Peter Ablinger – Augmented Study (2012) for 16 violins


CD – Sacred Realism

A single recording of the violin glissando of Johnny Chang has been turned into a multi-track recording. Here one violin becomes sixteen. Peter Ablinger’s Augmented Study Serie is focused on “tension between redundancy of material and complexity of experience”. Because this work is a study version Ablinger never intended for it to be performed live. For Ablinger the final version for 7 violins was the result of the entire research. However, Sacred Realism preferred to use this 16-violin version for the release, perhaps suggesting the redundancy of maximally simple material. The superimposition of the sixteen violin tracks – similarly to the approach in Glenn Branca’s electric guitar ensemble– seem to suck the listener into a vortex, a dimension which knows no time and space. Glissando here isn’t simply an ornamental effect; the technique raises an emphasis, a progressive slide towards that which you cannot avoid. Peter Ablinger is known to deconstruct various auditory elements, which he then recombines following different procedures, calling into question musical structures and listening habits. The continuous and overlapping sequences become events in themselves, making the listener wonder over the exact perception of where one sound ends and another begins. “Sounds are not sounds, they are here to distract the intellect and to soothe the senses, not once is hearing hearing…hearing is that which creates me,” the Austrian composer claims. The contradictory statement holds true here to counterbalance any theoretical postulates taken literally, at once suspended between reality and a hallucinatory perception of reality. Yet once again the idea permeates everything: this conceptual approach minimizes effort and optimizes the result, transporting the listener into a dreamlike and endless trip.


Peter Ablinger: Augmented Study