Portrait: Richard Graf

It is possible to imagine the life of Richard Graf as completely immersed in, and reflected by music, since there doesn’t seem to be any musical style which his fastidious musical talent does not encompass. This begs the question: Where does Mr. Graf find time to serve all these musical impulses on the one hand, and if it isn’t that this multi-talented musical process serves a mutual creative end. In the first place Graf is a composer and a guitarist, and is versed in a variety of genres from Jazz to Pop, and incorporates styles from far away lands and cultures, which he incorporates into his own compositions. His unique recontextualisation of traditional elements gives them new form and expression.  His view of the already exhausted soundspectrum leads him to the experimentation with and of sound and rhythm into a new field of experience and expression, which he often combines multi-layered structures in one composition, where each layer is left to develop independently to each other.

Graf is also not one to notate his musical in the traditional sense, which also underscores his roll as an interpreter, and expresses his double function as a composer/guitarist who is not only interested in the exact replication of a composition, but the interpretation and expression of it in the moment of creation. For Graf, the feeling of the moment is paramount to an exact replication of the musical notes, which is not to imply he is not interested in being exact or has concrete notions of his works, but to say that he combines these with the freedom and energy of experimentation, a perfect synthesis of musical expression and exactitude.

Photo Richard Graf: Helmut Lackinger