Over a period of five years, Swiss filmmakers Norbert Wiedmer and Peter Guyer followed producer Manfred Eicher and the artists of ECM around the world. In footage from Estonia, Tunisia, Germany, France, Denmark, Greece, Argentina and elsewhere, their documentary movie “Sounds and Silence”, has captured aspects of the music-making process at ECM, and provided glimpses of unique players and composers at work. Amongst the artists included: Arvo Pärt, Eleni Karaindrou, Dino Saluzzi and Anja Lechner, Anouar Brahem, Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia, Marilyn Mazur, Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Kim Kashkashian, Jan Garbarek and others.
The Edition of Contemporary Music is in the realm of sound what Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s “Andere Bibliothek”, published by Eichborn, is in the realm of words: a sponsor of the intelligent and the extraordinary. Manfred Eicher represents music that refuses to be merely consumed and musicians with colourful lives, convictions and outstanding abilities. This is the world we want our audience to see and hear. In the era of casting shows and drawing-board stars, videoclip inflation, audio pollution and commercial omnipresence, we want to present music in different pictures and images in different sounds, create visual worlds, not string together snapshots, explore single notes, not reproduce instant sounds – and provide space for silence, too. Not showcase a finished product but accompany the birth of music, study its conditions and figure out its meaning: discovering people, following moods, finding explanations, capturing sounds – and summarizing the details in a larger whole, a concerted journey through landscapes of sound.” (from the linernotes written by filmmakers Guyer and Wiedmer)