Cash”, is inherently appealing and simply fascinating to listen to. Indeed, I thought much of “7 x 4 x 7” would have been better served without Griener’s presence as his contributions, reminding me in some ways of Tony Oxley’s more delicate work, lend the tracks an air of British 60s free improv, a coloration that doesn’t particularly enhance the rest of the music. As one might expect, the improvisations are all rather quiet with plenty of breath-tones, flutters, bubblings, sputterings, etc. which is all well and good and, in fact, the pieces cohere fairly well. As pure sound, they’re enjoyable enough, as music that evinces any real passion to exist, they’re lacking, coming off as a bit dry, a little calculating. Brian (Bagatellen)
In the second half of the 1990s, the new "reduced" aesthetics pursued by Radu Malfatti and others threw down a fundamental challenge to the world of improvised music. Within a few years, a number of the original explorers of "reductionism" had begun to move beyond the principles and practices that had initially defined this austere musical movement. In issue 89 of Musicworks magazine (Summer 2004) the Berlin-based trombonist Robin Hayward observed that "by 2000 I was feeling in a cul-de-sac with the much reduced, static music I was producing" and explained how he subsequently sought to break his self-imposed rules by, amongst other things, including an element of narrative structure. More generally, the question of how a viable and relevant musical improvisation for the start of the 21st century should be approached in the light of the aesthetics, techniques and insights of reductionism (and their limits) has arisen not just amongst those identified (usually by others) as 'reductionists' but also a number of thoughtful musicians across the improvised music spectrum. To a degree, each of the three latest releases on Lisbon's industrious Creative Sources label can be seen as a response to this musical problem.
From the heart of Berlin's reductionist community comes Schwimmer, a quartet comprising Alessandro Bosetti (soprano sax), Michael Thieke (clarinet), Sabine Vogel (flute) and Michael Griener (percussion). In recording 7x4x7, the group utilized an unusual method. To quote Bosetti's sleeve notes: "a player (clarinettist Michael Thieke) played and recorded a seven minute long solo. A second player overdubbed a seven-minute long solo over this statement while listening to it. A third musician overdubbed onto the two previous tracks a third segment and so on in a chain reaction that leads to a longer structure (which could be reconstructed by those willing to do so, through the amazingly detailed graphic description on the CD jacket, an artwork in itself)". The effect of this procedure is to destroy any element of contemporaneous collective interaction; moreover, the task of ascertaining at any given moment who is alive to whom and who is merely providing a backing track surely imposes too great a cognitive burden to be compatible with enjoyment of the music. In consequence, the listener must abandon any hope of detecting and appreciating any substantive element of ongoing group interchange and collaboration and turn instead to the work as a mere sonic artifact. It's something of a surprise to find that the sound object so laboriously constructed rather resembles that of an ordinary improvisation (except, of course, without any element of extemporaneous collective engagement to be entered into by the listener). The sleeve notes indicate that the work was intended to explore the musical dimension of space by means of both the recording method plus "close miking, multiple miking, spreading many loudspeakers throughout the room [and] the virtuoso and massive use of noise and extended techniques", but none of this succeeds in opening interesting spatial dimensions within the recording. The reductionist vocabulary of exhalations, flutters, scrapes, etc. is duly employed in various combinations and densities, but what emerges seems uninspired, stilted and somewhat rambling. It also on occasions falls back into arrangements that resemble the quieter end of 1970s groups such as the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. […]

Wayne Spencer (Paris Transatlantic)

Schwimmer is a fairly odd name for a quartet playing such sparse, diffuse music; its proper name seems misleading in a context as “egoless” as this. You never know: the title could be a sly revision of the old Monk classic 5xMonkx5 (whereas here we have seven tracks by four musicians; you get the point). The players are soprano saxophonist Alessandro Bosetti, clarinetist Michael Thieke, flautist Sabine Vogel, and percussionist Michael Griener. A lot of winds sessions explore heavily contrapuntal material, or complex notated music that one might encounter in, say, Scelsi, Xenakis, or Carter (September Winds is well known for the former, and Gebhard Ullmann’s Clarinet Trio for the latter). These players are interested in the music of breath and heartbeat, of steam and air, of slow geologic rhythms and earthen undulations. For those who have heard the triple-soprano summit Placés dans L’Air (where Bosetti teamed up with Bhob Rainey and Michel Doneda), this music has something of that recording’s near hush. But with Griener and the slightly more cantankerous Thieke on board – the percussionist achieves a kind of laminal space, like Burkhard Beins, while Thieke favors wet gurgles and rude splats – things don’t ever get too still.
There may be a lonesome tone that could almost come from Sachiko M or Toshi Nakamura, a glittering wave of pure harmonics that sounds electronically-produced. Yet these are balanced by passages where the four players generate sound as if from a single twittering machine. The contrast between the moments of bare audibility, Messiaen-like bird-calling, and the harsh, guttural sound of metal is often exquisite. The point of Schwimmer’s playing is not to generate “events” or “expressions”; in fact, it almost seems like the point is to see how the sounds are swallowed up, more than to see how they are produced in the first place (though with sounds as alien as these, the notion of production is pretty fascinating). Indeed, I keep returning to metaphors of casing, enclosure, and framing for this record. Maybe that’s because Griener is so adept at carving out giant sonic shapes with his percussion, or perhaps it’s simply a function of how adroitly this quartet explores limits (instrumental, formal, interactive). Regardless, there is a subdued power to this music that grows with each listen.

Jason Bivins (Dusted magazine)

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