Label: Austrian Gramophone
From early beginnings to the present: The composer Bruno Strobl began his studies in composition comparatively late. First came his degree as a classroom teacher, the profession in which he worked until retirement, guiding countless pupils towards music, including contemporary art mu-sic. His own interest in electroacoustic music was triggered during his studies in the 1980s, and one of his early pieces for tape, Hiatus, can be heard on this CD. The Latin “hiatus” means gap, and the basis of this piece is the sound of splitting wood with an axe. Even if this piece is a rather punctual early work, it already shows some of the materi-al that would interest him throughout his career. As in many of his instrumental or vocal pieces, he does not look for new pathways for each individ-ual piece, but explores certain questions from dif-ferent angles, with an increasing eye for detail.
In Bruno Strobl’s electroacoustic works, space takes an important role: experimenting with different de-grees of presence, foreground and background, and with meandering sounds that do not only move from left to right, but also deeper into space. Additionally, space becomes part of the sound it-self, as not only spatial difference, but also reverb is part of the formative process.weiter, weiter, weiter – Transformationen was commissioned by the Wiener Akusmonium and premiered at the Fourier Festival in 2018. It is the newest of the electroacoustic pieces on this CD, which means that there are thirty years be-tween this work and the analogue tape piece hiatus.
However, the same goes as for his early electroacoustic compositions: Transformations of sound, experimenting with colours and space, this time only based on double bass sounds, both 2120conventionally played and using extended tech-niques. At the beginning, there is a clearly recog-nizable bowed sound, on the lower strings and with a slight buzz to it, just as in other places of the piece, original sounds can be heard and iden-tified. Yet sometimes they disappear, and it seems that there are only synthetic or at least not easily identifiable sounds, such as human voices which turns out to be a choir of transformed double bass sounds.
Space effects are expanded through lay-ers of sound, all based on a constantly changing foundation, sometimes in connection with the layers above, sometimes separate from them. weiter,weiter, weiter is not only the newest piece on the CD, but also the one in which the composer works with layers of sound in the most consequent way. It is inspired by Strobl’s work as improvising elec-troacoustic musician, which has become an in-creasing focus of his activities.