mono.kultur #26: Manfred Eicher
First, silence. Then, as from afar, frantically, a violin descends, emerging from the shadows, ever more insistently. A piano answers, slows the pace. And thus begins a careful courtship of two opposing voices: teasing, complaining, questioning, refuting, embracing. And thus begins one of the most compelling recordings of modern music. Later on, we hear a bell, the pulse, introducing the second movement – a requiem, a dream, a heart-stopping descent, unreeling slowly, ever so relentlessly, into a depth where there is nothing but mourning, brutal, encompassing, rapturous. [...] (Englisch)
[...] Born in 1943 in southern Germany, Manfred Eicher dedicated his life early on to music, learning violin as a child, and studying double bass and classical music at the Academy in Berlin. On parallel tracks, he pursued an equally traditional self-education in jazz: through relatives in America, records bought in G.I. stores, The Voice of America, listening to Bill Evans at the Village Vanguard, playing double bass in German jazz bands and with visiting musicians including Marion Brown, Leo Smith and Paul Bley.