André Vida
Minor Differences
Booklet [210×148 mm; 16pp]/
CD (E179)

“Holding the feeling of what I’d done in my immediate
memory, I started the loom. Moving from one thread to
the next, filling out the larger patterns. Shaping figures
formed of twenty-one and nineteen breaths, colliding,
all framed by five bass key clacks. Stopping and restarting,
the grace of synthetic time carrying the shuttle back and
forth. Not hearing the entirety of it, experimenting with
the feel of it, until at the end of those days, some shape
hanging on my wall, a grid, and an orchestra of minor

—André Vida, The Loom

André Vida is a Berlin-based saxophonist, composer and
lyricist. He has developed a series of practical approaches
to improvisation using restrictive outfits, animated graphics-
based score installations and self-made instruments. His
solo saxophone pieces are a synthesis of these areas of
improvisational research, combining body, instrument,
song-forms, and voice.

In this case, the pieces are made in the moment and
memory, with shifting time matrices. Over the course of
a two-minute walk, some four tenors and four baritones
move in pace from 307 beats per minute to 153 bpm,
while on the other side of the street another sixteen
sopraninos and sopranos make their way through the
traffic lights and blindfolded crosswalks walking at an
inverted progression. One gets faster as another slows
down, continually shifting up and down, at opposing
positions and tempi.

The harmonic downbeats and amalgams of these
compositional choices are made over repetitive sets
of recording passes. Always deaf to the final result
but holding it as long as the building allows.

A revised and redesigned version of The Loom,
originally published in 2013 in a limited edition,
is included with the CD.

Edition of 300 copies


A high register flourish of saxophone noises are the first
sounds to greet you; these give way to flutterings, clop-
pings, clackings, parpings and one or two held notes
generated in a lower tone. A barely articulated melody
skates over the surface before disappearing altogether
and then — almost as soon as 202a for 25 Saxophones
has begun — it’s over before it can develop.

This is a typical modus operandi for all 15 of the saxo-
phone based works — most of the tracks average out
at about three minutes in length. But there is clearly a
structural process at play in Vida’s approach and it has
much to do with the elision of various elements. Minor
Differences is united not only in terms of sound and all
of its organisational elements, such as rhythm, melodics
and tone, but also the ways in which the sound is
produced, how the musician moves within the frame-
work of pace itself.

Minor differences comes with a revised version of Vida’s
essay, The Loom — and this certainly helps to situate
what you hear on this CD in a larger picture. While Vida’s
awareness of time and space is not itself an unusual
approach — it's common to virtually all gallery based
sound art — what is remarkable here is how well the
15 pieces sit together. There’s an astonishing multiplicity
of meshed textures and solo saxophones, the latter all
overlayered and used in various ways: for example,
Padmehum for 14 Saxophones is a mantra for miked-
up sax keys without the involvement of breath; and
Soppfroggy for 10 Saxophones is a slow and laboured
lub-dub of a beat. What you hear on a CD and what you
see in a gallery are not necessarily the same but Vida’s
conception of an expanded music is to be applauded.

Louise Gray in The Wire