25 Years of TACET

Sound 1 - Stewart Eaton has received a new viola, a valuable item on loan. The Auryn Quartet is rehearsing a piece right now, and he is playing the instrument for the first time. The others can't believe their ears. What is this, then? They hardly recognise their own violist! And suddenly they hear themselves differently as well. They almost forget to continue playing. Soon they themselves sound differently, although nothing having to do with their instruments has changed. 

Sound 2 - Evgeni Koroliov is recording a piece by Bach. He could play it flawlessly ten times. But he is not satisfied. He is looking for another sound. "Please turn off your machines - I have to clean things up a bit." He plays just a few single notes, groping for them. Then he repeats the whole piece for the tape, again and again, and each time there is a little bit more of what he is looking for. Just a little bit less pressure and the tone would no longer sound at all. That's it. A fragile sound bordering on nothingness. 

Sound 3 - An old tube microphone makes a different noise floor from that of a modern transistor microphone. It makes a bit more noise, and it is somewhat more irregular. Sometimes the tube is too old or has had a bad day. Then it "sizzles" a bit, or it "throttles". If things get too bad, then it must be replaced or, if there are no more spare tubes, the entire microphone must be replaced. But if the rustling remains below the subjective auditory threshold, then I love this somewhat unstable, living sound that doesn't disturb the music, but even enriches it. I then think of the canvas of a painter, which is also visible and yet does not apparently have anything to do with what he is painting. 

Which of these components - the instrument, the playing, the transmission - exerts which influence, cannot be determined. And there are still others, such as the space, for example. All these components together, in their entirety, determine what is being passionately sought by all participants in every single release of the label TACET. For the past 25 years.