Orpheus Unplugged


Piano Solo and soundtrack (on CD.) Text by Albert Ostermaier

UA: 30/6/2000, Landsberg, Solist: Nicolas Hodges

CD: BVHAAST CD 0901 Konrad Boehmer – The Piano Works Performer(s) : Nicolas Hodges

ORPHEUS UNPLUGGED (2000) was composed during autumn and winter 1999-2000. The editing and assembling of the CD part was done on my computer and in the Institute of Sonology (Royal Conservatory, The Hague; with thanks to Roel Funcken and Kees Tazelaar for their assistance).

The sounds were recorded in different places and on different dates: river-sounds were taken from the Thracian Evros River; cackling and growling as well as the broken bones (those of politicians and clergymen sound best!) were recorded in the Thracian mountains. Thunder and wind were taken from the foot of Mount Olympus. In a nearby village we recorded the different sounds of water-pipes. Years ago the heartbeat was recorded in Oslo (from the then unborn Alexandra Jakobsen).

The hoisting crane was recorded in Montbrison, the sawing machine in Kürten. I recorded the aeroplane from my open window (at my previous adress, Singel 402 in Amsterdam), because planes land in a criminal way and without interruption above the center of Amsterdam. Pissing and farting were recorded during the night hours in St. Peter’s Cathedral (Rome), known for its wonderful acoustics.

Those recordings had just been finished, when an old man in a white robe shuffled through the church, knelt down and kissed the still wet marble slabs. He murmured something like  “pantha rhei”  and disappeared into the gloom… What did he know about Orpheus’ head drifting in the Evros River?

Albert Ostermaier wrote his three poems during summer 1999, and recorded them himself on August 18 the same year. They were written especially for the purpose of this piano piece, which may be considered as a kind of preliminary exercise for a music theatre piece which fe accomplishes as “SENSOR” in the meantime. ORPHEUS UNPLUGGED was written for Nicolas Hodges to whom it is dedicated.

You can download the score here: Orpheusunplug.pdf