Release Date: August 10, 2018
Catalog #: RR7991
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Vocal Music
Electronic
Guitar
Voice

Manifold

Michael Wittgraf composer

Jesse Langen guitar
Michael Wittgraf computer
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett voice

Ravello Records welcomes Michael Wittgraf to its family of artists. Wittgraf is releasing his debut album MANIFOLD, an expansive effort with numerous layers hidden in the composition. Choosing texture over melody, the visceral compositions of MANIFOLD draw the listener in to the arresting music, and sound as if it would take lifetimes to unpack the complex layers building to Wittgraf’s stellar debut.

The album features Jesse Langen on guitar, for whom Wittgraf wrote the eponymous track and Topographic Timepiece. The compositions rumble with complexity, some employing electronic sounds, others entirely acoustic. The truly expressive nature of Langen’s performance leaves the listener impressed with the balance of such a calculated composition combined with his ability to build emotion.

Performing with Langen on two improvised tracks is vocalist Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, who adds to the chilling texture of the album with her modernist take on medieval chanting. DeBoer Bartlett brings a new variety to the music with her ability to elongate beautiful melodies only to, literally, hush herself and let the listener dissolve back into the eerie fog of Wittgraf’s electronics and Langen’s guitar.

On tracks such as Improvisation 2 and Improvisation 4, the performers tenderly build the centrifugal force of the song with DeBoer Bartlett’s processed voice providing a soothing drone. As the droning climaxes, the soundscape sends the listener spiraling into a haunting, brand new dimension of texture and space. Wittgraf’s brilliance with computer manipulation makes the composition seem as though the listener has just phased into the sounds of an alternative universe.

MANIFOLD was recorded at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago, IL. Wittgraf holds the title of Chester Fritz Professor at the University of North Dakota. The University of North Dakota College of Arts and Sciences Fine Arts and Humanities Scholarship Initiative Grant funds this project.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Manifold Michael Wittgraf Jesse Langen, guitar 12:57
02 Improvisation 2 Michael Wittgraf Amanda Deboer Bartlett, voice; Jesse Langen, guitar; Michael Wittgraf, computer 7:33
03 Improvisation 4 Michael Wittgraf Amanda Deboer Bartlett, voice; Jesse Langen, guitar; Michael Wittgraf, computer 4:06
04 Summer and a Half: I. Summer Michael Wittgraf Jesse Langen, guitar 8:52
05 Summer and a Half: II. A Half Michael Wittgraf Jesse Langen, guitar 3:49
06 Topographic Timepiece Michael Wittgraf Jesse Langen, guitar; Michael Wittgraf, computer 11:32
07 Pythagorean Triple Michael Wittgraf Jesse Langen, guitar 4:12

Recorded June 7-9, 2017 at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago Illinois
Recording Session Producer Michael Wittgraf
Recording Session Engineer Alex Inglizian

Funded by a University of North Dakota Fine Arts & Humanities Scholarship Initiative Grant administered by the College of Arts & Sciences.

Artwork Inga Wittgraf

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Brandon MacNeil

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy
Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette

Design & Marketing Director Brett Picknell
Design Emily Roulo

Artist Information

Michael Wittgraff

Composer

Michael Wittgraff (b. 1962) is an electronic music composer whose recent work explores live manipulation of feedback, interactive improvisation, and time as data. His music has been performed in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia, and appears on the Eroica, New Ariel Recordings, and SEAMUS labels. He has awards, commissions, and recognition from ASCAP, Modern Chamber Players, National Symphony Orchestra, Tempus Fugit, Louisiana State University, University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, Florida State University, PiKappa Lambda, Zeitgeist, Chiara String Quartet, Bush Foundation, North Dakota Council on the Arts, and more.

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