Austria’s Young Composers: Manuela Kerer

There is a lot going on in Austria’s contemporary music scene. Mainly responsible for this development is a new generation of composers, who expand the spectrum of contemporary music with many never-before-heard facets. In the second part of the series “Austria’s Young Composers”, mica – music austria portrays the composer Manuela Kerer.

One may ask where Manuela Kerer gets her energy, since she is also studying psychology and law in addition to composition and instrumental education (violin). All this knowledge is integrated into her compositions when she transforms the Italien penal code into music or deals with neuropsychological processes. Despite these rational points of reference, she doesn’t miss out on the sensibility in her compositions. She cherishes a special affection for unusual sounds, for example in her composition for ten electric toothbrushes. And although this is by no means intended as a joke, she wants to inject contemporary music with a certain dose of humor.

To make the audience familiar with the unfamiliar, she combines a lot with the known, in order to transfer from there into the unknown. Thus, it could happen that a trumpet is combined with other resources such as breathy voices, dissonant accordion sounds, and pop elements. To make sure that the audience does not retreat in a passive way of listening, she occasionally involves the audience in her music. At the festival Klangspuren Schwaz she took walks with children and teenagers to make them aware of the sounds of everyday life and in this sense to make them curious about an important aspect of contemporary music.

Doris Weberberger
translated from the German by Doris Miyung Brady