für Ensemble

about the piece

The musical ideas for "Pfropfen" are based on improvisations I made with my voice as well as different sound objects and instruments. All the ideas were recorded and sometimes I slightly modified them with the computer. They can be played on a sampler. But in the final version of the piece the sound files will NOT be played. Like in photography they are the "negatives" later leading to a "positive" that is performed live on the instruments.
In order to create the final material for the wind and brass players the musicians of the ensemble were involved. For flute, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn and trombone I each created 26 musical objects. The “tutorials” in the beginning of the score list those objects. In short session with each of the six musicians I played recordings of the objects and also showed them very approximate transcriptions of the musical events. They were then asked to find a spontaneous solution to imitate the sound with their instrument. I strongly encouraged them to use mutes or other distortion techniques in order to achieve an individualized and not a "clean" sound. That's why the piece is called "Pfropfen". Bassoonist and bass clarinetist could opt to alternatively use contrabassoon and contrabass clarinet for some of the sounds. What's important: It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to imitate the sound objects perfectly. In the sessions I always relied on the suggestions and creative ideas of the instrumentalists.
In the final piece the ensemble is strictly split into two groups. The wind and brass players are the "protagonists" while marimba and piano blend together to form the "Klavirimba" which is meant to accompany and comment on the events. The double bass both supports the Klavirimba (playing pizz.) and the wind and brass players (playing arco techniques).