Johann Malfatti is a composer and sound designer based in Berlin. He composes music for film & theatre as well as art projects. Over the years he has contributed to numerous music releases ranging from electronic music, noise to chamber pop on labels such as Deco, Klangkrieg, Fat Cat Records, Planet Mu, WMF Records, Subrosa and Polydor. Most notably, he is part of Ensemble (Fat Cat Records) that has collaborated with Björk, The Twighlight Sad and Cat Power. In his solo work he composes for solo piano, drawing inspiration from computer-based processes like granular synthesis and time stretching algorithms.
Surge (Glacial Movements) marks his first solo release and is an ambient album of sonic landscapes dealing with the perception of time.
Surge was written in the winter of 02016 in the Austrian alps. The music is based on textural developments that evolve very slowly over time. The composition tries to evoke a sensation of experiencing a slower, deeper layer of time. It draws inspiration from concepts like geological time and pace layers, that describe the idea of different scales of time. Most processes in nature are too slow to be perceived by the human senses. We merely experience the ripples on the surface, like the passing of hours, days, of changing weather or trends in fashion. The all underlying stream of geological change, like the flow of glaciers or the drifting of continents, is outside our field of experience. However, some events bring these streams closer to the surface. In a glacial surge, the flow velocity of a glacier suddenly increases up to tens of meters per day, making the otherwise imperceptibly slow movement tangible. As in earthquakes, the geological dimension of the process at hand is transposed into the realm of human experience. In that same sense the composition acts as a window into the vastness beyond it's sonic surface. The music has the viscosity of a slowly moving mass of ice. Like a glacier, that contains thousands of layers of snow, the vertical structures of the sonic layers are infinitely complex and ever changing. From minimal textures of white noise grow massive swells of sound. From floating fields of color rise mirages of melodies. Inspired by the music of Morton Feldman, John Cage, John Luther Adams and Radu Malfatti, Surge is an abstract state of non-time and non-space in which the listener is kept suspended in a sonic haze. The music stays intangible and abstract, yet vidid and full of details. Static, yet transient. It is neither now nor past nor future.