Edges, Wreaths, Junk
Book 1: When Everything Was Forever
24 small pieces for piano

ca. 15 Min.
composed 2001-2003, Premieres 2007 and 2009
→ Download pdf 312 kB

Book 1: When Everything Was Forever: Pieces

1. The Big Things Lurk On The Inside Unexpressed (ca. 48“)
2. This Dangerous Sharp Edge (ca. 20“)
3. In The Halfshadow Between Two Worlds (ca. 1' 20“)
4. Just A Sparkle In Her Eye (ca. 11“)
5. As If The Window Was Still Standing Open (ca. 30“)
6. Divided Horizons (ca. 1' 05“)
7. When Does Later Become Now? (ca. 24“)
8. A Liquid Pain Under The Skin (ca. 41“)
9. Confusion In A Deeper, More Secret Place (ca. 16“)
10. In The Soothing Folds Of The Facts (ca. 33“)
11. Love. Madness. Hope. Limitless Joy. (ca. 1' 37“)
12. Because The Footsteps Are Smudged (ca. 41“)
13. Threading The Moments Like Precious Pearls Onto A Necklace (ca. 49“)
14. The Bleached Bones Of A Story (ca. 35“)
15. With Crumpled, Happy Edges (ca. 1' 10“)
16. Where Do The Birds Fly To Die? (ca. 13“)
17. Like An Inexplicable Loss (ca. 52“)
18. Noisy Smile (ca. 24“)
19. As A Silent Something In Socks (ca. 21“)
20. So Vague In His Similarities (ca. 22“)
21. Steal Back The Present (ca. 53“)
22. As Withered Roses In The Wind (ca. 29“)
23. In Its Unreconcilable Distance (ca. 14“)
24. With The Moon On Its Wings (ca. 22“)

The titles of Book 1 are taken from the novel "The God of small things" by Arundhati Roy.


The 24 small pieces of the first book, lasting between 11 seconds and 1 minute 40 seconds bring together the most diverse sound production techniques of modern piano playing. The score captures them only on a stationary level. It requires great imaginary powers to comprehend these pieces. Because it is the gestures themselves, the motion of playing the piano which is turned into language. The physical act of playing the piano, the bodily motion, which results from each specific activity on the piano is a gesture because – as Villem Flusser put it – it represents something, because it makes sense of something. The external posture of the pianist, created from a particular action, corresponds to the internal attitude which reflects the expression of the piece. A concept such as this goes against the currently visible trends to place a greater value on acrobatic techniques and spectacular finger speed rather than the precision of feeling and soulful skill.
In the sequence of 192 small pieces for piano I am aiming for a strictly serialised concept, divided into eight parts of 24 pieces each. There are, however, some fundamental differences to customary techniques. The whole thing is based not on one but on two rows, in fact a double row, so that the individual data consist not of single values but, as it were, of intervals. These intervals are used to answer a number of questions, which define the shape of the sound events. This means that the sequence of intervals is not repeatedly and concurrently applied to different parameters, but that it tests all parameters succesively until the sound event is defined. The sequence of the tested parameter values is itself the topic of the first question and each question depends on the answer value of the previous question. Each of the eight parts works with the exact same values of the double row as the others but they differ in the interpretation of the intervals. In each part the first piece starts with the first pair of the double row, the second with the second and so on. This provides for a very dense relationship between the pieces.
It has taken a long series of experiments to get to the stage where the potential of piano playing could be questioned systematically and where the results offered sufficiently specific and sufficiently unspecific answers. This is aimed at a tight-rope walk, which I hope will give me the space to work on the essential qualities of the pieces, the gesture, the expression, the ethereal at the surface, that irreducible complex entity, which is pure happening and can perhaps be called "meaning".


First Performances:
October 14th, 2007 Approximation-Festival Düsseldorf, → Frank Abbinanti, piano (16. Where Do The Birds Fly To Die?, 17. Like An Inexplicable Loss and 18. Noisy Smile)
October, 16th 2007 Berliner Kabarettanstalt, Frank Abbinanti (12. Because The Footsteps Are Smudged, 13. Threading The Moments Like Precious Pearls Onto A Necklace)
September, 20th 2009 KlavierAtelier Casper, Oldenburg, → Christiane Abt, piano (19. As A Silent Something In Socks, 20. So Vague In His Similarities and 21. Steal Back The Present)

Further performances:
Oktober, 16th 2007 s.a. (16. Where Do The Birds Fly To Die?, 17. Like An Inexplicable Loss and 18. Noisy Smile)