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Kessler Thomas

(1937)

Kessler Thomas
Kessler Thomas
Herrengartenweg 20
CH-4123 Allschwil (BL)
Schweiz


www.boosey.com/pages/cr/composer/composer_main.asp?site-lang=de&composerid=15599

 

Genre: Classical Music
Professional activity: Composers
Biography
* 1937.

– Born in Zurich
– Studied German philology and Romance studies in Zurich and Paris followed by composition under the tutelage of Heinz Friedrich Hartig, Ernst Pepping and Boris Blacher in Berlin
1965 – Founded his own electronic studio in Berlin
1965 onwards – Directed the "Electronic Beat Studio" in Berlin; music director of the Centre Universitaire International de Formation et de Recherche Dramatiques in Nancy
1973 until 2000 – Teaches composition and music theory at the Basel Academy of Music and founded there the now renowned electronic studio
– Founded "ECHT!ZEIT", a festival for live electronic music together with Wolfgang Heiniger in Basel
As a composer, Thomas Kessler is interested in the interaction between musicians and electronics. He has written numerous instrumental chamber music works, orchestral pieces and compositions with live electronics. He lives in Basel and Tokyo.


Work list
Konstellationen I (1965)

Instrumentation: for flute, trombone, violoncello and piano

Manuscript
Vier Stücke (1965)

Instrumentation: for string quartet

Gérard Billaudot
14, rue de l'Echiquier
F-75010 Paris
Frankreich
Countdown für Orpheus (1966)

Instrumentation: for tape recorder

Duration: 7' 30"
Manuscript
Musik für Flöte, Klavier und Tonband (1966)

Manuscript
Musik für Kontrabass, Klavier und Tonband (1966)

Manuscript
Konstellationen II (1967)

Instrumentation: for flute, piano, violin and violoncello

Manuscript
Trio (1968)

Instrumentation: for string trio

Duration: 9' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Maimusik (Revolutionsmusik) (1968)

Instrumentation: for ensemble and tape recorder

Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
Nationale Feiertage (1969)
Opera

Manuscript
Smog (1971)

Instrumentation: for trombone and orchestra (2.afl.ca.2.bcl.1/2.1.flhn.1.1/3perc/hp.pf.egtr.eorg/str)

Duration: 12' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Portrait (1972)

Instrumentation: for trombone, piano and percussion

Manuscript
Loop (1973)

Instrumentation: for belt grinder and 4 variable instruments

Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Aufbruch (1973)

Instrumentation: for non-European instruments

Manuscript
Piano Control (1974)

Instrumentation: for piano and synthesizer

Duration: 17' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Klangumkehr (1975)

Instrumentation: for large orchestra

Manuscript
Lost Paradise (1975)

Instrumentation: for piano, harp, alto flute, viola, english horn and live electronics

Duration: 13' 00"
Manuscript
Dialoge (1977)

Instrumentation: for three non-European and the 2 European musicians and vocoder

Manuscript
Unisono (1978)

Instrumentation: for 3 clarinets

Duration: 11' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Violin Control (1978)

Instrumentation: for violin and synthesizer

Duration: 13' 00"
Manuscript
Schallarchiv (1979)
radiophone tape recorder composition

Manuscript
Pujaparwata (1980)

Instrumentation: for Gamelan ensemble and tape recorder

Manuscript
Traumklang (1981)

Instrumentation: for ensemble and live electronics

Manuscript
Drumphony (1981)

Instrumentation: for percussion, computer and orchestra (3.2.2.2/4.3.3.1/hrp.cel.synth/str)

Duration: 18' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Drum Control (1983)

Instrumentation: for percusssion and computer

Duration: 22' 30"
Manuscript
Flute Control (1984-1988)

Instrumentation: for flute and live electronics

Duration: 18' 00"
Manuscript
La Montagne Ardente (1985)

Instrumentation: for 3 synthesizers

Manuscript
String Control (1987)

Instrumentation: for 1 string instrument and live electronics

Manuscript
Polysono (1987)

Instrumentation: for basoon

Manuscript
Aufbruch (1989-1990)

Instrumentation: for 5 samplers and orchestra (4.3.4.2/4.3.3.1/4perc/hp.pf/str)

Duration: 22' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Hades (1989)

Instrumentation: for organ

Manuscript
Harpsichord Control (1990-2005)

Instrumentation: for harpsichord and live electronics

Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
Kontrabass Control (1990-1991)

Instrumentation: for double bass and live electronics

Manuscript
Pièce de Concours (1990)

Instrumentation: for violin and tape recorder

Manuscript
Choral (1991)

Instrumentation: for 4 alto saxophones

Manuscript
Ki (1992)

Instrumentation: for organ

Manuscript
Message (1993)

Instrumentation: for tape recorder

Manuscript
Voice Control (1994-2000)

Instrumentation: for 3 voices and live electronics

Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Trombone Control (1994)

Instrumentation: for trombone and live electronics

Manuscript
Inselmusik (1995)

Instrumentation: for alto saxophone, marimbaphone and piano

Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Windharfe (1996)

Instrumentation: for violin, flute and live electronics

Manuscript
Irasshaimase (1999)

Instrumentation: for shakuhachi and tape recorder

Duration: 9' 20"
Manuscript
Guitar Control (1999)

Instrumentation: for guitar and live electronics

Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
Dichterlesung (2001-2002)

Instrumentation: for three musicians and live electronics

Duration: 21' 00"
Manuscript
"Is it?" (2002)

Instrumentation: for soprano and soprano saxophone

Duration: 7' 00"
Manuscript
",said the shotgun to the head." (2003)

Instrumentation: for poetry reciter, rap choir and orchestra (3.3.3.3/4.2..1/4perc/hp.pf.egtr.eorg/12.10.8.6.4)

Texts: Saul Williams

Duration: 30' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
Utopia (2004)

Instrumentation: for 72 orchestral musicians with 72 live electronic instruments

Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
Oboe Control (2005)

Instrumentation: for oboe and live electronics

Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
Lufttore (2006)

Instrumentation: for bass clarinet and accordion

Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
NGH WHT (2007)

Instrumentation: for speaker and string quartet

Texts: Saul Williams

Following our first collaboration on a work for symphony orchestra (hip-hop-choir and speaker with a text from the book "said the shotgun to the head"), Saul Williams asked me whether I would like to set a further text to music, namely NGH WHT from his newest book "the dead emcee scrolls". Saul subsequently gave me a recording containing a recital of 33 chapters in his own rhythmically complex style.
My immediate idea was to contrast this fiery poem with a string quartet, not only because of the close relationship between the human voice and the string instruments, but also because this concentrated formation seemed suitable to convey the wide expanse between intimate lyrics and explosive drama.
Saul's poems – in his own words – should not actually be read but heard. It is thus, with his performances in Poetry Slams, that he is able to resurrect the age-old mores of oral tradition within which the musical element played an important role – be it as a rhythmical support to the rhyme or as the sung transformation and clarification of the contents.
The string quartet follows the breathless recitation like a synchronised path in such an information dense manner and tempo that it would be very difficult to follow along with the actual written text. Add to this Saul's often coded, symbol loaded and association-rich content that only the initiated can understand, and the quartet gains an important role as musical disseminator and decoder for another level of understanding.
I took his unaltered voice and transformed its rhythmical structures, melodies and timbres, partly freely, partly directly, into an instrumental language. The quartet often articulates single key words, syllables, formants and breathing noises simultaneously and merges in several places almost completely with the spoken word. In other places, the derived spoken material takes it's own path in a flowing process between convergence and distance, synchronicity and time shift, conformation and resistance.

Duration: 24' 00"
Boosey & Hawkes
London
sweet sounds (2008)

Instrumentation: for saxophone and vocal ensemble

Duration: 17' 00"
Manuscript
Flüchtige Gesänge (2012)
Liederzyklus

Instrumentation: für Sopran und Ensemble

Texts: Sarah Kirsch

Duration: 19' 00"
Manuscript
Discography
Thomas Kessler (Grammont Porträt Nr. 98, 2006)
Interpreters:
Nopper, Sylvia
Weiss, Marcus
Works:
Kessler, Thomas: ",said the shotgun to the head." (2003)
Kessler, Thomas: Drum Control (1983)
Kessler, Thomas: "Is it?" (2002)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Basel Sinfonietta (Grammont Porträt Nr. 66, 2001)
Interpreters:
Wyttenbach, Jürg
Works:
Bärtschi, Werner: Die Majestät der Alpen (1988-1989)
Kessler, Thomas: Aufbruch (1989-1990)
With more works of: Igor Strawinsky, Witold Lutoslawski
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Andreas Gutzwiller - Schweizer Kompositionen für Shakuhachi (Grammont Portrait/ Musikszene Schweiz Nr. MGB CTS-M 61, 2000)
Interpreters:
Schneeberger, Hansheinz
Moster, Tobias
Works:
Mäder, Urban: Windstriche I (1998)
Bräm, Thüring: One in two (1998)
Bennett, Gerald: Aki no kaze / Autumn Wind (2002)
Kessler, Thomas: Irasshaimase (1999)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Bibliography
Nonnenmann, Rainer: Höhenflug mit gestutzten Flügeln. Zur Kölner Uraufführung von Thomas Kesslers "Utopia II" (1. Juli 2011), in: Dissonanz 115 (2011), S. 76-77 [Internet]
Gottstein, Björn: Im Schleifen der Differenz. Thomas Kesslers Orchesterstück "Utopia", in: Dissonanz 108 (2009), S. 28-31
Weissberg, Daniel: Ein Rebell zweiter Unordnung. Laudatio zur Verleihung des Marguerite Staehelin Preises an Thomas Kessler, Zürich 2006


Last updated: 2020-10-06 16:48:10