A. Markus Stauss’ musical pedigree and affinities
Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Pharao Sanders, Gato Barbieri, der junge Jan Garbarek (alle ts); Jimmy Lyons (as), Wolfgang Dauner (p), Günther Hampel (vib, bcl); Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix; The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Doors, King Crimson, * Tony Williams, * Jack Bruce
B. Markus Stauss’ musical Concepts
Markus Stauss commented the basis of his musical writing and playing, as well the conceptuality of his playing concepts on May 13, 1997 in a discussion with this author (The recording and Stauss’ explicative graphs are kept in the archive).
I. The parameters of his music he organises as follows:
In this graph the horizontals and the verticals are to be understood as a two-shell spheres or concentric rings with their axes in different angles, able to rotate independently, being in movement or fixed. Stauss calls this model the “time and (re)production sphere”.
II. The constituting three colons of his music are:
A) Sound / tone colour of different quality and the related subjective perceptions
B) textures / patterns / stratum overlays (stratifications). They occur during:
a – composing
b – improvisation
c – their interaction
d – dissociation, produced by diverging playing instructions
C) Energies in different states of matter, changes of these states, the emergence of new energies just because of these changes
III. Conflicting pairs/contrast create fields of tension, in/on which music happens:
1. long musical development – harsh changes
2. communicating improvisation – improvisation according to differing concepts
3. elaborate and very precisely reproduced compositions – rough and raw and occasionally somewhat inaccurate interpretations of written material
4. lyric, romantic, sophisticated interpretation – brute force
IV. Musical constellations
The concepts I to III allow for different possibilities of playing.
The three colons, the constituents (three legged chairs don’t totter) of Stauss’ music carry the play and tension field, on which the musician can take up positions. From above the sun, a double sphere, the “time and (re)production sphere”, radiates on these different positions and delivers energy, different positions become differently radiated. There’s a choice to be made from among these different positions, from where the above floating sphere to observe.
V. What are the consequences?
(citation) My interest in positions, alterations, changes and new light make questions about and attributions to style irrelevant. The often used expression “stylistic crossover” relates to positions who explicitly belong to a style, the change in position is perceived as a change in style; stylistic featuring is happening in the listeners head, they are listening habitudes.
Standardised pairs are dissolved (free pulse < -- > free improvisations / compositions < -- > Groove, etc. ).
The topic is to be illuminated in relation to colour + energy + patterns. It’s not only to be used as a fix point or for recognition.
Process and structure of playing and writing are researched and questioned permanently. An example:
Are precise tempi equal to groove ?
On what does improvisation orient itself ?
“Anything goes” is not possible.
Markus Stauss, CH-Basel
Hans – Christoph von Imhoff, Fribourg & Vicosoprano, author of the above text: original title “Markus Stauss über Musik und Anderes” 03.1997.
Up dates: 06.2003 und 02.2006
07.2009: Up dates by MS with a view to a revised version, * which is suddenly no longer necessary
* Up dates by MS, October 2015