I am a graphic designer, electronic musician and filmmaker based in Seattle, WA. USA. I have been interested in electronic music since 1980.
I am also co-founder, curator, artist and graphic designer for Ember Music, an international, artist-run electronic music label.
- Current Project -
I am currently working on the Weekly Beats 2014 project.
- Official Releases -
Kodama (Kurt Lorenz Remix) • February 2014
«While listening to the first granular clouds of sound of "kodama" one could search the internet to find out what the original meaning of the title is that has been processed in ten amazingly different ways by ten different remixers. the almighty internet will respond, that a "kodama" is a tree ghost (and sometimes also the tree itself that houses such a creature) in japanese mythology. but by then you could have derived this already from the sounds and spheres in the title track itself.
a remix album that consists of 12 tracks based on only one (and such a fragile) song could easily fail conceptually. but not here! something very rare happens here instead: the remix artists augment the original mood and prevailing atmosphere of the basis track by adding new layers and aspects instead of varying the same loops and phrases again and again. they complement the fragments in their own, individual ways and supply additional elements, just like a painting evolves from a sketch or characters in a good tv show mature with every episode. twigs are snapped. branches are creaking and crack. leaves crinkle in the background and occasionally the tree ghosts are even dancing. and when they do, they do this in a their own quirky but nevertheless fascinating way.
instead of being a mere collection of variations as one might suggest, "the kodama remixes" is a surprising album which enriches the eponymous title track by one untold aspect after the other. at the same time this album is the documentation of an impressive creative process that sometimes is still present in today's electronic music and results in such surprising and great releases every now and then.»
«Very interesting collection of different interpretations of AN MOKU’s composition. The Album “Kodama Remixes“ is certainly not a patchwork of random remixes, but was created in fact a real album.»
A kodama (木霊 or 木魂) is a spirit living in a tree. During my stay in Japan in 2012 I once observed raindrops crashing down onto the ground of a shrine nearby a mighty forest. This being so inspiring made me develop the idea of creating a track about this impression. Do not mention that I tried to picture Princess Mononoke’s small, white humanoids with large, rattling heads and mask-like features, similar to bobble heads or just owls sitting in trees. An amazing moment captured in this track.
After releasing «How to catch STILLE?» in 2013 (a remix album of STILLE and a charity project for people with hearing loss involving 30 different artists and musicians) the idea of releasing a one track remix album evolved. Kodama was this single basis track as a starting point. So I began gathering alternative versions of this track created by my great artist friends and here we are finally. Enjoy!
Kurt Lorenz (embermusic.com)
Kid Schurke (schurke.ch)
Shxzet Division (soundcloud.com/shazetdivision)
Stan Pete (stanpete.de)
Foto: Dominik Grenzler
Her meaning is muted • March 2013
Bonus track from How to catch STILLE? by AN MOKU & Various
"The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus-- the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man."
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Kurt Lorenz is an electronic musician and Creative Media Specialist based in Seattle, WA. He is also co-founder of Ember Music, an international, artist-run electronic music label. Kurt has been making music in one form or another since 1985. You can learn more about Kurt and the Ember Music label here: www.embermusic.com
ABOUT THE TRACK:
"Her Meaning is Muted" is an ambient improv piece that I created upon hearing of my mother's passing. I immediately turned to Ableton Live and this piece just happened. It is actually two independent tracks, improvised in two individual single takes. The title relates to the fact that I had not spoken to my mother in the 9 years before her passing.... our relationship was strained from the beginning.... she was always very cold and distant.... and I was struggling to feel any deep sadness at her passing.... thus her meaning is muted."
Mastering by Weldroid (1-9, 19-20, 24-25)
Cover Artwork by Sara Hochuli
Foto by Dominik Grenzler
Special Thanks to Valentina Vuksic and Weldroid
18 March 2013
last year on earth EP • January 2014
Composed, performed & mixed by Kurt Lorenz
Released by: Ember Music
Release/catalogue number: EMBRep007
Release date: Jan 15, 2014
Isaz EP • January 2013
Isaz is a four track EP of experiments in sound, processed loops and field recordings. Most of these tracks were created between January and September 2009.
ISAZ – TRACK BY TRACK
01. This is just my voice
This is just a looping, processed sample of me saying “this is just my voice”
Processed sample of a train running through Carkeek Park in Seattle, WAUSA. This track was recorded with an M-Audio MicroTrack II digital recorder using the standard t-microphone. I used Ableton Live 6 for processing through an Auto Filter, a Simple Delay and a Resonator.
This is the soundtrack to a memory. Flying in my fathers small plane from Buffalo. NY to Batavia, IL. when I was 6 years old. A mix of excitement and utter dread. I feel like I captured those feelings in this track.
Original Experimental Music/Sound (by Kurt Lorenz) made completely on the iPhone using BeatMaker, NLogSynth, and iGendyn. (Slo-Mo Vocalizations are from the videos audio track.) Each app was recorded directly into an audio channel in Ableton Live and some basic mixing/compression applied. This track is the soundtrack to an experimental film I created entitled “Eye” you can see the video below or here: www.vimeo.com/5243888
All sounds conceptualized, recorded, programmed and mixed by Kurt Lorenz between January and September 2009.
Released by: Ember Music
Release/catalogue number: EMBRep004
Release date: Jan 01, 2013
Golden Gardens - "Swirl" Æthelwulf (Noble Wolf) Mix • November 2012
Swirl is the lead track from the album "How Brave the Hunted Wolves" by Golden Gardens, available from Neon Sigh November 13, 2012 - visit www.neonsigh.com/artists/golden-gardens/ for more info.
Golden Gardens is a Seattle, WA. duo comprised of Gregg Alexander Joseph Neville (Bass, Drums, Guitar, keyboards, Synths) and Aubrey Rachel Violet Bramble (Vocals, lyrics)
Remix by Kurt Lorenz
Released by: Ember Music
Release/catalog number: EMBRsngl001
The General Analysis of Nature EP • March 2011
The General Analysis of Nature is the first official release by Seattle based designer and Ember Music co-founder Kurt Lorenz.
“The General Analysis of Nature”, the first EP by artist Kurt Lorenz is a challenging and fascinating undertaking of five tracks, each of which plays as a micro-journey through a realm of physics. Separate, each track is a complete idea that is realized by extrapolating a sound-element that acts as a guide. Together, the tracks commune and interweave as microcosms of the multifaceted scope of the nature of the world.
"Magnetic Moment" opens with a mysterious, hoppy looping synth. The synth acts as a conveyance through the track; Lorenz lets his sound linger and then bursts it open by bringing in a dark, intense bass synth and a driving percussion, all the while impelling the listener to hear that continually gyrating theme. The track is an omen of what's to come and an exciting first offering that blends synthetics and physics and pulls the listener through a corridor of sound.
"Eigenvalue", the second track, is introduced by an oscillating, unsettling synth that tunnels through the ear like a worm. That insidious sound is underwritten by a steady rhythm and light, airy synths. The piece whirls through brain like a dervish. I had a sense of ants in an open field at dawn, working madly in their tiny, intricate worlds. This track is successful because of its combination of the large and small-- the oscillating synth, the strong beat, and the major themes. All move together smoothly, albeit uneasily, but Lorenz has another surprise in store for his listeners: roughly two-thirds into the track, just as the listener begins to settle in with the sounds he's been surrounded by, a voice sample overlays those sounds, intoning: "For we have become a people, indeed, a whole world dependent upon the technology, the enormous sophisticated complex technology that we have created. Yet despite our depending on it, most of us know next to nothing about how it works or how it fails to work." The sense of unease that permeates the ear suddenly makes sense: in a world where art and music are so augmented by technology and where that technology has become an integral part of the creative process, what happens if that same technology collapses?
"Resonant Sway", the third track, begins with a method that is similar to the preceding tracks: a singular sound (in this case, a looming liquid reverberation) that opens the piece acts as a unifying thread. Here Lorenz layers a more upbeat, almost danceable rhythm under his thread, and listeners are treated to a surreal, arboreal experience. When the "sound thread" fades away, one feels a sense of arrival and abandonment and it's as though he's been tunneled into the depths of a forest and left to experience its offerings in solitude. It makes for a simultaneously disquieting and somehow pleasant experience.
The fourth track, "Soliton", opens with an organ-like synth, and this time Lorenz gently introduces the percussion and a bright but soft synth as transport. After the jarring, percussive experiences of "Resonant Sway" and "Eigenvalue", "Soliton" feels gentle and uplifting. The listener becomes joyously aware of Lorenz's ability to soothe as well as unnerve. This particular journey feels astral, subliminal, and steady.
The final track, "Alfvén" is evocative and pensive, with bells and a string-like synth acting as a vessel through its layers of sound, combining dark and light, mechanical and musical, busy and calm. The track dissects itself and places itself back together again. It's an intricate and deft distillation of the restless mood of the EP, and a beautiful coda to the album as a whole.
All in all: deeply thoughtful. Lots of layers to analyze, fun for the listener who enjoys connecting with sounds and physics. Want to propose a theory as to the general meaning of a pattern? Try out “Eigenvalue” or “Magnetic Moment”. Want to meditate? Go for the eerie underworld of “Resonant Sway” or the beauty of “Soliton”. Again, not for the pop of heart, but for the thoughtful person who likes an aural puzzle, this EP is a pleasure to hear, again and again.”
Read the review on Dovetail
Conceived and recorded between February 5, and February 25, 2010 as part of the RPM Challenge. (www.rpmchallenge.com)
Album art by Kurt Lorenz
Released by: Ember Music
Release/catalogue number: EMBRep001
Originally self released 25 February 2010
Re-released by Ember Music 21 March 2011
Filament - single • January 2011
My wife Elbereth Lorenz for her patience and infectious laughter, Bill Bendrot for helping make a life-long dream come true in the shape of Ember Music and all of the amazing artists who have joined us on this journey.
Composed, produced and mixed by Kurt Lorenz
Mastered by Bill Bendrot
Released by: Ember Music
Release/catalogue number: EMBRcomp001
Release date: 01 January 2011
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