KSH - Portrait of the pianist as a young man
Composition for a pianist, grand piano, electronics, installed speakers, objects, actions

For Klaus Steffes-Holländer
premiere 24.5.2014 SWR 2 ars nova
within the program Were I the Steinway ... Thomas Bernhard - Theatre with piano

The composition revolves around the theme of the pianist in relation to his instrument, in particular regarding the development of a young person, a young artist: what ambitions and aspirations are linked with the intensive study of the chosen instrument?

The grand piano I see both as an object and as a space - under the piano, around the piano ... The pianist, as he performs on stage and as he plays the instrument, stands for the inner space of imagination and inner confrontation with the piano work that is brought to the outside by virtuousic playing technique and instrument technology. The pianist at the piano reflects an image of being-for-oneself, the grand piano is the counterpart and at the same time offers a space of security.

Starting points of the composition were short improvisations, diary-like sketches of about 1-2 minutes duration, which were consecutively recorded on 17 days by the pianist Klaus Steffes-Holländer, as well as references to other piano pieces. The piano material is transformed by electronic means, blended, recomposed: "Im Grunde ist alles was gesagt wird zitiert", "Essentially, everything that is said is a quote" (Thomas Bernhard, "Gehen"). Experimental playing techniques and sounds in the interior of the grand piano are integrated into the composition, they relate to electronically transformed sounds from speakers in the room or from within the piano. Actions of the pianist and video images on a small monitor are also included.

Text citations (recorded or live) are from "The Loser" by Thomas Bernhard or respectively based on commentaries by Klaus Steffes-Holländer when he first read the book in the 1980s. Other short quotes refer to the development and the internal growth of young people, they come from young women (Natascha Kampbusch, Nadjeschda Tolokonnikowa / Pussy Riot) in more extreme (exterior) life situations than the (strongly internalized) engagement with an instrument and a piano work, as it is addressed in Bernhards "Untergeher".

> audio: excerpt - part 4 from m.3
> audio: excerpt - part 4 from m.70