Stephen Ruppenthal
Flamethrower

ruppenthal400

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A SoundCloud sample
V: Ngate

 
The tracks

01 Allen Strange VELOCITY STUDIES V: NGATE 2007
    Stephen Ruppenthal C trumpets

02 Bruno Liberda A SPHERE OF AIR IS BOUND 2010
    Stephen Ruppenthal C trumpet & voice
    Bruno Liberda Kyma digital audio processing

03 Elainie Lillios NOVEMBER TWILIGHT 2011
    Stephen Ruppenthal C trumpet, crotale & voice
    Elainie Lillios interactive electroacoustics

04 Allen Strange MISTY MAGIC LAND 2004
    Stephen Ruppenthal C trumpet
    Allen Strange digital media
    Brian Belet Kyma digital audio processing

Brian Belet SYSTEM OF SHADOWS 2007
05 I. Aurora Borealis
06 II. Andromeda’s Dream
07 III. Zephyr Apparition
    Stephen Ruppenthal C trumpet & Bb flugelhorn
    Brian Belet Kyma digital audio processing

 
This album contains world premieres of five pieces for trumpet, flugelhorn, voice, and crotale, composed specifically for Ruppenthal by Allen Strange, Bruno Liberda, Elainie Lillios, and Brian Belet.
 
From the first notes of Velocity Studies V: NGate, listeners might recall the spirit of Miles Davis's Electric Era, as delayed trumpet blasts echo deep into their psyche. Ruppenthal's playing also alludes to the works of trumpeters like Jon Hassell and Nils Petter Molvaer.

What sets Ruppenthal's expressive trumpet performances apart is the way they're informed by digital sound processing and interactive electroacoustics. The combination of organic and synthesized sounds come together to form a cohesive sonic landscape steeped with an edgy, introspective feeling throughout. Tracks like "a sphere of air is bound" show the trumpeter extending his instrument from its traditional sound. Ruppenthal's trumpet is simultaneously processed and multiplied by the Kyma system, which mimics sounds from deep within a dense jungle soundscape. Ruppelthal uses the haunting reverberations of the crotale to open Lillios' November Twilight, the album's centerpiece. As his bursts of trumpet pierce through the track's sonic landscape, the trumpeter adds intermittent vocalizations, taking inspiration for the Haiku poem by Wally Swist, and substratal sonance, contributing further ripples to the atmosphere. This all builds to a triumphant swell of trumpets that shimmer amid the piece's darker tones, a dichotomy creating contrast and depth, and enhancing the many facets and moods of the work.