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Martin Ptak - River Tales
Price: € 16,00
WWE 1CD 20441
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Martin Ptak
River Tales

The Source 06:16 Share
Stream 07:02 Share
Wings 02:59 Share
Merging 07:56 Share
Storm 01:52 Share
Flood 04:38 Share
Sinking 04:35 Share
Darkstone 05:53 Share
Cyclo 04:08 Share
Kanon 09:12 Share
Panta Rhei 06:34 Share
Total Time 01:01:05
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Editor’s Note

Trombonist, pianist and composer Martin Ptak spent his early life an der schönen blauen Donau (on the blue Danube) – in the small Austrian town of Krems, to be precise. It is the gateway to Wachau, that wine-growing region upstream of Krems which can never be praised highly enough. Following the river downstream, you reach the musical capital of Vienna in around half an hour. And just as water, music and wine have merged into each other in this stretch of land since time immemorial, so everything within Ptak’s musical river tales flows easily together: film music and improvisation, childhood memories and farewells, surface and depth effect, trombone choir, tapestry of strings and piano patterns. A long lingering soundtrack from the source of the river to its opening in the sea – and for all the way in between.

All tracks composed and arranged by Martin Ptak

Martin Ptak, piano
Albin Janoska, Fender Rhodes, harmonium, live-sampling
Julia Maly, violin (track 2, 10)
Claus Riedl, violin
Lena Fankhauser, viola
Melissa Coleman, cello
Alois Eberl, Martin Riener, Dominik Stöger, trombone
Gerald Pöttinger, bass trombone, contrabass trombone
Franz Winkler, tuba (track 6, 8)
Martin Eberle, trumpet solo (track 2, 4, 8)
Alois Eberl, trombone solo (track 9)
Album Release Concert "River Tales" at the RadioKulturhaus; 21.11.2018 / 19:30

Wednesday, 21.11.2018 19:30
RadioKulturhaus, Großer Saal

Further informationen, the audio-livestream and tickets can be found here.
First Listener’s Note

Everything in a state of flux
By Peter Ahorner

The implicitness of the origin: relentlessly tender, The Source nestles into our thoughts. The feeling of security – water has seldom sounded so uncomplicatedly intimate. Molecules dance elegantly up into energy which stretches out happily, laughingly, in its bed, but which always makes clear: I can rage and rampage with the best of them, too (Stream). Who doesn’t like these swings of wetness as they warm up coolly or cool down warmly, and cheer or bandage the skin (Wings)? Yes, water connects, but with itself most of all (Merging). Some liquid coats, after all, hide a plump lining, which rips abruptly, bringing its aggregate on shore, on the bank, the land and the people, taking no account of the season (Flood).

The longing to be permanently enclosed was born in the same year as water: if eyes are irresistibly Atlantic, we drown happily and hopelessly in them, and on occasion the Loreley is a man (Sinking). “Come alive with me,” says the current and sometimes really means it – shudder, shiver, quake: shiver tales! (Darkstone). So it is and so it will remain: the waters clench their fists, even the proud captain loses his dress uniform and turns into a naked spinning top (Cyclo). Many rivers have many idiosyncracies: they dream along, are charmingly playful or suddenly protesting. Mankind regulates them, builds dams, but can never completely tame the currents. And yet people and water often have a great deal in common: the law is enforced from above (Kanon). Cuncta fluunt – every river has its calm, but it is never completely still (Panta Rhei).

We are made up of 70% water, “River Tales” of 100% music. Thanks to a nine-piece ensemble of exceptional quality. Strings, trombones, trumpets and piano let us get to the bottom of what we are, what we will be, what we could be.

1867: op. 314 (guess which waltz). 1875: Moldau. 2018: “River Tales“ can come true!

After finishing his high school studies at BORG Krems grammar school, Martin Ptak studied jazz trombone and jazz piano at the Konservatorium Wien, and composition with Christoph Cech at the Bruckner University in Linz. Influenced by the film music genre since his earliest childhood, he composes and arranges pieces for orchestra, big bands, brass ensembles, film and theatre. He is a co-founder of the Takon Orchester, and of the retro film music orchestra Velvet Elevator. Since 2010, he’s been a regular fixture in the quartet Die Strottern & Blech, also contributing compositions and arrangements.

Besides his own projects, he has played with Elliot Sharp, Bill Holman, Steven Bernstein, Jim Thirlwell, Frank London, Willi Resetarits’ Ostbahn 11, Bill Reichenbach’s Trombones LA, Martin Grubinger, Max Nagl, Ernst Molden, Die Strottern, 5/8 in Ehren, Neuschnee, Elektro Guzzi and the Jazzwerkstatt Wien, amongst others.

His first solo album, “Twilight Street”, was released by Hoanzl in autumn 2012. Since 2013, Martin Ptak has composed music regularly for Christoph Bochdanksy’s puppet theatre shows (to date, “Kasperl – dieser Mann ist eine Fälschung”, “Anmerkungen zur Umgebung”, “Der Weihnachtsfuchs”, “Die Blumengeschichte” and “Ich freue mich”).

Martin Ptak received the Recognition Award in the culture category from the state of Lower Austria in 2012.
Martin Ptak "River Tales" (Trailer)
Artist’s Note

The endless stream of recurrence
By Martin Ptak

The composition of “River Tales” was made possible with the support of Radio Ö1, the state of Lower Austria and the Glatt and Verkehrt music festival, which also provided the Klangraum Krems (the Minorite Church of Krems-Stein) as the location for the premiere. Complemented by the ingenious lighting concept of Dutch light designer Nico de Rooij, an artistic synthesis was created, inspired by the image of a river as a symbol of the recurrent in music. Repetitive and ’flowing’ elements already played an essential part on my previous album, “Twilight Street”, and significantly influence the character of my music.

The “River Tales” ensemble, a combination of strings and trombones, is shaped by the sound of the piano (including the preparations, which are inserted percussively and sampled live).

After the premiere, I couldn’t shake the idea of producing an album with the composition and expanding some facets of it. The recordings took place largely in Casino Baumgarten with analogue equipment, complemented by solo sections from the trumpeter Martin Eberle and trombonist Alois Eberl.
For further information visit:


Martin Ptak @ The Lake Radio





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