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Matthias Loibner - Lichtungen
L‘Eau Dans La Mer
Sons de Carrilhoes (João Pernambuco) / Der Weltverdruss (Franz Keim)
One Instrument, Many Worlds
The hurdy‑gurdy is an unusual instrument – both stringed, bowed (though the ‘classical’ bow has been replaced here by a special mechanism set in motion by a crank) and equipped with a keyboard. Its body shape is close to that of a... guitar. A true musical curiosity. Once an indispensable tool of wandering singers, it was also popular with the aristocracy. The old ‘wheel fiddle’ has sung many a sad and bloody ballad. Matthias Loibner’s treatment of this instrument is versatile. This legendary Austrian artist, compared even to Jimi Hendrix because of his expressive manner of playing, once abandoned his composition and conducting studies for the hurdy‑gurdy and for the last more than 20 years has cultivated the old vielle à roue tradition in a highly original fashion. His artistic visions hold a place for such masterpieces of Romantic lyrical lied repertoire as Franz Schubert’s Winterreise (in which the hurdy‑gurdy successfully replaced the piano accompaniment), as well as his own music, written under the influence of everyday life events as products of observation, a kind of subtle artistic diary. The hurdy‑hurdy can also form one whole in team with the trumpet and percussion as Brot & Sterne.
The World of Silence
“I am not a musician, but an observer of human moods and feelings. Since I have lost trust in words and I cannot paint – I use music to share my observations.” Matthias Loibner’s manifesto leaves no doubt as to the nature of his art, It is no banal entertainment, but a totally different space – of reflection on life and the world around us. Sincerity rules, even painfully at times – but without pretending and concealing, because this is the only way to face up to reality. Matthias Loibner has dedicated all his attention to an instrument with a long and fascinating history, but also with many limitations. He has reached such heights of perfection in his playing that he is referred to as “The Jimi Hendrix of the hurdy‑ gurdy”. Lichtungen or Clearings are pieces inspired by the fleeting moment, by everyday life observations. “The delicate touch of a butterfly’s wing; the discovery that nobody knows your kitchen table better than you do; that gazing at a tree moved by the wind you never see the same image twice; that touch is highly sensual” – these are Loibner’s own poetic commentaries for his seemingly obvious inspirations. One needs a particularly intense and unusual sensitivity to see the world in this manner, to review reality for its potential as a germ of art. These germs are everywhere around, we only need to pick them up. The CD Lichtungen, recorded in the absolute silence of a desolate mountain church in Austria, was released in 2016 as a record of personal life impressions, the way old wandering hurdy‑ hurdy players experienced their world in the olden days.