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Das Buch der Klänge: Ulrich Drechsler's Open-Air Concert Series

March 30, 2021 by Elena Atkinson-Sporle

Acclaimed saxophonist and composer Ulrich Drechsler launches his conceptual, collaborative concert series, “Das Buch der Klänge” in the historic Augarten. 

Concerts in the Augarten

On March 28th, Ulrich Drechsler debuted his concert series “Das Buch der Klänge”, a series that investigates sound through performances with illustrious artists. As part of the MuTh Promenadekonzerte, the concerts are set to take place on the MuTh’s side stage in Vienna’s second district.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful setting than the garden space surrounding the baroque meets 21st century MuTh concert hall. The stage doors will open and visitors are invited to enjoy the music in the open-air (following the COVID regulations). Each concert will simultaneously be livestreamed on the MuTh website.

Drechsler and Sixtus Preiss explore the concept of “Tiefe”. Photo: Elena Atkinson-Sporle

Das Buch Der Klänge: The Concept

“Das Buch der Klänge” stems from Drechsler’s obsession with sound, “I love sound – it is the smallest musical element that transports even the greatest emotions.”

Each concert in the series has an abstract concept as its theme – inspiration for the participating musicians sculpting their sound. “The idea is to investigate individual sounds, together with illustrious guests from pop, indie, electronic, jazz and fabricate imaginary soundtracks.“

“Tiefe” livestream.

Chapter One: Drechsler + Sixtus Preiss - ‚Tiefe‘ (Depth)

On this warm March afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending the first concert in the series. The event was supposed to take place on the side stage but corona had other ideas, forcing the performers and crew inside. The atmosphere was thus completely different to what I had expected and how I imagine future “Das Buch der Klänge” concerts will feel. Nevertheless, the experience was remarkable.

For this chapter of ‘Das Buch der Klänge’, Drechsler shared the stage with Sixtus Preiss, a multi-instrumentalist producer and sound extraordinaire, to explore the concept of ‘Tiefe’ (Depth).

Before the performance began, I had little idea of what to expect. After attending Liminal Zone Caramel in the MuTh in 2020, I trusted Drechsler’s ability to utilise sound in innovative and emotionally powerful ways.

Drechsler and Sixtus Preiss perform in the MuTh. Photo: Elena Atkinson-Sporle

At 15:00, the Muth fell silent. Drechsler, equipped with a bass clarinet, and Preiss, with a bass drum and array of pedals on the floor, were ready to embark upon their journey into the deep. This would be the first time they’d create music together. Anything could happen.

A gentle tap on the bass drum with a mallet and all those in the room dive into the deep. The musicians on stage exploit the eccentricity of their instruments to create rich textures with enough motifs and rhythmic stability to keep the audience on the same page.

There is no substitute for the live music experience, both for the audience and the musicians. “It’s sometimes tiring to maintain the energy without an audience”, Drechsler admits. The promenade concerts will invigorate musicians and audience alike. I can only imagine that the atmosphere won’t be short of electric.

After attending Drechsler’s liminal zone concert and chatting with him in 2020, I became a huge fan of his work – and now I’m delving into Sixtus Preiss’ back catalogue.

Preiss is a sound and beat designer/collector with an impressive body of work. This process of discovering new talent will become a theme for “Das Buch der Klänge” followers throughout the series. Get ready for it.

Gazelle & the Bear will perform with Drechsler for Chapter Two on 25.04.21.

Future shows

Next up, Drechsler explores the concept of ‘Berührung’ (Touch) with Gazelle & the Bear, who released their debut album “Weird Shaped Clouds” at the beginning of 2021.

“I’m very excited”, Florian Plakolm, Liminal Zone AR manager tells me. “Gazelle & the Bear play hip-hop meets jazz. Ines Kolleritsch plays keyboards and sings, Julian Berann plays drums. Who knows what will happen when voice is thrown into the mix.”

The event is scheduled for the Sunday 25th April, 15:00 on the Muth side stage with a livestream on the MuTh website.

Ellie Atkinson-Sporle
Content Creation, Storytelling

Ellie is a storyteller for littlebig.art. Originally from the UK, she earned her BA Music degree from Falmouth University in 2018. Ellie fell in love with Vienna while travelling and has been performing, writing and exploring here ever since. Storytelling and initiating discussions are two of her greatest passions.