The music of Franz Martin Olbrisch is not intended to mean anything – it wants to be what it naturally is: an acoustical experience which becomes an artwork through the act of listening. He places the focus on one particular inherent aspect of the music, which he then exploits to the limit: the endless variety of sound.
He frequently requires from interpreters complex or unusual ways of playing which produce unforeseeable combinations of sounds. The situation of the listener is also important, because it is impossible to follow simultaneously the often complex and many-faceted musical processes. Listeners must focus on particular aspects in order to register, perceive, and understand, in their own way, the piece as an artwork. Olbrisch does not consider the impossibility of controlling each detail of the interpretation and the listener’s perception a deficit, but rather a necessary artistic characteristic – an approach which he developed further in his orchestral work “craquelé”.
Furthermore many of Olbrisch’s works are therefore characterized by an engagement with the acoustical qualities of instruments and their specific sound-producing mechanisms. This approach is noticeable for example in his work “flöte, sounds & live-electronics” in which he derives the basic compositional principles entirely from the fingering techniques of a standard transverse flute.
For his orchestral work “Grain”, Olbrisch uses computer-assisted procedures to analyse the significant features of the noise sequence produced by a drinks machine, from the insertion of the coin to the rattling delivery of the can. The material obtained therefrom is used for the orchestral parts.
In “coupures de temps...”, all instruments play in the same tempo, but nonetheless each part follows a different rhythmic subdivision of the basic pulse, so that different groupings take place simultaneously. Through this independent temporal organization of the individual instruments, there is a continuous divergence and convergence in the parts.
Productions by Hessischer Rundfunk
Grain for large orchestra (2005)
flöte, sounds & live-electronics for flute and live-electronics (1995/2011 – version 2011)
craquelé for large orchestra (2010)
coupures de temps… for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello, percussions and live-electronics (2009/10)