Inert Mass

JAZZAJ at the Transparent Sound Festival

Giusto chamber orchestra plays music by Nikolaus Gerszewski.

JAN 11.   21:00

Stúdió K Színház

1092 Budapest, Ráday u. 32.

Nikolaus Gerszewski *1964  in Hamburg, living in Hamburg and Budapest, is a trained visual artist and a self-trained composer of so called “experimental music”.
Since his early 20s, he has been engaged in non-representational art, as both a painter and a theorist. In 2005, he came in touch with Cornelius Cardew’s graphic score “Treatise”, and ever since he has developed his own musical notation, in form of graphic scores, text scores, alternative systems of signs, and even semi-conventional sheet music. In 2008 he  has introduced his own generic term “ordinary music”, expressing his view, that the making of sounds should be considered a natural means of expression, accessible to everyone, rather than being banished into the realms of art and entertainment; this having said he still considers himself as a natural born artist.
Since 2013, Nikolaus has been teaching “experimental soundproduction” at the university of fine arts, Budapest (MKE), and at the university of science, Pecs (PTI). In 2014 he has founded the ensemble “Conceptual Soundproductions Budapest”, and in 2018 co-founded “ensemble Mobile”.


“First of all, this is not exactly a piece of “music”. It is rather a massive block of almost static sound; i.e. there is no development in time, no climax, no goal to be expected. The composition could be viewed as a huge abstract painting: all of the sound is present at the same time, and the listening process should be directed into the depth of the matter rather than towards a solution.
The composition is based on a 12-tone cluster, distributed over three octaves, performed in constant tremolo, lasting for 24 minutes. Within this cluster, there are constantly very gradual changes taking place, actually within four parameters, that are treated on equal terms: pitch, in terms of full- or semitone glissando, dynamics, in terms of crescendo and diminuendo, timbre, in terms of bowshifting between sul ponticello and sul tasto, and not least tempo, ranging from an eighth- to a thirty-second-note pulse; however changes are always performed seperately, in only one parameter at a time, and in every single part those changes are performed in a different sequence, alternating every minute. After 12 minutes, the initial position is reconstituted, and the process is being repeated.”

Nikolaus Gerszewski