The journey to accomplish Earth Tones comes from a deep wish to create music that will express my profound search for connection with our true universal values: Peace, Harmony, Love and genuine Happiness.
The seed for this record was planted listening to a CD of Gongs, that I would put during the whole winter for bedtime with my children, in the house on top of the mountain of St. Carlos in the northeast of the Island of Ibiza. The house was situated in a huge forest of pinewood, hidden, and we had our bed above the chimney and the fire was burning every night, creating the beautiful shapes of light and shadow on the walls during the winter.
The winter after, I started to get interested in overtones, colors of tones and Coltrane’s circular musical handwriting. I wanted to dedicated more time to the soprano saxophone and I composed Earth Tones, a suite, based upon simple melodies, structures and overtones.
When I started to record I wanted to create an organic drone that would give me a peaceful base for the story of the record: the earth calling us (EARTH CALL) to participate to turn in harmony (EARTH TONES). I found four essential qualities: HOPE of everybody / SHARING of experiences that would lead to WISDOM and to UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, all based on the universal principle of harmony that was guiding me.
I started to record the drone orchestra, rich in overtones, first tambura, an Indian accompanying instrument and afterwards sarangi, a South Asian violin, then I added piano, flute, melodica, percussion instruments (maracas and bells). I recorded all instruments of the drone orchestra linear and tried to create a natural bow through that process. After the drone orchestra I recorded melodies and solos all in one take, in the order they appear on the record. Radomir came up with an equivalent idea of the guitar drones, consisting of drone guitar, arpeggio guitar, oscillating guitar and slide guitar (in SHARING und UNCONDITIONAL LOVE).
We were listening over months before we decided to invite Christian and Robert to record. They had already recorded with us the previous record Awakening (Dreamlandrecords DR 06 CD) and we knew that they would be able to feel the necessities of this music.
We finished complementing the last song (EARTH TONES) with an acoustic bass and a Percussion Drone, recording timpani and concert bass drum, chau gongs and wind gongs and Tibetan bells, which I had brought from Austria in the time of my fathers funeral. The Tibetan bells reminded me of the church bells that I could hear from my parents apartment in the south of Vienna on Sunday mornings, and I was amazed sitting in my fathers library after his departure experiencing them through ‘new ears’.
I hope that the listener will feel the same joy and excitement hearing this music.
Ibiza, January 2015
Improjazz, France, January 2016, Marc Sarrazy
The first work of saxophonist Ibiza as Here and Now (2008) or Birth of the Mystery (2010), intense and bare, were focused on energy; Awakening, we have just seen, sounded like a hymn to freedom. The next album, Earth Tones, actually reveals itself coltranian. Eminently coltranian. The urgency to say, the urgency of sound, were erased in favor of appeasement, serenity and finally won in the very idea of seeking, circular waves, spirituality: “Peace, Harmony, Love and genuine Happiness “are the four poles claimed by the saxophonist. Resonant and violently like the four movements of a major album in the history of jazz, right? The genesis herself of Earth Tones took over several months during which Muriel Grossmann especially concocted a drone orchestra made of oriental percussion, sarangi, piano and others, who immediately fomented a musical carpet conducive to travel and to elevate. Reflected in a pocket with colorful visual and whirling bass, drums and electric guitar swirl, impelling ocean waves, crazy currents inflame the wisps of the sax and compete for playing and music in this exiting musical flow, that vibrates like a great moment of spiritual jazz. Muriel Grossmann signs here probably her masterpiece.
released March 15, 2015
Soprano Saxophone – Muriel Grossmann
Guitar – Radomir Milojkovic
Bass – Robert Landfermann
Drums – Christian Lillinger
Composed by – Muriel Grossmann
Recorded at – Dreamlandrecords Studios, Can Pujolet & Sonic Vista Studios, Ibiza
Mixed & mastered by – Klaus Scheuermann at 4ohm Music, Berlin
Painting – Ayelén, Iassu, Muriel Grossmann
Photography By – Gabriele Witter, Jose Luis Luna, Lutz Voigtländer
Design – Lilac
Produced by – Muriel Grossmann, Radomir Milojkovic
Muriel Grossmann, Austrian tenor, soprano & alto saxophone player & composer has played & recorded Jazz greats, such as
Joachim Kühn, Christian Lillinger, Robert Landfermann, Wolfgang Reisinger. She is currently performing with Radomir Milojkovic - guitar, Gina Schwarz - bass, Uros Stamenkovic - drums. Muriel has released many records, e.g. Earth Tones, Natural Times, Momentum & Golden Rule....more
Contemporary, yet steeped in an understanding and love of the genre, Kirchner's compositions are first rate, the covers judiciously selected, and the playing throughout is absolutely first rate. Hard to pick anyone out, but the bass clarinet is just sublime.
Stellar performances and terrific compositions. This is seriously good jazz, deeply spiritual in many ways, but with a confident, energised spring in its step.
Sure to be one of the standout jazz releases of 2018. Michael Mueller