Sechse kommen durch die Welt
(Composition for six Sixens)
for Percussion Ensemble, 1994

"Sechse kommen durch die Welt" ("Six come through Life") Sixens are instruments that seem to come out of fairy-tale. They look like giant vibraphones and sound other-worldly. The intervals from their nineteen sound plates, which are arranged chromatically, range from a major third to a quarter-tone and cover a span of five octaves. Each of the six instruments differs from the other somewhat in its tuning, so that 114 different tones are available. Luckily, I was able to record all of these tones in Strasburg and feed them to my computer and sampler at home. After long analysis of the pitches and extensive further study of the material, I concluded that the harmonic richness would be best displayed in a composition with simple rhythmic structure. Therefore, I used the form of a canon to make the facets of sound of each instrument clearly audible. I began with a theme of a strict but simple rhythm, which I then expanded and contracted in overlaid levels, always preserving its recognizibility. In the first three parts of the composition, the keys of the various appearances of the theme are shifted against each other, so that, sometimes, individual harmonic "islands" appear. This development culminates in the fourth and penultimate part in a rhythmic unison, which then leads to a massive wave of sound. The end of the piece is dominated by its theme, this time seemingly in slow motion. Reinforcing its character and bringing it to a point of rest is done by simultaneously striking and stroking the tones.
"Sechse kommen durch die Welt" – no fairy-tale, without words. Maybe someday children will sit in the first row of a concert for contemporary music in Germany as it can be experienced in France right now.