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Gerhard Ruhm


Label: Tochnit Aleph

Format: CD

Genre: Sound Art

In stock


37 solo text-pieces, phonetic poems and poetry duets (with Monika Lichtenfeld) written and composed between 1952 and 2010. Recorded 2011 at Piethopraxis Tonstudio, Cologne by Marcus Schmickler. Comes with 24 page booklet with liner notes by Gerhard Rühm in english & german.
You can listen here to "Gebet" (Prayer), 1954, is an example of vocal constellation. The succession of vowels "a, e, i, o, u" repeated in this order is wrapped up in consonants to the point of producing syllabic coordinations. The title refers to the meditative nature of the composition. "Hymne an Lesbierinnen" (Hymn to Lesbians), 1956-75, consists of a sound text in three parts, at first in 1956, only declaimed, later revised in a recording studio. The three parts of the basic text are arranged in different tonalities and also in reverse and then mixed together in a new simultaneous version.

Gerhard Rühm (b.1930) is an Austrian writer, visual artist, composer, performer of experimental / phonetic poetry, radio and theatre author and publisher. He is considered one of the most important artists of experimental poetry. He studied piano and composition at the National Academy of Music and Interpretative Arts in Vienna and later received private tuition from Josef Matthias Hauer. He lives in Cologne and Vienna.

Gerhard Rühm was a founding member of the “Wiener Gruppe” (1954-1960) with Friedrich Achleitner, H.C. Artmann, Konrad Bayer, and Oswald Wiener. Given the radicalism of their writing, works of art, and happenings, the group is considered to be the first avantgarde movement in Austria, thus contributing decisively to the origin of the Vienna Actionism.

Rühm belongs to the classics of modern German-language literature. Scores of new genres, such as "visual music", "auditory poetry" and "gestural drawing", are among his wide-ranging, heterogenous work that emerges from the interface of literature, visual art and music. His work, which bears the influence of Expressionism and Dadaism, is often based on ready-made material taken from everyday life, which he then adapts using a particular formula. In a spirit of play, and without subjecting himself too rigidly to self-imposed rules, astounding, multi-layered effects of meaning emerge from an extreme concentration of means.

Cat. number: TA107
Year: 2012

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