Contact me for more information at

brianna [at] brianna matzke [dot] com

Copyright 2019

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Download the project album here

Paul Schuette puzzle pieces

"As a composer of electroacoustic music, the figure of Stockhausen - the indelible German (or Sirius-ian?) explorer, technician, and mystic philosopher of 20th century music - looms large. In Mikrophonie I (the specific work that we were asked to respond to), Stockhausen breaks ground that the medium of electroacoustic music has in some ways been responding to ever since. From a technical standpoint, as one might surmise from the title, this work elevated the status of the microphone from a passive piece of hardware to an instrument capable of an extremely subtle range of expressive gestures. In fact to perform the work, one must become something of a virtuoso microphone performer in order to execute Stockhausen’s incredibly detailed notation for the instrument. This perceptive restructuring liberated the status of electronics in music by putting the ‘microphonist’ on the same plane as the violinist. From this perspective, all of my music, which seeks to integrate electronics in nuanced and novel ways in order to enhance the range of expressive possibilities, is made possible by Stockhausen’s contributions. 

Mikrophonie I is also a primary example of another of Stockhausen’s influential ideas: moment form. Simply put, Stockhausen’s conception of a moment form is one in which, “no developmental direction can be predicted with certainty from the present one.” Far from a license for piecemeal composition, Stockhausen was searching for a means to restructure the dimensions of music. By calling our attention to the ‘Now’, he seeks to, “make vertical slices, as it were, that cut through a horizontal temporal conception to a timelessness I call eternity: an eternity that does not begin at the end of time but is attainable in every moment. I am speaking of musical forms in which apparently nothing less is being attempted than to explode (even to overthrow) the temporal concept.” By seeking to expand upon the dimensional planes in which the structural logic of the piece is projected, Puzzle Pieces is my humble attempt to expand upon the implications of Stockhausen’s ‘Now’."

Danny Clay eden park

for piano + lo-fi amplification (in this recording, a baby monitor) 
i. freely; patiently; with great tenderness 
ii. freely; a shimmering flurry of sound 
iii. freely; delicately 
iv. undulating; distant; dream-like 
v. lush; flowing 

Eden Park is a large, forested municipal park in Cincinnati, OH. It houses the Cincinnati Art Museum and Playhouse in the Park, as well as a fountain and pond, with spectacular views of the Ohio River Valley.

Molly Joyce amplify

"Amplify was commissioned as part of pianist Brianna Matzke’s Stockhausen Response Project, which commissioned five composers to respond to Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Mikrophonie I. A groundbreaking piece in its time, Mikrophonie I combined acoustic and electronic sounds in a live performance format, where as traditionally composers created either fully acoustic pieces or pre-recorded electronic tape pieces. The combination of both methods in one piece opened up an entirely new world of possibilities for Stockhausen's contemporaries and for future generations of composers. 

As I myself have written several pieces which combine acoustic instruments with electronics, Stockhausen’s Mikrophonie I is of course a very important piece to me. I therefore decided to take the opening gesture of the piece as the basis of inspiration for my own work, and augment or “amplify” that opening rhythm as the piece progresses. This amplification of the starting gesture is also propelled by a gradual descent in register in the piano’s part, and there are two accompanying pre-recorded tracks which consist of only samples from the piano and have been electronically processed with resonant bandpass filters and reverbs, similar as to what Stockhausen did in Mikrophonie I. 

Amplify was written in the fall of 2014 in The Hague, and is also dedicated to Brianna Matzke."

Ty Niemeyer devotions

in seven movements 
acoustic piano 
an in-depth examination of the note B-flat (in additional homage to Stockhausen's Stimmung)

Dylan Sheridan not to end the unendable

in three movements 
the original version of this piece also featured choreography 

Dylan produced this piece by using software to notate a recording of Mikrophonie I, then selecting the best moments from that notation, and rearranging and editing them into the form heard here.