HENRIK EHLAND RASMUSSEN
IMPROVISED VARIETIES
IRCD 005




This CD features music from concerts with Intuitive Music Group (founded 1990) and from some of its members' touring activities in Poland and Russia. It centers around composer and pianist Henrik Ehland Rasmussen. There are three long solo pieces, including one based on a formula given by his countryman Niels Viggo Bentzon, in which countless varied statings of the formula produces an astounding number of ever-developing pianistic phenomena. The other pieces are by Rasmussen and shows how this dynamic composer and musician can deal with musical tension and that which is static in very different ways. One of them, "Soundparticles" is portrayed in two versions, thus showing both the variability of the piece and how the essence remains, even with so few details fixed by the composer... The CD comes with an informative small, illustrated booklet.

1. "Postcardcomposition" (Niels Viggo Bentzon, 1919-2000) Copenhagen (DK) 1993 (15:20)
2. "Columns" Copenhagen (DK) 2000 (13:15)
3. "Reflection over a landscape of neutral sterility" Copenhagen (DK) 1999 (07:18)

4. "Take off Fantasy" Copenhagen (DK) 2001 (14:15) 5. "Dreamdance" Warszaw (Poland) 2002 (15:25)
6. "Soundparticles" Novosibirsk (Russia) (*) 2003 (06:43)
7. "Soundparticles" Almaty (Kazakhstan) (**) 2004 (02:12)


Performers: Bakthiyar Amanzhol (voice, keyboard and more) "Soundparticles" (*) & (**) Carl Bergstroem-Nielsen (French horn, voice and more) "Columns", "Take off Fantasy" and "Soundparticles" (*)
Claus Bech-Nielsen (accordion, kalimba and more) "Columns" and "Take off Fantasy"
Henrik Ehland Rasmussen (piano and more) All except (**)
Niseema Marie Munk-Madsen (flute, voice and more) "Columns" and "Take off Fantasy"
Roman Stolyar (piano, melodica) "Soundparticles" (*) & (**)
Stanislav Murin (tuba) "Soundparticles" (*)
Tomas Ondrjushek (percussion) "Soundparticles" (**)
Vladimir Timofeyer (saxophones) "Soundparticles" (*)


All works except Postcardcomposition by Henrik E. Rasmussen. Produced and mastered by the artist and Intuitive Records. (P) and © 2004. This CD was supported economically by KODA's Collective Blank Tape Remuneration.
Below are the complete booklet texts and illustrations:


This CD contains examples of Henrik Ehland Rasmussen's music as well as an interpretation of his countryman Niels Viggo Bentzon's Postcardcomposition.

"Soundparticles" played in other cultural contexts – the recognizeability of the score is intact in the performances, but obviously the sounding expression is influenced by the multi-cultural context. The recordings of the piece on this CD took place in Novosibirsk, central Sibiria, and in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Yet one more interpretation of this piece with a mixed international ensemble was released on Ermatell JCD 042, "Sound Scapes – Denmark's Intuitive Music Conference 2001"). "Soundparticles", composed 1995, was one of the composer's first published works as part of the collection ”Playing Spaces”.




"Take off Fantasy" (comp. 2000) expresses the dream and the phantasy of being able to fly. This archetypical idea takes, in this piece, the shape of an extended, high tensioned take off preparation followed by an inner journey to exciting and colourful continents and worlds.


Some years ago the Niels Viggo Bentzon piece (comp. 1992, publ. by Danish Composers' Society) went on tour with Rasmussen in Denmark. The graphic score is very simple and has a very logical form: the first part states that two single notes must be attacked simultanously, then comes a raising glissando which ends in a cluster. The other part of the graphic also states that two single notes must be attacted simultanously, thereupon comes a descending glissando which also ends in a cluster. These are the rules for playing the score within the limits of which it is up to the musician to explore and develop the contents of a musical performance.




"Dreamdance" (comp. 2001) is about an expanding dance in a dream and its unlimited dimensions and embracing of space. The piece starts in an exactly notated form. After the theme and a cadenza is stated, notation changes into verbal instructions, stating basic ideas or directions for the further developments or characters of the piece. The scene of this recording is set in a nightclub at the Cultural Palace in Warszaw, which pulsates with life and popular conversations.



"Columns" (comp. 2000). Ocean drum creates a neutral desertlike landscape, in which the traveller/listener meets columns of different shape, size and consistensy. One might be tempted to say that we are here dealing with an abstract piece of programme music.

The solo improvisation "Reflections..." articulates the experience of staying in a universe which is sterile and completely neutral towards all human emotions. It was inspired by a playing concept by Axel Dörner in a previous part of the duo concert at which it was recorded.

About the scores of Rasmussen in general. They place themselves in the borderland between exact music notation and a more flexible treatment of notes, graphic and verbal statements. Performers must follow certain instructions (notes or other symbols) which may for some time have a linear character. They must also be able to suspend this way of thinking and employ a much more free, imaginative moving around in musical space (for example in Columns). Additionally, they are also requested to give their own shape to cyclic processes, be it in the overall form of a piece like Take off Fantasy or on a micro-level as in Soundparticles.


Henrik Ehland Rasmussen, b.1961, composer and pianist.

From 1983 - 1988 educated as a Candidate in Music Therapy, Aalborg University. Parallelly in that period he received piano lessons from Birgit Gürtler at the Music Academy of North Jutland, Aalborg. 2003 he upgraded his degree to M.A.

Various experimental activity with sound and concert activity, teaching, musictherapeutic practice, playing as a pianist in different contexts are among his inspirations. He played with jazz pianist Niels Chr. Balle and joined Intuitive Music Group in 1990. In recent years he has made tours to Rome, Warszaw / Zamosc (Poland) and Novosibirsk (Russia). Since 2000, he has co-organised Denmark's Intuitive Music Conference, a yearly meeting for composers, improvisors and other intuitive artists.


A substantial number of his works, many of them for variable ensemble, have been published on paper by The Society for the Publication of Danish Music.

Exactly the interest for the moment of creation among the musicians, the mutual interaction in the instant is the principal origin of the compositions. - But also colors, experiences and events influence the works. Every event is potentially sound and music.

He contributes as an improvisor and composer on a number of CDs from Denmark's Intuitive Music Conference from 1997 and on.

More information at www.intuitivemusic.dk/hr
Review by Federicio Marongiu, www.musicextreme.com (Reviews July 2005):

Henrik Ehland Rasmussen is a master in piano improvisations and here that becomes evident from the beginnign with "Postcardcomposition" where Henrik shows his talent as a solo improviser. multiple piano phrases are here developed by Rasmussen and in other compositions he interacts heavily with other improvisers tht are also extremely talented. The seven compositions that this album has lets you explore the world of intuitive improvisation that this musicians manage perfectly. here you have interaction of the piano with percussion, with flute and voices and with many other instruments, keeping the overall feeling of the compositions really coherent due to the master hand of Rasmussen who is the composer of six of the tracks. All the tunes are spontaneous and were recorded live and that amazes me most because they are of great quality and the experimentation never becomes chaotic. Master improvisation in seven pieces full of virtuosism.
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