Visiting Musicians Explore Meditative Music in “RAUMexpanded”

Experimenting with jazz tunes, modern classical music and non-western genres, pianist Wolfgang Torkler and percussionist Bertram Lehmann joined together in their first duo-project, “RAUMexpanded.”

Friday night’s debut performance also featured Turkish folk instrumentalist Mehmet Sanlikol, who brought his contemporary take on meditative music to the Cochran Chapel.

The audience was treated to a serene musical atmosphere as Sanlikol played a variety of classical and folk Turkish instruments, in addition to Lehmann and Torkler’s dynamic rhythmic accompaniment.

“Almost all of their music was quiet, meditative and easy to listen to. It was also very complex since a lot of them bring together very different musical disciplines,” wrote James Garth ’13 in an e-mail to The Phillipian.

The trio performed various pieces from their repertoire, including “West,” “Land,” “Luft” and “Raum,” which means air and space in German. According to Lehmann’s explanation during the concert, these simple titles are the only words that can perfectly describe the atmosphere of the pieces.

The trio’s purpose of creating genre-defying chamber music was reflected through the their performance of “Luft” and “Raum,” which had a sense of stillness and repose to them. The echoing acoustics in the Chapel emphasized the minimalism of each of their carefully crafted pieces.

Afterwards, the audience was invited to closely observe and try out Sanlikol’s traditional Turkish instruments.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the concert mainly because of the interesting composition of the music. I was also very excited that I was able to see [Sanlikol’s] instruments—I’ve never heard or seen them before in my life,” said Garth.

Lehmann and Torkler met in the mid-1990s when they were students at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Mass, according to the Press Release. The addition of Sanlikol to the group for “RAUMexpanded” has added a more traditional feel to the group’s music.

The ensemble’s first recording CD will be released in early 2013, according to a “RAUMexpanded” feature article on Berklee’s website.