Recorded on 31 May and 23 August 2007, at Amann Studios, Vienna.
Cover art (front cover reproduced above) by Marion Gerth.
Burkhard Stangl and Kai Fagaschinski both are masters at fluidly combining melodicism and abstraction. Musik-Ein Porträt in Sehnsucht showcases their work as a duo, carefully composed pieces intertwined with judiciously placed field recordings and meticulously sequenced to create a record that is more than the sum of its parts.
Stangl explores the full range of the guitar, from quiet, melodic plucking to walls of noisy drones. This range and adaptability has allowed him to work in a wide range of contexts, from the collective projects Polwechsel (until 2004), Efzeg, and SSSD, in duos and trio with Christof Kurzmann and Taku Sugimoto, as well as many others. Musik-Ein Porträt in Sehnsucht is also his sixth release for Erstwhile, following Wrapped Islands (with Polwechsel and Fennesz), eh (with dieb13), and three releases from schnee, his remarkable duo with Kurzmann. Their most recent release, neuschnee, was released earlier in 2009, and along with Musik-Ein Porträt in Sehnsucht, mark his first new recorded work in some years.
Fagaschinski has leapt to prominence in the improv world over the last few years, with well-received duo projects such as Los Glissandinos (w/Klaus Filip), The International Nothing (w/Michael Thieke) and Kommando Raumschiff Zitrone (w/Kurzmann). His self-taught command of the clarinet is both subtly lyrical and thoroughly modern. This is his second Erstwhile release, with the first being 2008's stunning The Magic I.D.- till my breath gives out, on ErstPop.
Stangl and Fagaschinski first met in the summer of 2002, when Christof Kurzmann suggested Kai should join the ensemble performing Stangl's opera Venusmond in Berlin. They clicked both musically and personally and decided to work as a duo in the future, with their initial concert being part of the mammoth AMPLIFY 2004: addition festival. Over the next three years, they sporadically worked together, playing two concerts in Vienna and one in NYC (in the ErstQuake 3 festival), and in 2007, recorded Musik-Ein Porträt in Sehnsucht in two separate sessions at Amann Studios in Vienna. The record occupies a unique area between composition and folk music, classical and jazz/improv, tension and serenity. The design is again from Berlin designer Marion Gerth, previously responsible for the two ErstPop releases.