data driven music derived from laws of mathematics, scientific data and economic data
Franz Danksagmüller | live- electronics and visuals
Cathedral St. Jakobus | Görlitz (Germany)


Works by J.S. Bach, F. Danksagmüller and G. Muffat
Eglise Saint-Saveur, La Rochelle (France)


Klaus Mertens | voice
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Waldshut | Germany


Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Waldshut | Germany

Movimentos Festival

Live soundtrack to the silent film
Franz Danksagmüller | piano and live- electronics
Wolfsburg | Germany


concert and lecture
Franz Danksagmüller | clavichord and live- eletronics
Orgelpark Amsterdam | Netherlands

22.05. – 27. 05. 2018

workshops and concerts with participants of the festival
Eutin | Germany

Der Golem

Live soundtrack to the silent film
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live- electronics
St. Marien, Lübeck | Germany


“comprovisations” about G.F. Handel´s “Music for the Royal Fireworks”
Franz Danksagmüller | live- electronics
Schuppen 6, Lübeck | Germany


Lund | Sweden

07.06.2018 – 09.06.2018
SYMPOSIUM about the Clavichord

at the “Orgelpark” in Amsterdam
Lecture and Concert
Amsterdam | Netherlands


Bernd Ruf | saxophone
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Cathedral of Schleswig | Germany


Bernd Ruf | saxophone
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
St. Nikolai Wismar | Germany

25.06. – 30.06.2018

master class
Pargas | Finland


Nagu | Finland


Cathedral Tampere | Finland


Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Saint Paul´s Abbey, Lacanttal | Austria

16.7. – 21.07.2018
International Organ Festival Haarlem

improvisation masterclass and member of the jury
Haarlem | Netherlands


St. Jakobi Lübeck | Germany


Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Uster | Swizerland


Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Donaueschingen | Germany


St. Nicolai Herzberg | Germany

Festival International d’Orgue de Fribourg
broken Bach

Alexander Goldstein | visuals
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Cathedral Fribourg | Swizerland


Bernd Ruf | saxophone
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
St. Jakobi Lübeck | Germany

21.09. – 29.09.2018
International Buxtehude Organ Competition

member of the jury
Lübeck and Hamburg | Germany


Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Linz | Austria


Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Admont Abbey | Austria


Live soundtrack to the silent film
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Grote Sint LaurensKerk Alkmaar | Netherlands

Die Buddenbrooks

Live soundtrack to the silent film
Großer Saal MHL | Lübeck

concert on the “Warschauer Kniefall”

multimedia performance in cooperation with the Academy of Music in Łódź
Franz Danksagmüller | concept, organ and live- electronics


Franz Danksagmüller

Composer and organist Franz Danksagmüller unites a broad musical spectrum in his innovative projects, compositions and live electronics performances.
His work continually sounds out links between historic and contemporary music, between classical musical instruments and their modern electronic counterparts.

Franz Danksagmüller performs as a soloist and as part of various musical ensembles.
In recent years, he has given guest performances as an organist and performer at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Palace of Arts in Budapest, the Orgelpark in Amsterdam, the Organ Festival Holland in Alkmaar, at the Festival Musica Sacra in St. Pölten and the Sinus Ton Festival in Magdeburg.
His compositions have been played at the competition for the Paul-Hofhaimer-Preis in Innsbruck, at the International Organ Festival in Alkmaar, the Rainy Days Festival at the Philharmonie Luxemburg and the Carinthischer Sommer in Ossiach (Austria), at the Silbermann Tage in Freiberg and the ECHO competition in Treviso.

In his genre-spanning and interdisciplinary projects, Franz Danksagmüller has collaborated with scientists and diverse artistic personalities, including bass-baritone Klaus Mertens, composer and creator of the Kyma, Carla Scaletti, and duduk player Gevorg Dabaghyan.

The project buxtehude_21 was the result of a 2016 collaboration with saxophonist Bernd Ruf. The two musicians use ‘comprovisations’ to build tantalising bridges between baroque and contemporary music. The project has been critically acclaimed as a “captivating adventure in sound”.

In the musical theatre piece Just Call Me God with John Malkovich in the leading role, Franz Danksagmüller collaborated with Martin Haselböck. In 2017, the ensemble guested at a range of venues, including the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Union Chapel in London and the House of Music in Moscow.

His latest projects combine his own compositions with visualisations and film recordings. They include sounding science – multiple compositions based on scientific, mathematical and demographic data, broken Bach – a live remix of baroque music for organ and live electronics, and dávny – a composition of sounds and images from abandoned places and defunct instruments.

Franz Danksagmüller studied organ, composition and electronic music in Vienna, Linz, Saarbrucken and Paris. His teachers include Michael Radulescu, Daniel Roth, Erich Urbanner and Karlheinz Essl. He was awarded an Appreciation Award from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research in 1994, and he has won prizes at various international music competitions. He has performed with the Wiener Symphoniker, the Camerata Salzburg, the Berliner Symphoniker, the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Orchestra of Birmingham, the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, ‘die reihe’ ensemble and the Arnold Schönberg Choir. Furthermore, he has worked with many famous conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Michael Schønwandt, Erwin Ortner and Ton Koopmann.

From 1995 to 2003, Franz Danksagmüller was a lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. From 1999 to 2005, he was organist and composer at the Cathedral of St. Pölten, Austria, and since 2005, he is Professor of Organ and Improvisation at the University of Music Lübeck.
He acts as a juror at distinguished organ competitions, including Haarlem, Alkmaar, Lübeck and St. Albans.
Since 2015, he is a visiting professor at the Xi´an Conservatory of Music in China, and from September 2018, he will be a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Body of instruments

Body of instruments


The organ (organon = tool, instrument) was probably originally developed as a physical instrument, designed to represent relationships and other mathematical conditions using sound (in a similar way to the monochord). The organ is the most complex musical instrument ever created by man. It has the greatest tonal variety and its range exploits the full range of human hearing. This explains why this complex instrument has always been used to replace or imitate other instruments, including a full orchestra.


The clavichord, by contrast, is a very intimate instrument. It allows the most direct contact to sound creation possible for a keyboard player and produces very subtle tonal nuances. For a long time, it was always THE practice instrument for organists. Franz Danksagmüller’s practice instrument is a copy of David Gerstenberg’s pedal clavichord (1766; two man, pedal), built by Joel Speerstra.

Toy Piano

The toy piano was originally conceived as a children’s instrument. It has held a firm place in the contemporary music scene since the 1940s (thanks in part to John Cage).


«The holy grail of sound design», according to Future Music. The sound quality and real-time sound-manipulation possibilities of this system are unrivalled. The Kyma lets you build complex instruments with such a high sound quality that they can enter into dialogue with classical instruments.

These instruments allow the player to transform the sound of any instrument or voice, to layer sounds to create gigantic soundscapes, and to control all sound manipulation parameters in an intuitive manner. Each instrument has an electronic brain, a virtual control panel on the iPad and external controllers, which control the instrument’s various parameters.

Continuum Fingerboard

A three-dimensional keyboard, developed by Lippold Haken in the 1990s. It enables the player to freely intonate polyphonically. Moreover, the timbre and volume of each note can be controlled through finger position (forwards, backwards, more or less pressure). This allows for an extremely subtle shaping of individual tones, comparable to what is possible with classical instruments.

Wiimote and Nunchuk

Originally developed for the games industry, these controllers are equipped with movement sensors to capture a player’s movements in a precise and nuanced way. This capacity makes them equally suited to controlling musical parameters.

Emotiv brain wave sensor

This sensor records brainwaves in real-time and sends them to the electronic musical instrument, enabling various aspects of the soundtrack to be influenced via the emotions. Since music in turn evokes emotions in the player, a fascinating feedback loop can be created.

Wacom graphic tablet

This graphic tablet generates control data on the x, y and z axes, as well as registering the angle and position of the pen, thereby making it possible to control any given musical parameters. Since you are able to write and modulate sound at the same time, graphical scores can be created during a performance.


The Gulliphon is a self-built instrument that is part hardware, part software. It was built using a piece of scrap metal found in a junkyard. The metal object is connected to the Kyma via a contact microphone and several controllers (potentiometers, sensors) and is played using an Incredibow. The idea behind building this instrument was to create fascinating sounds and musical structures from a single raw tone.


Another three-dimensional keyboard, developed by Roger Linn.



about dying

Interdisciplinary Project
St. Petri, Lübeck | Germany

Elohenu – A Jewish Prayer

Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Tutzing | Germany

Organ concert and masterclass

At the Eule organ at the Conservatory of Music Xi´an
Xi´an | China


Bernd Ruf | saxophone
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
St. Nicolai, Sylt | Germany

Von morgens bis mitternachts (Karlheinz Martin 1920)
Sinus Ton- Festival Magdeburg

Live soundtrack to the silent film (live- electronics)
Studiokino Magdeburg / Germany

Internationales Orgelfestival Düsseldorf

Bernd Ruf | saxophone
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
St. Josef, Düsseldorf| Germany

organ concert

St. Elisabeth, Wien | Austria

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

Festival Musica Sacra
Cathedral of St. Pölten | Austria

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

Klaus Mertens | voice
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Konzerthaus Berlin | Germany

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)

Live soundtrack to the silent film (organ and electronics)
Kino Thun / Swizerland

Elohenu – A Jewish Prayer

Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Aachen | Germany

Soirée «Zukunftsmusik»

Hildebrandt-Tage 2017
World premiere of the commissioned work «Kyrie» and concert with organ and live electronics
St. Wenzel Naumburg | Germany

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

Klaus Mertens | voice
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Darmstadt | Germany

Luther – sermones symphoniaci
St. Jacobi, Hamburg | Germany

organ concert

Freiburger Münster | Germany

Gmundner Festwochen

Franz Danksagmüller | toy piano, piano and live- electronics
Martin Haselböck | organ and piano
Martin Schwab | actor
compositions by Franz Danksagmüller and Martin Haselböck
Stadttheater Gmunden | Austria

The Phantom of the Opera

Live soundtrack to the silent film (organ)
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg | Germany

Hotel Pupik – organ matinee

Murnau | Austria

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

Klaus Mertens | voice
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Rotenburg | Germany

organ concert

Works by J. S. Bach | J. U. Steigleder | F. Danksagmüller
St. Jakobi, Lübeck | Germany

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

Cathedral of Schleswig | Germany

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

St. Nikolai Kiel | Germany

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

Klaus Mertens | voice
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Roskilde | Danmark

organ concert

Works by J. S. Bach | J. U. Steigleder | F. Danksagmüller
Norden | Germany

Elohenu – A Jewish Prayer

Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Solingen | Germany

26.06. – 30.06.2017
Pargas Organ Festival
concert and masterclass

Pargas | Finland

live music to silent films of Buster Keaton

Bargteheide | Germany


Bernd Ruf | saxophone
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
St. Nikolai Wismar | Germany

09.06. – 17.06. 2017
Organ Festival Holland

organ competition: member of the jury, masterclass, concert
Alkmaar | Netherlands

Opening concert of the international Symposium about the Hyper Organ

Orgelpark Amsterdam | Netherlands


Bernd Ruf | saxophone
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Höchster Orgelsommer | Germany


Halle | Germany


Cathedral of Ratzeburg | Germany

20.05. + 21.05.2017
Elohenu – A Jewish Prayer

Semjon Kalinowsky | viola
Franz Danksagmüller | organ
Hannover and Sangerhausen | Germany

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

Klaus Mertens | voice
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
St. Jakobi, Lübeck | Germany

Luther – sermones symphoniaci

Klaus Mertens | voice
Franz Danksagmüller | organ and live-electronics
Cathedral of Innsbruck | Austria

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Live soundtrack to the silent film with organ and live electronics
Academy of Music Oslo | Norway

24.04. – 27.04.2017

Improvisation and Programmusik
Academy of Music Oslo | Norway


For choir | string quartet | organ | soloists and speaker
Performance within the liturgy on good friday
Cathedral of St. Pölten / Austria

08.03. – 09.04.2017
Just Call me God

John Malkovich | actor
Martin Haselböck | organ
Michael Sturminger | screenplay
Franz Danksagmüller | live-electronics

08.03.- 10.03. Hamburg | Elbphilharmonie
12.03.- 13.03. Vienna | Konzerthaus
15.03. Amsterdam | Concertgebouw
18.03. Groningen | De Oosterport
21.03. Birmingham | Symphony Hall
23.03.- 25.03. London | Union Chapel
28.03. Luxembourg | Philharmonie
02.04. Moscow | House of Music
04.04. Budapest | Palace of Arts
09.04. Munich | Residenztheater


Kontakt | Imprint

Prof. Franz Danksagmüller
Engelsgrube 66
23552 Lübeck
Mobil: +49 157 81875891

German VAT ID: DE253210015

Editorial: Antje Hubert
Design: Sibyll Amthor |
Realisation: Nils Hartlef
Translation: Richenda Gillespie |

  • sounding science

    Sounds from science, the economy and mathematics

    Franz Danksagmüller Concept, live electronics and visualisation


    I. In the garden of irrational numbers
    π, √2 and e as sounding individuals

    II. Population development in the respective performance locality
    Experience the growth and decline of a population over time

    III. The sound of the economy
    The ‘groove’ of the rise and fall of the stock market

    IV. The sound of brain cells
    An acoustic journey through the brain of a mouse

    V. From the sound of infinity
    The soft melodies inherent in the murmurings of infinity

    What does infinity sound like? Like the rhythm of the economy? How does music change when it is sent through a mouse brain cell? What sound constellations result when multiple brain cells are conjoined?

    In ancient Greece, music was considered to be one of the sciences. Different laws were rendered audible in order to gain a better understanding of them. Using sonification, the ‘implementation’ of mathematical laws in sound, we can make complex relationships perceivable via the senses, and thus create an intuitive means of accessing a fascinating world of numbers that represent a part of our world order.

    This project premiered on 13 January 2018 at the
    Internationale Messiaen-Tage in Görlitz | Zgorzelec.

    Special thanks go to Prof Dr Peer Wulff, Annetrude de Mooij and Gilda Baccini from the University of Kiel for their valuable insights into brain research and comprehensive datasets, to investment banker Dr Erich Becker (London) for his useful suggestions on handling economic data, and to Prof John Mantegna from the University of Vermont (USA) for developing a genetic algorithm that can be used to translate evolutionary processes into tonal structures.

  • luther –
    sermones symphoniaci

    Musical sermons

    Klaus Mertens Voice |
    Franz Danksagmüller Concept | organ | live electronics

    With music from:
    Franz Danksagmüller, J. S. Bach, Heinrich Schütz, Ulrich Steigleder
    Words | songs from Martin Luther and gregorianische Choräle

    PDF-Download > Programme
    Length of programme: approx. 80 minutes

    «Speech is the art of awakening faith.»

    The Sermones Symphoniaci are musical proclamations, an accordance of voice, organ and live electronics. They are based on sermons and songs from Martin Luther. The individual passages take us through the liturgical year and different chapters of the catechism.

    The voice of the preacher (Klaus Mertens) moves between speaking and singing. It is electronically processed and reproduced, so that the singer sometimes produces his own accompanying voices, sings in organum or resounds as a ‘multiplied speaker personage’. Occasionally the voice fuses with the organ sound, making the archaic instrument speak out and becoming one with it as a ‘cosmic preacher’.

    Speech and music become one entity. The soundtrack picks up on the baroque concept of music as proclamation and is based on the principles of baroque rhetorical figures. A singular world of sound is created: words and songs from Martin Luther, Gregorian hymns and the compositions of Heinrich Schütz are united in a resounding sermon of sound – the acoustic equivalent of a richly decorated cathedral that has many stories to tell.

    Westfälisches Volksblatt | 10.02.2017
    The innovative live electronics (…) appear to beam the historical texts as if by magic over the centuries and into the present.

    > Booking enquiry

  • broken bits

    «I hate slick and pretty things. I prefer mistakes and accidents. Which is why I like things like cuts and bruises – they‘re like little flowers. I‘ ve always said that if you have a name for something, like ‚cut‘ or ‚bruise,‘ people will automatically be disturbed by it. But when you see the same thing in nature, and you don‘t know what it is, it can be very beautiful.»
    David Lynch

    This project deals with the beauty, poetry and melancholy inherent in the sound of broken instruments and dilapidated organs. What makes these sounds so special? What signature is left behind by time, climate and the frequently violent and destructive influence of man?

    the projekt

    Extensive audio and video material was gathered from abandoned places on a three-week journey through Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 2014. Further journeys ensued, resulting in what is now a comprehensive archive of material: sounds from destroyed organs and broken instruments found in empty churches, as well as sounds from the derelict buildings themselves (churches, synagogues, factories, etc.) and their surviving inventory. The archive also includes songs and the voices of an elder generation that still has a relationship with these places.

    Since organs that had not been touched since they were first built were also found amongst the instruments, the archive has developed something of a documentary character.

    Aims of the project

    > Compositions for solo organ and piano, as well as for live electronics, organ, different instruments and voice.

    > A concert concept for organ, live electronics and film, focussing on individual instruments and places.

    > Work in progress: documentary film Broken Bits | thede filmproduktion. The film accompanies Franz Danksagmüller on a journey through eastern Europe. It tells of the genesis of his music and dives into the history of these forgotten places.

    > Comprehensive documentation of superlative instruments.

  • just call me god

    A dictator’s final speech

    A dictator lives through the final hours before being deposed from power. Like many potentates before him, he too is fascinated by the organ. His private, subterranean concert auditorium is equipped with a large organ, which forms a backdrop for this piece of musical theatre with John Malkovich in the leading role.

    A military alliance, which has formed in opposition to the dictator, is about to capture the capital city. Storm troops scour the presidential palace and find themselves in the auditorium. Among the soldiers are an organist and a female journalist: a musical-scenic dialogue develops between them and the erstwhile tyrant.

    John Malkovich | Dictator
    Sophie von Kessel | Journalist
    Martin Haselböck | Organ |
    Franz Danksagmüller | Live electronics
    Michael Sturminger | Book, director, producer |

    world premiere:

    8. March 2017 in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg


    Martin Haselböck
    A whiter Air
    The Grand Anthem
    Haselböck | Danksagmüller
    Grand Organ Macabre Harmonica
    Bigger Than Life! | Grand Organ Improvisation | Psychocratic Barground
    Grand Organ Cacophonia
    The Final Waltz

    «…The live electronics make the organ sound swell, creating interpretations, exploring the parallel world on such an artistic level that stands in complete contrast to the sound of the real music. The sound spectrum expands, developing its very own character. The voice of the dictator changes, as do the tonal colours. The organ sound modifies to mimic the rhythm of speech. A metamorphosis takes place. Thus the dictator and the organ merge, creating the powerful tie that has always existed between the mighty and this imposing instrument.»
    Martin Haselböck

    Danksagmüller’s instruments:

    Kyma «the holy grail of sound design» – Future Music
    Three-dimensional keyboard LinnStrument

    © Bilder: Lalo Jodlbauer

  • Broken bach |
    future music

    Live Remix for
    Organ | Live electronics | Minimoog

    Franz Danksagmüller Concept, organ, live electronics


    The classical composers were always at the very forefront of new music. Fascinated by the latest instruments, music and techniques, they learnt from the works of their predecessors, often reworking and transforming them, and using their constituent parts in their own compositions. From this superabundance of musical impressions, they helped shape the music of their time and develop it further.

    The Broken Bach project is based on this interpretation. It begins with the compositions of J.S. Bach and several of his contemporaries, and reworks them using the techniques and means we have at our disposal today: sampling, remixing, digital sound manipulation and more.

    In this way the original compositions are taken apart and their rhythmic or harmonic essence is extracted. Then new pieces of music are constructed using these newfound building blocks.

    As a reference to the spectacular «Switched-On Bach» LP by Walter Carlos, which was produced using Moog synthesizers, a now equally historical instrument is used: an original Minimoog enters into dialogue with the historical organ.

    The premiere was on 30. September 2017 at the Hildebrandt-Tage in Naumburg.

    The programme will include:
    J.S. Bach | Opening choral cantata «Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme»
    J.S. Bach | Orchestral suite: Air
    A. Vivaldi | Excerpts from The Four Seasons
    F. Danksagmüller | «Kyrie!» – composition commissioned for the Hildebrandt-Tage

    > Booking enquiry

  • Masterclass

    rhetorical figures and

    A composer or improviser can elicit specific emotions through music. In the baroque period these states of mind were called affects. Johann Gottfried Walther lists eight of them in his Musical Lexicon: love, sorrow, joy, anger, compassion, fear, courage and wonder.

    Precise knowledge of the different musical and rhetorical elements is essential to be able to evoke such emotional states in your listeners. The roots of this art can be traced back to antiquity. Based on this tradition, many baroque theoreticians, including Christoph Bernhard, Athanasius Kirche and Johann Mattheson, categorised rhythms, rhetorical figures and keys according to their differing effects.

    This workshop examines these treatises and analyses compositions with a direct connection to a particular text or particular emotions, including compositions by Heinrich Schütz, Dietrich Buxtehude and Max Reger, oratorio by J. S. Bach and Joseph Haydn, and stage music by Lully, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as programme and film music.

    Findings from this work are then put into practice by creating your own music through improvisation and composition.

    Dates in 2017

    24. – 27. April | University of Music, Oslo | Norway
    14. and 16. June | Holland Organ Festival, Alkmaar | Holland
    26. – 30. June | Pargas Organ Festival | Finnland

    > Booking enquiry

  • Silent films

    Franz Danksagmüller is known for his evocative and imaginative live soundtracks to silent films. Whether performing as a soloist on the organ, with electronic instruments or in collaboration with other musicians, each and every performance is unique, as the music is generally not recorded.

    One particular characteristic of Franz Danksagmüller’s soundtracks is a blurring of distinctions between music and sound design. At times, the sound seems to originate from the film itself, before moving into the music and back again. When he uses live electronics to create a soundtrack, a unique instrument is created for every performance. Arrangements for different instrumentations have been written for the majority of silent films.

    Nosferatu – A SYMPHONY OF HORROR

    German horror film by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1922
    Duration: 81 minutes
    Organ | vocals | live electronics > Video
    With students from the University of Music Lübeck > Video

    Buster Keaton – Sherlock, Jr.

    American silent comedy by and with Buster Keaton, 1924
    Duration: 45 Minuten
    With students from the University of Music Lübeck > Video

    The Phantom Of The Opera

    American silent film by Rupert Julian, 1925
    Duration: 106 Minuten
    Organ | live electronics > Video

    Körkarlen | Der Fuhrmann des Todes | The Phantom Carriage

    Swedish horror film by Victor Sjöström, 1921
    Duration: 104 minutes
    Vocals: Berit Barfred Jensen | live electronics > Video


    German classic by Fritz Lang, 1927
    Duration: 120 – 144 minutes
    Live electronics > Video


    German spy film by Fritz Lang, 1928
    Duration: 145 minutes
    > Video

    Panzerkreuzer Potemkin | Battleship Potemkin

    Russian film by Sergei Eisenstein, 1925
    Duration: 66 minutes
    Organ | drums: Johannes Fischer | live electronics > Video


    German film by Joe May, 1929
    Duration: 93 minutes
    Welte Organ in the Grassimuseum Leipzig > Video

    The Fall of the House of Usher

    American short film based on a story by E. A. Poe, 1928
    Organ | live electronics > Video

    Also (without recordings):
    La chute de la maison Usher – The Fall of the House of Usher | Jean Epstein, 1928
    Der müde Tod – Destiny | Fritz Lang, 1921
    The Playhouse | Buster Keaton, 1921
    The Garage | Buster Keaton, 1920
    Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari | Robert Wiene, 1920
    Von Morgens bis Mitternachts – From Morn to Midnight | Karlheinz Martin, 1920

    > Booking enquiry

  • buxtehude_21
    on the bridge

    Komprovisationen of works by:
    Tunder | Buxtehude | Bach | Händel

    Bernd Ruf Soprano saxophone, clarinet |
    Franz Danksagmüller Organ, toy piano, live electronics

    The interpretation concept of music professors Bernd Ruf and Franz Danksagmüller contains a similar explosive force as once the beginnings of historical performance practice. Their approach, however, is a completely different one. The central question that is addressed here is not how did musicians once play, but how their music affected its listeners. Danksagmüller_Ruf seek and play with the aim of enabling listeners to experience the effect of the music of past eras in the present. They use methods such as improvisation, recomposition, live electronics, historical performance practice and elements from New Music. This allows them to approach the original score, dust off the patina of the past, reveal its core and assemble it anew. The result is a fascinating tonal distillate, which effectively dissolves epochal thinking.

    Bernd Ruf

    is considered one of the most interesting personalities in the field of classical crossover. The 2002 Grammy nominee attracts attention time and time again for his cross-border projects and encounters with musicians from different cultural circles. He has developed special classical programmes with African, Mongolian and Latin American musicians, as well as jazz and rock musicians. Bernd Ruf has directed the ORF Radiosinfonieorchester of Vienna, the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra Ithaca | New York, and has worked alongside Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Joe Lovano and Randy Brecker. At the Handel Festival in Halle, he developed and leads the annual concert evening, «Bridges to the Classics». As a clarinettist, he plays with bandoneon master Raul Jaurena. He is Professor of Popular Music, Jazz and World Music at the University of Music Lübeck since 2004.

    > CD Trailer
    PDF-Download > Infosheet

    Release date: 09.05.2016
    Label: gpArts | Distributor: EDEL Kultur | Order no.: gpARTS 009

    Booking contact
    Hendrik Czaster |
    Peenestieg 1-3 | 23554 Lübeck | Germany
    Tel +49 451 808 505 60
    Fax +49 451 989 809 76

  • The Gulliphon Project

    The Project

    began life in 2013 with the idea of turning a broken, decommissioned object into a versatile instrument. The instrument is designed to enable the player to modulate a raw sound in a whole range of ways, and to assemble the resultant sounds and timbres into complete soundtracks.

    The chosen object was first thought to be a manhole cover, which is why it was given the name Gulliphon (Gully = German for manhole). Over time it was identified as part of a piece of kitchen equipment for preserving vegetables, but by then the name had stuck.

    The metal rods are played by drawing an Incredibow across them. The resulting sounds are received by a contact microphone and transmitted to the live electronics. The complex software instrument was developed in Kyma over many months, and different buttons, potentiometers and sensors were attached to the object with the help of colleagues from Institut Superiéur Industriel de Bruxelles. Software and hardware are now one entity and the end result is a highly complex and multifaceted instrument.

    The Gulliphon in action

    The Gulliphon has been used in various projects to date – both as a solo instrument and as part of an ensemble with other instruments:

    Live soundtracks to silent films

    Nosferatu > Video between 3:22 – 4:50

    Spione > Video between 1:15 – 1:55

    Club nights

    Interdisciplinary projects


    An evening on the human mind and artificial intelligence
    with choir, organ, drums and Gulliphon
    in cooperation with mathematicians, biologists and theologians
    Venue: St. Petri, Lübeck | Germany

    The Artificial Musical Brain

    with John Mantegna (USA)
    University of Vermont, KISS 2016,
    De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

    > Booking enquiry

  • Sound artwork

    Duduk and organ

    «He who expected the impossible became the greatest of all.»
    Søren Kirkegaard

    A synesthetic project with musicians and visual artists from Armenia to mark the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

    April 2014 | Herford, Lübeck and Hamburg

    Gevorg Dabaghyan (Yerevan) | Duduk
    Karapet Shaboyan (Gyumri) | Duduk
    Franz Danksagmüller (Lübeck) | Organ
    Martin Horn (Bochum) | Speaker

    Sahak Poghosyan | Installation
    Tigran Sahakyan | Mixed technique on canvas
    Sona Abgaryan | Video art
    Vanand Shiraz | Oil painting, collage
    Lilit Vagharshyan | Graphic print
    Vahagn Galstyan | Oil painting
    Tigran Kirakosyan | Felled town, oil on paper
    Ashot Grigoryan | Oil painting
    Hamlet Hovsepyan | Oil painting


    Architect Gido Hülsmann
    in cooperation with Pastor Dr. Otto, St. Marien Kirchengemeinde in Herford

    This interaction between text, music and the visual arts deals with the genocide of the Armenian people and is concerned with hope for reconciliation and for a better world.

    Texts from Armin Theophil Wegner and Søren Kirkegaard are the starting points for this work with nine Armenian artists. Their artworks (paintings, sculptures and a video installation) were brought to Germany in April 2014, and exhibited in the Marienkirche in Herford on 24 April, in St. Jakobi in Lübeck on 26 April and in the Hauptkirche St. Nicolai in Hamburg on 27 April. Duduk players Gevorg Dabaghyan and Karapet Shaboyan engaged in an improvised dialogue with the sculptures and paintings as well as with organist Franz Danksagmüller.

    Mimicking the exhibited artworks, the music does not take place from a single location in each of the churches; instead the musicians play from various positions. Visitors are invited to move around the church and allow the pictures and sounds to affect them.

    A symbiosis of music, words and pictures – creating a synesthetic experience of anger, desperation and hope for reconciliation.

    A book with accompanying CD documenting the project came out in 2016. It can be ordered from

    > Video

    > Booking enquiry

  • Compositions
    for solo organ


    Commissioned work by British organist Henry Fairs. Premiered at the Silbermann-Tage in Freiberg on 7 September 2017.
    This composition is based on Fantasia in A by William Byrd. It is suited to historical organs, yet takes a very different stylistic path, transforming the organ into a “screaming synth”.


    Commissioned work by the Hildebrandt-Tage in Naumburg. Premiered by the composer on 30 September 2017. This composition is based on the ‘Naumburg Kyrie’ and presents a triple invocation in different intensities.


    Commissioned work and compulsory piece for the 2007 International Buxtehude Competition in Lübeck. This composition is based on the first tone sequence of the «Passacaglia in d’» by Dietrich Buxtehude. It was composed for the one-manual, mean tone-tuned Italian baroque organ (from 1777) in Lübeck Cathedral.
    > Video


    Commissioned work and compulsory piece for the 2009 International Buxtehude Competition in Lübeck. The starting point for this composition was the 5th variation of «Ach du feiner Reiter» from the Tabulator Nova by Samuel Scheidt. It can be played on historical organs with one manual and mean tone tuning.
    > Video


    Commissioned work and compulsory piece for the 2012 International Buxtehude Competition in Lübeck. This piece was inspired by the many circles and cycles in the Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch.

    Hieronymus Bosch is often associated with the teachings of the Cathars and their belief in reincarnation. In Catharism, the soul is trapped or rather becomes entangled in the delights of our earthly life, and is reincarnated again and again until it is liberated from the spirit. The ‘musicians’ hell’ on the right triptych panel that shows musical instruments misused as torture instruments was also an important source of inspiration for this piece.

    The player of this work also functions as a sound designer, creating a complete ensemble of unfamiliar instruments through a careful balancing of the stops.
    > Video 01
    > Video 02

    VERSUS «Erbarm dich mein o Herre Gott»

    Commissioned work for the inauguration of the Garnier Organ in the Elgar Hall at the University of Birmingham. Premiere performance by Henry Fairs on 15 November 2014.
    > Video

    AlabasterLightWall – sounds of π

    This composition was commissioned by architects Dirk Boländer and Gido Hülsmann of soan architekten It was premiered by the composer to mark the reconsecration of St. Michael’s Church in Göttingen on 13 September 2015.

    The refurbished church walls are finished in alabaster. This material creates a diffuse, white light, in which the lighting source can only be surmised – a metaphor for the transcendental world. The starting point for this composition was the irrational, transcendental number π. It determines the structure, melody and rhythm of the piece. Mimicking the alabaster used in the church interior, the sounds are intended to represent a materialisation of the infinite, of eternal light. The movement resulting from π leaves traces, building a shimmering sound-light wall, before finally revealing itself in rich timbres as a chorale.
    > Audio


    Commissioned work for the Orgelbüchlein Project, an international composition project that completes the Orgelbüchlein of J. S. Bach. Premiered by Ernst Wally at the Carinthian Summer Music Festival in Ossiach in 2016.

    From sol to BD+42 550 in 100 ly
    – sounds of π

    Commissioned work by the Organ Festival Holland
    Premiered by Pieter van Dijk on the Van Hagerere Schnitger Organ of Sint-Laurenskerk in Alkmaar in 2015.

    This composition describes a spherical expansion out into the universe over 100 lightyears. The structure of the piece conforms with the position of individual stars, starting from the sun of our solar system. The brightness and category of these stars are converted into sounds (with artistic licence).

    From a certain point on, the light rays from the stars become superimposed to create a glistening sound. The tonal transposition of the number π serves as a guide on this journey into the infinite.

  • The artificial musical brain

    The project fathoms possible interactions between human performers and genetic algorithms.


    Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS) 2016
    De Montfort University Leicester | England

    The algorithm was developed by John Mantegna from the University of Vermont (USA) in Kyma and was linked with the Gulliphon for the premiere. The instrument not only directs how the algorithm develops, it also provides the tonal base for the performance.

    Genetic algorithms are based on the principle of biological evolution. The iterative refinement process of a functioning solution is based on genetic operators such as crossing and mutation.

    The algorithm reacts in different ways to input from a human player. The aim of this project is not to produce a finished piece, but to experience the acoustic results of the algorithm as it moves towards its predefined goal. The goal remains flexible, however, and can be redefined by the player at any given time.

  • Geist

    A secular mass for whitsun
    as an artistic-scientific experiment
    of thought, sound and debate.

    Since spirit is a phenomenon not only confined to the church, and art, culture, philosophy and science also have spirit, the scientists are concerned with questions of spirit and consider the question: what is spirit?

    A joint event by the University of Lübeck, Lübeck University of Applied Sciences, University of Music Lübeck and the St. Petri board of trustees on Whitsun Saturday | 14 May 2016 in St. Petri in Lübeck

    Pastor Dr. Bernd Schwarze | Initiator and moderator
    Franz Danksagmüller | Musical concept, live electronics
    with Students from the University of Music Lübeck | Choralschola, organ, piano, drums

    The music consisted of a Gregorian chorale and sonifications of irrational and transcendental numbers, of animal behaviour and the Dow Jones Index (as the spirit of the free markets).

    An interaction between human and artificial intelligence revealed that humans can enter into emotional bonds with a virtual being. Heartbeat, respiratory sounds, voice and brainwaves were recorded from a test subject. These sounds and currents were converted into data streams that directed the sounds of an artificial intelligence sound machine. Its sounds influenced the test person in turn, through which a feedback loop was formed.

    Talks by

    Prof. Dr. Stefan Krause | Lübeck University of Applied Sciences
    Prof. Dr. Alexander Münchau | University of Lübeck
    Prof. Dr. Gaja von Sychowski | University of Music Lübeck
    Prof. Dr. Cornelius Borck | Centre for Cultural Research Lübeck

  • Elohenu

    Hebraic song
    synagogue music for viola and organ

    Semjon Kalinowsky Viola |
    Franz Danksagmüller Organ

    Elohenu – Hebraic Song takes its listeners on a journey through the world of Jewish organ and chamber music of the 19th and 20th centuries. The repertoire of Jewish and non-Jewish composers traverses the European axis – from Ukraine in the east, to France in the west, to England in the north and Switzerland in the south – right up until American mass emigration.

    Programme with works by

    Louis Lewandowski | 1821 – 1894
    Ernest Bloch | 1880 – 1959
    Max Bruch | 1838 – 1920
    Siegfried Würzburger | 1877 – 1942
    Friedrich Gernsheim | 1839 – 1916
    Alexandre Tansman | 1897 – 1986
    Samuel Alman | 1877 – 1947
    Fernand Halphen | 1872 – 1917


    Recording on 24 | 25 April 2015
    on the historical Walcker Organ
    in the Heiligen-Geist-Kirche in Rostock

    PDF-Download > CD accompanying booklet | Text from Dr. Tina Frühauf

    More information
    European Centre for Jewish Music at the HMTM Hannover

    > Booking enquiry

  • Resonances

    Multimedia Project with exhibition
    Video Installation | Musik Performance

    Performance on 23. November 2014 in St. Jakobi in Lübeck

    Thirty people suffering from a serious illness described how their illness evolved in texts, images and video interviews. They reflected on how they themselves and their immediate environment dealt with the disease, and confronted themselves and the public with existential questions about life.
    Students from the University of Music Lübeck set these texts to music and initiated a speaking chorus of participants. Data relating to disease progression, as well as rising and falling lab results, were also implemented in sound for the performance. Vocalist Lauren Newton reacted to different aspects of the evening performance with spontaneous vocal improvisations. Paintings of participants and interviews with them were projected onto the pillars and vault during the performance.

    «You live your life so ingenuously, until a diagnosis like that changes everything. It renders you speechless. We wanted to give this speechlessness a form.»
    Franz Danksagmüller

    Project lead: Franz Danksagmüller
    Concept: Franz Danksagmüller | Anne Michel
    Interviews | music: Students from the MHL
    Choir director: Anne Michael
    Lighting design: Dominik Steinhagen


    Lars Schwarze | Fabian Luchterhandt | Lauren Newton | vocalist
    David Cariano Timme | Roman Schlonski | drums


    Doctors and therapists from the Travebogen Palliative Network, Uniklinik Lübeck, Sana Clinics, Caritas Lübeck, Die Muschel in Bad Segeberg and Friedrich Ebert Hospital in Neumünster.

    The project received financial support from the Possehl Foundation, the Charitable Sparkassen Foundation of Lübeck, the Horizonte association, the Prof. Julius Edelhoff Foundation and the Parish of St. Jakobi.

    Participants reactions

    Leonore Matouschek | Art therapist
    Everything about the performance of Resonances in Lübeck was amazing: the projections of paintings and texts from participants with a serious illness (continuous wall projections before and after the performance in the church nave), audio and video interviews with these seriously ill people, the slow colour changes that were projected onto the high church vault, the curious sounds, the quietly conveyed life experiences – and a singular «speaking chorus», which was developed with us amateurs under professional direction into something extremely impressive.

    After all sounds and image projections had ceased, the minute-long silence in the filled church was an impressive and wonderful response to what we had all experienced. Many visitors commented positively on how the difficult topic of «life-threatening illness» could be transported in such an incredibly dense and unusual way. Photos and film sequences cannot do justice to the atmosphere created in the space during the performance. The entire project and the skilled and human development involved – together with all protagonists – is certain to leave a very special and lasting impression on participants and audience alike.

    Carola S.
    For me it was a wonderful encounter with people, who have had different experiences of life-threatening illness. We were given space to express our feelings together, and all had a great deal of pleasure and joy from taking part in this musical project.

    Jonas K.
    The project was a wonderful time for me with many different and wonderful people. During the meeting to prepare for the concert, we discussed our own experience with our own form of cancer, and this produced an incredible sense of solidarity among us contributors. It wasn’t until the rehearsals that we saw all the video and audio recordings that were developed by the core team for the first time.

    These interviews provoked a kind of flashback in me and in many others. By no means in a negative sense, yet we relived all the experiences and events that had happened to us in those minutes, all over again. When I saw those recordings for the first time, I realised that the whole thing would be a great success. As the concert was in progress and St. Jakobi Church was packed with 200 – 300 people, you could really feel how this topic resonates with people and automatically animates them to engage with the issues involved.

    This project was and is something very special to me. Which is why I recommend continuing it and taking it out into the world, because I think you can reach many people with this concept.

  • sounds of π –
    flow my tears

    for voice, continuo bass and live electronics

    Berit Barfred Jensen | Vocals

    The project was inspired by the 16th century song Flow my tears by John Dowland.

    The singing voice is accompanied on three tonal levels:
    > Continuo bass, which is freely intoned on the Continuum Fingerboard
    > Accompanying voices, derived from the singing voice using live electronics
    > Pure sinusoidal tones, which sound in a mood based on the irrational, transcendental number π

    Within the sound spectrum of the music, the soloist appears as the only human entity in a world of machines or futuristic garden: the tones sound like small machines, busy robotic insects or an artificial bird, twittering away in tonal modulations of the number π. Joining this sound picture are distant, artificial voices, derived from the singer’s voice, which enter into symbiosis with her. The sombre mood of the ancient song is thereby transposed into a futuristic sound scenario, in which machine entities appear able to learn human emotions.

    The premiere took place in the Concert Hall of the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music on 27 August 2014, and was recorded by Danish radio.

    > Video

  • Sphaera

    For 2 Organs with 4 Players
    Graphic tablet | Live electronics (Kyma)

    Franz Danksagmüller | Composition

    Premiere in St. Jakobi in Lübeck
    at the Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS 2014)
    by the composer and
    Arvid Gast | Natalia Uzhvi | Alexander Annegarn | Anne Michael

    Duration: approx. 7 minutes
    > Video recording

    Composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann has taken a singular concept of time as the basis for his work – one in which past, present and future are not bound by the process of succession. «This succession does not exist in our intellectual reality … which possesses a much more absolute reality than the familiar clock, which merely serves to show there is no present in the strictest sense. Time curves and its ends come together to form a spherical shape.»

    Sphaera is inspired by this concept of time and combines the sound of the organ with the complexity of our contemporary soundscape. In our daily lives, we people of the 20th and 21st centuries move between and through sounds of very different origins, which are compressed to form a present (the place and the time, in which we currently find ourselves).

    The organ is often equated with the human body: the bellows correspond to the lungs, the wind represents the breath and thus the origin of life and sound. The piece develops from the organ’s «breath» and with the use of live electronics, increasingly melds into a thicket of everyday sounds (a jumble of voices, different music recordings, news pieces, etc.) The graphic tablet serves as the controller for the live electronics, while the traces left on it result in a graphic score being created.

  • Graphic scores

    György Ligeti | Volumina (1962)
    Bengt Hambraeus | Extempore (1975)
    John Cage | Fontana Mix and Souvenir (1958/1983)

    Interpretation: Franz Danksagmüller
    Premiere: 22. Mai 2013 in St. Jakobi, Lübeck

    The programme graphic scores comprises of compositions that have been written down as graphic scores. Graphic notations use symbols, texts and colours in additional to conventional musical notation. This gives players greater free play in their interpretation. This kind of score is in part more an inspiration for improvisation than exact instructions on how to play. The interpreter thus becomes a «co-composer».

    The compositions by Ligeti and Hambraeus are among the first graphically notated organ works and are classics in the organ canon of the 20th century. Fontana Mix by John Cage is a tool for generating aleatoric compositions. In this case the resultant parameters are used for programming the algorithm that creates the electronic sounds. Cage’s composition Souvenir is played at the same time – entirely in the spirit of John Cage.

    To give the audience an insight into the thinking and approach of the interpreter, the scores by Franz Danksagmüller have been animated or brought into chronological sequence. These animated scores can thus be projected onto a screen or wall. For the premiere in St. Jakobi in Lübeck, the animated scores were projected onto the ceiling vault.

    > Video György Ligeti: Volumina

    > Video Bengt Hambraeus: Extempore

    > Video John Cage: Fontana Mix and Souvenir

    The programme is performed together with SPHAERA, a composition by Franz Danksagmüller (2014) and lasts approx. 60 minutes.

    > Booking request

  • Seven Little Nightmares

    For toy piano and soundfiles

    «In the summer of 2012, Isabel Ettenauer asked me to write a piece for her. She sent me a link to an eBay auction of an old Schoenhut toy piano. I instantly fell in love with this charming instrument. I began improvising and ideas simply poured out. This is how this little suite came about.»

    The suite premiered at the Rainy Days Festival 2012 in the Philharmonie Luxembourg.

  • At the big dump

    For orchestra | Live electronics (Kyma)
    Soloists | Toy Piano

    Commissioned work by the Filmmusiktage in Halle
    Premiere on 27 October 2012 as part of a gala concert
    in the Halle Opera by the Staatskapelle Halle
    under the direction of Bernd Ruf
    Live broadcast by MDR Figaro

    Live electronics | Franz Danksagmüller
    Toy Piano | Benjamin Köthe
    Vocals | Anke Sieloff

    Duration: 10 minutes

    The composition describes an apocalyptic scenario: at a large rubbish dump, creatures with artificial intelligence (called Graham, Rachel and Vicky) meet with the few remaining people on earth. The latter are searching through the rubbish for mementoes and remembering old songs and dances as they do so. The creatures with artificial intelligence observe the humans and then begin singing themselves – attempting in this way to get closer to human nature.

    The electronics on this occasion are controlled by Wiimote and Nunchuck. In this way the singing tempo of the artificial creatures, for example, can be synchronised with the tempo of the conductor.

    Mitteldeutsche Zeitung | 28. Oktober 2012
    «With a musical innovation of a very different kind, Franz Danksagmüller – composer and virtuoso «Wii» operator – astounded the audience with his futuristic intellectual game At the Big Dump. Controlled via a computer and the game console, he created electronic sounds that distorted human voices and the sounds of real instruments, thus providing the background for an apocalyptic world that is animated by machines.»
    > Full article

  • Compositions for Choir


    Commisioned work
    for the Dommusik St. Pölten | Österreich

    Premiere on Good Friday, 10 April 2009
    as part of the Good Friday liturgy in the Cathedral of St. Pölten
    Instrumentation: Choir | soloists | speakers | string quartet | organ and congregation
    Duration: approx. 30 minutes

    The composition is based on the Passion according to John and is specifically written for the liturgy. This is a reworking of an earlier version for choir, soloists, speakers, drums and live electronics.


    Commisioned work for the
    Chorszene Niederösterreich

    Premiere on 6 November 2009
    by Chorus Musical Sacra Krems
    under Alfred Endlweber in the Minoritenkirche in Krems | Austria
    Ensemble: mixed choir
    Duration: 6 minutes

    The composition is based on the Latin hymn «Veni veni Emmanuel». A recording can be heard on the CD Vielstimmig 5 zu hören.


    Commisioned work for the
    Niederösterreichischen Vokalakademie

    Premiere on 4 August 2006
    under Heinz Ferlesch in Melk | Austria
    Ensemble: mixed choir
    Duration: 6 minutes

    This composition is on the CD Vielstimmig 2 enthalten.

    Between 1999 and 2005 Franz Danksagmüller was organist and resident composer at the Cathedral of St. Pölten | Austria. The following choral compositions were written during this period:

    plena est terra for mixed choir | live electronics
    Psalm für Solo | for soloist | mixed choir | live electronics
    (recording by ORF)
    Credidi for soloists | mixed choir
    Offertorium for mixed choir | organ
    Psalm XIX for mixed choir | live electronics
    (recording by ORF)
    Psalm 116 for speakers | soloists | choir | live electronics

  • Music of the Biedermeier

    Organ works of the late baroque
    and early romantic periods

    Beginning with one of the last pupils of J. S. Bach – Johann Christian Kittel – an arc is spanned from his pupil Johann Christoph Heinrich Rinck to Johann Christoph Oley, Johann Gottlieb Müthel, Simon Sechter (Anton Bruckner’s teacher), all the way to Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Johannes Brahms.

    This period in the history of organ music is a particularly fascinating one: on one hand the style of many compositions moves between baroque and classical, on the other hand many works prepare the way for the great compositions of the German romantic period. Thus we find the beginning of the postlude No. 27 by J. Ch. H. Rinck appearing in the opening bars of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s First Sonata. And it appears as if Franz Liszt adopts the theme of the fugue in No. 26 of the same collection for his famous «Fantasia» and «Fugue on Bach».

    2009 a CD with this programme played on instruments by Austrian organ builder Josef Breinbauer came out.

    Organ in Pfarrkirche Aschach on the Danube from 1876
    Organ in Pfarrkirche Saxen from 1855

    Works by:

    F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy | J. Brahms | M. G. Fischer | J. C. Kittel |
    F. P. Lachner | J. G. Müthel | J. Ch. Oley | J. Ch. H. Rinck | S. Sechter

    > To the CD

    > Booking request

  • deconstructing mozart

    Premiere: 23. September 2006
    Festival Musica Sacra | St. Pölten, Dom

    Karlheinz Essl Computer, live electronics |
    Franz Danksagmüller Organ

    The slow introduction to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet KV 465 is full of harmonic audacities, which amazed Mozart’s contemporaries and still puzzle us today. Here Mozart invented a form of music that brilliantly flouted the tonal conventions of his time and pointed the way far into the future.

    A recording of this introductory passage, played with four hands by organists Franz Danksagmüller and Karlheinz Essl on the cathedral organ in St. Pölten, serves as the original material for Deconstructing Mozart, which was premiered as part of the Festival Musica Sacra in the Cathedral of St. Pölten on 23 September 2006.

    A number of tonal structures were extracted from this organ recording. These constitute the raw material for the electronic composition and improvisation environment m@zeº2, developed by Karlheinz Essl. Perhaps this process can be compared with the work of an alchemist in his laboratory, obtaining precious colour pigments and paint substances from natural substances, before using them to paint a picture intended to render tangible the «air from foreign planets».

    Deconstructing Mozart I > live recording
    Deconstructing Mozart III > live recording

    More information about the project


    Mozart deconstructed | Claudius Caravias
    in: Niederösterreichische Nachrichten, St. Pölten 25.09.2006
    Karlheinz Essl and Franz Danksagmüller pitched into the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the Cathedral of St. Pölten last Saturday. As part of the Musica Sacra concert series, they percussed Mozart’s «Dissonance Quartet», a composition full of harmonic audacities, following a digital and analogue approach. Mozart deconstructed is the name of the composition by Karlheinz Essl, who contributed the electronic sounds. He was accompanied by Franz Danksagmüller, who produced an astonishingly digital sound on the cathedral organ.

    The result was a very compelling, meditative mix of a seemingly new sound world. Essl plays with Mozart’s work, dissolving and recompiling it. Mozart would certainly have enjoyed this sound performance.

    St. Pölten – Musica Sacra | Claudius Caravias
    in: Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 11-12 | 2006
    A very special kind of encounter took place in the Cathedral of St. Pölten. Visitors to the Musica Sacra concert ‘Mozart deconstructed’ experienced composer Karlheinz Essl performing a world premiere of this work. First Mozart’s «Dissonance Quartet» was taken apart. Essl then collected the constituent parts of the composition in his computer, set a fascinating digital centrifuge in motion and generated completely new sound spectra from Mozart’s original composition. The cathedral was transformed into an integral soundscape, loudspeakers distributed along the nave the audience to sink into an incredible world of sound, packed with spherical fascination.

    Franz Danksagmüller supplied the analogue part on the cathedral organ. It was quite astonishing to hear how he adapted the church organ to the digital world with partly pulled stops, blocked keys and dissonant clusters. Essl extracted new structures from Mozart’s music by assembling images from its constituent parts, just like a painter who draws from the power of colours. Mozart would really have enjoyed this sound performance!

    © Bilder: Peter Kainz

    > Buchungsanfrage