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Kammermusik II (1991)

for flute/alto flute/piccolo, oboe/english horn, bass clarinet/clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello, percussion and piano

If during the 1980s I was mainly interested in the aspect of mutual ‚micro psychological’ influences between the musicians who play my music, in “Kammermusik II” I was concerned with how social and interpersonal human relationships can determine a piece conceptually and structurally. But these relationships need not be experienced or recognized in the sense of program music; the music must always retain its autonomous quality and content. In the performance situation itself a certain utopian condition is necessary in order for the inherent relationships in the music to be reflected. Ideally this would only be possible without a conductor, but the complex instrumental coordination at many points impedes such a venture. However, considering and discussing this ‘utopia‘ during rehearsals might be of some interest and could possibly reveal the intended idea of the musical and artistic expression.


Kammermusik II” is the second attempt to realise a concrete aspect of interpersonal human relations within an independent and autonomous musical context. The piece is based on a special dramaturgy of relationships and hierarchies, where a solution, or ‚target’ is not intended. In fact, the piece could go on endlessly.


The background of such a concept is my growing conviction that interpersonal human communication is - and will continue to be - one of the primary concerns of our time. In my opinion, the culture of mass media and the fetishism of information‘ - the danger of equating stored information with real and mentally processed information - threaten in a subversive way the fundamental quality of human existence. An encompassing alienation in its broadest sense is not only felt, but is obvious as soon as we become aware of this frightening superficiality of perception and social behaviour (perhaps one reason why my ideas cannot be realised in a less complex way). Fatally, all this is happening in a time of exponentially increasing complexity in our existence. Extensive experience in a developing country of the so-called third world, where people have been catapulted from an animistic village culture into a world of electronic mass media, has influenced significantly my work as a concerned artist.

These thoughts form the ideological background of “Kammermusik II” and other works composed during the 1990s. But once again, none of it has any programmatic importance for the listener. It would only simplify and trivialize the complexity of perception and meaning. An introductory text such as this should not be seen a listening guide but more as an attempt to reveal some of my motivations as a composer.