Hybrid label and collective, New York.

Cultivated Sound is a hybrid between a collective and label in Brooklyn, New York. We are focusing on showcasing artists locally and internationally. Our mission is constantly evolving as we strive to integrate programs with collaborators and residents. To cultivate music as sound and introduce new music breaking genres.

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“The three of us are daughters after all,” says
Marie-Claire Schlameus, cello-player and one- third of the experimental band toechter (German for‘daughters’). Composed of musicians Lisa Marie Vogel, Katrine Grarup Elbo and Marie-Claire Schlameus, toechter is a playground of sort where the three women collectively research the possibilities of their string instruments – viola, violi and violoncello. United by a common ancestrality in the classical tradition, their collective desire way to create a dialogue that stemmed from, but surpassed their roots. Pushing hard on the boundaries of sound design with their bows and strings, toechter’s debut album Zephyr is thus born, capturing the force and synergy of the band through twelve tracks of mesmerizing electronic-acoustic music.


Artist: Toechter
Title: Zephyr
Formats: Digital,
12“ Vinyl
Release Date: 03.18.2022
Label: Edition DUR
Genre: Electronic, acoustic, ambient

When it comes to showcasing the potential of  string instruments, Zephyr is a vast and dazzling  library. Forget your typical heart-tugging bowed melodies (although there is some of that in there  too) and enter the world of glissandos and  pizzicatos, of percussion created by knocks, claps  and rubs on the instrument’s wooden bodies. “It’s such a wide territory to explore,” says toechter.  And that’s only half of it, the possibilities become  truly limitless when their sound gets modified by  pedals - what the band refer to as their ‘fourth  instrument’ – and post-production. The technical prowess of seamlessly blending the acoustic and  electronic in Zephyr can’t be understated. In line with artists such as Mica Levy, Kelsey Lu and Laurie Anderson, toechter manipulates the vibrations at  times almost breaking their very fabric.

“We are big  fans of handcrafts of all kinds where there is a commitment to the technique,” says toechter, “we also wanted to get nerdy with the technical side of  our music”.

Composed with a singer songwriter approach, it’s the closest to pop music that Zephyr gets, with Marie softly murmuring lyrics over hazy, dreamy textures. It might feel more conventional for the listener, but for toechter, whose members have always worked within the boundaries of instrumental and avant- garde music, composing it definitely felt experimental, “The track captures very honestly this excitement we had of trying something new. Something that we wouldn’t have felt comfortabl enough to try out before,” they explain.

The trial pays off; the delicacy of the track epitomizes something unique to the band; their ability to stay both light and deep at every turn. There isn’t an overarching narrative to Zephyr, but it does seem like tracks unfold into each other like an unconscious stream-of-thought. Given that all songs on the album were built on from previous improvisation sessions between the band’s three members, parts of the journey feel like a jam session where ideas are being added in the spur of the moment, “The mood of the song was always created by improvisation.

 It was sort of a dialogue, or diary we kept of our feelings on any given day, explains toechter. After reaching far and wide with their thoughts, feelings and musical explorations. Zephyr ends on a solemn note that tributes the magnificence of the three string instruments that enabled it. Recorded as a one-take improvisation session, and printed on tape leaving no room for post-production whatsoever, Epilogue is the album’s most classically inspired track. With its wafting and longing strings it captures a certain purity, a tender simplicity in the three women’s synergy. Every sound feels full-bodied and  warm, likely due to the superior acoustics of Saal 3  at Funkhaus Berlin where most of Zephyr’s instrumental passages were recorded. The rest of  the album was worked at the studio of veteran electronic artist, Apparat, also in Berlin. It was there that toechter recorded most percussive  elements developing a vast drum sample library  that they would draw on during post-production  together with Apparat band member, Philipp Johann Thimm.

 Composed of musicians
Lisa Marie Vogel,
Katrine Grarup Elbo,
Marie-Claire Schlameus,
Released on Edition Edition