Michael Maierhof’s work is immediate and unmediated in its impact on the listener. Despite its evident conceptual depth and complexity, one is able to almost instantly sense the language and form personal associations with it: time, proportionality, simultaneity, performance as product, sound as event. If Prince had collaborated with Adam Bohman they might have arrived at similar noise-silence schemata.
Maierhof’s first album release on Migro Records is a collection of recordings of compositions from the period 2005-2012. The poster-booklet that accompanies the CD provides context and analysis in the words of his colleagues and collaborators, two of which are quoted below:
“Helmut Lachenmann’s maxim that «Komponieren
heisst: ein Instrument bauen (composing means building an instrument)», holds more for Maierhof than anybody else. Each new composition of his is the result of a long-term process of meticulous experimenting, a process in which existing instruments are being played in unorthodox ways, for instance with everyday objects, and in which new instruments are being developed with existing objects that are, for example, decontextualized by isolating their sound.” Pieter Matthynssens and Stefan Prins, Nadar Ensemble.
“One deeply confounding aspect of Maierhof’s music comes from the fact that, despite and simultaneously because of the composer’s empirical method of working, the listener is unable to anticipate the afore mentioned proportional aspects: each event, each entering or leaving of a zone, each atmospheric, geometric or material transformation within it come about without warning and likewise demand, without warning, that the listener draw connections to the previous and the current state. Thus, on the borders of each zone and within its nucleus, moments of blurring come about, cross-fades and after-images, whose reflections contain that which reveals the actual „form“ of this music. For this reason, the „acclimation“ and „weighting“ of past and present sounds plays a central role both in the construction and in the reception of this music.”
Christian Kemper, SUONO MOBILE
Michael Maierhof is a German composer of mostly chamber, vocal and multimedia works that have been performed throughout Europe and elsewhere.
He studied mathematics and music in Kassel and art history and philosophy in Hamburg and did not begin composing until 1988. In 2006 he received the competition prize for orchestral composition „Musik der Jahrhunderte“, in 2008 he received the „Kompositionspreis der Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart“, and in 2009 the „ad libitum“ composition prize. In 2011 he received fellowship at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles. He has been an invited lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin, at the Stuttgarter Musikhochschule, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, Mozarteum Salzburg, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijng/China and at the Musikhochschule Freiburg/Germany. Since 2004 he is cellist in the improv-trio NORDZUCKER (Hamburg/Berlin) and the Hamburg based “stark bewölkt Quartett”. Founder of the “Association for contemporary Music, Hamburg” (vamh.de)