We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Karlheinz Essl - Where's the Rainbow?

by Karlheinz Essl

/
1.

about

Binaural Recording - Listen With Headphones!!!

///////////////////////////
///////////////////////////


cover image taken from pexels.com

Karlheinz Essl - born 1960 in Vienna, Austria

Austrian composer, performer, improviser, media artist and composition teacher. He studied composition in Vienna with Friedrich Cerha and completed his studies in musicology with a doctoral thesis on Anton Webern. As a double bassist, he played in chamber ensembles and experimental jazz bands.
Essl was composer-in-residence at the Darmstadt Summer School (1990-94) and at IRCAM in Paris (1991-93). Between 1995-2006 he taught Algorithmic Composition at the Bruckner University in Linz. Since 2007, he has been professor of composition and electro-acoustic music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.
His work with computers and a long-term preoccupation with the poetics of serial music have been formative influences on his compositional thinking. During the 1990s he carried out various projects for the Internet and became increasingly involved with improvisation. In 1997, Karlheinz Essl was a featured composer at the Salzburg Festival. His compositions are now played all over the world.
Besides writing instrumental music, Karlheinz Essl also works in the areas of electronic music, interactive real-time compositions and sound installations. He develops software environments for algorithmic composition and live electronics. As a performer and improviser, he plays his own computer-based real-time composition environment m@ze°2 and also instruments such as electric guitar, toy piano and music box.

www.essl.at

///////////////////////////
///////////////////////////

Between the years 1620 and 1636, Peter Paul Rubens created, without the prompting of any commission, his Landscape with Philemon and Baucis. He kept working on this image throughout his life. The painting tells the story of Philemon and Baucis as Ovid presented it in his Metamorphoses. In Ovid’s narrative, an old married couple receives a surprise visit from the gods Jupiter and Mercury, disguised as weary travelers who cannot find a place to spend the night. The old couple does not judge these travelers or question where they are from; they simply offer them kindness and hospitality. The two gods offer the couple a gift expressing their gratitude: they spare their lives when, the next day, a great flood comes crashing over the land.

In the painting, only a small group of figures makes reference to this fable. The main theme of the piece is the unpredictability of nature with its untamed, uncontrolled power: lightning and thunder, rain and storms, a cow screaming as its life ends within a torrent, a mother desperately trying to rescue her baby. This is an apocalyptic catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. And yet, Rubens included a hopeful sign in this image: in the lower left-hand corner of the tableau, you can see a rainbow…

“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,” sang Judy Garland in the well-loved film The Wizard of Oz (1939), a song promising hope and a wonderful world far from the darkness and ominous threats of the Second World War.

This image has much to tell us in our contemporary lives, as our current reality includes events such as the refugee crisis, global warming, and the threat of nuclear disaster. It acts as both a warning and a sign of hope.

For the theatre project Ganymed Nature, composer Karlheinz Essl worked extensively with Rubens’ Landscape with Philemon and Baucis, creating an immersive soundscape to reflect this painting. This sound work is based on algorithmically generated soundscapes taken from weather and other natural phenomena: the forest and the wind, a stream that swells and overflows, thunder and lightning. We also hear sounds that refer to human activity: rustling steps through foliage that turn into the ringing of high heels, in which a woman walks on asphalt. And then there are signaling sounds: a firebell extends into an unending tolling that spins onward into infinity.

The poetry of the rainbow overarches everything; the promise of salvation, a glimmer of hope. To express this, Essl worked with an a-capella-choir to create chord structures which he then recorded and electronically transformed. The highlighted melodic fragments are reminiscent of the famous rainbow song yet appear in a peculiar harmonic disguise which let you sense the atmospheres of other planets.

//////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////

Zwischen 1620-1636 malte Peter Paul Rubens seine Gewitterlandschaft , die er ganz ohne Auftrag schuf und immer wieder überarbeitete. Dieses Bild erzählt die Geschichte von Philemon und Baucis, wie sie Ovid in seinen Metamorphosen überliefert hat. Ein altes Ehepaar erhält überraschend Besuch von den als Wanderer verkleideten Göttern Jupiter und Merkur, denen niemand Unterkunft gewähren wollte. Ungeachtet ihrer Herkunft werden die beiden Fremdlinge aber von den armen Alten reichlich bewirtet und liebevoll beherbergt. Als Dank dafür verschonen die Götter die beiden vor der Vernichtung, die Tags darauf als Sintflut über die Welt hereinbricht und alles Leben auslöscht.

Nur eine kleine Figurengruppe verweist auf diese Fabel. Hauptthema des Bildes ist die entfesselte Natur mit ihrer ungezähmten, nicht kontrollierbaren Macht: Blitz und Donner; Regen und Sturm; ein Sturzbach, in dem eine brüllende Kuh verendet; eine Mutter, die verzweifelt ihren Säugling zu retten versucht. Eine apokalyptische Katastrophe ungeahnten Ausmaßes. Und dennoch findet sich auch ein Zeichen des Trostes. In der linken unteren Bildecke sieht man einen Regenbogen...

„Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high” singt Judy Garland in dem berühmten Film The Wizard of Oz (1939) und beschwört darin die Hoffnung auf eine fröhliche, farbenfrohe Wunderwelt jenseits des damals dräuenden Weltkrieges.

Gerade heute, in Zeiten der Flüchtlingsströme, des Klimawandels und der nuklearen Bedrohung, hat uns dieses Bild noch so manches zu sagen. Als Warnung, aber auch als Botschaft der Hoffnung.

Für das Theaterprojekt Ganymed Nature hat sich der Komponist Karlheinz Essl intensiv mit Rubens "Gewitterlandschaft" beschäftigt und dafür eine immersive Klanglandschaft geschaffen, die derzeit die Fotoausstellung The Last Day von Helmut Wimmer im Bassanosaal des Kunsthistorischen Museums begleitet. Sie basiert auf algorithmisch generierten Klängen von Natur- und Wetterphänomenen: Wald und Wind; ein Bach, der zur Flut anschwillt; Donner und Blitz. Dazu Klänge, die auf Menschliches verweisen: raschelnde Schritte durch das Laub, die sich allmählich in High Heels verwandeln, mit denen eine Frau über den Asphalt stöckelt. Und dann noch Signale: die Sturmglocke und ein daraus abgeleitetes Klangband, das den Glockenton ins Unendliche fortspinnt.

Über allem aber schwebt die Posie des Regenbogens; die Verheißung der Erlösung, ein Hoffnungsschimmer. Dafür hat Essl mit dem a capella chor tulln zusammengearbeitet und mit ihm Akkordstrukturen aufgenommen, die elektronisch transformiert werden. Die angedeuteten Melodiefragmente erinnern zwar an den bekannten Rainbow-Song, erscheinen aber in einer eigentümlichen harmonischen Verkleidung, die Luft von anderen Planeten erahnen läßt.

credits

released September 1, 2018

Nachtstuck Records is an (electroacousic) free improvisation, electroacoustic, contemporary, and electronica record label founded in Braga, Portugal, in 2013/2014, by Tiago Morais Morgado. The label artist rooster features names such as Karlheinz Essl, John Dikeman, Matthew Ostrowski, Antonio Panda Gianfratti, Gregory Taylor, Vladimir Luchansky, Peter Kirn, etc, sharing a philantropic commitment. less

Martin Mallaun - zither
Karlheinz Essl - M@ze 2

Recorded live at Die Bäckerei, Innsbruck (Tyrol) on May 18th, 2011
Mixed and edited by Karlheinz Essl at Studio kHz, Dec 2013
Mastered by Tiago Morais Morgado. Artwork by Tiago Morais Morgado

Born in Vienna, 15 Aug 1960. Austrian composer, performer, improviser, media artist and composition teacher.

Karlheinz Essl attended the Vienna Musikhochschule (1981-87), where he studied composition with Friedrich Cerha and electro-acoustic music with Dieter Kaufmann. From 1979, he also studied musicology and art history at the University of Vienna (doctorate 1989 with his thesis Das Synthese-Denken bei Anton Webern). Active as a double bassist until 1984, he played in chamber and experimental jazz ensembles. As a composer he has contributed to the Projekt 3 composition programming environment of Gottfried Michael Koenig at Utrecht and Arnheim (1988-89) which later transformed into his own Real Time Composition Library (RTC-lib) for Max/MSP/Jitter.

Essl also served as composer-in-residence at the Darmstadt summer courses (1990-94) and at IRCAM (Paris, 1992-1993). Between 1995-2006 he taught Algorithmic Composition at the Studio for Advanced Music & Media Technology at the Bruckner University, Linz. Since 2007, he is professor of composition for electro-acoustic and experimental music at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. Between 1992 and 2016, he acted as the music curator of the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg / Vienna.

His work with computers (with emphasis on Algorithmic Composition and generative art) and a prolonged occupation with the poetics of serial music have been a formative influence on his compositional thinking. He has frequently sought to combine music with other genres and has collaborated with the graffiti artist Harald Naegeli (Partikel-Bewegungen, 1991), the writer Andreas Okopenko and the artists' group "Libraries of the Mind" (Lexikon-Sonate, 1992--8), the architect Carmen Wiederin (Klanglabyrinth, 1992-95), the video artist Vibeke Sorensen (MindShipMind, 1996, a multimedia installation for the Internet) and the artist Jonathan Meese (generative video and sound environment FRÄULEIN ATLANTIS, 2007).

During the 1990s Karlheinz Essl carried out various projects for the Internet and became increasingly involved with improvisation. At the festival WIEN MODERN 1989 he presented as an emerging composer, and in 1997 he was featured at the Salzburg Festival with portrait concerts and sound installations. In 2003, he was artist-in-residence of the festival musik aktuell, and in 2004 he was presented with a series of portrait concerts at the Brucknerhaus Linz. In 2004, Karlheinz Essl received the cultural prize for music of the state Lower Austria.

Besides writing instrumental music, Karlheinz Essl also works in the field of electronic music, interactive realtime compositions and sound installations. He develops software environments for algorithmic composition and acts as a performer and improviser, utilzing his own computer-based real time composition environment m@ze°2 and also instruments like electric guitar, toy piano and music box.

license

tags

about

Nachtstück Records Braga, Portugal

Nachtstuck Records is an (electroacousic) free improvisation, electroacoustic, contemporary, and electronica record label founded in Braga, Portugal, in 2013/2014, by Tiago Morais Morgado. The label artist rooster features names such as Karlheinz Essl, John Dikeman, Matthew Ostrowski, Antonio Panda Gianfratti, Gregory Taylor, Vladimir Luchansky, Peter Kirn, etc, sharing a philantropic commitment. ... more

contact / help

Contact Nachtstück Records

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Karlheinz Essl - Where's the Rainbow?, you may also like: