Glottal Wolpertinger was initially conceived as a radio installation for documenta 14, with each of the tracks broadcasting individually over the course of ten weeks and culminating in a convergence of all eight tracks at a performance in Athens. The pieces consist of microtonally tuned feedback, multispectral drones which Werner modulated and filtered with a purposeful, and indeed vocalized, emphasis given to the different frequencies and textures used. By naming the individual frequency bands, Werner defies traditional tuning systems and instead centers the piece on collaging variable elements. Sonic elements churn and sprawl across the tracks in constant motion. Their drones, combatting for space, entangle one another and oscillate into overtones that shift, build, and wither with fluid motion that blurs the line between consonance and dissonance.
Glottal Wolpertinger’s incarnation as a recording is no less potent than its preceding forms, but serves as a continuation of the project’s evolution as a distinct listening experience. Werner’s apt title for the project embellishes the ambiguity and cognitive dissonance inherent with the work, as the wolpertinger is a creature of European myth which is said to be the mutated result of different species breeding under special circumstances in the Alps. Glottal intonations are those produced by the guttural and throat region of the body, the center of organic sound. According to Werner, wolpertingers are “bastards, collaged freaks who exist in the grey zone of nature’s perfect plan,” the same grey zone in which his pieces live.
Written, performed and produced by Jan St. Werner
Live guitar Aaron Dessner
Studio guitar Bryce Dessner
Software Dietrich Pank
Voice Jessica Rasmussen
Additional Live recordings by David Memari and Paolo Thorsten-Nagel
Mastered by Rashad Becker
Artwork by Paul McDevitt & Cornelius Quabeck
Art Direction by Rupert Smyth Studio
Fiepblatter Catalogue # 6
Thrill Jockey 488