Hainer Wörmann - Lower Rhine Sonata   LOWER RHINE SONATA
1 Part 1 PA
3 Part 3 TIC
4 Part 4 HO

6 BRUSHES 3:25
7 STYRO 2 5:48
8 PIBROCH 7:17

9 YELLOW 2:26

Total Time 53:44

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All Music Guide

Jazz Weekly


Revelation 18

Kurier am Sonntag, Bremen, 3.6.2001

Den vergleichsweise kreativsten und damit auch im besten Sinne musikalischsten Umgang mit den genannten Materialien präparierter Gitarrenkunst pflegt am heutigen Spieltag in der deutschen Liga HAINER WÖRMANN auf seiner "Lower Rhine Sonata" (NNN - LC 05245 - Berslton 1001003). Sowohl auf der Akustischen wie auf der Elektrischen erweist sich Wörmann als vielseitiger Klangpoet, dessen Ausdrucksbreite von virtuos-filigranem Flageolet-Picking bis zu E-Bow-unterstützten Feedback-Expressionismen, von zupackenden Noise-Attacken bis hin zu fast orientalisch anmutenden Melodiebögen reicht. Hier wird nicht auf Effekten herumgeritten, sondern hier wird - auch wenn sich der Ausdruck altmodisch und abgegriffen anhören mag - aus Effekten mit Herz und Hirn gestaltet.

Bad Alchemy 40

The basic instrument of Hainer Wörmann on this CD is the guitar. As it is usual with the releases of NurNichtNur, the instrument is used as a medium for improvised music. Also in this case, Hainer plays several kinds of guitars and results are recorded without the use of any electronics to change the sound. He plays his guitars in an unconventional way using some tools as a brush, wooden sticks, styrofoam. This creates of course a variation in sounds going from short tunes as plucking the snare still rustle. A large variation in music and tunes is created with other words depending which tool is used and if it is a classic guitar or an electric version. Again a pure improvisation release from NurNichtNur with a large variation in the tracks sometimes difficult sometimes easy. The united sound of guitar. The release is located in a beautiful tin box with a little printed leaflet inside.

Geert De Decker at Sztuka Fabryka

  Hainer Wormann's CD, on the same label, is to some extent also guilty of superficiality, but his timbral resources as a player of prepared/modified/treated guitar are that much greater, and more personalised, than those available to the average Saxophonist. Again, only more so, each track here concentrates on a particular technique or type of sound, to the extent that the success of each is pretty much entirely dependent upon the viability of the technique as more than mere sound-source.
The CD is arranged into three sections, each comprising three or four tracks. The first is the most stripped-down; Wormann attacks the strings with, in turn, what sound like a comb, an irregularly-shaped piece of plastic, a metal slide or similar object, and a length of metal with a sharp edge. When listening to music Iike this one is reminded of electronic music, which often proceeds from a similar premise but is less frequently criticised for doing so. These pieces are best described as deliberately directionless explorations of specific sonic territories.
The same approach is taken in the central two pieces of the second segment - brushes and styrofoam, this, time, and again to surprises for anyone who has experimented in this area before. Still, in all of these pieces there is an audible intelligence at work which makes some sense of the proceedings even if a certain musical chutzpah is missing; it takes a great deal to take sounds Iike the4se and make virtuosic music from them, a lot less to simply present them as they are.

These pieces are flanked by E-Bow improvisations which this writer found far more satisfactory, perhaps because there is something familiarly linear to hang onto. Wormann is forced by his chosen technique to develop along a straight line and the discipline has him wringing fine music from his Instrument "Ebowcrow" imitates saxophone multiphonics rather impressively; "Pibroch" might äs well be an hommage to Robert Fripp, although it probably isn't.
The final three pieces make expensive use of the distortion pedal. Although it's an effect which has been under-utilised by experimental guitarists, there's not much here that isn't already in Sonny Sharrock's work. That said, there's something more fearsome about Wormann's playing, and of course his wider repertoire of preparations and tools gives him a few more options. In some ways these are the most impressive pieces here because they move away from the techniques and into making music with them.
It is not this writer's intention to give the impression that these are bad records. They are not, but they are a little presumptuous. We have heard music of this sort many tirnes before, and in more congenial contexts. Both Wissel and Wormann require some Stimulation - either Company or some more rigorous ideas - to keep their music sharp.

Richard Cochrane
Musings 6/02