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Austrian Heartbeats # 02
Price: € 11,99
WWE 1CD 50005

Austrian Heartbeats # 02

Peter Jakober Ab 10:42 Share
Hannes Kerschbaumer abbozo V 17:51 Share
Marco Döttlinger interieur I 09:15 Share
Peter Jakober in Stille 15:07 Share
Manuela Meier String Quartet no. 1 - parapente, achillea 08:37 Share
Marco Döttlinger sans nuages I 03:42 Share
Marco Döttlinger sans nuages II 03:54 Share
Total Time 01:09:08
Digital Booklet - only with album
Austrian Kaleidoscope, the 2nd!
Georg Friedrich Haas believes that “just as there is no guarantee of happiness in life, there is no recipe for art.” The creative process itself has many obstacles, but the path to presenting a composition to a wider public can also be quite rocky – and this phase also holds no guarantee of success. Reason enough to launch a CD series featuring contributions by young music creators selected by renowned curators. Guided by microtonal layers, the composer Georg Friedrich Haas has followed his own creative path, and as a lecturer at international universities he guides aspiring representatives of his craft in the pursuit of finding their own artistic language. This compilation, which was hand-picked by Haas, speaks to the variety of individual approaches by these young composers: Marco Döttlinger, Peter Jakober, Hannes Kerschbaumer, and Manuela Meier. Although this show of musical force strives to reach a larger audience, it is still no guarantee for an increase in recognition. It is, at best, an incentive to make further projects a reality.
The Curator: Georg Friedrich Haas
The 61 year-old Graz-born composer and curator of this new edition of the Austrian Heartbeats CD series, Georg Friedrich Haas, is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Grand Austrian State Prize, the International Composition Prize of Salzburg, the Ernst Krenek Prize, the City of Vienna Prize for Music, the Andrzej Dobrowolski Composition Award, and many more. The artist, whose micro-tonal layers have gained him legions of followers throughout the world, is an active and avid supporter of young composers in search of their own musical language. In September 2013, Georg Friedrich Haas joined Columbia University’s composition faculty in New York where he currently serves as the MacDowell Professor of Music.
The Composers
The music of the four composers selected by Georg Friedrich Haas for this compilation defies categorization, and as such provides a wonderful illustration of the genre-crossing diversity that this series was designed to highlight. Two compositions by Marco Döttlinger, who, incidentally, was the 1,000th composer to be inducted into the music austria Database, are on this compilation: “sans nuages“ and “interieur I.” On one hand, Döttlinger creates new sound concoctions by combining electronic and acoustic instruments, and on the other hand, he camouflages the individual tonal identities of an accordion, a viola, and the voice of a countertenor, as is the case in “sans nuages.” Peter Jakober contrasts mechanical precision with the constant asynchrony of the performers. The paths between musical extremes that Hannes Kerschbaumer takes are manifold, and in doing so he manages to fabricate memories of what has supposedly been heard before. And the sound reservoirs that composer Manuela Meier creates are continuously subjected to manipulation and alteration.
Marco Döttlinger
At first, the short tones that follow each other in increasingly shorter intervals conceal which instruments are actually being played; even the number of instruments can only be guessed at. The violin and accordion are later joined by an alto, which is just as oblique in terms of revealing the sound origin of “sans nuages,” when Marco Dottlinger merges various sound generators into one. The act of distortion is even more extreme in electronic compositions: The spectra of a different sound or instrument are extracted from instrumental sounds or noise, which results in a new sound which has its origins in the mutual interdependences between several elements. Regardless of whether or not electronics are involved, Dottlinger tackles the task of creating a sonic organism in which one can move around non-semantically. By focusing on the sonic level, the origins of which might even remain unrecognizable, he challenges listeners to create correlations themselves.

Dottlinger goes a step further in terms of channeling modes of listening with his on-site installations: to a certain degree, the audience contributes to a piece by moving around within the space. He surrenders the authority of dictating to listeners what meaning they should find in his compositions, and encourages them to develop their own interpretations.

At the same time this does not rule out that some of his works are meticulously conceptualized and shaped. For example, the temporal level in each of the four parts of “interieur” for solo cello remains the same, whereas the pitch and material scales vary. In this sense, compositional concepts and sonic starting points are by all means relevant with regard to setting a process in motion – for the acoustic experience it is however only the individual experience that counts.


Peter Jakober
Comprehensible rhythmic patterns set in right from the beginning. However, as soon as you feel safely ensconced in predictability, the patterns slowly begin to drift apart and withdraw from the supposed clarity.

The performers also turn towards that which is essentially human: Jakober counters mechanical accuracy with the phenomenon of constant non-simultaneity of the performers by applying elaborate inaccuracies, which also incorporate differing rhythmic overlays of the compositions. “in Stille” traces the development from the human to the machine: The recording of the choir, as the most human of all instruments, and the breathing sounds of the organ pipes are delayed and sped up, thus creating a synthetic counterpart to the live performance. With the tension between the predictable and the unpredictable, between man and machine, Jakober devotes himself to the longing for beats, which he locates on a tonal level and transmits through slow shifts of unequal tempi. Jakober occasionally draws on mathematical patterns as an organizing principle. Rather than using formulas that would be too recognizable, he uses irreproducible prime number relationships. Specified structures serve only to simultaneously disguise the regulative system.

Every now and then the identity of individual instruments is revealed, such as the identity of the zithers in “Ab,” as is the relationship between stage and audience, when the location of the performers allows the sound to wander through the space. The tonal areas, which are often ornamented with glissandi or arpeggio chords, constitute the starting point for “Ab,” creating tension between the various instruments, their divergent tempi and the ever progressing movement.


Hannes Kerschbaumer
Noisy scratching on the strings on the one hand, and clear tones on the other create the sonic extremes that collide in Hannes Kerschbaumer’s “abbozzo V.” In other instances, they continuously pass through various stages from one state to the other.

The range between these extremes – noise and clarity of sound – allows for an event horizon with an exhaustive linearity. Between the dense timbres of the strings, the clear tones of a quarter tone accordion come to the fore. Have these sounds been heard before or is this the first time the instrument makes an appearance?

Questions like these generate insecurity with regard to one’s own perception and reveal that which has been heretofore played in a new light – thus engendering a reevaluation. At the same time this back-and-forth piques the listener’s curiosity in terms of what is still to come. “Sketch” is the English translation of the series “abbozzo.” Regarding the composition as unfinished or a rough predecessor of actual works would not do justice to the meticulously detailed structures and sounds. It is more appropriate to regard the organic developments as variations that move between the extremes. Perhaps it is also the fragmentary remembrance of past sounds or even the memory that is constantly changing due to the newly occurring events. Kerschbaumer understands composing not only in the literal sense of putting together, but also as decomposing.

In his series “.debris” he deals with physical models of decomposing processes. Figuratively speaking, with the decomposing of sounds. Initially, individual sonic impulses begin to dissolve increasingly. In its extreme consequence, this idea would lead to white noise – though the composer states he has not yet reached this point. Regardless, he delves into sonic spheres that one would not have thought the instruments capable of reaching.


Manuela Meier
Manuela Meier’s compositions are based on the idea of immersing oneself in a different world, in an ecosystem of sounds, which requires orientation at first. The titles of her acoustic compositions, such as “String Quartet no. 1 – parapente, achillea,” are metaphors taken from the plant world, but without romanticized depictions of nature. The electroacoustic composition “refract.ed” consists of earthquake data which has been rendered audible.

Despite the fact that the examination of biological and geological structures is at the core of these compositions, the works are based on purely musical considerations. The composer exposes this sound reservoir to impulses that subject the events to organic changes, which trigger developments that are comprehensible, but may also bring about the unexpected. Meier devotes herself to the process of change on two levels: On the one hand, there is the compositional question of how sounds themselves interact with each other; on the other hand, Meier is also intensely dedicated to the listener and the performer and all the conditions that must be met to enable a tuning in to and acclimatisation to a new sonic environment. Again, the key lies in ecological thinking: Viewing the sonic subject matter from different angles fosters a compelling development that is hard to escape.


mica – music austria and Austrian Music Export
The Austrian Music Information Center mica – music austria is the foremost source of information on contemporary Austrian music of all genres, and provides career guidance and counseling for Austria-based musicians and composers. mica – music austria’s free services include career- and legal advice, workshops, online services such as the music austria Database (db.musicaustria.at), the music austria sheet music shop (shop.musicaustria.at), micatonal, the internet radio station for contemporary music from Austria (db.musicaustria.at/micatonal), as well as the online music magazine – all of which are geared toward promoting austrian music. In conjunction with the Austrian Music Fund, mica – music austria has also launched Austrian Music Export which carries out international networking and promotion projects. The organization regularly hosts panel discussions and conference events, such as the Waves Vienna Conference, the Popfest Wien Sessions, or symposia, as within the framework of the Wien Modern Festival.

The hidden strength of Austria’s current musical landscape lies in its niches. As is the case in other artistic genres, Austria’s musicians don’t always produce easily accessible fare, and the “Austrian Heartbeats” series stands for a certain kind of idiosyncratic stubbornness. Austria boasts a number of excellent music events and international festivals, good record stores, and a wonderful openness toward cross-pollination between different music scenes. The musicians and their respective environments such as record labels, bookers, promoters, managers etc. all live for music but, shamefully, often struggle to make a living. In that sense, “Austrian Heartbeats” also stands for the dedication and love with which Austria’s music scenes approach their art – as well as the attempt to increase (financial) appreciation for them.




mica - music information center austria

Vol. I of our co-operation with mica – music austria, curated by Patrick Pulsinger. Pop! 
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