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Downtown Music Gallery Website, New York
Dezember 2002


free elephant 002

Gunda plays violin and viola and is a marvelous improviser from Wuppertal in Germany. Some of you should recall playing from two previous Vision festivals, the first of which she was introduced by and played with her good friend Peter Kowald. She also played a great solo set here at DMG a couple of years back and this is her second solo offering.

Gunda sounds as if she has had classical training and a wonderful touch. All the pieces on this release are called "intermezzo" or "invention", besides the prelude and postlude. The opening is a fascinating and somewhat disturbing series of revolving lines which mutate slowly as they weave and repeat and scratch and squeak a bit. Each invention deals with a different approach, tactic and/or dynamic sense. Sometimes Gunda will stretch or bend two strings at once, giving things a scary or twisted sense of reflection. She has obviously worked hard at finding a wide variety of ways to provide surprising and strange sounds from her two acoustic stringed instruments. At times, she also seems to blend her odd vocal fragments into her playing, although it is difficult to tell which is the instrument and which is her voice. At times, I am reminded of Polly Bradfield, who used to work with Zorn and Chadbourne in the early downtown days and often used a comb and toothbrush on her violin. There are some exquisitely delicate moments here during the intermezzo sections, which are all under two minutes, giving us a rest from the more challenging inventions. Ms. Gottschalk was supposed to play with Peter Kowald the week that he passed away. I certainly hope she makes her way back here to astonish us all once more, in the meantime you should purchase her marvelous solo effort!

 Die Zeit



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