As a student I had made it my habit not to turn off the music when I left the apartment but the album I was listening to had not yet come to an end. To me it seemed disrespectful towards the music to just turn it off. What was brought into oscillation should be allowed to finish.
With the music playing on at home, I also connected the feeling that the music can resonate within me, although I no longer hear it. An empathic bond was formed between me and the distant music.
It was often albums from ECM Records that continued to play at home without me. Like hardly on any other label the arrangement of the pieces is precisely composed throughout the whole album. If I had simply stopped playing the album, the overall composition would have been disturbed. Because in the same way that you listen to music in relation to the previous music, you also listen to music in the context of the music yet to come. If you interrupt the album, the effect and intention of the already heard music changes.
The commission for the sound installation “Small Places” (link >>>) for ECM Records‘ 50th anniversary as part of the RE:ECM exhibition at Storage by Hyundai Card in Seoul, Korea, allowed me to return to these early feelings and philosophies: In the work “Small Places” the entire catalogue of ECM Records is played in one piece, album by album (almost 1600 in total). The installation doesn’t care whether the gallery is open or closed. The music plays on and on. If you pass the gallery on the street at night, you can hear the music playing through the loading doors.
You can also participate in this play via the website smallplaces.art. Like a radio station it transmits the music currently playing at Storage to the whole world.
Let yourself be surprised and inspired by this unbelievably high-contrast composition ECM, which resists classification and lasts more than 8.5 weeks. For my part, I can say that rarely in my life have I discovered so much new music as these days, when I listen to this ECM ”radio station” almost daily via smallplaces.art.