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String Theory: Bruce Arnold, Ursel Schlicht by Bruce Arnold for Muse Eek Publishing Company

String Theory


Bruce Arnold—Guitar and SuperCollider

Ursel Schlicht—Piano and Prepared Piano

Free improvisation that stretches the limits

On "String Theory" pianist/composer and sometime musical feminist Ursel Schlicht and guitarist, composer and educator Bruce Arnold team up for an outing of free improvisation that stretch the limits of both their instruments.

First Meeting

The two met at a Jazz festival in Monterrey Mexico and immediately felt an affinity for improvising with each other. Ms. Schlicht is one of a handful of contemporary players who are successfully using extended techniques to expand the vocabulary of the piano and who finds her true voice in these free expressions. Arnold has a field day reacting with his processed guitar to all of the acoustically generated sounds that Schlicht throws at him. Indeed in this recording, the juxtaposition of acoustic versus electronically generated sounds is one of its strongest characteristics.


Bruce Arnold is best known for his explorations into the possibilities of twelve tone applications to jazz improvisation. But here his use of guitar and SuperCollider, (an object oriented computer program that allows for unlimited sonic processing) takes center stage. Both artists go back and forth between straightforward playing, i.e. linear and tonal passages, and more avant sorties into texture and atmosphere. The two feed off each other with ideas and passages of remarkable coherence; it is a delight to witness interactions of this clarity.

The tracks:

  • Interference Pattern

  • SpaceTime

  • Event Horizon

  • Resonance Pattern

  • String Suite 1st Movement

  • String Suite 2nd Movement

  • String Suite 3rd Movement

  • “all of the duo’s ideas and techniques seem to gel and flourish in a cohesive dialogue for sophisticated and open-minded listeners, it’s highly enjoyable music that invites repeated plays.” —Ty Cumbie —

  • “What strikes me about these improvisations is the highly imaginative inventiveness of both players, the varied atmospheric mood sequences and the attention to sound color.” —Grego Applegate Edwards — Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog

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