The radio.string.quartet, interim radio.string.quartet.vienna, is a contemporary string quartet based in Vienna.
They are known for using a big variety of musical styles including classical, folk, rock, jazz, pop music, electronica and contemporary music in their compositions and arrangements.
Despite their name they have no artistic connection to any radio station.
The quartet was one of the big discoveries of the Berlin Jazz Festival in 2006 with its adaptation of the music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
John McLaughlin wrote the liner notes to their first album: ….”From the first note I was struck by the way this group had ‘appropriated’ my music and made it their very own. They even got the atmosphere which was present all those years ago. The other aspect that touched me deeply was the importance they attach to improvisation, and they do improvise!…. …This is no ordinary string quartet. The love of, and the dedication they have to their respective instruments is marvellous, and the fact that they have taken what was electric jazz-fusion music, fused it with their training in ‘classical’ music, and conserved the ‘electric’ atmosphere is outstanding.”
Radiodream (2011) marked a new chapter in the band’s history: it is the most independent work of the quartet containing a huge percentage of their own compositions, which show the various musical and cultural backgrounds of the band members.
Posting Joe – Celebrating Weather Report – live (2013) is paying homage to their fellow countryman, the great composer and pianist/keyboard player Joe Zawinul. It was voted “#2 jazz album of the year 2013” by The Sunday Times.
In 2014 the band began to work on in between silence (2017), which defined a new operation mode both in their studio work and in their live-performance. The use of voices and electronics widens the band’s horizons considerably, a stylistic device which is now used for the first time on several pieces. The album compositions – exclusively written by the quartet – basically were re-arranged for the live-performance. With that step the band tried to adapt the spatial variability of listening to music live or from an album. For in between silence album the band worked with a co-producer for the first time, the Norwegian pianist and NuJazz-pioneer Bugge Wesseltoft.
In 2020 the band begins with their “quadrology”, whose basic idea is to represent the 4 elements earth, fire, air and water in their musical language and to relate them to each other. For each individual element there will be collaborations and a different line-up, the center and musical link of which will be radio.string.quartet.
The first element to appear, for the first time on her own label SeeYulette, was Erd’ with the Austrian singer and composer Roland Neuwirth in June 2020. In 2022 they released B:A:C:H • like waters, an audiovisual journey based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s g-minor Violin Solosonata. In 2022 they released B:A:C:H • like waters, an audiovisual journey based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s g-minor Violin Solosonata. (wikipedia)
Ever since r.s.q.v was founded in 2003, it has been innovatively broadening the spectrum of the string quartet. The idea to dedicate the fifth album “Posting Joe” to the great jazz genius from Vienna was not new. “Although we have never had a specific plan,” Liao says, “Zawinul’s music has always been there. Already after our Mahavishnu album, which made us internationally known, we were about to start a Zawinul project. But then we became engaged with “Radiotree” together with accordionist Klaus Paier. Even so, the album included two r.s.q.v versions of Zawinul’s pieces.”
However, the expansion of the idea was postponed due to a proposition by the irresistible Rigmor Gustafsson, which resulted in the album “Calling You”. After this project the urge to work with material of their own was even greater. Their own compositions of dream interpretations on “Radiodream”, released in 2011, on which Igmar Jenner replaced Johannes Dickbauer on violin, marked the last tessera of r.s.q.v’s extraordinary work hitherto.
After that the timing was perfect to go about a project that had long been postponed. Not least due to an invitation to play at an updated Zawinul biography presentation by Brian Glasser in London and an invitation to the “Zawinul Music Days” in Vienna by Zawinul’s former manager Risa Zinke. There was a further advantage to the project as well. Valcic: “Not only had Zawinul been in our hearts for ages, but we had also been thinking of doing a live album for a long time, since our concerts had developed certain dynamics of their own in comparison to the studio recordings.”
That is why the second part in all “Radiodream” concerts was dedicated to Zawinul. “We recorded at least eight of these sets. That way we could choose performances that we were completely satisfied with.” Recordings from all over Europe are combined into a Zawinul homage – from the legendary Music Association in Vienna, from Pori in Finnland, from Zagreb, Warsaw, Zürich and Ravensburg. On “Posting Joe” r.s.q.v. is sending musical declarations of love to one of the greatest jazz musicians of all times.
After spending 2006-2008 in worldwide demand for their exciting string-quartet-meets-jazz-fusion take on the music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, radio.string.quartet.vienna have put aside the covers for a while. But if any composer’s work might be a temptation to a group that uniquely mixes the excitement of rock, the agility of jazz and the textures of classical strings, it’s Joe Zawinul’s. This tribute to the late Austrian colossus includes an astonishing version of Birdland, in which Asja Valcic’s percussive cello brings in the famous bass hook after an expectant hum of pizzicato strumming from the violins and viola. The racing Freezing Fire parades the quartet’s rhythm section-like drive, inspired arrangements and ability to creatively mimic Zawinul’s talky synth-sounds; Dream Clock reflects a patience with nuance and detail that balances all the virtuosity, and the later stages include a prayerlike In a Silent Way, and a closing Volcano for Hire full of musical mood-swings. There aren’t long, jazzy improv breaks, but an appetite for spontaneity fuelled the thinking behind the whole idea. (The Guardian)
Igmar Jenner (violin)
Cynthia Liao (viola)
Bernie Mallinger (violin)
Asja Valčić (cello)
01. Troposphere (Mallinger) 1:39
02. Birdland (Zawinul) 6:33
03. Freezing Fire (Shorter) 4:05
04. Peace (Zawinul) 6:16
05. Black Market (Zawinul) 6:35
06. Dream Clock (Zawinul) 6:14
07. Wireless Wings – For Joe (Valčić) 6:55
08. In A Silent Way (Zawinul) 3:54
09. Cannonball (Zawinul) 5:51
10. Volcano For Hire (Zawinul) 6:31
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