Safety in Solitude: Upon

«Safety in Solitude« is kind of a diary. For a few weeks I am going to post a piece of my music. Weekly. For you, my dear Backstage-Subscriber. 

The pieces of music will be calm sketches, experimental draws or misty landscapes that did not make it to appear officially yet. Maybe some of them will, some don’t. Maybe. I think they are beautiful as they are. Some of you might know that I am not interested in harmonic melodies that much. What I love are moods and repetitions with their micro alterations which you might not even notice. I am hoping to let you float and give room for own interpretation and imagination. 

For the fist «Safety in Solitude» tracks I am working with the talented photographer from Spain, Juan TRakO.
I asked him for three pictures of his choice… 

Enjoy Upon and Merry Xmas! 
(Headphones recommended) 

Head over to Bandcamp to be Backstage -> Subscribe!

«Where We Meet» Review by SoWhat

Un lungo piano sequenza che si estende disegnando i labili contorni di un ambiente onirico placidamente avvolgente. È questo il risultato dell’incontro tra le istanze sonore di Dominik Grenzler e Stijn Hüwels, connubio virtuale che racconta della volontà di due amici/artisti di sentirsi vicini malgrado i limiti e le difficoltà dell’attuale momento storico.

Fuse in un’unica liquida corrente sonica, le peculiari visioni dei due musicisti danno forma ad una sinuosa traiettoria ipnagogica in cui caldi bordoni trasportano minute risonanze a tratti orientate alla formazione di fragili e luminosi nuclei melodici. È uno sviluppo lento eppure costante, privo di soluzione di continuità che gradualmente rapisce infondendo un quieto stato ipnotico a cui interamente abbandonarsi privi di qualsiasi riserva.

È un accurato lavoro di cesello che conduce alla costruzione di micro stille armoniche prive di consistenza materica aleggianti in uno spazio diafano,  un paesaggio silente libero dalla gravità che offre una preziosa via di fuga da un presente sempre più inquieto ed incerto.  


A long sequence shot that extends to draw the faint outlines of a placidly enveloping dreamlike environment. This is the result of the meeting between the sound demands of Dominik Grenzler and Stijn Hüwels, a virtual union that tells of the desire of two friends / artists to feel close despite the limits and difficulties of the current historical moment. Merged in a single liquid sonic current, the peculiar visions of the two musicians give shape to a sinuous hypnagogic trajectory in which warm drones carry minute resonances at times oriented to the formation of fragile and luminous melodic nuclei. It is a slow yet constant development, without solution of continuity that gradually kidnaps, instilling a quiet hypnotic state to which to abandon oneself entirely without any reserve. It is an accurate chisel work that leads to the construction of harmonic micro drops without material consistency floating in a diaphanous space, a silent landscape free from gravity that offers a precious escape from an increasingly restless and uncertain present.

Review by Headphone Commute

In yesterday’s Out Today column for November 6th, I briefly mentioned a new record by An Moku & Stijn Hüwels, but I actually meant to write a little more about it. As you can see from that very small sampling of music coming out these days, it is absolutely impossible for me to listen to every single album, let alone cover each one in detail. And so the best float to the top. Speaking of floating – it is precisely the feeling I get when playing through this gorgeous half-an-hour piece [in fact, it is often left on repeat, to play for an hour, and sometimes for two]. James Murray‘s newly launched Lifelines digital series of releases has graced us with music, with art, and with words, most recently appearing on these pages with Mathieu Karsenti‘s Downstream Blue EP. And yet this new collaboration between Dominik Grenzler[that’s An Moku’s real name] and Stijn Hüwels is something else entirely. Born out of the exchange of ideas [yes, during this lockdown], Where We Meet is a magnificent exploration of texture and tone, often approaching the spiritual, the angelic, and the divine. Microfibers of elemental particles sparkle and drift through the marvelous ambiance of abundant reverb, expanding harmonics, and minimal piano [?] notes. This atmosphere continuously evolves and moves and whispers, like an early morning mist, spreading substance through vapor and breeze. “Here, on the duo’s first collaboration together, carefully weighted melodic gestures and micro-textured sound design merge effortlessly with long-form, widescreen ambient drone, resulting in a dreamy and beautifully judged display of integrity and restraint.” It’s a gem of a track, even as a single release for the series.  And it’s only enhanced by the art from June Murray and the mastering touch by Ian Hawgood on his analog gear. Give this a play, and I’m sure you’ll be looping this track all through the winter. Lots of encouragement from my side for a full-length release!

Where We Meet

“Many are in need of a lifeline today. Where We Meet will pull you to safety.”

Yesterday I have released a piece of music with my friend Stijn Hüwels who started this work with a record of a wonderful guitar drone. To be honest, this piece of music is the first collaboration during the lockdown and it is not a pessimistic one. «Where We Meet» stands for friendship, hope and a steadfast creative spirit through unusual times.

Fluid Radio wrote about «Where We Meet»:…/an-moku-stijn-huwels…/…

And mentioned by the Headphone Commute:

A testimonial by Francis M Gri:
 This album is something special…delicate and so deeply emotional. It’s always a pleasure to listen to music made with heart…
Fully recommended!

A Making-Of will follow…

Meanwhile, enjoy!

Stan Pete: 8 Kostbarkeiten

Sein Klang-Koffer ist die Ausgangsbasis für seine Musik. Je nach Projekt bestückt er ihn neu mit Synthesizermodulen. Klangerzeuger und -verbieger, zwischen modernster Elektronik, Kinderspielzeug und Beinah-Elektroschrott. Dies alles verbindet er mit Patchkabeln zusammen zu Kompositionen und Improvisationen. Als Rahmen sind ungefähr 5 Minuten vorgegeben. Statische und rhythmische Stücke, elektronische und akustische Klänge erzählen die experimentellen modularen Gedanken.

Phimola (Backstage Exclusive)

Good evening! Today I have released my new 2 track Single (ca. 36min) for my Subscribers on Bandcamp called Phimola. Phimola was made very early in the morning at 4am. It is a mellow, piano based, evolving piece of music. Just lean back and start the night☕️🎧😊
Huge thx to my friend and photographer Juan @trakojuan📸 and the beautiful Pilar @phi_mo_la💐

Subscribe. Thank you: PHIMOLA

Co-Being (Backstage Exclusive)

«Co-Being (A Statement)» ist wahrscheinlich mein düsterstes Stück. Ich habe es im Auftrag für die Künstlerin Elisabeth Nold-Schwarz komponiert und hatte freie Hand. «Co-Being» widerspiegelt die Vorkommnisse der letzten Wochen, die uns allen mehr als bekannt sind. Es sind nur paar wenige Tage vergangen, seit dem ich das Stück das letzte Mal in voller Länge gehört habe, jedoch, durch die unternommene Kürzung hat es sich entwickelt. Entfaltet. Ich sehe es als sehr viel heller und ermutigender an. Das gefällt mir! 

Co-Being. Wir leben nebeneinander. Leider oft nicht miteinander. Informationen und Dinge werden ausgetauscht. Sie werden wahrgenommen, ein- und ausgeblendet. Miss-, verstanden oder nicht verstanden. Räume werden beansprucht. Allein, gemeinsam. Gewollt, ungewollt. Es entstehen Meinungen. In differenzierten Lautstärkeverhältnissen. Trotz aller Beklemmung lasse ich zum Schluss die obligatorische Hoffnung im Fade-out. Warum? Weil wir «ohne» nicht existieren können. Hoffnung ist schön. Es gibt sie eigentlich immer und so auch einen Weg… 

Ich habe lange überlegt, ob ich den Schritt der Exklusivität machen soll oder nicht und habe mich dafür entschieden. Ich denke, dass im Zeitalter, in dem so ziemlich alles möglichst gratis zu sein hat, man sich durchaus mit dem Rücken dagegen stellen und gegen den Strom schwimmen darf. Das habe ich so immer gemacht. Und Du hörst diese Musik wie sie ist und bist hier auf meiner Webpage und liest, was ich schreibe. Ich danke dir dafür. Falls Du gern alles hören möchtest, das andere nicht zu Ohren bekommen werden, so HIER. «Co-Being» ist solch ein exklusives Musikstück und es kommt mehr… Viel Vergnügen!

Of Mirrors

This album is a cooperation between AN MOKU and Virlyn. «Of Mirrors» has an organic element. The album is for explorers, while the sounds settle in being extremely meditative, surreal, and ambient. The Artists take old classical instruments and use them as acoustic drones while acquiring and manipulating specific elements of the sounds for each song. The phrase ‘Nature is beautiful’ is a purveying interpretation for the listener here. As they hear slow waves, and other ‘found’ sound samples, played alongside the dirgeful drones and scattered bits of solemn strings, «Of Mirrors» brings out the beauty in a natural progression. Quiet ambient soundscapes for electronics, piano, strings and field recordings. «Of Mirrors» has been recorded from November 2011 until March 2012. 

«After finishing it, we kept the album in our secret place until today. We hope you enjoy it. Thanks to all the participants, our families, friends and our great, great listeners!» :-) 

This album is released in cooperation with David Newman’s label Audibulb:

Electronics, instrumental and field recordings by AN MOKU 
Electronics by Virlyn 
Mixing by Virlyn 
Mastering by Weldroid

All instrumental and field recordings captured in Switzerland and Iceland 
Ending of ‘Frost’ captured during an orchestral warm up session at Harpa, Reykjavik 

Swiss Performers: 
Piano by Cornellia Stromeyer 
Violin by Orina Zänerle 
Cello by Jacki Knöpfel 

Modified vocal sample taken from -The Seventh Seal- by Bergman, 1957 

Photography: Dominik Grenzler, Reykjavik, January 2012