Philipp Rumsch Ensemble release album ‘µ: of anxiety x discernment’

April 24, 2020
Jennifer Resse

Philipp Rumsch Ensemble

New album ‘µ: of anxiety x discernment’ out now via Denovali

Based on the idea of transferring the musical language of ambient, minimal and avant-pop into an orchestral format, Leipzig-based pianist, composer and sound designer Philipp Rumsch, founded his own ensemble in 2015.

Consisting of twelve artists from Leipzig, Berlin, Dresden and Weimar, the ensemble are set to release ‘µ: of anxiety x discernment’ out today via Denovali. 

Between 2013 and 2020, Philipp Rumsch studied jazz piano under the patronage of Michael Wollny and Richie Beirach at the Academy of Music and Theatre Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig and refined his sound design and composition capabilities at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen with Niels-Lyhne Løkkegard and August Rosenbaum among others. 

Following on from his 2018 release ‘reflections’, Philipp uses ‘µ: of anxiety x discernment’ to deal with concepts surrounding angst. Based on his own research, observations and interviews, Rumsch has developed a multi-dimensional picture of this complex emotional state looking at individual experiences in order to explore a collective perception of this phenomena. This anxiety and paranoia can be felt deeply within the beat infused electronics of ‘µ: of anxiety x discernment’ and with the merger of cinematic neo-classical and more glitch-laden synth-work, an atmosphere is crafted that’s somewhere between the sinister and the enchanting. An album split in the middle, which consists abstractly of two mirror-inverted pieces, allows us to view these from different angles. The sessions took place at the prestigious Jazzanova Recording Studios in Berlin. In order to achieve an extraordinary listening experience, specialized artificial dummy heads were used to record in fully immersive binaural stereo. ‘µ: of anxiety x discernment’ was mastered by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Sigur Ros, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Hildur Guðnadóttir) who was part of the production process of Philipp Rumsch’s Solo-EP ‘A Forward-Facing Review’, released in 2017. 

Many of the artists assembled here are renowned in their own right; Erik Leuthäuser is an award-winning vocalist, having won first prize at the Riga Jazz Stage 2016, Big Sky 2016 and the Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Competition in Washington DC in 2018, along with accolades at the world-renowned Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2016 (as well as audience prize) and the Voicingers 2017 Contest for Singing Musicians in Poland.

Furthermore, Erik was one of the top five vocalists at the international Made in NY Jazz Competition. He has sung background vocals for Quincy Jones, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jacob Collier. Elsewhere, drummer Maximilian Stadtfeld has released music on ACT Music with his own Quartet, Stax and he recently played at the London Jazz Festival at the Barbican Centre as part of the project Bau Haus Klang by Michael Wollny. Johannes Moritz has played clarinet with the likes of Lee Konitz, Richie Beirach, Bugge Wesseltoft, Nils Wogram and John Hollenbeck and Antonia Hausmann on trombone plays as part of the live band Clueso, who have performed at Hurricane, Lollapaloza, Highfield and Haldern Pop.

In 2018, Philipp Rumsch and his ensemble received the Leipzig award for young jazz musicians, funded by the Marion Ermer Foundation. The production of ‘µ: of anxiety x discernment’ has been supported by Initiative Musik gGmbH with project funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The artwork was once again created in cooperation with Berlin-based designer, Andi Rueckel.

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