Hidden Fresco (Maurer, Rodenkirchen) 4:58
2. ...A Due (Rodenkirchen) 6:33
3. Tempera (Maurer, Rodenkirchen) 0:59
4. Fadenspiel (Maurer) 7:35
5. Erosion (Maurer, Rodenkirchen) 9:23
6. Melancholia (Maurer, Rodenkirchen) 3:14
7. Aura (Maurer) 8:36
8. Nibbio (Maurer, Rodenkirchen) 4:40
9. Calindra (Rodenkirchen) 5:40
10. Sfumato (Maurer, Rodenkirchen) 2:32
11. Craquelé (Maurer, Rodenkirchen) 1:25
12. Behind (Maurer, Rodenkirchen) 3:13

total time 58:53 - 2006

CD - Details

Leonardo Text zu HIDDEN FRESCO aus dem Traktat über die Malerei
 XXXI  MS.ASH.I.fol.22v

Art, den Geist zu bereichern und zu verschiedenen Erfindungen aufzuwecken
Ich kann nicht umhin, unter diese Vorschriften eine neue Art von Spekulation zu setzen, die, obschon sie unbedeutend erscheinen mag und fast des Lachens würdig, nichtsdestoweniger von großer Nützlichkeit ist, den Geist zu verschiedenen Erfindungen aufzuwecken, und das ist, wenn du in allerlei Gemäuer hineinschaust, das mit vielfachen Farben beschmutzt ist, oder in Gestein von verschiedener Mischung,- hast du da irgendwelche Szenerie zu erfinden, so wirst du dort Ähnlichkeiten mit diversen Landschaften finden, die mit Bergen geschmückt sind, Flüsse, Felsen, Bäume,- Ebenen, große Täler und Hügel in wechselvoller Art; auch wirst du dort allerlei Schlachten sehen, und lebhafte Gebärden von Figuren, sonderbare Physiognomien und Trachten und unendlich viele Dinge, die du auf eine vollkommene und gute Form zurückbringen kannst. Und ist mit solchen Mauern und Gemisch wie mit dem Klang von Glocken, dass du in ihren Schlägen jeden Namen und jede Vokabel finden kannst, so du auszudenken vermagst.

Liner note by Ken Waxman Toronto 01/06

When most contemporary improvisers refer to early music, depending on their orientation, they probably mean the bop breakthroughs of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in the 1940s or perhaps the historical foundation created by Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong in the 1920s.
But Albrecht Maurer and Norbert Rodenkirchen are atypical. Their take on early music dates from more than half a millennium before that. This unique concept involves melding modern sounds and styles with medieval instruments.

Although one is an acclaimed medievalist and the other an accomplished modern improviser, this isn’t as much a stretch as it may seem. While Köln-born Rodenkirchen is known for his membership in the Sequentia ensemble, he also spent time in pioneering German Free Jazz vibraharpist Gunter Hampel’s Coming Age Orchestra. Moreover, while the bulk of Aachen-born Maurer’s time is spent improvising with modernists such as American bassist Kent Carter, German drummer Klaus Kugel and Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos, the virtuoso fiddler also plays early music with prominent medieval ensembles such as Dialogos.

This is why Hidden Fresco is unique. While its 12 tracks utilize the most modern instrumental techniques, both men have chosen to perform these original compositions and improvisations while sticking with medieval instruments – transverse flute and harp for Rodenkirchen and gothic fiddle in Maurer’s case.

A further clue to their strategy lies in carefully examining three items: the CD’s title, Hidden Fresco; the artistic transformative qualities implicit in titles such as “Craquelé”, “Sfumato”, “Erosion” and “Tempera”; and the quote from Leonardo da Vinci’s Treatise on Painting that adorns the cover. Essentially, Leonardo posited that an artist viewing stained walls or common rock formations can “see” how to transform this material into diverse forms. Sonically rather than visually the German improvisers do the musical equivalent of that here. Utilizing particular instrumentation and timbres, they expose unexpected aural tinctures and colors.

Take the fiddler’s “Aura”, for instance, which features pealing col legno tones from the strings that coalesce into fiery stops from Maurer and resonating guttural breaths from Rodenkirchen. Eventually the sensation radiates key thumping percussion and descending sul tasto string lines. Alternately, the fully improvised “Erosion” – an appropriately da Vinci-styled title – suggests rock’s transformation with a harmonic convergence that results from ground bass-like pitches from Maurer encircling wraithlike, pinched flute tones. Transformation is complete when spiccato fiddle lines harden and Rodenkirchen’s tone darkens.

Elsewhere string technique variously suggests spiky old-time mandolin picking or rasgueado guitar fills. Not only do flute sounds include formalist legato and wheezy staccato breaths, but harp strokes can sometimes be compared to guzheng textures.

Leonardo cited the transformative power of music when in the Treatise, he compared his visual discovery with the sound of bells “in whose tolling your imagination hears and conjure up names and words”. With Hidden Fresco, Maurer and Rodenkirchen express similar phenomena in their own characteristic fashion.


Albrecht Maurer & Norbert Rodenkirchen

Albrecht Maurer - Gotische Fidel

Norbert Rodenkirchen -  Mittelalterliche

Traversflöten, Lyra

Nemu Records nemu 004 -Recorded at Christuskirche Mülheim / Ruhr, May 2005 by Albrecht Maurer. Mastered by Reinhard Kobialka, Topaz Studio Cologne. Graphic Design & Photos by Christiane Resch. Produced by Albrecht Maurer.


erhältlich bei:

Nemu Records

Siebengebirgsallee 12

D- 50939 Köln

Tel. +49 221 4248353

email: mail@nemu-records.com




Jenny Otto

01573 1747675


Musiklabor Köln, eine neue Konzertreihe von Albrecht Maurer und Norbert Stein im Kunsthaus Rhenania:  musiklabor-koeln.de

Syntopia.net, mit weiteren Projekten, an denen Albrecht Maurer beteiligt ist. www.syntopia.net

Nemu Records, das Label von Albrecht Maurer und Klaus Kugel


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Experimentell, lauernd und wissbegierig, die Musik von Maurer und Rodenkirchen auf Hidden Fresco hat viele reizvolle Schichten, die sich abschälen lassen und die dabei verklingen wie Glockengeläut.” 

George Harris - All about Jazz /Jan. 2007, USA

... Rodenkirchen and Maurer both holding status as composers in their own right, the proceedings follow the logic of written music as much as improvisational whims, lending the pieces both shaded delicacy and free immediacy. This recordings is a living proof that the innovations begotten by freedom are not just melodic or rhythmic, but also of possibility.

Clifford Allen - All About Jazz/July 2007, USA

Like every other Nemu release, this is a gorgeous example of over average sonic craftmanship, a record whose beauty does not depend on genres or classifications. - Massimo Ricci -July2007 Rom www.touchingextremes.com / Italy

Maurer and Rodenkirchen are both technical masters; their incorporation of percussive effects, chords, and rapid lines portray sympathetic artists who are able to push the boundaries of archaic instrumentation to express a full range of emotion.”

John Barron - JazzReview.com / 03.2007

So you can relax if you thought that you were in for a jam session of crumhorns and sackbuts! And I must admit that after careful listening, there is a lot of skill at play here. Both players are carefully listening to one another and playing off each other ... there are some who will appreciate the evident talent of these two players.”

Steven Ritter - audaud.com / 02. 2007