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Johannes Tonio Kreusch : Siddhartha : A musical homage to Hermann Hesse : CD

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

Fourteen tracks composed by Johannes Tonio Kreusch

Johannes Tonio Kreusch (guitar)

FM 248-2: Available from

Siddhartha is a famous book by Herman Hesse wherein the lead character is a seeker, and hence in this groundbreaking CD , Kreusch has gone down the same thought processes , by making his music ( entirely self – composed) try out new forms of expression and by breaking new ground with his compositions. Now if any of you might think that this means modernity in its most way – out form with lots of atonality and little that is harmonious you’d be quite wrong, for what you find here is immediately captivating, yes, it is very mysterious , and unexpected , but nevertheless the suite does take the listener into hitherto unknown soundscapes. Kreusch elicits a wonderful wealth of timbres and effects from his instrument as the fourteen movements that correspond to the chapters of the novel do include both composed sections as well as improvised passages. Moreover the virtuosity presented is only subordinate to music and unfolds with great naturalness. In this music, he mostly uses very different guitar tunings and also preparations like pens, paperclips or rings, which are put between the strings, the idea of which might start to trouble the listener, but this allows Kreusch to discover new sound spaces as a result, or even to sound like another plucked instrument, for example a sitar, or a koto, and the end result is beautiful and engrossing from start to finish. Indeed on this recording, he never once uses the conventional guitar tuning, and the way he presents the separate movements, which blend effortlessly into one another sometimes sound like a soundtrack for an unseen film, they are that atmospheric.

The dexterity in the playing is second to none, the recording is brilliant and clear, and the music is hypnotic in its unusual timbres and harmonies, but again let me stress that this is by no stretch atonal, but just a style you have probably never come across before, but it is really worth the listen, and I urge anyone to give this wonderful and individual sounding CD a try.

Chris Dumigan

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