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Ten Rings of Saturn

by Matthew Schickele

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Ring One 14:01
Ring Two 10:33
Ring Three 05:56
Ring Four 11:27
Ring Five 06:38
Ring Six 14:19
Ring Seven 18:43
Ring Eight 13:03
Ring Nine 11:10
Ring Ten 15:21


'Ten Rings of Saturn' grew from a collaboration with the visual artist Jane Benson ( janebenson.net ). Benson took W.G. Sebald’s novel “The Rings of Saturn” and carefully cut out every bit of text that did NOT make a solfège syllable (do, re, mi fa, sol, la, ti, do). What remained was essentially a novel-length skeleton of a musical score—notes for the singers to sing, from the newly-revealed solfège.

These final recordings are a combination of composition, guided improvisation, and audio collage.

Benson’s artworks—ten beautiful framed works, one for each chapter—were displayed, along with headphones playing the accompanying music, in galleries in Zürich, New York, and the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.

Ten Rings of Saturn is a meditative, slowly developing exploration of texture and imagination. The dynamics and mood changes loosely follow the story and musings of Sebald’s book.

Total time ~2 hours


released June 21, 2019

Hai-Ting Chinn, mezzo; Tomás Cruz, voice; Joe Chappel, bass
Acoustic & electronic instruments: Matthew Schickele
Recorded and mixed by Matthew Schickele
Mastered by Nathan James at Vault Mastering
Cover art by Jane Benson




Matthew Schickele New York, New York

Matthew Schickele organizes sound: chamber music, vocal music, songs, and electronic music for ensembles, bands, and the stage.

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