Diver by Tobias Preisig
Sublime album of violin music
Armed with a violin and little else, Swiss composer Tobias Preisig has delivered a hauntingly beautiful debut album called Diver. Using and abusing his instrument in surprising ways, he explores the Experimental and Ambient side of classical music, further manipulating his sound with a reverb pedal and synthesiser. He even plays his violin like a guitar on the title track!
Based on ideas developed during improvised solo concerts over the last three years Preisig has stripped his work of the superfluous and focused on building tension and capturing emotional truth with phrases and motifs that resonated with the listener.
Diver was born out of live improvisation, which really gave the record a certain immediacy that maybe it wouldn’t have had if it was written in the studio. When you play live, especially when it’s a solo thing your dishonesty is unmasked immediately. There is something spiritual about this. Every concert is different because every place, every audience and the cultural context are different. My music can only happen when I stay completely open and engage with my surrounding and I think that this is what connects with the listener.
With only subtle overdubs and sparse additional instrumentation the album certainly sounds like a live solo perfomance (watching Preisig perform live helps too). At times the violin reverb gives the impression of multiple players, immediately enhancing the scale of his sound. The quiet drums on Receptor add a resonant depth, again expanding his output to full effect. On Surface the mournful melody is truly stirring. Tension builds on Isolation and continues through the single note Pizzicato on closer Collective. Diver is an album of langorously long, mindfully slow, emotionally immersive, mood-enhancing ambience.
- Rating: 9/10
- Listens: 22
- Highlight: Diver
- Label: Quiet Love
- Release Date: 1st November 2019