Fast nur Luft

An artistically inspired research into the playing characteristics of the recorder

Tomma Wessel
PhD project at Brussels Arts Platform: KCB/VUB

In my artistic practice as a recorder player, I have often experienced that the recorder is not sufficiently familiar to many composers. This suboptimal situation is not helped by the fact that the large and ever-growing recorder family seems to have an inherent tendency towards anarchy. This can lead to compositions that do not always adequately use the fascinating world of the recorder family’s sounds and playing characteristics (as – luckily – the recorder isn’t just a slightly disabled flute). With my research, resulting in this website, I aim to generate clear and inspiring information for interested composers and players. I hope this information can serve as an ear-opener to our wonderfully crazy recorder cosmos. This website will reflect my experience as a performer and as a researcher. I will develop it further through constant mutual exchange and influence between myself on the one hand and composers and other players on the other. I hope it can serve as a landmark for everyone’s own search into the recorder’s seemingly endless sound universe. I would like to invite everybody to share their experiences and comments to create space for discussions and to develop pathways to support a lively performance practice.

With special thanks to Brussels Arts Platform, Carsten Eckert, Gerd Lünenbürger, Orpheus Institute Ghent / Leiden University, Ines Rasbach, Maarten Stragier, and my family

‘ I know your instrument – it is a kind of clarinet! ‘
Igor Stravinsky to Frans Brüggen

If I had known the instrument I would have written another piece.
Alvin Curran to me after the creation of his piece ‘Four Flukes’