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harmonies and structures
ensemble zeitkratzer, burkhard schlothauer, wandelweiser composers ensemble
burkhard schlothauer (1957)
1 nine – for john cage (2010)
reinhold friedl (inside piano), frank gratkowski (bass clarinet), hilary jeffery (trombone), hild sofie tafjord (horn), burkhard schlothauer (violin), anton lukoszevieze (cello), ullrich philipp (double bass), marc weiser (electric guitar), christian lillinger (percussion)
2 yo tampoco lo entiendo (2019)
burkhard schlothauer (viola, sine-waves)
3 structures indépendantes (2007)
antoine beuger (flute), gudula rosa (tenor recorder), burkhard schlothauer (viola), thomas stiegler (viola), jürg frey (clarinet), eva-maria houben (indian harmonium), christoph nicolaus (stone harp), tobias liebezeit (timpani)
is nine a plagiarism?
the well-known zagreb music biennale, which has been a hotspot for contemporary music for more than 30 years, asked rein- hold friedl, musical director of zeitkratzer, to perform a program of late ensemble works by john cage in 2010. unfortunately, however, there are only a few works that could be performed with the full cast of zeitkratzer.
so i suggested that i would rewrite the non-existent number piece nine for zeitkratzer.
in my master thesis, i had thoroughly studied john cage's number pieces, their compositional style - in particular seven, one of the first works in this series - and had already recorded and produced this composition in 2002 (EWR 0604).
the number pieces, of which there are about 50, were all composed by using of chance operations, applied to certain predefined possibilities available for selection. the compositional process therefore consists to a large extent of determining the sound material and the questions to be asked. the actual transformation into the notes can then be done relatively mechanically.
by analyzing the scores of the number pieces, it is possible to deduce the questions answered by the chance operations. from that, the material and its possibilities in terms of pitches, dynamic range of values, articulation variants etc. can be determined fairly reliably. once one has these specifications it becomes theoretically possible to reapply the chance procedures to a new piece, that could have equally occurred to cage.
the idea for nine was born: cage's composition plan should be adopted and i, personally submitting to his taste, accepted his authorship. as his posthumous assistant, i implemented his plan and wrote nine.
i realized his program all the way down to the layout of the sheet music and only brought in my own formal element of sym- metrically arranged tones of equal duration with regard to the electric guitar part.
stepping back behind cage and merging with him in my work, was a cheerful process that gave me a lot of pleasure. and since i worked according to his plan, I feel nine to be cage's work in essential aspects.
yo tampoco lo entiendo has been constructed for the dance piece ”bewegte bauhausbilder“ at theater gera 2019.
structures indépendantes - octet was commissioned 2007 for the klangzeit-festival time is on my side in münster. delicately spotted tones of two identical instruments (flutes, violas) in symmetrical intervals meet two different sound surfaces - on the one hand unisons with more or less beatings (violas, flutes) of about 5 seconds each and on the other hand 3 minute long sound blocks of clarinet and harmonium. the distribution of the action spaces of the duos is independent of each other: while the mee- ting of the tones is organized completely geometrically, we experience it as somehow coincidental. in addition, there are blocks of time in which the tympani sometimes glissandize very slowly and thus irritate the sound surfaces above in a subtle way. the stone harp contributes very beautiful, clearly microtonally defined tones.
burkhard schlothauer, 2019
► nine (excerpt 10:00)
► yo tampoco lo entiendo (13:52)
► structures indépendentes (excerpt 15:00)