SOUNDLAB

Hauschka: an Oscar nomination and musical experiments

NEWS | 27-12-2017
Since his debut album 'Substantial' in 2004, Volker Bertelmann, or Hauschka, has slowly but surely gained a reputation as a creator of ingenious and outstanding piano music. He has also become interested in composing film music, which has resulted in several soundtracks to documentary and feature films. One of them – "Lion"- received an Oscar nomination in 2017. Hauschka will perform at the Philharmonic on January 14th at 17:00. Tickets are priced 20-10 PLN can be purchased at the ticket office of the Philharmonic and online at filharmonia.szczecin.pl.


My solo work is completely autonomous and I decide from the beginning about every step, without any influence from outside – says Volker Bertelmann. An adventure with synthesizers led the composer to the idea of creating similar sonic effects using non-electronic methods by preparing his piano. He discovered that by inserting various objects into the piano he could modify its sound to resemble a bass guitar, Indian gamelan or even percussion. Suddenly, all his previous experiences began to pay off. The album "The Prepared Piano" revealed his classical sensitivity and pop culture interests. His subsequent projects as Hauschka brought with them a surprise in the variability of styles and cooperation with various ensembles and artists. With 'What If', I decided it would be my most radical album. The lyrical parts of the piano simply disappeared, and the humming and electronic sounds took the lead. They are fascinating to me right now – says Hauschka.

In practice, this means that Bertelmann uses an old Roland Jupiter 4 synthesizer and an Eventide H3000 harmonizer, and became involved in a distinctive technique of using unusual items – for example, tools for cleaning or tuning the piano, which later became his trademark. However, what is more important – and is a departure from his previous methodology – he programmed some parts on a "self-playing" piano (also called pianola), playing with the tempo of the prepared parts and their sound, thus building various layers on this basis.


We can expect an unusual concert at our Philharmonic, because during the performance the artist will be accompanied by drummer Kai Angermann and the musicians of the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, who once again will engage in the project SoundLab – Philharmonic Laboratory of Electronic Music.
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