Austria´s Young Composers: Peter Jakober

Premiering on the 7 October at the TU Graz, as part of the “Sterischer Herbst” was Peter Jakober’s Puls 4 für 35 Röhren where he has just received the Andrzej-Dobrowolski composition scholarship from Styria.  This piece was written for Constantin Luser’s sculptural sound installation, the Molekularorgel, “Molecular Organ” which comprises of 35 instruments: fourteen trumpets, fourteen trombones, seven tubas wrapping around in a mass brass beauty in a courtyard at the TU Graz.  It is an exemplary, unique collaboration where the sculpturing of brass instruments converge to create a sonic architectonic field, within an intense visual art aesthetic, a context which Jakober embraces and converges in a composition with an additional 35 musicians.  The result is a multi-faceted plane exploring sonic differentiations where musicians and sculptural instruments converse with 35 differing tempos.

Peter Jakober’s sensitivities toward the architectonic context are emerging as his artistic practice continues to explore collaborations and extensive musical environments.  His interest in dispersing performers, a technique which allows his compositions to take on localised superimpositions of tempi has been employed also in  “triften”, written for a guitar quartet, first performed in 2007.  The Satori Quartett performed it as part of the contemporary guitar music festival in Frankfurt(2009), and it will be performed in April 2011 with the Aleph Guitar quartet in Ravensburg.  In this piece, Jakober’s main interest was to scrutinise the phenomenon of synchronicity, where in effect a grounding pulse can be partly obliterated, which leads to drifting and surging sound planes.

Jakober is adept at a range of instrumentations, from pieces for mixed choir to various chamber combinations, and like most composers in his generation, is completely at home both with live electronics and notated scores.  He grew up in southern Styria, learning accordion and piano and began his studies at the University of Graz in technical mathematics, musicology and philosophy before beginning composition with Georg Friedrich Haas and Gerd Kühr at the University for Music and the Performing Arts(Graz).  He graduated in 2006 with distinction, receiving a promotional award for music from the city of Graz and in 2007 a state scholarship for composition from the Austrian government, as well as a scholarship for a four month stay in Rotterdam from Styria.  He won first prize for ‘Puls 3’, a piece for an automated piano competition, ‘Ghost Note Competition’.  He has had numerous performances and commissions with major new music ensembles in Austria and Europe, including the recherche ensemble, the Klangforum Wien, for festivals including Wien Modern, Paul Hofhaimer Music Festival, Klangspuren in Schwaz and with the festival Sacra!.  From 2003-2008 he organised a platform for young composers, Hörfest Graz, which he founded with Erich Ranegger.

Recent performances from this year include a portrait concert together with Steffen Krebber with the ensemble ]h[iatus where ‘beneden’ for ensemble and analog synthesiser was premiered, pulsen – eine Miniatur for the RSO Vienna, as part of the 40 year RSO Vienna concerts, ‘ins andere uebertragen’ for flute, clarinet and string trio was performed with ensemble phace at Schoemerhaus Klosterneuberg and for the Trio Amos a trio for flute, quartertone, cello and tape.

Upcoming performances include a portrait concert in Vienna at the ORF RadioKulturhaus in March next year.  The concert has seven compositions with various instrumentations, ranging from  Aussen for solo violin and live-electronics to a new commission from the ORF and Jeunesse for choir, organpipe player, quarter tone accordion, violin, viola, cello and live electronics.  Also next year is a commission from Platypus Verein, a young composers platform, as part of a Wien Modern feature.  He is currently working on a commission from the Eybesfeld Family for Klangforum Wien and ‘weit beisammen’ for flute, clarinet and live electronics will be premiering at the Alte Schmiede as part of Wien Modern on the 13th November.

Peter Jakober currently lives in Vienna.
Tamara Friebel

Photo © Eva M. Silberschneider