Kurt Riemann - Composer

Composer Kurt Riemann creates his own work at Surreal Studios in Anchorage. His albums include Nightworks, The Wizard of Oz, Gaia, and Alaska. Riemann has produced well over one hundred albums for other artists, writes dozens of jingles every year, and scores original soundtracks for Alaskan documentaries. These include most videos for Alaskan Public Television and the last four NBC Iditarod specials. He is currently finishing his fifth CD based on his recent work, Iditarod.

Kurt Riemann has been creating a unique style of electronic music most of his life. From age nine when he got his hands on a small reel to reel and began manipulating electronic sounds, he has been refining his skills as a composer and interpreter of the world of sound and music. In his studio, he has a virtuosic control over sound that provides a liberating channel for the exciting sounds and textures that are unique to his style.

His first album, Nightworks, was the culmination of all his studies in classical interpretation and synthesis. Released in 1983, it was the result of four years of exacting work with some very flexible but difficult to handle analog synthesis systems. For this album he synthesized the entire score of Ravel's Bolero. Wendy Carlos simply called it "one of the best." It was released independently on his own Nightworks label and was immediately picked up by the German label Innovative Communications (IC). One cut was included on a release with Laurie Anderson and Tangerine Dream.

His second, The Wizard of Oz (recently re-released on CD), was a much lighter foray into the whimsical world of Oz. Originally synthesized for a stage production, it was released on its own in 1985. In it he captured the historical traits of the original music, but retained the fantastic imaginary quality of the film and children's books.

His third release, Gaia, is a sonic landscape of the Earth. With Gaia, Riemann came fully into his own as a serious composer. The idea for Gaia has been gestating for ten years and he now had the tools to complete it. He had begun to explore the possibilities of using complex textures as a significant compositional element, relying more on the computer to help in the manipulation of sound during the transfer to the tape/mixing stage, bringing new depth into the music.

Alaska is the most recently available title. With Alaska he explores the possibilities of using his home state as an inspiration to his composition. Unique sound combinations engage the listener through such pieces as Aurora and the whale inspired Sounding. Alaska is his most expressively detailed w that original spark that has driven all of his other releases, the totally unique sound of Kurt Riemann.