Ensemble - Continuum

The Tango- Nuevo ensemble ?Continuum? represents an important turning point in Zamastil`s career as a composer in general and, more particularly, as an interpreter of this musical style. Building on his work with his earlier ensemble anochesido ? for which he began, already at the age of sixteen, to transcribe and to newly arrange the works of Astor Piazolla ? he founded, in Berlin in 2001, this new ensemble, which performs exclusively Zamastil`s own compositions and thereby constitutes an important new stage in the development of the musical tradition of the tango.
?What I tried to do after leaving my earlier ensemble in Salzburg was not simply to carry on playing the music of Astor Piazolla ; rather, it was a matter of building on Piazolla`s fundamental artistic intention : namely, a constant development of the tango tradition ; I wanted to carry the tango further but to do this in such a way that even after all the changes and innovations it would still be possible to call what we were doing 'tango' ?
(Interview in Zeitton, Austrian Radio 1, July 2003)

The specific membership of the ?Continuum? ensemble has been and remains a constantly changing one, since the demands made on the musicians are different from project to project and the task of finding just the right collaborator for any specific such project is no easy one. The core of the the Berlin ensemble, which is reduced or supplemented according to requirements, consists of cello (Wolfgang Zamastil) , accordion (Silke Lange), piano (Niko Resa) and double-bass (Stephan Bleier). The first CD INICIO features, in addition, the voice of the young Greek vocalist Louisa Barry and his old ensemble anochesido (Birgit Zamastil - vln, David Danzmayr - p).

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"Jean Cocteau once expressed the view that the genuine work of art is something which offers up its mysteries entirely of itself and quite spontaneously, without there having been any need for it`s creator to have pondered beforehand on how he might put or translate such mysteries ?into? said work. This remark might be supplemented by a remark of Cocteau`s great contemporary Pablo Picasso : If one wants to know just what shape a work of art is going to take, one has no choice, one just has to start making it.

These words express my views exactly. Is not art, prior to the question of its beauty or lack thereof, before and above all else human? Does not the human soul, with all its shades of feeling and its ineradicable ?dark side?, remain in the end a mystery? Is not the experience of love the most beautiful of all experiences above all for this reason : that love allows us to experience something which is always and ever again new, and allows us most particularly and essentially to experience this ever-newness, to live it out ? we German-speakers speak of an erleben ? with and in our own bodies, minds and hearts. It is my view that it is only at the point where one has ceased to know anything in the intellectual sense that one can begin to sense and to grope after artistic verity, to give free play to one`s imagination ? in short, to become creative at last. It is only after this point that the critical consciousness comes into play ? and this is certainly how it should be. This is the way to artistic self-development, the way of the genuine artist. Such is my credo. Nor does it emerge merely from a slavish acceptance of the views expressed by artistic ?heroes? such as Picasso or Cocteau. For better or worse, this has been my own personal experience of how art is made."

Wolfgang Zamastil

?The very promising young cellist Wolfgang Zamastil whose approach to Bach`s 3rd Solo Suite ? with dance accompaniment by x.IDA ? was, for all its almost violent flair and idiosyncracy, undeniably technically brilliant also fascinated his audience, in the second programm, with the performances of his two tango-nuevo ensembles anochesido and Continuum.?
(Austrian Radio News 11 June 2003 on the Festival ?Und mit Ende Beginnt? in the Brucknerhaus, LInz)