String quartet and skyscraper // chamber version
by Bernd Klug
For the world premiere of this composition, commissioned in 2015 by New Music USA,
string quartet The Rhythm Method played in, on, and with Bernd Klug’s sound
installation Traces of [Dis]location - the Austrian Cultural Forum as social instrument at
the Austrian Cultural Forum NYC. Based on the unique architectural and acoustic
properties of Raimund Abraham´s iconic “mini-skyscraper,” the piece further expanded on the installation’s relational processes by featuring snippets from the quartet’s recent repertoire and practice routines. As the four players wandered through the building, they urged audience members to construct their own sonic experience of the work, thus engaging on yet another level with the terms ‘cultural forum’ and ‘social instrument’.
Throughout the rehearsal and performance process, this piece was recorded by four
different sound engineers, each working independently of one another and creating
alternate histories of the same performance. These recordings, along with additional
visual and acoustic traces of the original ACFNY installation, will be used as one layer of this new, smaller-scale iteration of string quartet and skyscraper. Using each
performance space as a filter, frame, and found acoustic object, Klug will continue to
explore the personal and collective artistic experiences of this specific quartet (thus
rendering audible the secret workings of the classical concert experience), while further examining the ongoing cultural and political relations between his country of birth (Austria) and his country of residence (America).
The Rhythm Method string quartet
Praised for their “uncompromising and unreserved . . . intense, and sensuously gestural” performances, The Rhythm Method strives to reimagine the string quartet in a contemporary context. Since their founding in 2014, the group has given soulful, spirited performances in New York, Vienna, Paris, and Lucerne, and tackled works ranging from classics by Ligeti and Webern to newer works/premieres by Tonia Ko, Dai Fujikura, Andrew Norman, John Zorn, and other living composers, including members of the ensemble. Through a mixture of thoughtful programming, captivating performances, and collaborations with sound artists, visual artists, and songwriters as well as composers, they present concert experiences that engage and challenge their audiences.
The Rhythm Method has given performances at Joe’s Pub, The Stone, the Met Museum, the Noguchi Museum, and Roulette, and has been featured on the String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s String Theories Festival, MATA Festival, and the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Moving Sounds Festival. The Rhythm Method recently completed their inaugural Austrian tour, featuring world premieres of new works by sound artists Bernd Klug and Andreas Trobollowitsch, a collaboration with the singer-songwriter collective Loose Lips Sink Ships, and premieres of works by all members of the ensemble.
This season marks the kickoff of the quartet’s Hidden Mothers Project, a research-performance-recording initiative highlighting works by historical women composers. It will also bring the first installment of Broad Statements, a celebration of music-making by women in a wide array of artistic styles. This year, The Rhythm Method will also be releasing records of music by two of its members, Leah Asher and Meaghan Burke, as well as Dai Fujikura’s “Silence Seeking Solace.”
Bernd Klug is an Austrian born, Brooklyn based sound artist and double bassist. In sound installations and solo concerts, his music encounters our everyday circumstances as found forms and questions our perceptions of sound and social space. Through feedback and displacement of sonifications he creates site-specific interactive environments which allow us to engage with each other and our surroundings in new and productive ways.
His solo double bass work was released on the CD ‘Cold Commodities’ (Innova 902) and was performed at Wesleyan University, CTSwaM Fridman Gallery, Share Issue Project Room, in the US as well as the Radiokulturhaus and the Porgy and Bess in Vienna. His installations have been featured in solo exhibitions at Harvestworks (NYC), Art Now at Monmouth University (New Jersey) and the Austrian Cultural Forum NYC as well as in collaborations with Daniel Lercher at mo.ë (Vienna) and Johanna Tiedtke at Galerie Freihausgasse (Villach, AT).
As an improviser and bassist, he has collaborated with Burkhard Stangl, Keiko Uenishi, Shelley Hirsch, Radu Malfatti, Franz Hautzinger, Butch Morris, Bernhard Lang, John Butcher, as well as the bands, ctrl, OENCZkekvist, Ritornell and T-Shit.
Bernd Klug was a Wave Farm Artist In Residence 2015 and was most recently awarded the biennial award for interdisciplinary arts 2015 from the Carinthian government, AT and the “New Austrian Sound of Music” prize for 2014-15. His compositions received commissions by New Music USA and the BKA (Austrian Federal Chancellery). He graduated from Bard College’s MFA program (Music/Sound) in 2015 and holds a BA in bass performance (popular, contemporary, and classical music and music education) from the Vienna University for Music and Performing Arts.
When: Thursday, June 1, 2017 | 7:30 pm
Where: Austrian Cultural Forum, 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC, 20008
Tickets: General admission is free and open to the public
© The Rhythm Method | © Bernd Klug | © The Rhythm Method