Josef Albers (1888 - 1976) was born in Germany. In 1920 he enrolled as a student at the Weimar Bauhaus and later joined the faculty. After the nazis closed the Bauhaus in 1933 Albers emigrated to the United States and started teaching, first at the Black Mountain College, later at Yale University.
Albers was a painter, designer, photographer, typographer, printmaker and poet. He is most famous for the series, Homage to the Square. Hundreds of paintings make up this series, each painting consisting of either three or four squares of solid planes of color nested in one another. (1)
When I first saw this series I immediatily saw a relation to drumming. In 'Interaction of Colors' Albers writes about the interaction of colors, what happens between colors, and about the discrepancy between physical fact and psychic effect. Just replace 'color' with rhythm and every drummer understands what I'm talking about.
For years the work of Albers has been an influence on my playing and has been stimulating me to create new ways of playing, expanding my approach to the drums. This album contains the first recordings that show this, with the drums focusing mainly on the rhythmic aspect.
Like all great works of art, the work of Albers has many aspects. It's educational, analytical and synthetic at the same time, but it has also a lot of humour. It definitely has a meditative, zen-like quality. In fact there are so many layers that one can find new elements the more one concentrates on it. I hope some of these aspects may have entered this album.
After recording the drumparts I have contacted two musician friends and let them add their interpretation of Albers' work on top of my drumparts. Homage to Josef Albers is, modest as it may be, my tribute to this great artist. To end with Albers' words : "To honor the masters creatively is to compete with attitude rather than with their results, to follow an artistic understanding of tradition - that is, to create, not to revive." (2)
(1) thanks to Wikipedia for these two paragraphs
(2) Josef Albers - Interaction of Colors - 1963, ninth printing 1978, page 52
Dirk Wachtelaer has been playing drums for more than 30 years. He has been active in many genres but his main focus has
always been on improvisation and experimentation. He has played with Paul Schutze, Toshinori Kondo, Stevie Wishart, Phillip Clemo, and many others. He recorded 3 solo albums and leads the ensemble Vanishing Pictures, creating music that vanishes when you try to label it....more