Silent quest for sound, constant listening in the streets of Brooklyn, the Swiss Alps, the forests of Pennsylvania and the landscape of New Mexico. What if, after hours of walking, the mind finally clears, the ears open? Keep on walking, listening, giving space to resonances. Christopher Shultis, drummer and Professor Emeritus of the University of New Mexico and Craig Shepard, trombonist and member of the Wandelweiser collective, take Henry David Thoreau at his word and literally follow the idea of walking for at least four hours a day, sauntering silently. Out of this kind of contemplation, both have developed their own unique compositional practices: What composers usually do at their desk or at the piano, Shepard and Shultis do on the move, and their music is strongly influenced by the landscape from which it originated. Although very different in their artistic expression, their work is deeply rooted in the practice of walking in the spirit of H.D. Thoreau, in his writings and in the art of John Cage. Silent walking as a means of heightening the senses, inflowing sounds become the basis for compositions. Invited by their mutual friend Bernd Herzogenrath, Shultis and Shepard met for a week in the beautiful city of Olomouc in the Czech Republic. un|sounding the self—a portrait is about the becoming of these two artists—how music emerges when composers become silent first of all, whether by decision or by force, and then search for sound.
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