Now almost a year has passed since the release of his last solo-piano album. Since then Martin Kohlstedts courage to seek dialogues through music resulted in his “Nacht Reworks“ (2015) – eight very different pieces reimagening his record “Nacht“ by artists from Germany, Iceland, the UK and the US. Amongst them are resounding names like FM Belfast, Christian Löffler, Douglas Dare or hundreds as well as emerging talents like La Boum Fatale or Spearfisher. Some of their reworks seem like a sensitive commentary on the original, others are completely different ways of looking at the source material. And some have become the frame for joint projects, at eye level and dedicated to something new. “Nacht Reworks“ plays into Kohlstedts idea of a fluid body of work rather than searching for a so called perfect version of a composition and is a major step in his attempt to expand his already defined musical language.
Martin Kohlstedt’s second album “Nacht“ (2014) directly refers to its predecessor, yet it reverses his perspectives, grabbing and pointing them inward. Preceded by playfully asked questions in “Tag“ (2012), nine monologues are now to follow with utter consistency. These reduced piano pieces speak with a kind of suppressed restlessness while keeping enough distance from recklessness. Within them, one can find Kohlstedt rigorously working on himself; repetition and rhythmic transformations develop an inward-pointing momentum. “Nacht“ is able to pull itself out of this emerging undertow time and time again, even during its most awkward moments. Subconsciously one would like to believe in this, latch oneself onto the emerging structure – even as the piece is being constructed, stroke for stroke. But to arrive at one’s personal destination, that is just a utopia in the eyes of Martin Kohlstedt. “Nacht“, translated ‘Night’, tells a tale of a search for this suitable location. That’s why it might be hard to grasp what it’s getting after – but Kohlstedt unconditionally confides in his listeners. It just doesn’t get more personal than that with modern compositions.
Shortly after the release of “Tag”, people who listened to the music came back to Martin Kohlstedt. Not only was there the will to take from his play, but also the will to give back, by adding something to it. First samples and remixes were handed in, without even being asked for. Experiencing so much response, Kohlstedt found sense in taking the album to the next level, and started to actively search for people to work with. His idea was not to create something completely new, but to add some new features, some unknown aspects. The perspective changed, and with this changing the songs got a new, different strength and power. The kindness one can find in the originals is picked up in the remixes. The electronic adaptions take extraordinarily much material of Kohlstedts compositions. They stroke the tune more than they touch them and you feel the respect for Kohlstedts work, when you listen to the electronic beats.
“Tag” is the German equivalent for day and Martin Kohlstedts first personal sanctuary. Every single piano piece was inspired by meaningful, decisive and fortunate events in his life, which he was not able to mantel and thus unfolded in music. Daily routine tends to conceal reality, so that we remain capable of acting, which in turn promotes our music to be analytically. The day resembles a movie traversed by unreflected emotions and reactions, most of the time. Oddly, only the night is able to reveal the complexities of thought that try to haunt us every day. The shell of every person falls in a different way, in Martins case with music.
In November I met the wonderful Peter Broderick at the NDR Kultur studios in Hamburg. After playing a song for each other we had an exciting musical conversation. The both of us brought something personal to create a new piece of music in the end. I am very happy to sharing this experience with you. Merry Christmas to all of you!
In March, on this years’ Piano Day, I gave my first lecture about my modular composing concept. There I explained that my pieces consist of many small, interchangeable parts that can be swapped or supplied with parts from other pieces, like small statements in a musical discourse — partly due to the fact that they were not composed one song after another, but grew collectively together as one bigger oeuvre, just like siblings.This time I let my pieces PHY and COL have a little chat with each other for TV Noir!
You can also enjoy a live version of EXA:
We added some specials to our shop! So if you’re already interested in organizing Christmas presents and supporting independent music, you’re invited to check out our new offers. With every CD or LP bundle you will get one “Nacht Reworks” CD for free and my complete digital bundle is on sale now until December 24th.
Thank you for your support!
GRONINGEN (NL) Eurosonic Festival
UTRECHT (NL) Ekko
BADEN (CH) One Of A Million Festival
AUSTIN (US) SXSW Festival
ISTANBUL (TUR) XJazz Festival
HAMBURG (DE) Kreisen Festival
NEUKIRCHEN (DE) Skandaløs Festival
KÖLN (DE) Cologne Music Festival
more dates coming soon…
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