Anton Bruhin – Geschwister Bär

Geschwister Bär LP front cover
Geschwister Bär LP back cover
Geschwister Bär LP side 1

Born 1949, Swiss painter, palindrome maestro, sound poet and jew’s harp (or Trümpi) virtuoso Anton Bruhin recorded some of the most art-damaged sound experiments of the country between the 1970s and 1980s. Sound-wise, his philosophy and aesthetic is close to that of Jean Dubuffet’s Musique Chauve, or Bald Music, a term coined by French art critic and Satie biographer Jean-Pierre Armingaud to describe Dubuffet’s anarchistic, untaught and uncategorized music experiments. Alga Marghem unearthed several LPs worth of Bruhin’s archive tapes, but this one was, for some reason, not credited, though it seems safe to attribute the crazy Geschwister Bär sound collage to Anton Bruhin, as he appears on the cover picture as the teenager on the left with the “1949” mention. The record, issued 1999, is said to be limited to 99 copies. To add to the confusion, that same year, the label also released an LP titled Geschwister Akre. with the same reference number, namely Alga 6.

♫ The 2 tracks are relentless, unceremonious collages of lo-fi archive tapes, occasionally involving a group of children having fun, but mostly played by grown-up, robust Swiss citizens. Presumably some of these tapes date from Bruhin’s childhood in the 1960s, while the rest of the material is from various recording sessions, solo or collective jams. The “Recorded 1967” tag on the front cover can’t plausibly apply to the entire LP. A portion of the recordings are Swiss traditionals and include Ländlermusik or rural Swiss folk songs, chorale, yodeling, Schwyzeroergeli accordion, violin fiddling, etc. But the local tradition is contrasted with furious electric guitar riffs, awkward flute improvisation, turntable playing Rock’n’roll LPs or military marching music, electric shaver, and so on. These ferocious juxtapositions form a remarkable twofold provocation towards traditionalists and avantgarde buffs alike.

01 Geschwister Bär – side 1 (18:15)
02 Geschwister Bär – side 2 (21:24)

Total time 39:39
LP released by Alga Marghen, ref. Alga 6, Italy, 1999


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10 Responses to “Anton Bruhin – Geschwister Bär”

  1. 1 Flash Games February 28, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Thank you..really informative!!

  2. 2 Bodhi Amol February 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I am a big fan of Bruhin (especially his trümpi playing, but not only),so this rare find is very welcome…

  3. 3 Lucky February 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    bodhi amol is writing from my heart, i too love bruhin as a very versatile jew’s harp player, and he’s an uncompromising original avantgardist and very unique poet.

    ubuweb has some his works, too – including a rare album dedicated to the work of art brut-ist adolf wölfli, “gelesen und vertont”, with poems and songs by bruhin.

    mutant sounds has his famous “von goldabfischer”, and i posted his 1st trümpi cd on the psychic hut.


  4. 4 Lucky February 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    continuo – merci for putting this on the map, of course. a real pleasure. :)

  5. 5 nan March 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    thanks! i actually have a copy of this lp, and i am delighted to find a rip of it. i was already a fan of bruhin’s alga marghen releases when this came out, and the description just sounded so vague/odd/mysterious, i knew i had to have it.

  6. 6 continuo March 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Thank you all for the comments. Geschwister Bär is arguably one of the more mysterious releases on Alga Marghen.

  7. 7 Lucky March 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    from the approach it reminded me very much of john zorn’s first recordings 1973-74, a bit more folky and humorous, but with a similar diy-attitude. the yodelling + accordion is wonderful. the collaboration with the kids is absolutely stunning – as anarchic as it can get with a genius playing with children. :D

  8. 8 continuo March 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    An apt description of the Geschwister Bär LP, Lucky. Did you post these Zorn first recordings you mention – I assume on the Parachute label?

  9. 9 Lucky March 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    zorn issued these private recordings in 1995 on tzadik. you’re right about assuming it was on chadbourne’s parachute label – zorn’s first release came out on it, a double album with one album each to chadbourne and zorn, it’s called “school” (and has been posted just recently at the pukekos blog, incl. scans with extended liner notes).

  10. 10 lepilleurdepaves December 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Any chance to have it re-up ?

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