Il tedesco Werner Durand, seppur meno conosciuto di quanto meriti, è un musicista che viene da lontano, di lui
voglio ricordarvi almeno la presenza in alcuni gruppi guidati da Arnold Dreyblatt, intorno agli anni ’90, quella negli
Urban Sax e un tot di registrazioni in compagnia di Amelia Cuni.
Inventore e costruttore di strumenti, oltre che musicista, ha ottenuto queste colonne d’aria oscillanti utilizzando il
suo pan-ney, un aerofono costituito da tubi di plexiglas di vari diametri e lunghezze. Il nome dello strumento
richiama sia il flauto persiano (ney) sia il flauto andino a più canne (pan). Le sonorità, in verità, fanno pensare ancor
più a quelle di un didgeridoo dalle timbriche meno calde e meno nere. L’ascolto dei brani, poi, nella sua varietà
lascia intendere una duttilità d’uso molto superiore a quanto sia possibile immaginare.
A partire dal minimalismo del Theatre of Eternal Music, e passando per gli studi del classicismo indo-persiano, il
percorso di Werner Durand sembra però svolgersi in piena autonomia, indifferente alle correnti principali seguite
dalla sperimentazione musicale negli ultimi cinquant’anni.
La stessa pasta sonora si differenzia dalle derive elettroniche, chiaramente, ma anche da quelle acustiche che
utilizzano fiati lignei e/o metallici. Le vibrazioni dell’aria su plastica danno vita a colorazioni proprie, e se un certo
primitivismo traspare sembra avere però caratteristiche post-atomiche.
Non voglio illudervi rispetto all’ascolto, tutt’altro che facile seppure non si tratti neppure di una cosa troppo
ostica, ma posso mettere una mano sul fuoco nella certezza che la musica di Durand finirà per assoggettarvi.
D’altro canto sono altrettanto certo che “Schwingende Luftsäulen” è un disco destinato a far salire le quotazioni in
borsa del piccolo marchio romano che l’ha prodotto.
                                                                                        (Parvesh Kumar - SANDS zine)

On this CD, German saxophonist and reed player Werner Durand plays a self-build instrument consisting of five PVC
pipes called the Pan-Ney. Having no holes, these pipes can only produce 5 notes. Taking advantage of this limited
sound palette, Durand plays repetitive motifs with slow variations and a superb use of harmonics, creating a rich
and velvety sound. The music is carving a middle ground between American Minimalism and ethnic musics -
especially the bamboo flutes of New Guinea. I found the tracks quite varied despite the instrument’s limitations,
from the slow lullaby of #1 Amplitude to the joyful dance of #7 Wellenreiter. The use of reverb, rerecording or
loop box on #6 Stehende Wellen 2 allows Durand to duet with himself and his shadow, creating the most mysterious
track of the album. Perhaps the music as a whole would have benefited from larger acoustics and interaction with
resonant spaces, like in the work of Peter Van RIper or Stuart Dempster.     
                                                                                        (Laurent Fairon - CONTINUO's documents)

Jazz vanguardista, experimentação continua. Este é o alemão Werner Durand e tem um novo álbum. Com o “belo”
nome de Schwingende Luftsäulen, ou “Vibrating Air Columns”, o novo disco de Durand é uma tensa e hipnótica
viagem minimalista pelo mundo antigo que, num sopro literal, se manda directamente para as harmonias e estruturas
avant-garde.
Estas “Vibrating Air Columns”, que Werner Durand foi buscar para titular o seu novo registo, provêm de um
instrumento de sopro por si inventado em 1984, o Pan-Ney. O som do ar ao passar pelos tubos interligados deste
Pan-Ney, foi a pedra de toque de que a criatividade de Durand precisava.
Fiquem com Werner Durand e “Drone and Bees”, tema extraído ao álbum The Art Of Buzzing (Excuse The Delay Vol.
1) uma vez que não é possível deixar-vos nada, ainda, relativo ao novo trabalho.
                                                                                                                     (Fernando Gonçalves - Bodyspace)

Within the narratives of experimental practice, Werner Durand is not as well known as he should be. A composer
and collaborator, as much as an instrument builder, he has been sculpting a singular and unmatched territory of
sound for decades, bridging countless compositional approaches, while resting comfortably in none.
Durand studied with Ariel Kalma, before expanding toward Indian Classical music with Kamalesh Maitra, and the
Iranian Ney with Ali Reza Asgharia - a distinguished and unique pedigree, which offers insights into the hybridity
within his music. He entered the fold during the late 70’s, first within Gilbert Artman’s Urban Sax project - a roving
effort in environmental drone, and Arnold Dreyblatt’s ensembles, before begin embarking on his own body of work
and further collaborations with David Moss, David Berman, Henning Christiansen, David Toop, Catherine Christer
Hennix, and a diverse range of others. His latest release, Schwingende Luftsaulen (Vibrating Air Columns),
recorded between Fall 2010 and Spring 2011, now released by the Italian experimental imprint ANTS
<http://www.antsrecords.com/>, builds on a large arc of developing practice, and is nothing short of a brilliant
sonic gem.
Werner Durand’s efforts amount to a melding hybrid, drawing on a life spent listening, while building and performing
on an extensive range of his own instruments, which began during the early 80’s. One such case is the Pan-Ney, an
instrument that he invented in 1984 and features as the sole sound source for the recordings which make up
Schwingende Luftsäulen (Vibrating Air Columns). Unsurprisingly, with so many years of work behind it, the album is
a bristling, tense, hypnotic Minimalist wonder, built on breath which darts toward the ancient world and back to
the harmonic interplay and structures of the avant-garde. Dedicated to Tony Conrad, whose Ten Years Alive On
The Infinite Plane, from 1972, inspired its tuning, it’s an album steeped in profound honesty and incredible
resonant interplay, as challenging as incredibly beautiful, conceived responsively to the properties of the air
passing thru the plastic tubes that make up the Pan-Ney.
Schwingende Luftsäulen (Vibrating Air Columns), is the kind of reckoning which I love to see come to my life - a
moment which forces the recognition of a great artist in our midst, long overdue in receiving the attention he
rightfully deserves.  A stunning record, and highly recommended. I only wish it had been given an LP issue, rather
than being limited to CD. It deserves it.
                                                                                        (Bradford Bailey - The Hum)

At Soundohm, we’ve dedicated our lives to music which defies category and constraint - which ventures into
unknown territories, risking everything to stand on its own. There are few better cases than Werner Durand - a
true maverick of experimental practice. Since the early 1980s, the composer and instrument builder has been 
sculpting a singular landscape in sound, bridging countless compositional spectrums, while resting comfortably in
none. Rising to the stunning singularity for which he has become known, his latest release Schwingende Luftsäulen
(Vibrating Air Columns), issued by Italian experimental imprint Ants, is nothing short of a brilliant sonic gem.
Werner Durand’s work is a melding hybrid. He has collaborated with as diverse figures as Arnold Dreyblatt, David
Moss, David Behrman, Henning Christiansen, David Toop, and Catherine Christer Hennix, among many others, studied
with Ariel Kalma, as well as Indian classical music with Kamalesh Maitra, and the Iranian Ney with Ali Reza Asgharia.
During the early 80’s he began building his own instruments, performing on them extensively ever since. One such
case is the Pan-Ney, an instrument that he invented in 1984 and features as the sole sound source for the
recordings which make up Schwingende Luftsäulen (Vibrating Air Columns), recorded between  A bristling, tense,
hypnotic Minimalist wonder, its breaths dart toward the ancient world and back to the harmonic interplay and
structures of the avant-garde. Challenging and incredibly beautiful, the work was conceived responsively to the
properties of the air passing thru the plastic tubes that make up the Pan-Ney, and is steeped in profound honesty.
Schwingende Luftsäulen (Vibrating Air Columns) is dedicated to Tony Conrad, whose piece „Ten Years Alive On The
Infinite Plane“ from 1972 inspired its particular tuning. Unquestionably contemporary music at it’s very best.
Accompanied and underlined by the beautiful drawings by Karlheinz Bux, Ants has outdone themselves again. We
can’t recommend this one enough.
                                                                                        (Soundohm)

The explicit dedication to the late Tony Conrad - defined by Werner Durand as the main influence behind this work
- should not deceive anyone into thinking of a sudden conversion to the rawer extremes of drone-based
investigation. On the contrary, Schwingende Luftsäulen is another substantiation of Durand’s wonder for the
primary element of transmission of any form of vibration, the air. Or, perhaps, the air attuned to unusual upper
partial trajectories.
Amidst the plethora of invented instruments this man has grown us accustomed to, the Pan-Ney stands as one of
the most interesting. The tubes that shape it up must be nourished through an oblique position of the performer’s
mouth, thus adding a pinch of technical mystery to the impossible-to-resist charm of the resulting sonorities
(subsequently multiplied - we surmise - by a chain of delays or analogous mechanisms of reiteration).
These seven tracks appear as veritable studies in the gentlest qualities of an oscillating molecular microcosm. In
turn, they lull our cognitive state into standby mode via stratified/stretched tones, or suggest propulsive
figurations enhancing the implicit periodicity of a psychophysical integrity. Ultimately they epitomize the dateless
dance of the vibrating particles across an auditive machinery that is too often left without oil by human beings
always inclined towards other acceptations of the term “acquisition”.
Musicians exist whose talent for making all things sound natural also represents a gift for minds (and, why not,
bodies) overburdened by an ever-growing fatigue. Durand belongs to this category. With the passage of time, his
reliability as a purveyor of soothing acoustic environments has been officially certified; this record renews the
stamps while offering a way out from the oppressive cohabitation with unintelligent egotism.
                                                                                        (Massimo Ricci - Touching Extremes)

Esce per l'etichetta di un vecchio appassionato di avanguardia e minimalismo come Giovanni Antognozzi questo
nuovo lavoro di Werner Durand, uno dei suoi più rigorosi, per certi versi difficile ad un primo ascolto, e che proprio
in virtù di un percorso sonoro talvolta inintelligibile, richiama attenzione, ossia un ascolto più profondo e meno
distratto del solito.
Il titolo in tedesco per noi impronunciabile, in inglese possiede una sonorità più chiara: "Vibrating Air Columns" ed è
tutta opera di uno strumento di sua invenzione: il Pan-Ney, ossia una fascio di tubi o per meglio dire canne
aerofone costruite con vetro acrilico di varie dimensioni e diametro, in cui Werner soffia obliquamente proprio
come i suonatori persiani di flauto Ney. Non ci sono fori, è il soffio e lo sforzo dell'aria che esce dai polmoni a
produrre ottave e armonici. Le sette tracce sono tra loro intrecciate con minime variazioni-oscillazioni-ondulazioni,
anche se un crescendo si avverte nelle ultime due, quasi la necessità di raggiungere un climax prima di svanire nel
silenzio. E' lo stesso corpo del musicista a sembrare in simbiosi con il suo strumento, colonna portante e veicolo da
cui "soffiare" possibili infinite vibrazioni sonore. Il disco è dedicato a Tony Conrad dal cui "Ten Years Alive On The
Infinite Plane", di recente pubblicazione, Werner Durand ha tratto ispirazione. Qualcosa di speciale, per lui e per
noi.
                                                                                        (Gino Dal Soler - Blow Up)


ANTS, A New Timeless Sound // experimental record label established in Rome, Italy, 2001
ANTS REVIEWS