People, 1. -  3. October 1998
Karlheinz Essl
Abstract: Composing in cyberspace The artist's spectrum of work reflects, at all times, contemporary social and technological conditions. The rapid development and availability of new technology and information structures also changes the creative field of the composer: an upheaval is becoming evident. Based on the speaker's own compositions, this change is elucidated with a few concrete examples. They highlight, in an exemplary fashion, parts of an extended field of work that tries to distance itself from the much cited "ivory tower".

1. By documenting the respective state of artistic work and reflection in the World Wide Web, the hermetic process of composing "in splendid isolation" mutates to a transparent process that is visible to everyone:

2. In addition to closed works (that are available as scores) there are open processes and experimental designs in which other musicians and composers take part through interaction. For instance, the "work-in-progress" Amazing Maze (1996 ff.) for computers and live musicians would be inconceivable without internet:

3. Cyberspace itself becomes the terrain of a newly developing form of art (webArt) filling the technological, formal and content-related possibilities (and limitations) of the Web in an entirely new way with content, without reducing it to a simple transfer of an old medium into a new one. In this area, the borders between the individual forms of art become blurred. Moreover, it offers a means of working with artists from other fields, such as in the multimedia Web installation MindShipMind (1996-98) that emerged together with the Californian video artist Vibeke Sörensen.

Biography: Karlheinz Essl (*1960 in Vienna) is a composer, among other things. He studied at the Vienna School of Music (1981-87): composition (Friedrich Cerha), electrical-acoustic music (Dieter Kaufmann), double bass (Heinrich Schneikart). From 1997 to 1989 he studied musical science and art history, doctorate in 1989. Initially he was a double bassist in various chamber music and jazz formations. He investigated the formalisability of musical processes (computer aided composition) which led to the development of software "environments" for "algorithmic composition". Numerous publications on contemporary composition theory.

1990-94 "Composer in residence" at the Darmstadt vacation courses for New Music. 1992/93 Performance project "Particle movement" with Harald Naegeli, the "Sprayer of Zurich". 1992/93 he worked at a composition commissioned by IRCAM in Paris. He teaches "computer aided composition" at the Studio for Advanced Music and Media Technology of the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz. Visiting lectures in Graz, Toronto and Copenhagen. In addition to instrumental works and compositions with live electronics, he also produced real-time compositions, improvisation concepts, sound installations, internet projects and live performances. Performances at several international music festivals including Wien Modern, Musikprotokoll, Ars Musica (Brussels), Biennale (Zagreb), Time of Music (Vitasaari, Finland), Presence (Paris), Schönberg Festival (Duisburg), Convergence Festival (New London), NEMO '96 (Chicago), Musica Presente - Musica in Europa (Milan), Ensemblia (Mönchengladbach), Musica (Strasbourg), ISEA (Chicago), Salzburg Festival.

Cooperation with ensembles like Arditti Quartet (London), Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), Klangforum (Vienna), Nieuw Ensemble (Amsterdam), Ensemble InterContemporain (Paris), Ensemble 2e2m (Paris); Champ d'Action (Antwerp), Elision Ensemble (Australia), Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna.

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