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Keller Max E.

(19. 03. 1947)

Keller Max E.
Keller Max E.
Stockenerstr. 30
CH-8405 Winterthur
Schweiz

Tel: 41 (0)52 232 74 11
Fax: 41 (0)52 232 74 11
Internet: www.max-e-keller.ch/index/index.php www.composers21.com

Biography
Max E. Keller was one of the first free jazz musicians in Switzerland. From 1966 until 1973 he followed his own concept performing free jazz and improvised music on the piano and electronic instruments in concerts or for radio recordings in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Since 1973 Keller has produced over 90 compositions for various forces including electronic music. He often sets texts to music, examples include his ‘Gesänge II’ (Erich Fried); ‘Gesänge III’ (Jürg Weibel) and ‘Gesänge IV’ (Kurt Marti); ‘Konfigurationen’ (I, II and III – various authors); ‘Deformationen’ (self-written texts); the feature-length cantata ‘Fontamara’ (Ignazio Silone), the mini-opera ‘Egon – aus dem Leben eines Bankbeamten’ (Hans Suter) and the chamber opera ‘Die Axt’ after Max Frisch’s ‘Graf Öderland’ (2004-2006), a commission for the Komischen Oper Berlin. Performances and radio broadcasts in the whole of Europe, Australia, North and South America, Russia, Mongolia, Korea and Azerbaijan are a part of his career history. Keller began improvising again after 1985 and since 1985 is responsible for the programme and organisation of contemporary music and jazz concerts at the ‘Theater am Gleis’ in Winterthur.
1985 - Swiss representative at the biennale in Berlin
1991 - Swiss representative at the IGNM Weltmusiktagen in Zurich
1993 - Swiss representative in Mexico
1997 - Art prize of the Carl-Heinrich-Ernst-Foundation in Winterthur
1999 - Berlin stipend
2001 - Project contribution (commission from the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich)
2003 - Contribution to the artistic work of the Aargauer Kuratorium
‘Sicher sein ...’ (speaker and electronic tape) and ‘Repetitionen I-V’ (harpsichord) were recorded onto LP and ‘Pentalog’ (orchestra) and ‘Sie’ (speaker and electronic tape) onto CD; two CDs (col legno and Jecklin Edition) are dedicated solely to his chamber musical works, a third CD (Grammont-Portrait) containing five chamber musical works and one orchestral work (Tonhalle-Orchester conducted by David Zinman) was released in 2003.


Work list
Start (1969)
for a minimum of six players
Based on graphic and verbal improvisation; for any instrumentation.
Duration: 10' 00"-20' 00"
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Stück für Improvisatoren (1969-1970)
for a minimum of three players
Has its foundations in verbal improvisation - for any instrumentalisation.
Duration: 15' 00"-30' 00"
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Trio (1970)
for bass clarinet, electric guitar and piano (or for three instruments ad libitum)
Purely verbal score describing a musical process quite accurately.
Duration: 15' 00"-20' 00"
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Aktionen für 7 Musik-Macher (1970)
for any instrumentation
Based on verbal improvisation. Can be played in another score.
Duration: 30' 00"-50' 00"
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Minima (1970)
for between three and seven players
Graphic and verbal on an improvisational basis, open process using any instruments.
Duration: 10' 00"-30' 00"
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Cum processio tum missa non est (1970)
for three players
Graphic and verbal improvisation basis, open process. For any instrumentation.
Duration: 15' 00"-30' 00"
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Psychogramm (1971)
for three players
Based on verbal improvisation, open process, builds upon psychological attitudes within the group. For any instrumentation.
Duration: 15' 00"-30' 00"
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Streichquartett Nr. 181 (1973)
The historical collapse of individuality; the single voice is reduced to a root element which is continuously repeated and varied.
Duration: 6' 00"
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Eine kleine Werbemusik (1973-1974)
for two pianists
The 'Kleine Werbemusik' uses almost only a c-flat triad as tone material but processes it with all the means of the serial technique. One pianist plays the harpsichord and the electronic organ (a very simple model is sufficient), the other piano and electronic tape (a normal domestic cassette player).
Duration: 16' 00"
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Gesänge (1975-1976)
for voice, violoncello and percussion
Texts: Wolfgang Beutin, Fitzgerald Kusz, Bertolt Brecht
Originally written for an actor (range F-d’) but the part can be transposed to the female voice. Contains many spoken parts but also opera burlesque.
Duration: 16' 00"
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Dreiklang (1976)
for piano
Kunst - Kapital - Arbeit (art - capital - work) outwardly seperated, inwardly dependent; false consonant, in reality dissonant; forced harmony, real polarisation.
Duration: 11' 00"
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"Sicher sein ..." (1976)
for orator and tape
Texts: Alltags- Werbe- Mediensprache
Three versions:
1. Electronic tape (=record)
2. Electronic tape and orator (live)
3. Electronic tape and orator (live) reduced to 14'

'Sicher sein...' confronts newspaper articles on the subject of redundancies, read by the orator, with the advertising slogan 'Sicher sein, Bankverein'.
Duration: 23' 00"
Manuscript
Grundgesetze I (1976-1977)
for large orchestra (3(3pic).3.3(3bcl).3/4.3.3.1/3perc/gtr/10.10.8.6.4) and four orators
Texts: Karl Marx, Oskar Schammidatus, Max E. Keller
The individuality of the parts, appearing outwardly extreme (each of the sixty five instruments has its own part), is deleted. It is synchronised to a mechanically regular machine-like beat.
Duration: 15' 00"
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Grundgesetze III (1977)
for two orators and electronic tape
Texts: Alltags- Werbe- Mediensprache
Two versions:
1. Electronic tape
2. Electronic tape and two live orators
The texts confront the ideological promises of the economic markets and the sad reality.

Duration: 13' 00"
Manuscript
Gesänge II (1977)
for soprano flute (C and G), clarinet (bass clarinet), violoncello and piano
Texts: Erich Fried
The six poems in Erich Fried's cycle ‘Verhaltensmuster’ (behaviour pattern) from the collection ‘Die Beine der grösseren Lügen’ do, on the one hand, contrast, section against section in direct correspondence with the behaviour pattern. On the other hand they are concatenated by signal-like motives.
Duration: 13' 00"
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Veränderungen (1977-1978)
for recorder, AKS synthesizer and electronic tape
No mixer is necessary and the handling of the synthesizer requires no special technical knowledge. The score describes quite precisely the operation of the hands. The flute part is very simple to play but the piece contains a couple of small scenic elements.
Duration: 13' 00"
Manuscript
Sie (1978)
for electronic tape and orator
Texts: Alltags- Werbe- Mediensprache
Three versions:
1. Electronic tape
2. Electronic tape and orator (live)
3. Electronic tape and improvising ensemble. Score ad libitum (can be set soloistically).
‘Sie’ is an ironic advertising jingle for atomic energy (=Sie). A small scenic arrangement exists for the version with live orator.

Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Zum 1. August (1978)
for soprano, flute, bass clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano
Texts: Max E. Keller.
Duration: 2' 00"
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Hymnen (1979)
for electronic tape and two orators
Texts: Alltags- Werbe- Mediensprache
Three versions:
1. Electronic tape
2. Electronic tape and one live orator
3. Electronic tape and two orators
‘Hymnen’ confronts the authentic account of a Chilean’s experiences during his torture by the Chilean fashists with a collage of national anthems.

Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
Genesis (1979-1980)
for orchestra (2.2.2(2bcl)2/4.2.1.0/1perc/8.6.4.4.2)
A melodic shape is gradually developed through a partly steady, partly erratic process to its final form. The melody is covered again and again by the massive orchestral sound but little by little reasserts itself in every respect.
Duration: 16' 00"
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Erinnerungen I (1980)
for electronic tape
A couple of synthesizer circuits and a scheme form a framework for the music. Its spontaneous and direct realisation is reminiscent of the improvisation period.
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
Erinnerungen II (1980)
for piano
A reflective recollection of improvisation.
Duration: 4' 00"
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Repetitionen I-V (1980)
for harpsichord
Study on the form and function of repetition.
Duration: 11' 00"
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Egon - Aus dem Leben eines Bankbeamten (1980-1981)
A miniature opera in two acts based on a text by H. Suter
The additional title ‘miniature’ is not based on time dimensions but on personal input. If more people are available the functions can be split accordingly. The actors have very simple parts to sing, a considerable amount is speaking-song or played back from electronic tape, which also has a very important roll i.e. that of a quasi orchestra. It tells the story of a maladjusted bank clerk whose political conscience is slowly aroused by various occurrences. After several attempts at dropping out he finally finds his own existential form enabling him to perform reasonable political and social actions.
Score: two actors (one possibly plays guitar), actress, cello, technician (electronic tape and light, possibly tenor saxophone) and alto saxophone.

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Gesänge III "Die Lautlosigkeit der Ameisen" (1981)
for soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, percussion, piano, string quartet and double-bass
Texts: Jürg Weibel
Four poems about Switzerland by Jürg Weibel. The first: A contrast between the revolutionary past and the conservative present. The second: Eidgenoss / die Kunst / Waffenhändler zu sein / und als Friedensapostel zu gelten.
Duration: 8' 00"
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Progressionen (1981)
for ensemble (fl.ob.cl/pf/vn.va.vc)
A universal principle of progress organises the form and the construction of the single layers, in the big as in the small.
Duration: 7' 00"
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Sehr verehrter Herr Direktor (1982)
for singing voice, piano and electronic tape
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
Konfigurationen (1982)
for ensemble (oboe, English horn, trombone, percussion, piano, viola, violoncello and double-bass
'Konfigurationen' is a collection of compositions that can be performed as individual pieces or arbitrary groups. The instrumentalists also have texts to read - it should be made obvious throughout that none of them are professional orators.
Nr. 1: Maximal score (6’30)
Nr. 2: ob.va (4’30)
Nr. 3: va.vc.tbn.pf (4’30)
Nr. 4: Orators (or Instrumentalists), va[=vn].tbn.db (4’30)

Duration: 20' 00"
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Remember (1982)
for bass clarinet and piano
Verbal concept for improvisation which gives a relatively precise description of the structures, variations and procedure.
Duration: 10' 00"
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Hände (1982-1983)
for soprano, bass and percussion
Music to the silent film bearing the same name. This piece was commissioned by Swiss Television; It can be performed without the film.
Duration: 10' 00"
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Egonia (1983)
for violoncello and electronic tape
The second overture to the mini-opera “Egon” with small alterations. The sound of falling coins predominates the sounds on the cassette.
Duration: 6' 00"
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Dornenbahn (1983)
for violoncello solo
Very much in the foreground are rhythm, timbre, dynamics and articulation - i.e. Parameters that traditionally take second place. A virtuosic exercise in bowing techniques.
Duration: 9' 00"
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Friedenslied eines Oboisten (1983)
for oboe
Poems by Burkhard Glaetzner.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Puls und Trigger (1984)
for electronic tape
Music in an area of conflict between free breathing time (pulse) and mathematical-electronic structuring.
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
Zustand I - VII (1984)
for instrumental ensemble (ob.cl/hn.tbn.tpt/2vn.va.vc/perc)
Here a confrontation develops between free association and a multi-faceted melismatic spinning. Demands a high degree of precise interplay.
Duration: 18' 00"
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Fontamara (1984-1986)
Scenic cantata
for five singers, two actors, choir and orchestra (1(pic).1.1.1/1.1.1.0/2perc/hp.hmn,pf/2.1.1.1)
Texts: Ignazio Silone (Frans Denissen)
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Achuapa / Nicaragua (1986)
for speaking and singing pianist
The trigger for this work was the murder of four female farmers, a child and a Swiss development worker by contra revolutionaries. The pianist (preferably a female) also speaks, sings one or two notes and controls a cassette containing excerpts from a diary.
Duration: 9' 00"
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Erinnerungen III (1986)
for piano
Graphic score, simple and suitable for students.
Duration: 3' 00"-5' 00"
Nepomuk Musik Verlag
c/o Breitkopf & Härtel Musikverlag
Walkmühlstrasse 52
D-65195 Wiesbaden
BRD
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Erinnerungen IV - "Es geht ein' dunkle Wolk' herein" (1987)
for guitar solo
Based on four songs from different eras covering the same theme of force and counterforce. Uses the fingerings and special effects developed by Christoph Jaggin, to whom the piece is dedicated.
Duration: 18' 00"
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Karikaturen (1987)
for wind quintet
Duration: 15' 00"
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CHF: 29.00
aushalten und bewegen (endure and enduce) (1988)
for accordion
All procedures, with the exception of a few free figures, are derived from the contrast between recumbent sound (endure) and rhythmically structured repetitions of sound (induce). The title also focuses to all intents and purposes on the ‘extramusical’.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Erinnerungen V (1988)
for organ
Duration: 8' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
Ausharren im Grauen (1988)
for oboe, violoncello and piano
"A trio-piece of coagulate sound, quasi-captivated nerviness with bursts of desperate fury" (Frank Schneider on the world premiere).
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
Kreisen in den Tiefen (1988)
for viola, violoncello and double-bass
Composed after the idea of monophonic lines with nuances in colour such as rotary movement and superimposition of rhythmical and melodic sequences.
Duration: 13' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
trotz-dem (1988)
for electronic tape
Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
Konfigurationen II (1989)
for alto and instrumental ensemble (flute, clarinet (bass clarinet), violin, violoncello, percussion and piano
Texts: Franz Hohler, Hansjörg Schneider, Jürg Schmied, Sascha Anderson, Max E. Keller
Eight texts, different in kind, from poetry to excerpts from military regulations. Theme: order fetishism as a contrast to a chaotic, self-destructive world. Authors: Franz Hohler, Hansjorg Schneider, Jürg Schmied, Sascha Anderson, Max E. Keller.
Duration: 16' 00"
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CHF: 39.00
Entfernung und Annäherung (1989)
for saxophone, piano and percussion (or any three instruments)
Verbal score which describes relatively precisely the structures, variations and procedure.
Duration: 10' 00"-25' 00"
Manuscript
senza e con (1989)
for ensemble (fl.ssx.tsx.barsx/hn.3tpt.3tbn/pf/db)
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Das ganze Leben (1989-1990)
Piano concert in eight parts
(2.2.2(2bcl).2/2.2.1.0/perc/7.7.4.4.2)
To explore the whole of vastness is the utopic aim, and yet the whole can only be seen in part. Dialectic between part and whole is expressed in terms of the exploration to extremities of a dimension and the freezing of other parameters. A simple orchestral part with aleatoric passages in which each individual plays independently.
Duration: 15' 00"
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CHF: 44.00
Zuflucht (1990)
for alto and piano
8th text of the 'Konfigurationen II' in a reduction for Alto and piano.
Duration: 4' 00"
Manuscript
CHF: 13.00
Swissfiction (1990)
Musical theatrical scenes
for four actors(esses), four musicians (fl.ob.cl.vn) and a four-channel electronic tape
Texts: Alex Gfeller
Based on Alex Gfellers story 'Das Komitee'.The cities of Switzerland are contaminated, be it with poison or radioactivity, the ozone layer is depleted many paths leading to destruction have long been foreseeable. Only few have survived and sit vegetating in their shelters underneath the ruins of earlier prosperity. Some have already mutated, others live in a world of delusion.
Duration: 30' 00"
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CHF: 34.00
Konfigurationen III - January 1991 (1991)
for oboe (or flute), bassoon, guitar and piano
The musicians also perform scenic actions and speak a couple of sentences.
Duration: 8' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Mozmax (1991)
Transformations from W.A. Mozart's "Salzburger Sinfonie" KV 138
for strings
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Strich-Punkt-Strich (1992)
for string sextet
The title identifies the structure cells, from which the composition is deduced, both in the large and small: Sustained tone - shorter tone - sustained tone. A rich sound world blooms from this modest idea.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Gesänge IV - 10 Poems by Kurt Marti (1992)
for soprano and instrumental ensemble (flute, clarinet (bass clarinet), violin, violoncello and piano)
Texts: Kurt Marti
The poems are taken from different collections to form a cycle, the inner and outer components of which convey particularly Swiss characteristics: weighty burden, efficiency, precision as a substitute for happiness, and indifference. The soprano's phraseology encompasses both recitative and flamboyant melodies.
Duration: 16' 00"
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CHF: 23.00
zerblasen (1992-1993)
for instrumental ensemble (fl.ob.cl(bcl).bn/hn.tpt.tbn/db)
An obsessive, pulsating sequence is stoped down again and again and shortened whenever some sound fields establish themselves in the interstitial. A new multifaceted music replaces the worn down rhythm.
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Neungestalt (1993)
for percussion solo
A musical form of nine groups with nine variations in which one of the nine membranophones is featured. Drum kit, containing two bass drums (with pedals).
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Four Piano Pieces (1993)
Each piece (which can also be performed separately) starts with a simple, spontaneous idea, developed more extensively in an improvised manner and then contrasted. No. 1 and 2 are easy, No. 3 more difficult, while No. 4 contains quickly repeating and rapidly changing chords.
Duration: 18' 00"
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CHF: 39.00
Grafik (1993)
for two saxophones, bass clarinet, piano and percussion
A musical process which unites extreme opposites or sets them side by side. A predominantly graphic score supplemented with a few words and notes.
Duration: 8' 00"-11' 00"
Manuscript
Heterophonie (1993)
for two saxophones, bass clarinet, piano and percussion
A twelve-tone melody (original and inverted) notated without rhythm is six-times heterophonically intonated by alternating instrumental combinations to which each of the instruments provides a quasi-solisitic improvisation.
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Akkordsequenz (1993)
for three saxophones, piano and percussion
Primarily through-notated with some improvisational freedom and soli.
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Es ist kalt (1993)
for youth or female choir
Duration: 3' 00"
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CHF: 13.00
Konstellationen (1993-1994)
for flute, violoncello and piano
A dense, permanently shifting net of relations between instruments: one instrument acts ‘equal’ ‘similar’, ‘contrary’ or ‘concomitant’ to another.
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
Moralinski (1994)
for voice, saxophone, piano and percussion
Texts: Adrian Sollberger
Manuscript
Walk-Music (1994)
for flute, violin, guitar and percussion
Each of the musicians follows his/her own course, whereby each independently repeats and varies a single sequence: Isolation, without contact, narcissism - sign of the times...
Duration: 11' 00"-15' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
2. Streichquartett (1995)
Duration: 11' 00"
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5 Improvisationsmodelle für Jugendliche (1995)
for between three and eight players on any instruments
In N°s 2-5 performers lacking instrumental knowledge can use their voices, sounding objects or simple flutes and horns.
Duration: var.
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Ritardando (1995)
for three bassoons
Duration: 3' 00"
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CHF: 13.00
Siebensang (1995)
for flute
Seven sections, each one of which places a different musical dimension (e.g. colour, rhythm, duration, dynamics, repetition, pulse) at its centre: intensive fathoming, probing search, insistent depiction.
Duration: 7' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Pentalog (1995-1996)
for chamber orchestra (1.1.1(bcl).1/1.1.1.1/perc/6.5.4.3.2)
This work uses material by W. Bärtschi, U. Gasser, M. Sigrist and P. Wettstein especially written by them for the project ‘Kreuzende Wege’. Every movement of the material places a different colleague at the centre of attention.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 31.00
Solitario (1996)
for flute, guitar and percussion
Each instrument builds its own world using eight elementary figures; each goes its own way yet parallels are shown to exist. Relationships form and the dialectic of the controlled ‘own way’ and random combination begin to play.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Nononono (1996)
for violin solo
Seven elements are developed into a combination according to the pattern A, AB, ABC,... and then once again reduced. This simple process is superposed and counterpointed with other structures in which dynamic and differentiation are of particular importance.
Duration: 7' 00"
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les pompiers (souvenir de Berlin) (1996)
for four trombones, piano, electric guitar and elextronic amplification
Contains a large improvised portion - works humorously with the fire brigade-fourth. Simple pitch shifting and echoplex (quasi belt sander with a duration of 20 seconds).
Duration: 6' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
weniger und mehr (1996-2013)
for violoncello, accordion and piano
The title 'weniger and mehr' (less and more) describes a principle that defines individual processes. The work begins with a series of vigorous accordion decresecendi that become ever shorter (LESS in volume and duration) and separated by ever increasing (MORE) intervals. A rhythm, the cells of which appear throughout the whole piece, is formed simultaneously within these sounds: less in sound means more in rhythm. How and to what degree is a dialogue between the instruments possible? - This question is a further aspect expressed in, among other things, the exploration of opposing extremes of register or, contrariwise, unisono, or in attempting to bridge distances.
Duration: 13' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
aufflackern und verlöschen (1997)
for tenor saxophone
Eight elements are gradually built up and again dismantled. Within this simple complete-form occur numerous momentary flares and douses. This work uses polyphonics, the fingerings of which are notated and extensively extracted from Daniel Kientzy’s "Les sons multiples aux saxophones".
Duration: 9' 00"
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Kobold (1998)
for piano
Mixed graphic and verbal notation. Improvisatory realisation of procedure and internal structure.
Duration: 4' 00"
Universal Edition
Karlsplatz 6
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Oesterreich
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Deformationen (1998)
for soprano, flute and guitar
Texts: Max E. Keller, E. Galeano
The setting to music of four of my own texts: Globalisation as worldwide exploitation of people and nature; freedon as unlimited and uninhibited profit maximisation; Education as manipulative conformation. The 5th text comes from Eduardo Galeano from Uruguay: repress how the rich countries accumulate their riches.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 23.00
Integration I (1998)
for string quartet and improvisations trio
This work leaves behind the identity of the classical tradition and its strengths (string quartet is widely notated; frequent free improvisation from the jazz tio (saxophone, piano and percussion)) and brings them together only there where real points of contact exist. Integration II and III are conceived in a similar way.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Miniatur (1998)
for flute solo
For Heinrich Keller and the 100th concert of his "Musica Riservata".
Virtuosic with numerous sound effects.
Duration: 3' 00"
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CHF: 13.00
Rotondo (1999-1999)
for nonet (oboe, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, viola, double-bass, accordion, piano and percussion)
A collaboration between members of the 'Komponistensekretariats Zürich' (Werner Bärtschi, Ulrich Gasser, Max Eugen Keller, Martin Sigrist und Peter Wettstein): The score is sent back and forth between the five composers, each fills in a 50-second section before sending it on to the next.
Duration: 50' 00"
Manuscript
CHF: 122.00
agieren und reagieren (1999)
for piano and electronic sound alteration (Boss SE-70)
The player of the popular sound modulator reacts not only passively to the piano sounds but acts also actively like the piano itself.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 23.00
Mondlandschaft (1999)
for twenty-three wind instruments (3(3.pic)3.3(3.bcl).3/4.3.3(3.tbn).1) and three percussionists
The musical procedure is, on the one hand side, reduced to the contrast between long and quiet rather than short and loud, to the light/dark of the barren moon surface, and on the other hand side formed with great subtlety in sound and structure.
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 42.00
Food (1999)
for percussion solo
This piece is to be played on six plates, three glasses, pan lids, small bowls (and other things) while being seated at a table. The percussionist also sings. Eating as a celebrated ritual - in a world of famine.
Duration: 13' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Skizzen (1999)
for flute and guitar
Duration: 9' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Integration II (1999)
for string quartet and improvisations trio
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Integration III (1999)
for string quartet and improvisations trio
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Dialogfelder (2000)
for double-bass and percussion
The instruments form a dialogue on fields of varying length, either in harmony or in contrast; differentiated rubbing noises play an important part in the adaptation. The percussion uses only two toms, two bongos, a cymbal, a thunder sheet and two woodblocks.
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
insieme, a coppie, indipendente (2000)
for four percussion
This work is composed of a series of seven basic, quasi-archetypal structures which are repeated varyingly and superimposed up to four times: roll, punctual field, fade outs, pulse etc..
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
25/250.orch (2000)
for symphony orchestra (2.2.2(bcl).2/4.2.1.0/timp.perc/8.6.4.4.2)
The regular beat is one initial point of departure, on the one hand side as a reference to the 'Winterthurer Musikfestwochen', a 25 year-young rock and pop festival, and on the other a reference to J.S Bach who died 250 years ago. The second point of departure is the fugal principle, in this instance, however, the fugal theme consists not of single tones but of total structures: clusters, sound surfaces, figures, punctual fields etc..
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 47.00
Three lines (2000)
for piano
A composition in cooperation with Werner Bärtschi and Martin Sigrist. A homage to J.S. Bach. Three very different strata combine to form surprising sounds.
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Nix Harmonie (2000-2001)
for orator, trumpet, piano and percussion
Texts: Hans Suter
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Zwillinge (Twins) (2001)
for clarinet (bcl), trombone, violoncello and piano
This work is based on the interactions of the instruments in such a manner that the very close combination of twos (twins) are at the centre and with which one, two or no ‘free’ instruments can consort. The musical process is born of a dialectic between the above mentioned network and its realisation through three almost archetypal musical base models.
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Farbenfahrten (2001)
for string trio
Alone from our notation it is apparent that pitch and rhythm are primary in the European tradition: dynamics is already an auxiliary. ‘Farbenfahrten’ quasi-inverses the priorities: a sequence of six colours form the basis of the composition and remain present even when other dimensions of the music emerge more dominant.
Duration: 12' 00"
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Sans cesse (2001)
for oboe, bassoon, horn, trombone, violin, viola, violoncello and double-bass
Duration: 9' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Fern(seh) - Mitleid (2001)
for soprano and violin
Texts: Max E. Keller
A contribution to the 'Zepernicker Liederbuch', 2001.
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
tenuto, battuto, fulminante (2001)
for symphony orchestra (3.3.3(3bcl).3(3cbcl)/4.3.3(3btbn).1/3perc/min.10.min.8.6.6.4)
This work centres on the pulse and the tension between it and its opposite: sustained tone or sound.
Both poles of the musical process are shaped with a maximum colour and tonal spectrum. A third basic element is brisk, loud walking movements, which fly down unexpectedly like a bolt from the blue.
Commissioned by the ‘Aargauer Kuratorium’ for the ‘Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich’.

Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 52.00
Schnitt-Muster (2002)
for flute, clarinet, piano, percussion and string trio
Sometimes completely different musical types or structural samples are set aside each other in a similar way to the effect achieved while zapping through television channels, sharp cuts which seem at first random are yet intentional. Even the other meaning of ‘cut-sample’, the prefabrication of something based on a template or the stereotypical also receives acknowledgement through the mimicry of musical styles. In this manner various fields of popular music are touched upon - even contemporary music cannot escape.
Duration: 7' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Unione e tremolo (2002)
for violin and viola
Conceived for a world premiere in the Gobi desert, this piece must be extremely desert-proof. Unisono and octavel sound doubling forms the initial starting point. This, on the one hand side, turns a contemporary music taboo into material and brings the sound and the drifting apart of the duo into play on the other.
Duration: 5' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Inseln (2002)
for viola and violoncello
World premiere: October 2002 in Reutlingen.
Duration: 7' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Wie ein Kanon (2002)
for four double-bass and four clarinets ad libitum
First performed in Berlin, October 2002.
Duration: 5' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Le Croce (2002)
for ensemble (1.1.1.1/1.1.1.0/pf.mar/2.1.1.1)
As a commission for the Swiss Expo 02 this piece takes the Swiss cross, apparent as pitch structures in the form of crosses, and places it at the centre of the composition. Initially as an interval-cross in quasi-negative form, it later appears manifold and differentiated in positive form.
Duration: 3' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
Vom Grunde (2003)
for baritone and piano
Texts: Barbara Köhler
One can accept or rebel against tradition, for once I have accepted it and, without dislocation, composed a poem. Barbara Köhler wrote texts about the river Elbe - quiet, melancholic and with a pinch of antidote, particularly nice in the poems chosen by me.
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Uf Ärde (2003)
for baritone solo
Composed for the Roaring Hoofs in Mongolia, this short solo piece is an inverted variation on the lied ‘S Vreneli ab em Guggisbärg’, which begins vastly removed from the folksong but gradually approaches it until the original finally sounds.
Duration: 3' 00"
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CHF: 13.00
3. Streichquartett (2003)
Five simple, quasi-archetypal structures form the basis of this work: accents with differentiated final notes, punctual and cliché fields, sound surfaces, repetitions and pulse. It offers, with simple clarity, an opportunity for the listener to follow the musical process and, more particularly, the form which it supports.
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Changements (2003)
for tuba, percussion, piano and live electronic (BOSS SE-70)
Changements - between various instrumental groups, between natural and transformed sound, between calm and hectic, between cut and transition, between air and tone, between pulse and free rhythm, between repetition and progress, between sound and noise, between…
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
Verschmelzungen (Fusions) (2003)
for recorder (alto and bass) and piano
There is rarely a greater difference noted between two instruments regarding sound generation, volume, appearance and aura than between the piano and the recorder. To compose fusions of these two instruments was a challenge which is relayed to the performers who must reach out to the limits of playability.
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
calmo e furioso (2003-2004)
for clarinet (bass clarinet), accordion and double-bass
The initial point of departure for this composition is the contrast between calm and hectic unfolded in transitions and tempo cuts on nine basic figures which, with time, develop a rich life of their own. The initial impetus provokes processes on other levels - almost like in real life.
Duration: 13' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Kalkül und Emotion (2004)
for saxophone quartet (SATBar) and string quartet
This work forms with calculated emotional intention the intertwining, togetherness and conflict of the two quartets. The security net provided by the rational prearrangements allows greater freedom and confidence in the emotional decisions made regarding concrete sounds, instruments, complexity and developments.
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Löwen Löwen (2004)
for soprano and violin
Texts: Klaus Merz
In laconic, melancholic and simultaneously playfully poetic miniatures Klaus Merz mirrors in ‘Löwen Löwen’ surprising facets of the much praised lagunal city of Venice. Profound ambiguity is the point of departure for this musicalisation which partly proceeds as if on two levels before reuniting unawares.
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
Graduale (2005)
for mixed choir, clarinet in B ad libitum, and percussion (2 toms, 2 bongos, cymbals) ad libium
Texts: Silja Walter.
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
(Including clarinet part)
Selbstgespräche (2006)
for piano and live electronics
These days, a machine is increasingly the conversational partner of humans and so it is in "Selbstgespräche". A small digital apparatus is positioned directly onto the piano and is operated predominantly by the pianist using two foot pedals. The apparatus changes, morphs or repeats that which is played by the pianist, who in turn reintervenes in this transformed sound.
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 23.00
nel pomeriggio (2006)
for baritone saxophone and string quartet
A comfortable afternoon in a dusty café: as in times past, a string quartet plays a waltz that nobody listens to, a never-ending, continuously repetitive violin melody and an almost imperceptibly shifting accompaniment. Added to this is a completely inappropriate baritone saxophone - sometimes blending in, sometimes detached and sometimes obstinately defiant. Suddenly a bang! And everything collapses into shadowy ruins.
Duration: 7' 00"
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(Parts available from the composer)
Eingriffe (2006)
for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola and violoncello
The initial material consists of two melodies and two rhythmical sequences; these can be varied causing their superposition's to result in a countless number of related musical forms. The recurring formal idea is the "undampered clew": a dense, wide mesh that thins out then squeezes itself into the centre of the sound space. In this clear, goal-orientated process, diversity is encroached upon: three instruments temporarily break out of the process, colourful accents engage with the continuous mezzo forte, the process stops momentarily, the residual viola tips over into the realms of noise etc.
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 34.00
(Parts available from the composer)
Schlaglichter (2006)
for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, double bass and percussion
The three miniatures are the reshaping of the structure and instrumentation of three laconic parts of my opera "Die Axt" after "Graf Öderland" by Max Frisch, which I composed as a commission for the Komischen Oper Berlin.
Schlaglicht I is taken from the end of the 2nd act. In Schlaglicht II, the wind instrumentalists play excerpts from the three trumpets in the 1st act, while the percussion and double bass develop a new oppositional layer. Schlaglicht III transposes almost the entire 5th act where the bassoon and oboe intonate the duet between the central character and his partner, while the clarinet and double bass play the accompanying trumpet and tuba and the percussion brings in a new line.
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
gebündelt und ausfasernd (2007)
for flute, clarinet (bcl), violin and piano
"gebündelt" (clustered) initially means the beginning together of different chords of varying duration, which then either die out, collapse or very quietly drift ("ausfasern"), that is to say dissolve in short, soft movements. The chords are in the forte range and vary throughout the composition with respect to dynamics and internal movement, repeating rhythms and timbral changes. The drifting ("ausfasern"), is also formed in a multifarious manner, but always remains in the quiet range.
Duration: 10' 00"
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Les sons perdus (2007)
for three recorders (alto + sopranino, alto + soprano, alto + bass(f))
Since the emancipation of dissonance and the break with tonal music, the third has largely become a taboo, a lost sound. For centuries the foundation of harmony and even today a primary component of popular music, it has been dismissed in art music as the symbol of a pseudo-ideal world. "les sons perdus" attempts to encounter and thematise this impoverishing constraint of sound by using a major third together with a variable additional interval to establish the structure of six formal components.
Duration: 8' 00"
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12-06-07 (2007)
for soprano, oboe, alto saxophone, horn and viola
A text about statistically the most frequent causes of death in Switzerland takes its course and is interspersed by ten extremely varied newsflashes from real life, all of them objets trouvés from two daily newspaper of 12th June, 2007. The statistical information is set to music in a recitative manner with very few, primarily sustained notes. This is in contrast to the ten newsflashes whose music is composed with lively movements and a tangible pulse in various structures. The somewhat macabre text montage reflects the apparent phenomenon of the sometimes-grotesque contrast of various themes and texts, which seems to magically attract humans.
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 34.00
concertare e improvvisare (2007)
for flute, oboe, clarinet (bcl), violin, viola, violoncello and improvising piano
This work contrasts notated music with improvised music. The sextet is extensively notated; the piano merely has several verbal suggestions. There are, however, also moments of improvisation in the sextet where, for example, each instrument initially and independently of the others repeats a phrase, which gradually changes following verbal instructions. Each begins this process with great intensity, playing as loud and as quickly as possible – very much in the style of early free jazz.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
allemal (2007)
for soprano, clarinet (bcl) and piano
Texts: Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
"It is almost impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singing somebody's beard."
One of ten aphorisms written by Lichtenberg more than two hundred years ago - and still surprisingly relevant today. This musical version attempts to transpose the concise, acuminate formulation into succinct, very divergent miniatures.
Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 29.00
Wie Kraut und Rüben (2008)
After the picture bearing the same title by Paul Klee
for oboe, bassoon, guitar and viola
In the painting "Wie Kraut und Rüben" by Paul Klee transparent white dots are spread over a red background in irregular rows and create thereby a subtle pulsation within a regular grid. By painting over the dots with the brush, these dots turn into lines, spots and signs. This technique, which Klee called "pointillate", has been transposed to dots of sound, arranged in rows, superimposed in irregular, free rhythms by the four instruments.
Duration: 6' 30"
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CHF: 16.00
Cinque (2008)
for five bassoons
How can a quartet arrive at the title "Cinque" (five)? The form is made up of five basic structures, which are repeated in sequence a total of five times. The temporal structure overlying this form comprises five different durations, which occur quasi-on average five times. Only the outer pattern of the music is thus written, the 'barrel' so to speak. What the wine has to offer is only apparent while drinking it. And as the 4 bassoons work intensely together, something new is created, from the four comes a fifth.
Duration: 5' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Schwein gha! (2008)
Song for children
for children's voice and piano accompaniment
Texts: Mex E. Keller
The text is based on short essays by 9 year-old pupils and reflects their personal experiences of the theme "being lucky". The song presents three such experiences in three strophes. The melody is slightly modal, set in a 32-beat song form and terminated by a refrain.
Duration: 3' 00"
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CHF: 13.00
"Fünf Improvisationsmodelle für Jugendliche" sowie "In Regen, Blitz und Donner" (2008)
for youths with any instruments (including everyday objects and carnival market instruments) + 2 saxophones and violoncello
The improvisational models "Kartenspiel", "Zündschnur", "Sonntagnachmittag", "Wasserfall" and "Gewitter" are first and foremost to be understood as individual concepts. Duration and instrumentation remain open. The pieces can be realised using normal instruments or everyday objects (plastic bags, paper, pan lids, table tops, pieces of wood, pieces of metal, cutlery, crockery etc.). "Wasserfall" and "Kartenspiel" are possible exceptions as the graphics require pitch and pitch modulation, but even this can be realised using carnival market instruments, lotus flutes or the voice as well as conventional instruments. "Gewitter" can also be the framework of a whole form: One of the other concepts can be played during a stop under a balcony etc..
"In Regen, Blitz und Donner" is ultimately a through-composed version of the preceding possibility where three further instruments are added.
Duration: ad libitum
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accent - figure - layer (2008)
A project between improvisation and composition
for bass clarinet/tenor saxophone, percussion, piano, violin, viola and double bass
The wide scope between improvisation and composition is calibrated. There are, however, no long notated passages but form sequences, short notated phrases as starting points, verbal instructions and graphics - right through to improvisation as one extreme. The musical material is based on the archetypal elements 'accent', 'figure' and 'layer' as mentioned in the title. The through-composed parts "unione e tremolo" for violin and viola (movement II) and the violin solo "NONONONO" (movement VII) are inserted between the six movements as the other extreme.
Duration: 58' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
hasten und warten (2008)
for violin and live electronics
The volatile and varying movements of everyday life, a little like the "stop and go" of traffic, provides the basic feeling of tempo for modern times. Irregular rhythms in music are a reflection of this. In "Hasten und Warten", this is taken as the model for the form. The change between stop and go is regular, however, the duration of each section is irregular, ranging from 1 second to 83 seconds. The violin and electronics do not always ride parallel but also in opposition: the violin remains static and the electronics give the impulse or vice versa. The movement contrast does not appear thus in succession but also contrapuntal in simultaneity.
Duration: 7' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Dialogues (2008)
for guitar and live electronics
Both partners are handled equally. The electronics do not only remain passive but also take the initiative. Sometimes the guitar remains on a percussive sample and the electronics answer with increasingly hectic movements, at other times both partners move with varying pulse, as though on two levels, at other times still the guitar gives the impulse, occasionally there is an intensive improvised interaction with rapid and spontaneous role changes.
Duration: 7' 00"-8' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
4. Streichquartett (4th string quartet) (2008)
Duration: 4' 30"
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CHF: 18.00
blau rot soft (2009)
for three sopranos
A collective composition with Susanne Stelzenbach and Ralf Hoyer; text by the composers.
Special guidelines and a structural framework are essential if a good, tonal whole is to be the result of a collective work. Once these two elements are in place the composing can follow freely and independently. The three singers, who sing largely independently of one another, become individual characters.
"Blau fällt der Regen am Morgen / Blau, wenn leise der Tag beginnt (…) Schwarz wird der Pflasterstein / Blau schien der Himmel vor Zeiten, / Wenn der Sommer begann (…) / Leis' fällt der Regen am Mittag, / Schwarz glänzt der Asphalt, / Nass wird der Weg. / Und der Abend ? / Und die Nacht ?" (Max E. Keller)
Duration: 5' 00"
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Blauer Regen (2009)
for solo soprano
Texts: Max E. Keller
Solo version of the collective composition "blau rot soft" together with Susanne Stelzenbach and Ralf Hoyer.
"Blau fällt der Regen am Morgen / Blau, wenn leise der Tag beginnt (…) Schwarz wird der Pflasterstein / Blau schien der Himmel vor Zeiten, / Wenn der Sommer begann (…) / Leis' fällt der Regen am Mittag, / Schwarz glänzt der Asphalt, / Nass wird der Weg. / Und der Abend ? / Und die Nacht ? " (Max E. Keller)
Duration: 5' 00"
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Trio fluido (2009)
for violin, violoncello and piano
Here we have three different elements that flow (a word used in its broadest sense): sustained sounds, wide-reaching melodies and an often repeated phrase from Swiss folk music. These elements are not only varied extensively, but also superimposed. Every so often, short and sometimes very strong opposing figures appear, occasionally cristalising out of the flow. Such opposing figures also form the finish, which leads into another world.
Duration: 7' 00"
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CHF: 21.00
Peanuts (2009)
for flute, clarinet, violin, viola and violoncello
Peanuts are trivialities, in this case a 3-minute scherzo for the 30th birthday of the Theater am Gleis. The well-known bebop piece "Salt Peanuts" is quoted in this work.
Duration: 3' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Grillen (2009)
for trumpet 1 in B, trumpet 2 in B, horn (F), trombone and tuba
The chirping of crickets is generally considered to be soft and quiet, it can, however, become truly clamorous when when many crickets are heard at close quarters - just as one can experience it in the copses or groves of Greece. What is apparently weak can, en mass and under specific circumstances, develop unimagined power. In German the word for cricket is 'Grillen' and carries with it another maeaning: fantastical or dull thoughts.
Duration: 6' 00"
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Wendepunkte (2009)
for piano, percussion and string quartet
For advanced amatuers.
This piece was composed for the music Matura. The education of young people is the same for all until the Matura stage. Here, at the first major turning point in their lives, individuals must decide which direction they wish to take. Thus the 'turning point' became one fundamental concept behind this work, walking together and walking alone became another. They are processed on various levels - both on the quasi-motif and the formal.
Duration: 13' 00"
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CHF: 34.00
Il filo (2009)
for violin and horn
Il filo (the thread) is the name of the underlying theme: the sustained note, from which other things slowly emerge, split off or even oppose. The two instruments start unisono while the sustained tone soon gets rhythmized and played around by a second tone. They veer away from the unisono to find themselves reunited on the same note after various phases. In the final part both spin together or alternately on the same thread, leave it, play around it and give it individual colours.
Duration: 5' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Spontaneous Moments (2009)
for piano
Duration: 2' 00"
Manuscript
Movements (2009)
for piano
This work was created for the World New Music Days 2010 in Australia, where short piano pieces created in a day were invited to participate. This piece is thus a quasi written improvisation. The repetition of an open chord that is widely varied, yet remains in the middle part of each hand, led to the idea of alternating a weak, gradual, so to say 'inner movement' with sudden, stronger changes.
Duration: 4' 00"
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Où est le roi? (2010)
for flute, violin, violoncello and organ
1747: King Friedrich II challenged J.S. Bach to create a 3-part fugue over his own fugue theme, which resulted in 'The Musical Offering'.
2010: The Schweizer Kammerensemble challenged five very different composers to work with the same fugue theme. I transformed it with a contemporary edge into a theme consisting of 2 x 12 different tones - in the sense of 12-tone music but with a slight irregularity. The relation to Bach is initially almost imperceptible, a connection can only be drawn from the rhythm and the fluctuation in colour of the noise-like string sounds. The theme undergoes the normal transformations until it finally emerges in quasi purity.
Duration: 7' 00"
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1968 – und heute? (2010)
for tenor/countertenor and recorder
Texts: Max E. Keller
Three aspects of the 1968 movement in three sections: The USA War against Northern Vietnam caused worldwide protestation, which led in 1975 to the beaten withdrawal of the Americans. Today's united Vietnam is a thriving country and a rich source of mineral deposits. The Shah's visit to Berlin in June 1967 and the shooting of a protesting student by police triggered a further youth revolt in 1968. The Shah was soon forced to stand down and the Islamists picked up the sceptre in a dubious success. In its widest sense, the then ideal of a self-determined yet solidly life gave way to a new conformism and apathy and a bureaucratically regulated society. This setting does not make use of today's ready-made pop idiom, but explores a rather more independent, colourful and diversified musical implementation of this unconventional instrumentation. Voice and recorder often move on different levels by reacting to different textual dimensions. This sound world thus reflects the spontaneity, fantasy and abandon of 68 without the superficial duplication of the textual content.
Duration: 14' 00"
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ich, du, wir (2010)
for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, violoncello
Composed for the 25th anniversary of the 'ensemble für neue musik zürich', this short piece attempts to trace the path to togetherness (ensemble), from I to we. A unity is drawn twice from a dense fabric of independent lines, initially on a trill surface and then in unison at the end.
Duration: 1' 00"
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Snowflakean Thoughts (2010)
for speaking voice, alto saxophone and piano
This short piece is composed after a text by James A. Emanuel (USA). Together with millions of his kind, the snowflake dreams of calling into being a democratic kingdom - and the setting to music of this poem is just as fluffy. It can aslo be performed by amateurs.
Duration: 2' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Pourquoi (2010)
for speaking violin
This solo piece, based on a text by Anthony Phelps (Haiti/Canada), was composed for the franco-anglais de poésie festival in Paris. The poem broaches the contrast between nature, which is entirely and undoubtedly what it is, and man as a reflective being: Pourquoi. The setting to music of this piece uses this contrast and mirrors it in two structures: long, oblivious sounds and systematically growing structures.
Duration: 5' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Gravuren (2010)
for string quartet and percussion
This composition is based on a process or a figurative concept: one or several lines are engraved into a surface, derived from the opposing string surface and percussion line. Surfaces and lines exist in the most varied of forms, colours, intensities and mutations thereof, and the contrast traverses various grades and forms. By utilising three cardboard boxes, the percussion section is also able to play flat rubbing noises that create an approximation of everyday sounds. The spectrum expands at various points throughout the work when totally different elements are suddenly introduced.
Duration: 7' 00"
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Shopping List (2011)
for speaking voice, alto saxophone and piano
Texts: Barry Wallenstein
Duration: 3' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Pour aller mieux (2011)
for tenor, tenor saxophone and piano
Texts: Jean Miniac
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Mutter Natur (2011)
for soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet in B (basscl), percussion, piano, violin, viola, violoncello
Texts: Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Max E. Keller
As disseminated throughout the Enlightenment, F. G. Klopstock also saw the beauty of nature as the work of God and exalted the creator with hymns of praise. When this is quasi secularised, we end up not a million miles away from today's 'green' understanding of nature being a force to be respected and preserved as the foundation of life. In this sense, a text montage of fragments from "Die Frühlingsfeier" and "Der Zürchersee" is set against current traffic reports - a conspicuous symbol of the modern destruction of nature. This conflict is played out as extremely contrasting base structures, which form the starting point of the musical process. Two of these structures initially undergo a block-like exposition, whereby a spoken traffic jam report is installed into a quiet and distant underlying sound highlighted by a noise surface. Transitions between one structure and another then take place to represent the process of degradation or destruction. The extremes are, however, never resolved as this would merely serve as an aesthetic reconciliation of what in reality remains oppositional.
Duration: 9' 00"
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CHF: 34.00
Abschied (2011)
for 16 a-cappella voices
Texts: Max E. Keller
'Abschied' (farewell) accompanies the quasi last hours of a close and loved person. A continuous life tone remains at a constant pitch, but is widely varied and modulated as it fights in vain against the innevitable demise. These tones contrast againt an intensive life and finally ebb away.
Duration: 8' 00"
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Solfeggio du roi et pour le roi (2011)
for flute solo
Duration: 2' 00"
Manuscript
wanawizzi (2011)
for chamber orchestra (2.2.2.2/2.2.0.0/str(6.5.4.3.2))
Our world full of preposterous contradictions: countless humans starve while there is enough food produced on earth to feed them...
wanawizzi (Old High German: Wahnwitz (Engl.: madness)) transforms such antagonisms into musical processes. Each of the 32 instruments acts independently, permanently repeating a particular rhythmical sequence that becomes ever more divided.
In stark contrast to this extraordinarily complex rhythmical mesh, the pitches remain constant, only shortly at first, then ever longer, and always on a dominant seventh chord.
Duration: 8' 00"
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wanawizzi II (2011-2012)
for flute, clarinet, violin and violoncello

Duration: 8' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Ruh' (2011/12)
for soprano and violoncello (or soprano and baritone)
Texts: Max E. Keller
As with many of my compositions, Ruh' (calmness) is based on a richly varied yet simple and easy-to-follow model. Soprano and violoncello continuously find calmness on a quiet unisono, an octave or double octave paraphrased on tonal, rhythmical or sound colour levels. This is followed by a "solo" or "a due" break out into turbulent fields - sometimes also indicated in the lyrics - and the return to a resting tone. Almost like in real life.
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
CHF: 18.00
Die Schwestern (2011/12)
for soprano and double bass (or soprano and piano)
Texts: Christian Morgenstern
In a dialogue between a bell and a cannon, the cannon exhibits its sisterly nearness: "Today they are yours and pray, tomorrow they are mine and kill." The bell vehemently rejects this kinship with the cannon. But is the cannon really wrong? Are religion and War not often twinned? On the one hand, the musical setting accentuates the contrast between the soprano and double bass, even working within the two parties with extreme contrasts. On the other hand, the double bass occasionally ascends the lofty heights of the soprano and twins itself with the voice.
Duration: 6' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Will it matter (2012)
for mezzo-soprano, soprano sax, alto sax and baritone sax
Texts: Heng Siok Tian
On a poem by Heng Siok Tian from Singapur.
"Will it matter if a poetry reader
is male or female, brain or soul treasure?
What height, weight, shape, colour is the measure
of such readers: poetics considered? ...."
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
mit Pfiff (2012)
for flute, bass clarinet, piano, violin, viola and violoncello
The leitmotif of this piece is indeed, as the title suggests (Pfiff = whistle), an instrumental whistle by the whole ensemble, which is followed in each case by a kind of echo - be it hard and loud accents or soft chords.
(Trans.: mit Piff also translates as 'with flair' or 'with zing').
Dedicated to the Ensemble Theater am Gleis Winterthur for it's 20th anniversary.
Duration: 2' 00"
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CHF: 13.00
Les Fleurs du Mal (2012)
Four poems by Charles Baudelaire
for soprano and guitar
Texts: Charles Baudelaire
Baudelaire's worldview is characterised by ambivalence: light is at the same time dark; flowers are 'the evil'. On the one hand is the search for beauty, on the other is the experience of spleen, the never-ending ennui. Transposed into music, the deep, bell-like tones of the guitar are broken by hard, dissonant accents - or dissonant chords slide into consonants and vice versa. The singing voice is characterised by a model that, following a rapid ascent, moves slowly downwards, often quasi-disintegrates or ossifies in ennui.
Duration: 14' 00"
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CHF: 23.00
Das Tattoo blickt böse (2012)
for soprano and string quartet
Texts: Max E. Keller

Duration: 10' 00"
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CHF: 29.00
Der Rutengänger (2012)
for oboe, bassoon, guitar and viola

Duration: 6' 00"
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CHF: 23.00
zusammenwachsen (2012)
for bassoon and piano
For teaching purposes.
This short composition was created for Dieter Hähnchen's collection for teaching purposes.
It begins with a stark contrast between the two dissimilar instruments: a quick, quiet piano motion in the middle register is followed immediately by a deep, loud and long tone from the bassoon. The motives are interchanged, successive becomes simultaneous, and other motives appear. An amalgamation process develops that finally plays out on a noise sound, multiphonic and rhythmical pulse level: the merging of that which does not immediately appear to belong together.
Duration: 4' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
Keim - con sorpresa (2013)
for flute clarinet (bcl), piano, violin, viola, violoncello
This work develops from a simple kernel on the one hand, and displays surprising aspects on the other. And so the kernel grows exuberantly, quasi-uncontrolled, in unpredictable directions, notes remain surprising - like mistakes - enduring to form a surface of contrasts. Suggestions expand into preludes, after beats into codas; the surfaces become noise-like. These surfaces dominate from the middle part onwards, and the kernal fragments and repeats, simultaneously rising up as a pulse. In addition to the little surprises, four structures are spliced in, none of which have anything to do with the kernel: sorpresa.
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 34.00
5. Streichquartett (5th string quartet) (2013)
The 5th String Quartet was written in 2013: A world of incompatible contrasts, of insurmountable disparity regarding wealth, ideology, society and economy. This is reflected in the music by way of hugely contrasting fortissimo and pianissimo passages that usually follow each other without break. Occurring occasionally between these passages are very long general pauses, which can be understood as an extreme form of pianissimo. In the last part, the sections are less strictly designed, more colourful, using even two or more elements. But the result is not a synthesis; there is no convergence of fortissimo and pianissimo.
Dedicated to the ensemble ECLAT (Seoul).
Duration: 12' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Al borde del abismo (2013)
for violin and piano
That literature has more to do with the author than they wish to think is rarely disputed. But music too can be directly linked to a person's situation. Following a medical examination, I was left teetering on the edge of an inner abyss. This led to the creation of four excerpts, the sounds of which hang as if lost in tonal space and wither into noise. Two contrasting parts were then inserted: Emergent, quick, repetitively varied movements, which ultimately solidify again without consequence. From this, the music is twice again liberated in different ways before wild accelerando results in the instruments terminating abruptly.
Duration: 9' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Wiederkehr und Veränderung (2013)
for soprano saxophone, trombone and accordion
Wiederkehr (repetition) and Veränderung (variation) are archetypes of music, and perhaps even of life itself. A series of four basic structures are repeated four times, whereby the duration each time varies enormously, as does the characteristic of each of the basic models. Two of the four basic structures touch on repetition in their internal anatomy. The third basic structure is puzzle-like in its construction, whereby all three instruments repeat the same six elements several times and overlap. On another level, breathing/blowing - an existential basis of life - also plays an important part in this "wind trio".
Duration: 11' 00"
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CHF: 26.00
Mobile (2013)
for 1-5 instruments ad libitum
In 'Mobile' each instrumentalist plays in any order the elements that appeal to him/her the most. Each has the same 25, highly disparate elements at their disposal. The social downside of such a free choice of dissimilar elements (and instruments) is arbitrariness, uniformity and disorientation. A typical example of this is the Internet: We are inundated by an endless torrent of information expressed here by spoken or sung texts, which include a sensational news report appearing alongside a detail of insurance law, news of a border incident alongside a rescue plan for the financial crisis and so on...
Duration: 7' 00"-16' 00"
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CHF: 16.00
mi ricordo (2014)
for piano solo
The title 'mi ricordo' translates as 'I remember'. It refers to the 'theme', which I composed almost 50 years ago, being a starting point for improvisation. A contrasting element was introduced in 2014: a sequence of between four and eight-note chords with fixed, disparate dynamics. The chord sequence becomes a rhythmical model with longer values or pauses close to the end. Short motives can be heard between the chords, including ones that are derived from the theme: mi ricordo.
Dedicated to Satoko Inoue.
Duration: 6' 00"
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CHF: 18.00
Diskographie
20 Jahre Ensemble TaG (Ensemble TaG, 2013)
Interpreten:
Ott Yesilalp, Jacqueline
Jäggin, Christoph
Werke:
Keller, Max E.: Solitario (1996)
Marcela Pavia - Max E. Keller (NEOS, 2011)
Interpreten:
Bärtschi, Werner
Werke:
Keller, Max E.: tenuto, battuto, fulminante (2001)
Keller, Max E.: Selbstgespräche (2006)
Keller, Max E.: Cinque (2008)
Keller, Max E.: Trio fluido (2009)
Mit weiteren Werken von: Marcela Pavia
accent. figure. layer (Dreamscape Nr. DEA 4765, 2010)
Interpreten:
Keller, Max E.
Werke:
Keller, Max E.: Nononono (1996)
Keller, Max E.: Unione e tremolo (2002)
Keller, Max E.: accent - figure - layer (2008)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Festival L'art pour l'Aar. Die Konzerte 2008/2009 (Müller & Schade Nr. 5071/2, 2009)
Interpreten:
Bovey, Pierre-André
Werke:
Darbellay, Jean-Luc: Aulos (2000)
Henking, Christian: 3 Bagatellen für 3 Englischhörner (1999)
Holliger, Heinz: KLAUS-UR (2001-2002)
Wohlhauser, René: Streichtrio (2007)
Keller, Max E.: Cinque (2008)
Schweizer, Alfred: Burleske (2008)
Frauchiger, Katrin: "Estos dias azules" (2008)
Frischknecht, Hans Eugen: FanSolSi (2002)
Darbellay, Jean-Luc: Vif (2008)
Frischknecht, Hans Eugen: Quartett (2009)
Mit weiteren Werken von: Gabrielle Brunner, Stefan Werren, Anastasiya Lozova, Theo Hirsbrunner, Daniel Andres, Pierre-André Bovey, Christian Giger, Markus Hofer, Ursula Gut
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Festival l'art pour l'Aar. November 2003 (Müller &Schade Nr. 5042/2, 2006)
Interpreten:
Frischknecht, Hans Eugen
Monot, Pierre-Alain
Werke:
Darbellay, Jean-Luc: Ecumes (1996)
Darbellay, Jean-Luc: Shadows (1998-1999)
Keller, Max E.: insieme, a coppie, indipendente (2000)
Marti, Heinz: Passages (1970)
Frischknecht, Hans Eugen: Streichquartett (1964)
Zinsstag, Gérard: Sept fragments ou Cinq fragments (1982-1983)
Gut, Ursula: Aquamarin (1992)
Roth, Michel: Patera (2003)
Mit weiteren Werken von: Hans Eugen Frischknecht, Jürg Wyttenbach, Jost Meier, Katrin Frauchiger, Daniel Andres, Alfred Schweizer
Rotondo oder "die Kunst des Fügens" (stv/asm Nr. 16, 2002)
Werke:
Bärtschi, Werner: Rotondo (1999-1999)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
ex machina, volume four: the seventies (cybele Nr. 960.104 / LC 3738, 2001)
Werke:
Keller, Max E.: Sie (1978)
Kreuzende Wege - Komponistensekretariat Zürich (Grammont Porträt Nr. CTS-M 54, 1997)
Interpreten:
Griffiths, Howard
Werke:
Bärtschi, Werner: Federkopf (1996)
Gasser, Ulrich: Pasticcio (1995)
Keller, Max E.: Pentalog (1995-1996)
Wettstein, Peter: Ritornelli (1995)
Sigrist, Martin: INCROCIANDO ()
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Max E. Keller Kammermusik (col legno Nr. AU 031 801, 1990)
Interpreten:
Mathez, Béatrice
Blum, Dominik
ensemble für neue musik zürich
Werke:
Keller, Max E.: Dornenbahn (1983)
Keller, Max E.: Zustand I - VII (1984)
Keller, Max E.: Konfigurationen II (1989)
Keller, Max E.: Friedenslied eines Oboisten (1983)
Keller, Max E.: Achuapa / Nicaragua (1986)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Repetitionen I-V (pläne Nr. LP 88 633, 1981)
Werke:
Keller, Max E.: Repetitionen I-V (1980)
Wüthrich, Hans: Procuste deux étoiles (1980-1981)
Mit weiteren Werken von: Gerhard Stäbler
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Sicher sein ... (SMI Nr. LP 001, 1978)
Werke:
Keller, Max E.: "Sicher sein ..." (1976)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Bibliography
Keller, Max E.: Der Widerstand ist tot! Es leben die Widerstände!, in: Dissonanz 105 (2009), S. 23 [Internet]
Kenneweg, Friederike: Grammont Sélection 5, in: Dissonanz 122 (2013), S. 76-77 [Internet]
Brotbeck, Roman: Grammont Sélection 5. Uraufführungen aus dem Jahr 2011, in: Kuratierung und Kommentierung der CD, Musiques Suisses, Zürich 2012
Drees, Stefan: Max E. Keller: accent figure layer (CD Dreamscape), in: Dissonanz 116 (2011), S. 89 [Internet]
Baumgartner, Michael: Artikel "Max E. Keller", in: Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG), Bärenreiter 2003, S. 1627
Rüdiger, Wolfgang: Drei Improvisationsmodelle von Max E. Keller (1995), in: Musik und Bildung 1 (1997), S. 27-29
Rüdiger, Wolfgang: Von der subversiven Lautlosigkeit der Ameisen. Analytische Gedanken zu Max E. Kellers Gesängen III, in: Festschrift G. Knepler, Bd. 3, hrsg. von Hanns-Werner Heister 1997, S. 117-127
Kreuzende Wege (Orchesterwerke von Werner Bärtschi, Ulrich Gasser, Max E. Keller, Martin Sigrist und Peter Wettstein), in: Katalog zum Projekt "Kreuzende Wege" des Komponistensekretariats Zürich 1996
Rüdiger, Wolfgang: Artikel "Max E. Keller", in: Lexikon Komponisten der Gegenwart (KDG), text+kritik, München 1996
Ringger, Rolf Urs: Von der Enge in der Schweiz. Gespräch mit Max E. Keller, in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (21. April 1989) (1989)
Ensembles