EMERGE plays Gerald Fiebig: passages

gebrauchtemusik ° gm039
attenuation effect ° 1033 ° 2023
attenuationcircuit.de ° attenuation-circuit@web.de

cassette version released by Red Light Studio 光 in 2023

played, recorded and mastered by EMERGE
all original sounds and artwork by Gerald Fiebig


video: live version:


released May 15, 2023

The passage of time, the passage from one imaginary space, and from one mind (or computer) to another – these are the passages that give this album its title.

Of course every piece of music passes from mind to mind as the ideas of its creator(s) become audible waves, enter another’s ear and get decoded in the brain of this listener. But in this case, the passage was already part of the composition.

After a decade of collaborations both in live improvisation and co-composition, EMERGE and Gerald Fiebig decided to experiment with a new creative challenge. The selection of materials and the composition were to be split between them.

For this piece, Gerald Fiebig collected a variety of sonic objects – field recordings, found sounds, instrumental parts, electronic sequences, both archival and original – and passed them on to EMERGE. Most of the sounds held autobiographical significance for Fiebig, but as no background information was supplied to EMERGE, the passage of sounds from one to the other allowed the sounds to free themselves of that limitation.

Nevertheless, the sounds were ‚thematically‘ grouped in sets of twelve, in view of the memory banks of the Roland SP-404 samplers used by EMERGE, but without any prior agreements on the choice of material or restrictions imposed by Fiebig on how to use the sounds. EMERGE set himself the challenge to integrate all the supplied sound files into the resulting compositon.

Working through the diverse groups of sounds, he created five pieces of varying duration and very different character. The listener can choose to follow the imaginary passageway that connects these five sonic and atmospheric spaces, but they can also choose to find their own paths by listening to the pieces in a different order.

With every passage – from Fiebig to EMERGE, and from EMERGE to every listener – the sounds lose old meanings and acquire new ones, creating – between all the listeners – an ever larger virtual network of references precisely out of the things that are not communicated in language, but only in sound. As such, the compositional process behind „passages“ is something of a sonic utopia of human cooperation, because, als Walter Benjamin wrote: „Progress does not reside in the continuity of the passage of time, but in its interferences.“


b°tong I EMERGE I If, Bwana I Gerald Fiebig: THING

With the first instalment of the THING series, attenuation circuit also celebrates the 10th anniversary of its very first vinyl release. In 2012, b°tong and EMERGE released their self-titled split LP on the label. In contrast to other split LPs, their pieces were composed specifically for this LP, with both artists sharing the same pool of sound materials to create their respective pieces. The 100 copies shared a common design created by visual artist Tine Klink, but as all sleeves were hand-painted, each copy had a recognisable, yet still unique cover. This concept earned the label a mention in recognised art director Stuart Tolley’s book “Collector’s Edition: Innovative Packaging and Graphics” (London: Thames & Hudson 2014).

In 2013, this album was followed up with another split LP by If,Bwana and Gerald Fiebig which followed the same musical and visual approach. Together, these two split albums formed attenuation circuit’s original Vinyl Series, which was soon replaced by individually conceived vinyl albums. To celebrate the anniversary of attenuation circuit’s first venture into vinyl territory, this THING collects all four sides of the two original LPs. To retain the “LP side” feel, the two pieces by If,Bwana have been transferred to the CD as only one track.

If, Bwana
Fie’s Big Organ / Recorders for Augsburg
original organ recording, Gerald Fiebig
recorders, Al Margolis
composed / assembled by Al Margolis
mixed and mastered by Tom Hamilton

Gerald Fiebig
Sustained Development
recorder (acoustic), Al Margolis
organ (acoustic), Gerald Fiebig
guitar (acoustic), Jesus Jackson
guitar (electric), Mathias Huber
organ (electric), Gerald Fiebig
recorder (electric), Gerald Fiebig
guitar (acoustic) processed by EMERGE
composed / assembled by Gerald Fiebig
Mathias Huber and Jesus Jackson appear courtesy of
Jesus Jackson und die grenzlandreiter.
The recorder (acoustic) and organ (acoustic) parts
are based on the same source recordings as track 1.

previously released on vinyl in 2013 

Fiebig / EMERGE / Bonafini

Gerald Fiebig: Far-end Crosstalk (Augsburg – Jinan) – Field recordings from Jinan (China) by Nicolai Volland.

This triple-split album presents electroacoustic compositions by attenuation circuit label head EMERGE, long-time associate Gerald Fiebig, and – for the first time ever on a physical release – the Italian, Bremen-based composer and sound artist Mattia Bonafini. The final track is a trio improvisation EMERGE, Fiebig and Bonafini played at Hulsberg Crowd in Bremen in June 2019, a temporary art location in a former nurses‘ home which has since been demolished.

Although the three pieces were composed independently, they seem to share a certain aesthetic feel: Sonic atmospheres stained by constant hiss (EMERGE), vinyl surface noise (Bonafini), and car traffic (Fiebig) pervade the album. Out of this grey sleet of acoustic debris, the composers try to salvage moments of clarity in the form of concrete sounds, melodic fragments or drone chords.

EMERGE works with a variety of field recordings that every once in a while quite literally emerge from the monochrome fog of background hiss that seems to be visualised in the colours of the cover artwork. The ‚betamorphoses‘ of the title could refer to the moments in which the static drone hiss of the piece morphs into more distinct acoustic scenes. One could think of it as moments when the static hum of ‚capitalist realism‘ (Mark Fisher) that muffles the whole of our reality is replaced by the sounds of something different – ‚betamorphoses‘ perhaps being beta tests for a metamorphosis of society at large that needs to take place.

Fiebig’s ‚Far-end Crosstalk (Augsburg – Jinan)‘, based on field recordings from his homebase Augsburg and the soundscape of the Chinese city of Jinan (recorded by Nicolai Volland in 1995) spells out this need for change along ecological lines. The piece maps Murray R. Schafer’s idea of the urban ‚lo-fi soundscape‘ onto the problem of climate change: With increasing car traffic, cities around the world not only sound increasingly the same, they also face the same problems with air pollution. The Jinan sounds are modulated with a filter based on frequencies of the note C (for China), the Augsburg sounds are filtered around the note G (for Germany).

‚Turning Pages‘ of musical history, or rather turning music around to see its other side, is what Mattia Bonafini did for his piece: He recorded surface noise from vinyl records in the library of Bremen’s Hochschule für Künste where he studied electroacoustic music, and thus created the piece by manipulating this background noise of the officially documented history of music. Like the other pieces, ‚Turning Pages‘ is an act of musical upcycling in which apparently non-musical sounds are used to create an aesthetic structure and, through sound, make us think about the world.

The live cut from Hulsberg Crowd – the venue itself being a sort of creative, if temporary, repurposing of an urban ‚left-over‘ – continues this by using ’sub-musical‘ elements such as no-input mixer and vocal noises rather than speech or song. But the tension felt in the three previous pieces, the feel of a present wedged uneasily between an untenable past and an uncertain future, is exploded in the energetic interaction of the trio, into a ‚lightbulb moment‘ (Lester Bangs) of whatever the listener may perceive in it – utopian or dystopian?

EMERGE plays Gerald Fiebig

Konzert beginnt bei / concert starts at 1:20:50
attenuation circuit präsentiert/presents:
EMERGE plays Gerald Fiebig
[musique concrète – experimental – drone / Augsburg]
Samstag/Saturday, 13.02.21
start 21:00 (cet)

(english version below)
Das Augsburger Kulturzentrum „villa“ startet am 13. Februar 2021 eine neue Reihe mit Livestream-Konzerten. Den Auftakt bildet ein Konzert von EMERGE aka Sascha Stadlmeier. Der Augsburger Musiker, Betreiber des Labels attenuation circuit und Veranstalter des „re:flexions sound-art festivals“ im Kulturhaus abraxas kuratiert auch in der „villa“ seit Jahren eine Konzertreihe, Augsburgs einziges ganzjähriges Forum für experimentelle Musik.
Seit einem Jahrzehnt ist EMERGE aka Sascha Stadlmeier eines von Augsburgs internationalen Aushängeschildern in Sachen experimenteller elektronischer Musik und Klangkunst. Seine Tourneen führten ihn bereits durch fast alle Länder Kontinentaleuropas und Skandinaviens. Bei seinen Konzerten entstehen immer wieder gemeinsame Improvisationen zusammen mit anderen Künstler*innen. Zwei davon sind soeben auf der CD „Fiebig / EMERGE / LLS“ erschienen.
Die beiden Stücke der CD sind Konzertmitschnitte von EMERGE und dem polnischen Projekt Limited Liability Sounds aus Paris sowie von EMERGE und seinem Augsburger Kollegen Gerald Fiebig aus Bochum. Das Livestream-Konzert macht die gemeinsame CD-Veröffentlichung zum Anlass eines neuartigen Experiments unter dem Motto „EMERGE plays Gerald Fiebig“. Stadlmeier spielt solo, verwendet dabei jedoch ausschließlich Geräuschsamples und Klangsequenzen, die Fiebig für ihn vorbereitet hat. Fiebigs Material zitiert die Klangsprache der gemeinsamen CD, doch durch Stadlmeiers Zusammenstellung und Veränderung des vorgegebenen Klangmaterials entsteht im Livekonzert ein neues Musikstück, das über die CD hinausgeht – „ein musikalischer Prozess, dessen Ausgang noch unbekannt ist“, ganz im Sinne von John Cage‘ Definition von experimenteller Musik.

On 13 February 2021, the cultural centre „villa“ in Augsburg, Germany, launches a new series of live streaming concerts. The opening night is a concert by EMERGE aka Sascha Stadlmeier. The Augsburg-based musician, who also runs the attenuation circuit label and organises the local „re:flexions sound-art festival,“ has been curating a series of experimental music concerts at „villa“ for years.
For a decade, EMERGE aka Sascha Stadlmeier has been putting Augsburg on the map of the international experimental music and sound art scene, not least by touring in almost every country in continental Europe and Scandinavia. His concerts regularly feature collaborative improvisations with other artists. Two of them have just been documented on the CD „Fiebig / EMERGE / LLS“.
The two pieces on the CD are, respectively, a recording of a concert in Paris by EMERGE and Polish project Limited Liability Sounds, and of a concert in Bochum, Germany, by EMERGE and his Augsburg-based colleague Gerald Fiebig. The live streaming concert takes the collaborative CD release as the starting point for a new kind of experiment: „EMERGE plays Gerald Fiebig“. Stadlmeier plays solo, using only sampled noises and sound sequences prepared for him by Fiebig. Fiebig’s material references the sonic idiom of the collaborative CD, but thanks to Stadlmeier’s way of combining and processing the given elements, the live concert will produce an new piece of music that goes beyond the CD – „a musical process the outcome of which is unknown,“ as John Cage once defined experimental music.


Fiebig / EMERGE / LLS

Ambient and free improvisation are a great match. Purists of each of these genres may disagree But the label programme of attenuation circuit has proven time and again that deeply atmospheric music can be co-created in spontaneous interaction. The work of label head Sascha Stadlmeier aka EMERGE is a case in point. His extensive touring in the past decade has led to numerous live collaborations that have also found their way into the label’s releases.

This new album, too, consists of two live sets in which EMERGE was involved, recorded a few months apart in 2018. The first of the two tracks is a collaboration with Polish project Limited Liability Sounds, recorded in Paris. The second, recorded in Bochum (Germany), is a collaboration with Gerald Fiebig, with whom EMERGE already played some of his earliest collaborative shows years ago in the early 2010s. A comparison with EMERGE and Fiebig’s earlier collaborative releases such as “compound”, recorded in 2011, shows what a long way they have come in terms of both their individual musical strategies and their approach to instant composition.

Both tracks on this album are remarkably consistent – rather than just two live recordings packaged together, this is an album with a common compositional “theme”. Both tracks explore the merging and contrasting of extended, laminar, harmonic sounds and rhythmic samples. Found sounds and field recordings play a role in the compositions, but not as referents of the “real”. Instead, they are given a rather psychedelic treatment, opening up dreamscapes that are sometimes (perhaps deceptively?) tranquil, sometimes ominous – but never monotonous. This mix makes for stimulating music that might open its listeners‘ minds to the diversity, and ambiguity, of the world.

Studio KO-OP (Paolo Moretto & PAAK)/EMERGE/Gerald Fiebig: voice & noise

Remembering the October Revolution, the Munich soviet republics & DADA – we had opportunities.

Live performance at Kulturhaus abraxas (Augsburg / Germany), February 2019


released January 11, 2020

Little instruments, effects, voices, tapes etc. by Studio KO-OP / EMERGE / Gerald Fiebig
recording by EMERGE
editing by EMERGE & PAAK
cover by PAAK



Gasworks (CD)


„Gasworks“ versammelt die Klanginstallationen, Radiostücke und Live-Performances, die Gerald Fiebig zum ehemaligen Gaswerk in Augsburg-Oberhausen realisiert hat. Sie entstanden zwischen 2010 und 2016, teilweise zusammen mit EMERGE und Christian Z. Müller. In den Kompositionen finden bearbeitete Aufnahmen von Gas und Industriemaschinen Verwendung, aber auch die Erzählungen eines ehemaligen Gaswerksmitarbeiters sowie Live-Improvisationen in der Echokammer des großen Scheibengasbehälters. Gestaltung: Martina Vodermayer.

In Augsburg ist die CD erhältlich bei Tonträger, Kätchens, der Buchhandlung am Obstmarkt, Bücher Pustet, der Schlosserschen Buchhandlung, den Museumsshops im Schaezlerpalais und im H2 sowie in der Bücherinsel Pfersee.

Deutsche Übersetzung des Booklets


„Gasworks“ by sonic artist Gerald Fiebig collects his sound installations, radiophonic compositions, and live performances relating to the former gasworks in Augsburg-Oberhausen. They were created between 2010 and 2016, some in collaboration with colleagues EMERGE and Christian Z. Müller. Among the compositional materials of the album are processed recordings of the sounds of gas and industrial machinery, stories told by a former gasworks employee, and live improvisations in the echo chamber of the large gas tank. Artwork: Martina Vodermayer


fiction circuit (LP)


Artificial Memory Trace aka Slavek Kwi and PBK aka Phillip B. Klingler have been pillars of the global DIY experimental music culture for decades. Both of them have released work on attenuation circuit before. Here, they team up with label owner EMERGE aka Sascha Stadlmeier and his colleague Gerald Fiebig. Each one of the four artists contributes one track of about 10 minutes to the album. But while the four-way split LP is a common format in the global sound culture scene, “fiction circuit” is more than just a compilation.

All of the artists on this album share a love of creating electroacoustic music from field recordings or found sounds. Therefore, label manager Stadlmeier invited Artificial Memory Trace (AMT) and PBK to supply source sounds from their archives. These were then used as the basis for the compositions. Leaving the source material identifiable was not the task – it was to be used as raw material to be sculpted, very much in the spirit of acousmatic musique concrète. On the AMT side, we find the tracks by PBK and Gerald Fiebig. They both used AMT’s source material to create their tracks. PBK delivers a dense, rather rhythmic track with a decidedly “industrial” feel. Fiebig’s track, on the contrary, uses the front cover artwork – a digital collage by EMERGE of visual works by Kwi and Klingler, with other works by them reproduced on the lavishly printed LP insert – as a graphic score for realising a rather harmonic ambient piece. On the PBK side, Artificial Memory Trace and EMERGE “play” the source sounds supplied by PBK. The piece by Artificial Memory Trace qualifies as exuberant rhythm noise, while EMERGE goes all the way into rather meditative laminar lower-case drone minimalism. Therefore, regardless of which side of the record one plays first (“AMT” and “PBK” are engraved on the vinyl itself to guide the listener), one will experience, thoroughout the whole album, a change between very different sonic textures and temperaments that showcase the wide range of expressive possibilities of electroacoustic music. This is not the product of good luck, but of planned collective composition: AMT and PBK, as the “guests” on the label, were invited to create whatever they liked without any formal restrictions. As it turned out, both of their works were rather intense and direct in character. Therefore, EMERGE and Fiebig both made an effort to complement each side with a more subdued, quiet piece.

File under: Electroacoustic music, musique concrète

Orientalism: „Ali’s Riot Men“

Orientalism was a conceptual collaboration project of Sustained Development (Gerald Fiebig) and EMERGE (Sascha Stadlmeier).

Field recordings from China
Processed by EMERGE
Stereotyped by Orientalism
Deconstructed by Sustained Development

cover image by Michael Herbst
released April 14, 2013

This side project of Sustained Development processes field recordings from the Far East (with some help from label mate EMERGE) to such an extent that they become hissing, granular sheets of sound resembling, for example, abstract Mille-Plateaux-style electronica rather than anything „concrete“. Reverb and time-stretching make the so-called „real“ sounds recorded during a trip through China into something very different, calm yet faintly ominous, far from the pseudo-documentary pose that is common in “field recordings” as a genre.

To quote Edward Said, who invented the term, “Orientalism is a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient” by creating stereotypical images of “the East.” This release by Orientalism (the title of the album and all tracks being anagrams of the word to hint at the ideological limitations of orientalist clichés) aims to subvert the stereotyping that is latent in a lot of field recordings of more or less “exotic” places because they tend to fix a limited sound image of what “the” Orient (or India, Kyoto, etc.) sounds like. In a certain way, the compositional treatment applied to the Chinese field recordings on this album insists on the right of every sound to become (abstract) music instead of just standing in as a tourist snapshot.