Eric Schmid – Dedicated to Dieter Roth cassette
Visual and sound artist Eric Schmid improvising for an hour on an electronic piano. Schmid’s trampled notes and chords leak out of a big broken faucet on Dedicated to Dieter Roth. Relentlessly dripping and dancing down the drain, indifferent to anyone observing. Colloquial themes, “Chopsticks” and “Fur Elise” are discovered in the mist of his wandering, along with something he told me was an Idea Fire Company riff, which I couldn’t quite place in all honesty. Though, his honesty is what I find most interesting here, what you can learn about someone in the details of endurance.
This tape is an ode to the unparalleled Swiss artist Dieter Roth’s (1930-1998) piano relay race Lorelei (1978). Dubbed “The Long Distance Sonata,” Lorelei is a sweeping edition, each containing 38 cassettes of piano improvisations performed by Dieter and his children Björn and Vera. Hansjörg Mayer showed me his copy of the edition (he helped publish) in his studio last year in London. What a magical box, adorned with Roth’s drawing and markings: the object also includes a mounted tape player and radio (rigged to bleed the tape and radio simultaneously). The radio element is ignored here, but rather the brutal and honest ethos of Roth is held high in spirit.
The deluxe edition comes with an original artwork made by Schmid and Ryan Nault. Various objects sealed in a plastic bag: watercolors, a pizza box, rice, stained paper, drawings, flowers etc. Their book Ethos Headz, documenting all the objects, is also included. Eric wanted to keep this special edition affordable for anyone to be able to buy, so we have kept the pricing low.
– Sean McCann, July 2020