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Miscellaneous News

XXI Orakel der Nacht in Graz

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XXI Orakel der Nacht in Graz

Looking ahead optimistically, there is a somewhat good chance of performing the first book of my work “XXI Oracles Of The Night” for piano solo on October 18th in Graz. This concert—originally scheduled for April—will feature works of Styrian composers played by themselves. Meanwhile the second book of this 21-part-cycle is in the making and will feature again lots of new and unexpected sounds for the piano (and some instruments extending it) and unconventional techniques for the player. Stay tuned (-;

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Miscellaneous News

CD released

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CD released: Piano pieces by Dünser, Renhart and Iadema

In the last summer I recorded my work XXI Oracles Of The Night that was written in 2018. It has now been been released on a new CD that features pieces for piano solo by Richard Dünser and Gianluca Iadema alongside my work. The works by Dünser and Iadema are played by the renowned Austrian pianist Doris Adam.

Buy the CD here

or get a copy via: office@zappelmusic.com

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Miscellaneous News

New ÖGZM Website online

New ÖGZM Website online

With great pleasure I’d like to announce that the new webiste of the Austrian Society for Contemporary Music (ÖGZM) went online. Feel free to discover it at oegzm.at.

I feel honoured that I have been entrusted with the redesign of the website and I do hope that you’ll like the new layout.

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Ensemble published by UE Vocal Work

Marley’s Ghost

Marley’s Ghost
for baritone and ensemble (2020)

EN

«Marley was dead: to begin with.» Thus Charles Dickens begins one of his most famous narratives, the name of which literally means ‹a Christmas song›. Dead, or let‘s better call it well-worn, copybook and totally hackneyed by being cinematized a little bit too often, is basically everything today, which comes close to brushing against this advent faerie tale that has been pancaked so very often in order to fit into any TV show where Bill Murray might appear. Why, this being the case, starting here?

Christmas comes back every year, come hell or high water. As dead as old Marley may appear—that is to say «dead as a door-nail»—as vitally he is still haunting ubiquitously as a ghost. The world has been most ardous ever since and of all things it‘s Christmas when we expect even the grumpiest fellows to come in with apparent brouhaha of felicity. In the middle of the mess the big guns are hauled out: bell-roars, glistening candlelight-beflickered straw stars and an e‘en celestial haze of pathos and liquorice. All humbug!

In my music one can hear all the ingredients of the humbug merged in such a way that a dramaturgical course arises out of it. This pathway runs along selected passages from Dickens‘s novel. The narrator eventually turns into the ghost of his own figure.

«Marley‘s Ghost» was composed in 2017 for the baritone Georg Klimbacher and the pianist Andreas Fröschl, who premiered the piece in the same year at Vienna‘s Arnold Schoenberg Center. I wrote the version for baritone and ensemble in the spring of 2020. The orchestration means a recreation in many regards: A differentiation in layers of tonal colours led to new harmonic illuminations or to compositional proliferations. A major challenge was the translation of those shades into an orchestral language which had already been delineated by the use of inside-the-piano techniques. The realisation of the extended version of «Dickens‘s humbug» was essentially inspired by Morgana Petrik, whom this version is cordially dedicated.

DE

»Marley was dead: to begin with.« So beginnt Charles Dickens eine seiner bekanntesten Erzählungen, die wörtlich betrachtet eigentlich ›ein Weihnachtslied‹ bedeutet. Tot, oder sagen wir besser: abgedroschen, abgeschrieben und vom vielen Verfilmen völlig ausgeleiert, ist heute im Grunde alles, was auch immer dieses bis hin zu einer fernsehvertauglichten Bill Murray-Auskitschung plattgewalzerte Adventmärchen auch nur anzustreifen drohte. Warum also hier beginnen?

Weihnachten kommt alle Jahre wieder, komme was wolle. So tot der alte Marley auch scheint — nämlich »dead as a door-nail« — so lebendig spukt er immer noch als allgegenwärtiger Geist herum. Die Welt war immer schon die Mühsamste und ausgerechnet zu Weihnachten erwartet man selbst von den grantelndsten Menschen einen Mindesthang zu überschwänglichem Glücksgetue. Dazu werden schwere Geschütze aufgefahren: Glockengebrüll, funkelndes, kerzenlichtumflattertes Strohgestirn und ein gar himmlischer Nebel aus Pathos und Lakritze. Alles Humbug! In meiner Musik hört man all die Zutaten des Humbugs so miteinander vermengt, dass sich daraus eine eigene Dramaturgie entspinnt. Diese verläuft entlang ausgewählter Textstellen aus Dickens‘ Roman. Der Erzähler verfällt dabei immer mehr seiner eigenen Geschichte und verwandelt sich am Ende selbst in den Geist seiner eigenen Figur.

»Marley’s Ghost« entstand 2017 für den Bariton Georg Klimbacher und den Pianisten Andreas Fröschl, die die Musik im selben Jahr im Arnold Schönberg Center in Wien zur Uraufführung brachten. Die Fassung für Bariton und Ensemble schrieb ich Anfang 2020. Die Orchestrierung bedeutet dabei zugleich eine Neugestaltung in vielerlei Hinsicht: Eine Ausdifferenzierung in klangfarblichen Schichten führte an vielen Stellen zu einer harmonischen Neuausleuchtung oder zu satztechnischen Wucherungen. Eine besondere Herausforderung stellte die Übersetzung jener Schattierungen in eine orchestrale Sprache dar, die durch eine erweiterte Spieltechnik im Klavier quasi bereits vorskizziert war. Die Realisierung dieser erweiterten Version »Dickens’schen Humbugs« wurde maßgeblich von Morgana Petrik angeregt, der die neue Fassung herzlich gewidmet ist.

INSTRUMENTATION:
flute, clarinet in Bb, soprano saxophone (also baritone saxophone), horn, tenor trombone, percussion (1 player), piano, violin, viola, violoncello, double bass

PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS:
vibraphone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, bass drum, timpani, large suspended cymbal, maracas

DURATION:
12’30 minutes

PUBLISHED BY:
Universal Edition

RECORDING:
March 22, 2021 • Wien, Ehrbar-Saal • Ensemble Zeitfluss • Edo Micic, conductor • Georg Klimbacher, baritone

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la petite girafe Miscellaneous

Giraffenbuch 2019

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Giraffenbuch 2019 —
A review of the little giraffe’s adventures in 2019.

The little giraffe was put together in october 2019. Since then it has survived several accidents including broken legs (most frequent injury by far), broken tails, broken necks and spines (a little less frequent) and complete deconstruction (in order fit into a transport box bound for Brussels). At the beginning of 2020 it fell down (again) severely and some parts of it was suck up by a vacuum cleaner in further consequence. Fortunately the producers of LPG have foresightfully added several extra building blocks to the construction set, thus it could be repaired in the meantime and has readied itself for the next adventures.

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Miscellaneous News

«A Gnomic Inventory» im Wiener Musikverein

Uraufführung von «A Gnomic Inventory» im Wiener Musikverein

December 26, 2019

Am 16. Dezember brachte der Wiener Concert Verein unter der Leitung von Claus Peter Flor «A Gnomic Inventory» zur Uraufführung. Die Uraufführung des 13-minütigen Werks für Kammerorchester im ausverkauften Brahms-Saal fand große Zustimmung.

Zum Stück: In sechs aneinander gereihten musikalischen Bildern umspinnt mein gnomisches Inventar verschiedene Themenbereiche, die sich als fragiler Faden durch alle Ebenen der Komposition ziehen. Hören wir uns durch die mondumdunkelte Nacht, durch die Girlanden flackernden Kerzenscheins, durchs Geflirr der Pulsare am Nachthimmel und harren wir der dreizehn Gongschläge, die zum martialischen Verderben laden, um am Ende alle triumpfgebeulten Versprechungen auszuschlagen—so als ob beim Holst-Zitat die Miene des Bleistifts bricht, ohne dass es noch zu Ende geschrieben vom Papier schimmert.

Das Werk entstand im Sommer 2019 mit freundlicher Unterstützung durch die SKE.

Wiener Concert-Verein

Musikverein

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la petite girafe Miscellaneous

The Adventure In The Christmas Tree

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The Adventure In The Christmas Tree —
A story with the little giraffe

Christmas is almost over. ‘Tis about time to recap what has happened in the past hours. As giraffes are not typically involved in Christmas ceremonies, I though it would turn out to be a somewhat tough task to write about something Christmassy linked to the little giraffe. Guess what! Stories arise from fir trees and there is even absolutely no need to touch upon Christmas songs.

The day before Christmas, our Christmas tree—a fir with fluffy needles—was already mounted in the dining room not being brightened up in the usual festive way yet. The idea that burst into my mind was the following: It might make a funny picture to place the little giraffe on the very top of the fir tree, virtually acting as the only decorative element of the sawn down indoor plant.

This is what I did. Or let’s put it this way: This is what went awry instead of resulting in a nice picture for my blog. We have already discussed at this place, that the little giraffe is a rather frangible animal. Small injuries such as broken legs or a fallen off tail are usually mended on the fly. If the little giraffe happens to be totalled or if it suffers multiple organ failure, it might become necessary to consult the construction manual.

During the photo session on the fir tree, the little giraffe first fell of its assigned twig. In the course of the tumble, it lost two legs and the tail. One might not assume that such an accident was to be considered serious, because obviously it would not have been necessary to look into the construction manual to restore its vital functions. What troubled me was the fact that one leg and the body of the little giraffe landed safely on the floor, but the other leg and the tail got lost in the limbs of the fir tree.

Any Christmas tree displays itself as a perfect cloak of invisibility for little giraffes’ appendages. After having scanned the fir for more than half an hour I went over to looking for another solution to have our little giraffe bounced back. We have to take into consideration at this point that construction sets for little giraffe like animals contain more components than actually needed. I had a quick look at the spare parts stock just to find out that only one part of an extra tibia was left. A little giraffe never ever breaks its shins. Two of these bone fragments would have made my day, but one solemn splinter proved useless.

I tried to shake the fir tree in order to hear something falling down other than a needle. I even fetched my smart phone in order to illuminate every corner of the tree. Finally the lost pieces of plastic have somehow made it all the way down to the floor too and the giraffe was repaired successfully.

Hoping that you will excuse me for not providing you a better picture of the little giraffe towering over the giant Christmas tree for some obvious reasons I’d like to wish you happy reading—
Season’s greetings and best wishes for the New Year!

Categories
la petite girafe Miscellaneous

A Taped Banana

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La petite girafe et l’object:
A Taped Banana

Time and time again art goes bananas. How about this one: Take a fruit and tape it to the wall. Don‘t forget to sell it for some 100k Euros, before eating it. Great, innit? Let‘s invent money merchandising the big something. Admittedly, I was jaundicedly reading about the big banana recently and thus I have decided that such a precious piece of art cries for epigonism. So, here we are:

Out of exaggerated narcissism I deeply believe that my artwork with the little giraffe taped to the kitchen wall is somewhat much more refined, the basic idea being elaborated in a very outstanding (or let‘s call it outtaping) way and last but never least, a little giraffe instead of a dull yellow banana is much funnier.

So, may I start a fund-raiser for this superb installation? I‘m afraid not, because the other pieces of art I‘m creating—all the humdrum pieces of music and whatsoever else—keep me too busy to act The Great Gatsby. Writing about the adventurous little giraffe keeps me occupied as well and I‘m not getting paid a penny for that even.

Perhaps there is a difference between art that goes bananas and artists that do the same. We might figure out that the former is sometimes to be considered prospering whereas—from an economic point of view—the latter very often are not.

In any case I hope you commiserate with the little giraffe being taped to my wall just for to ridicule an overpriced banana that was eaten somewhere in Switzerland. The little giraffe has recoverd well, though, but it is still not in a saleable condition notwithstanding.

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la petite girafe Miscellaneous

Looting The Advent Calendar

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Looting The Advent Calendar —
A story with the little giraffe

The little giraffe is back. After it had been sleeping in its tiny transportation box for a week, I have finally found some time to help it struggling to its feet. It is indeed quite complicated to remember, which foot belongs to which side of the animal and I’m afraid, it has already grown accustomed to the fact thus far, that a left hand attached to a right elbow is akin a right hand attached to the very same elbow. Perhaps the brown stains are on different places each time, but that does not seem to bother the little giraffe in a discernible way.

Unfortunately the little giraffe could not listen to the rehearsals in Brussels. Rehearsing an orchestral piece always means: do not waste any time—at least, when the piece is too difficult for the orchestra to just sight-read it perfectly. Usually my works are not as easy and keep everyone busy enough. Alors, no selfies with the little giraffe, je suis désolé. However, there will be an audio recording of A Manifesto Mill available on this website soon, so you might wish to listen to it.

Rehearsing with an ensemble is very often far more unhurried. There is usually even time to discuss playing techniques or questions of notations directly with the musicians or try out two or three different versions of one section. As you can see, the little giraffe enjoyed the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles playing four pieces of contemporary music in Mons at a very nice venue called Arsonic. The place used to be a firewarden once and was inaugurated as a concert hall in 2015. We have experienced a wonderful concert there on November 30 that was well-attended—roughly 100 people joined the event which I found definitely remarkable. It also meant for me to speak a lot of French. Most unfortunately I am not very familiar with the very language. Wallonia is a French-speaking region and the primary language is used in conversations rather than English, though.

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What has happened since then? On December 1 Advent started. Along with St Nicholas the famous 24 days every dentist is overwhelmingly looking forward to are now being counted down. By the way, this was the last photograph of St Nicholas seen alive. It was taken on December 8. We tried to make the little giraffe look a wee bit Christmassy as well and had St Nicholas passing his sash on to it. For the little giraffe, the tiny bell proved somewhat heavy, but finally she could bear the chocolate bishop’s burden. Thankfully, because the latter is no longer among us.

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la petite girafe Miscellaneous

En Voyage

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En Voyage —
A story with the little giraffe

Sometimes composers go on a journey. This does not mean that the little giraffe needs to be left alone at home, though.

I have not been counting, how many times one of its four fragile legs fell off the little giraffe. Let’s be honest: It’s not the most resistant animal evolution came up with. However, when it gets down to travelling, this brittleness proves to be somewhat useful. Due to it, the little giraffe fits into a tiny paper box which fits into the camera bag in turn. It has neither building blocks of metal incorporated, nor a rechargeable battery, thus it easily passed all security checks at the airport. We do not know how many extra emissions of carbon dioxide it has caused—we might take that thought into consideration one other time.

On our way to the [‘tactus] Young Composers’ Forum in Brussels which starts this Monday, we stopped at the Munich airport, where the little giraffe watched a parking plane.

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Other than that, this place presented itself quite expensive. Don’t get too hungry there. It’s not the place where you’d fancy more than one cappuccino just to kill time too. Try reading a book instead. They have installed seats obviously designed to relax in a rather non-sitting way. Using it cannot be described as lying either. It’s like hanging around in one of those chairs they used to have in spas. Perhaps someone thought that passengers should be compensated somehow for being packed like sardines in a tin in the fuselage of an aeroplane. Not everyone feels as indifferent about that as the little giraffe, I’m convinced.

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Brussels gave us a warm welcome in the evening and all the scores have arrived safely in the suitcase. I have already unboxed the little giraffe in order to have its first photo shooting in Belgium. The Belgian Solutions are absolutely hilarious, by the way and culinary investigations into Belgian beer are to be conducted in the coming days of course. But first and foremost I’m looking forward to the composers’ forum in Brussels and Mons and to rehearsing my works A Manifesto Mill with the Brussels Philharmonic and Échos éloquents with the ensemble Musiques Nouvells respectively. Drop by in the next days again as the little giraffe will stay curious and continue to have a thirst for adventure.