ISSN 2605-2318


Entrevista al compositor Georg Nussbaumer


Entrevista. Entrevistamos al compositor austríaco Georg Nussbaumer creador del Proyecto Zona Wagner para Operadhoy: una ópera/instalación. ZONA WAGNER es un viaje a través de “El anillo del Nibelungo” de Richard Wagner “Ringlandschaft mit Bierstrom” de Georg Nussbaumer & Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop. Para 10 cuerdas, electrónica, público, cerveza y niebla.

1. Ruth Prieto: This performance, which premiered in 2013, was announced in Madrid as an “installation opera” of 16 hours for 10 strings, electronics, public, beer and fog. Could you give us a few more details?

Georg Nussbaumer: Yes! Installation opera means, that it is a piece which works not only as a sound piece. There is of course the layer of a 16 hours piece for strings and electronics, but it´s also an installation, using moving platforms with the musicians as performers on it, branches of trees, slides, light and colours, fog...
even the audience participates in the performance by moving or standing around in the fog - and there is beer for the audience! So experiencing the performance includes sound, time, space, visuals, taste and the effect of beer to the consciousness. There is also the experience to dive into water - more about that later.

2. R.P. : Do you think that opera needs a deep renovation and that part of this renovation would involve the participation of the audience in an active way?

Georg Nussbaumer: I don´t care too much about the needs or the future of the opera. If something is old enough, it should have the right to pass away - getting humus for new generations.

The elements which are relevant for the contemporary society will transform and survive elements that are not relevant for the future may disappear.

"But yes, I think active audience is as important as active society in general! Art may and should demand that. The "classroom situation" (stage versus audience) does not ask enough from the audience."

3. R. P. : What could you tell us about this piece?

Georg Nussbaumer: I start with technical details: the musicians of the Solistenensemle Kaleidoskop are hearing a recording of Wagners Ring via earphones. I added lots of signs to a piano reduction they are using as a score. Those signs tell them, what and how they have to select from Wagner and what they have to do with the material. This technique allows to be close to Wagner sometimes and to create music which does not sound like Wagner at all, but is "directed" by Wagner.
The sounds the musicians are producing are sent back to the computer of sound artist Robert Schwarz: the sounds are filtered and transformed (based on a midi file of the Ring) and rotating on 8 Speakers in changing speeds.
So the musical layer of the piece is a kind of "play along" - the result is a new piece, generated by Wagner.
The audience does not hear the Ring - only the shadows and instrumental and electronic transformations.
Still there is one spot where you can hear the "original Wagner": When you put your ear (or the head) into one of the barrels full of water, you will hear the same recording as the musicians do. But for this pleasure it´s necessary to enter the element of the Rhine-maidens!
Some of Wagner´s "stage-effects" are quoted too: the fog, the blood, the gold, the water, the forest....

4. R.P. : What does this piece mean to you?

Georg Nussbaumer: I did quite some projects about (or with) Wagner over the years:
- "Tristan: Schwimmen und Schweigen!" a piece for swimming audience (Nationaltheater Mannheim 2006)
- "Invisible Siegfrieds Marching Sunset Boulevard" a 4 day piece for the 32 kilometers of Sunset Boulevard (Ring Festival Los Angeles 2010)
- "Milchstrom, Fragebett, Gralsmaschinen - Ein Lohengrin Gelände" Kunstfest Weimar 2013
and quite some more! See the projects on
RINGLANDSCHAFT MIT BIERSTROM is the piece where I reached a point of a very big concentration or efficiency, where Wagner´s myths are transformed to a rush far beyond Wagner.
I was expecting that this was the last "Wagner-piece" - but seemingly it goes on.

5. R.P. : Where are you right now as a composer? What stage have you reached?

Georg Nussbaumer: That would maybe easier to be answered by somebody else. I don´t know.
I only know that unknown territories stay interesting.

6. R. P. : Can you give us some insight into your creative process?

Georg Nussbaumer: The creative process is a very different one for every piece.
Usually there is a conceptual idea. Sometimes a thought of one second, sometimes the result of many thoughts flowing together after years. Sometimes this idea is just followed by some organizational details to make it work and happen, but often the idea requires a lot of recherché and work to find the reason for the idea. Sometimes it´s necessary to rent a space and hire workers to build the installations; sometimes it´s possible to perform it without any big efforts.

7. R. P. : What projects have you got in the pipeline?

Georg Nussbaumer: Currently I am working on a piece for 7 choirs. A Project for Avantgarde-festival Steirischer Herbst in Austria

It will be a 6 hour piece for amateur-singers in Styria. All the choirs are performing on different spots before they all are doing a final piece for almost 200 voices in a big church. Quite challenging! And much fun too! The rehearsals and after-rehearsal-parties in the villages did already start! (its a vinery-area!)

Operadhoy 2014, presenta el día de la música, en los Teatros del Canal- Sala Verde, los días 21 y 22 de Junio de 2014, el proyecto Zona Wagner una ópera/instalación. ZONA WAGNER es un viaje a través de “El anillo del Nibelungo” de Richard Wagner “Ringlandschaft mit Bierstrom” de Georg Nussbaumer & Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop. Para 10 cuerdas, electrónica, público, cerveza y niebla (2013).

Georg Nussbaumer, música, instalación y dirección artística
Solistensemble Kaleidoskop

Sábado 21 de Junio de 13:00 h a 24.00 h
Viaje a través de:
El oro del Rin, La Valkiria, Sigfrido

Domingo 22 de junio de 17.00h a 21.30h
Viaje a través de:
El ocaso de los dioses

Entrada Libre hasta completar el aforo

Barra de cerveza disponible durante la instalación bajo pago de consumición

Destacamos ...