samuel rohrer – harmen fraanje

Harmen Samuel DUOSamuel Rohrer – Harmen Fraanje Duo
This new duo constellation creates a wonderful open environment for those listeners who also act as practitioners of music in their own right. Its contemplative, mantra-like and of a modest beauty that is never simple. In the delicate duo sound, the way in which power lies in calmness is presented confidently and as a function of total equality. The musicians work with shades, nuances and details. One subtly responds to the other. Space remains between the notes. It is music of timeless beauty. Yet it is also new, as a consequence of its mellow thoughtfulness. There is no boasting or overwhelming. Here sounds are celebrated in reciprocal interplay, gently soaring. – When listening to this music, doors open, the horizon broadens and in the most beautiful moments the listener experiences the feeling of time gained. In a very inspiring and inspired way something is created here that is greater than the sum of its parts: a real community. And its visions are transmitted to the listener.

ambiq – Max Loderbauer, Claudio Puntin, Samuel Rohrer

Claudio Puntin, Max Loderbauer, Samuel RohrerWith ambiq, Max Loderbauer, Samuel Rohrer and Claudio Puntin form structures as earthy as they are flexible and, as a result, invent pioneering electro-acoustic soundscapes at the cutting edge of sound research.

The trained pianist Max Loderbauer, together with Ricardo Villalobos, has just breezily launched the jazz sanctuary of the Munich-based ECM records into the ether as “Re: ECM”. On the new adventure he now logically again finds himself working with sanctuaries. For the tool he uses for creating worlds is the finest modular synthesizer in the world, the Buchla 200e. In the glow of this altar-like cockpit, he welcomes the two inspired Swiss musicians, clarinettist Claudio Puntin (also mini-mallets and electronics) and percussionist Samuel Rohrer (also Kaoss pad and other electronics), both of whom have published their own as well as co-operative productions on ECM. With ambiq, they are now exploring remote musical universes on Rohrer’s innovative arjunamusic label, with the aim of opening doors of perception to the electronic scene by means of enhanced possibilities of instrumental interaction.

Samuel Rohrer, as an improvisatory sound pilot, is able to elegantly navigate beats and anti-beats. He expands the world of rhythmic functions with his artistic, cross-style overall concept to include striking emotional components. His percussion style flows with an implicit quality into his electronic arrangements, returns enriched with seductive energy and presents itself as the crucible for the contributions of his fellow passengers.

Claudio Puntin’ s unmistakeably smooth sound as he plays on all members of the clarinet family, with the support of mallet and electronics, is familiar to us from numerous CDs and performances, as well as from film, audio-drama and theatre productions. His live concept of floating, electronic spaces, layers of overtones and loops, which he customises for his clarinet sounds, opens up divine dimensions while creating the harmonic, melodic and tonal orbit for the satellites of his fellow musicians.

Samuel Rohrer NOREIA

Noreia Simplicity is hard to do

With NOREIA the percussionist Samuel Rohrer is releasing his debut album under his own label arjunamusic. The Swiss musician, who has been living in Berlin since 2003, has become wellknown through his work with a wide range of artists, such as Wolfert Brederode, Colin Vallon, Malcolm Braff, Daniel Erdmann, Charles Gayle, Frank Möbus, Vincent Courtois, Markus Stockhausen and the singer Susanne Abbuehl. His creative collaborations have already been documented in numerous recordings under the prestigious label ECM amongst others.

Samuel Rohrer has in the meantime travelled far and become much sought-after as a musician. With his refined and well-rounded playing he never comes across as loud or dogmatic. Being in a band is what counts, and how the alert and sensitive presence of others helps him to achieve his flow. Ostentation, beating out patterns or insisting on well-rehearsed routines are all things that are foreign to him. He moves carefully in a rock-style groove, which he is constantly re-shaping and driving forward. In addition to his role as sideman, Samuel Rohrer has been writing his own music for some time. He works on tuneful songs without words in his head, turning them round and round until he senses they have acquired a life of their own – the one he always had in mind. His compositions shimmer between euphoric exuberance and melancholic contemplation. Anyone asking if this is rock, jazz or maybe new folk is probably missing the point.

In 2005 he released the beguiling album „nolia“ with clarinettist Claudio Puntin (Fred Frith, DaveLiebman, Hermeto Pascoal, World Clarinet Quartet) and double bassist Peter Herbert (Art Blakey’s, the Jazz Messengers, Vienna Art Orchestra, Steve Lacy, Paul Simon). Now Rohrer is taking the next natural step in the development of his music with his own label arjunamusic. To this end he invited the Icelandic composer and bassist living in New York, Skúli Sverrisson (Alas No Axis, Laurie Anderson, Jon Hassell, Arto Lindsey, David Sylvian) to the French studio La Buissonne as the fourth man in his quartet, creating a line-up which has produced a new and fascinating spectrum of sounds.

With his six-stringed baritone-bass Skúli Sverrisson provides a solid foundation, while at the same time opening doors to new possibilities. Closely enmeshed with Peter Herbert’s double bass, the pieces are earthed and the music is firmly grounded, while the style is relaxed. Claudio Puntin’s wonderful clarinet soars above, his silky, soulful melodic lines adapting themselves organically to the whole. This subtly balanced web of sound plays around Rohrer, and seems almost to ensnare him as he spins out the detail. The music is richly evocative, the harmonies conjuring up beautiful images in the mind of the listener. There is no splashing about in the shallows here. The sound is vigorous and energetic, dreamily atmospheric, and sumptuously bewitching. The mood of relaxed concentration during the recording is almost palpable. None of the players steps up as a soloist. What matters is the organic group sound, which is easy, almost casual, and it continually amazes and delights the listener with its new twists and turns. This music has an uncomplicated presence – a simplicity, which is hard to do.

NOREIA is the musical result of a new encounter between rock and jazz, and between composition and improvisation. Samuel Rohrer’s band deserves the best, because their music delivers pleasure without being undemanding, because it has something to say without overloading the listener, and because it reaches a place, without calculation, which is a new starting point.
This line-up, whose new album is named after the much worshipped Roman goddess, bringer of fortune, fertility and healing, promises to be one of the highlights of the live season wherever they are heard.
Ulrich Steinmetzger Translated by Jo Spearing

Daniel Erdmann – Samuel Rohrer w/ Frank Möbus & Vincent Courtois


On this again impressive, now third, CD, Daniel Erdmann, Samuel Rohrer, Frank Möbus and Vincent Courtois update their Swiss-French-German story. This band is serendipity. Its spectrum is broad and it focuses on the collective, rather than the self-promoting individual. It is good news that the band has been able to continue to develop its concept logically. At times luxuriously floating, then tremendously gripping again, always alert and artful and full of musical refinement. This concept invites the listener into open spaces, which are filled in a measured and thoughtful manner.The first two CDs had the floating quality of clouds in the title, as a beautiful metaphor for these sounds. In which composition and improvisation balance each other out. Grunge influences, can be heard, as can chamber-music-like cello, ebbing and flowing guitar Morse code, and emancipated percussion as a melody instrument. The saxophone can assume a rhythmic function, but also let loose earthily and, above all, this captivating band never passes the listener by.

Now it is about real utopias and the sound for them. It is not about whether the sound is called jazz, rock, pop or modern classic. This pales into insignificance against pure amazement at this far-reaching yet highly concise music. What counts is the group sound, which develops with amazing depth of focus, becomes ever more coherent, causing moods, nuances and details to lift off in a fresh way, yet without losing touch with reality. The elasticity of this web intertwined with drive and drama is enormous, the band organism has something magical.

Rugged impressionism in an unmistakable use of form: each participant has been celebrated in various contexts as an extraordinary instrumentalist.
This music has this as a requirement, without having to exhibit it. In a wondrous way, the music defines the quality of more that only good art can create. It does not need to impose itself, as it is far too confident of its means.

“Undreamed of tonal possibilities”, commented one critic on the debut in 2011, another heard
“unique, delicately compelling music” as “flights of fancy in various forms”, as a
“happening”, as “enormously varied group interplay. Earthy, rich in detail, rocky, contemporary“. The listener is invited “to let their heart be warmed by the cool songs “. This is exactly what it’s about.



How to catch a cloud