Karlheinz Essl

Portrait KHE

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A few words

Since almost 20 years this page has served as a platform to listen to the music of Karlheinz Essl. For historical reasons I keep up this page and you can still access the sounds that I once offered for download. However, thanks to web services like SoundCloud und YouTube, my current works will be found there. Enjoy!


The works provided here for download are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativs 4.0 License. You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work under the following conditions:

Your fair dealing and other rights are in no way affected by the above.

Creative Commons License

Compositions in chronological order

con una certa espressione parlante (1985)
for piano and tape recorder
Karlheinz Essl: piano, Gerhard Eckel: tape recorder
Duration: 9:22

mp3 mp3 (13.3 MB)

Orgue de Cologne (1986)
tape music - the first electronic piece of Karlheinz Essl
duration: 1:47
mp3 mp3 (0.8 MB)

Carambol (1986)
tape music
duration: 6:08
mp3 mp3 (5.2 MB)

Helix 1.0 (1986)
for string quartet
mp3 ms. 1-42 (1 min 41 sec): structure type A

mp3 ms. 186-224 (1 min 53 sec): structure type B

mp3 ms. 90-146 (1 min 43 sec): structure type C

met him pike trousers (1987)
for large orchestra
United Philharmonic, Dir. Richard Edlinger
Duration: 11:05
mp3mp3 (15.2 MB)

Rudiments (1989/90)
for 4 spatially distributed snare drums
Les Guetteurs des Sons, Dir. HK Gruber
duration: 13:28
mp3mp3 (15.4 MB)

Zungenreden (1990)
radiophonic piece
mp3mp3 (33.9 MB)

et consumimur igni (1989/90)
for 3 spatially distributed ensemble groups
Ensemble Modern, Dir. Peter Eötvös
live recording from the premier at Musikprotokoll (Graz 1990)
duration: 2:57 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 stream (32 kbps)

Close the Gap (1990) for 3 tenor saxophones
Recorded live at the Austrian National Library on 29 Nov 2006
Wiener Saxophon-Quartett
duration: 3:16 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (3.1 MB)

Space Art Transmission (1991)
for voice & percussionists
Studio recording for the ARTSAT CD of the ORF KUNSTRADIO
duration: 4:18
mp3mp3 (4.1 MB)

Entsagung (1991-93)
for flute, bass clarinet, prepared piano, percusssion, and live-electronics
Klangforum Wien, Dir. Gerd Kühr
duration: 15:59
mp3mp3 (15.3 MB)

Lexikon-Sonate (1992 ff.)
for computer-controlled piano
Live performance at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, Walter Hall on March 10th, 1998 played on a Yamaha Disklavier
duration: 6:41
mp3mp3 (7.7 MB)

Déviation (1993) for two ensemble groups
Recorded live at the Consevatoire de musique de Montréal on 30 Oct 2009
Ensemble Transmission
duration: 13:59
mp3mp3 (16.1 MB)

Amazing Maze (1993-2007)
interactive realtime composition
duration: 3:26 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (2.4 MB)

O rosa bella (1981/96)
A composed realization after John Dunstable, John Bedingham and anonymous composers (ca. 1440) for flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, and cello
Recorded by Ensemble Recherche for the CD re_naissance transcriptions (Coviello Classic 2008)
mp3 Ballata by John Dunstable (ca. 1440) - mp3 (1.8 MB)
mp3 Epilog by Karlheinz Essl (1981) - mp3 (1.9 MB)

...wird sichtbar am Horizont (1996) for spatially distributed ensemble
Recording of the world premier, performed by Ensemble Modern, Dir. Hans Zender
Mozarteum, Salzburg Festival 1997
duration: 13:39
mp3mp3 (16.4 MB)

absence (1996)
for violin solo
Irvine Arditti: violin
duration: 11:04
mp3mp3 (10.2 MB)

à trois - seul (1997/98)
string trio

Live recording, played by the fabulous Orpheus Trio Wien.

RealAudio 1st movement: 4 min 11 sec

fLOW (1998-2001)
realtime generated sound scape

infinite fLOW soundscape: Click on both mp3 icons below in order to play two fLOW streams together. You can also download those two mp3 files separately and play them together in loop mode in order to create an infinite ambient sound environment.

mp3 fLOW layer 1: 10' (9.1 MB)
mp3 fLOW layer 2: 10' (9.1 MB)
This material was used for a sound installation of fLOW at the Ought-One-Festival (Vermont, 2001). Thanks to Kalvos and Damian's New Music Bazaar for hosting these files.

Examples of fLOW material:

mp3 excerpt of "water": 1'08" (530 KB)

mp3 excerpt of "fire": 55" (430 kB)

mp3 excerpt of "earth": 1'07" (530 kB)

mp3 excerpt of "air": 45" (360 kB)

m@ze°2 (1999)
Modular Algorithmic Zound Environment
Recorded live on 23 March 1999 and 19 Nov 1999 - no editing! As the original CD is sold out, this album is now available for free on SoundCloud
mp3 mp3: download the entire album or selected tracks...

more or less (1999-2007)
version for saxophone, violin, prepared piano, percussion and electronics
Ensemble Intégrales (Hamburg) & Karlheinz Essl (electronics)
duration: 17:10
mp3mp3 (15.7 MB)

more or less - sound types (1999-2007)
computer-controlled interactive realtime composition for ensemble and live-electronics

The piece is based on 5 different types of musical structures - the examples given here have been worked out and played live by Karlheinz Essl on his m@ze°2 realtime composition environment:

Example of Burst

mp3 Burst #1: 19 sec, 150 kB

Examples of Chute

mp3 Chute #1: 8 sec, 60 kB

mp3 Chute #2: 6 sec, 45 kB

Examples of Cloud

mp3 Cloud #1: 19 sec, 150 kB

mp3 Cloud #2: 36 sec, 280 kB

Examples of Drone

mp3 Drone #1: 29 sec, 220 kB

mp3 Drone #2: 17 sec, 130 kB

Examples of Pulse

mp3 Pulse #1: 40 sec, 300 kB

mp3 Pulse #2: 54 sec, 420 kB

mp3 Pulse #3: 19 sec, 140 kB

mp3 Pulse #4: 40 sec, 300 kB

onwards (1999/2000)
for three instruments and computer

The piece is based on 4 different types of musical structures - the examples given here have been worked out and played live by Karlheinz Essl on his m@ze°2 realtime composition environment:

Examples of DRONE

mp3 Drone #1: 1'07" (520 kB)
mp3 Drone #2: 1'01" (470 kB)

Examples of POINTS

mp3 Points #1: 1'09" (530 kB)
mp3 Points #2: 1'01" (530 kB)


mp3 Repetitions #1: 40" (310 kB)
mp3 Repetitions #2: 48" (370 kB)

Examples of TEXTURE

mp3 Texture #1: 42" (320 kB)
mp3 Texture #2: 54" (420 kB)

Prank (2001)
solo computer performance
Karlheinz Essl: computer music live improvisation
duration: 5:07

Live recording of a solo concert given at Kornhaus Bern (Switzerland) on 14 Jan 2001 during Karlheinz Essl's recent Switzerland tour within the framework of :digital brainstorming

mp3 mp3 (4.6 MB)

ex machina (2002)
for 6 percussionists encircling the audience
Studio Percussion graz, Dir. Günter Meinhart
duration: 13:18
mp3mp3 (15.2 MB)

Gold.Berg.Werk (2003-2007)
electronic sound comments on J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations
mp3download Aria Electronica 1 (3.9 MB) - 4:12
mp3download Fantasia Chromatica Electronica (3.4 MB) - 3:45

Le mystère d'orgue (2003)
generative sound installation for a Hermann Nitsch retrospective at the Essl Museum
duration: 3:05 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (2.7 MB)

ULURU (2004)
generative sound scape for the exhibition SPIRIT & VISION - Aboriginal Art at the Essl Museum
duration: 2:15 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (2.1 MB)

generative sound scape for a light installation by Rainer Gottemeier
duration: 3:31 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (3.2 MB)

blurB (2004)
electronic music - submission to the 60x60 Project
duration: 1:00
mp3mp3 (1.0 MB)

and thank you... (2005)
sound/space/performance in collaboration with Jack Hauser and Sabina Holzer
duration: 17:29
mp3mp3 (16.0 MB)

WebernUhrWerk (2005-2015)
algorithmic music for computer-controlled Carillon
mp3download model #1, full hour (1.4 MB)
mp3download model #2, quarter past (0.8 MB)
mp3download model #3, half an hour (1.0 MB)
mp3download model #4, quarter to (1.0 MB)

Rouge de Rouge (2005)
electronic sound performance for a series of 100 wine paintings by Josef Trattner
duration: 16:43
mp3mp3 (15.3 MB)

nature / morte (2005/2006)
generative sound environment accompanying a photo documentation on Viennese Actionism
duration: 4:00 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (4.1 MB)

Von Hirschen und Röhren (2006/2007)
generative sound environment for an installation by Beat Zoderer
duration: 2:33 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (2.4 MB)

7x77 (2006)
generative sound environment for an animation video by Jürgen Messensee
bass clarinet samples played by Georg Riedl
duration: 3:13 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (3.0 MB)

Panta Rhei (2006)
generative sound environment for a room installation by Jürgen Messensee
duration: 5:03 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (6.9 MB)

inside/out (2006)
for inside-flute, live-electronics and 4-channel sound projection
Two excerpts from the premier (2 Jun 2006, Vienna): Cordula Bösze (flute), Karlheinz Essl (electronics) - recorded live.
mp3beginning: mp3 (5.2 MB, 4:45)
mp3middle section: mp3 (4.5 MB, 3:46)

AIR BORNE (2006)
15-part sound installation in open space at Humboldt University in Berlin-Adlershof
A SoundWalk by Stefan Krüskemper through the AIR BORNE environment
duration: 17:34
mp3mp3 (20.9 MB)

Berliner Luft (2006)
generative sound environment for a room installation by Johanes Zechner
duration: 2:45 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (2.5 MB)

Deconstructing Mozart (2006)
version for computer, church organ and electronics - recorded live at the Cathedrale of St. Pölten on 23 Sep 2006
Karlheinz Essl: electronics, Franz Danksagmüller: church organ
duration: 4:24 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (4.0 MB)

generative sound and video environment for an installation by Jonathan Meese
duration: 5:03 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (4.8 MB)

Die Klangwelt des FRÄULEIN ATLANTIS (2007)
radio live-performance at the ORF Kunstradio
duration: 3:49 (excerpt)
mp3mp3 (3.5 MB)
7x7 (2006)
version for 4 alto saxophones
Recorded live the ensemble 4 Saxess at the Konzerthaus Vienna
duration: 6:43
mp3mp3 (6.2 MB)

7x7 (2009)
version for 4 electric guitars
Recorded live by ZWERM electric guitar quartet at the Essl Museum Klosterneuburg
duration: 9:00
mp3mp3 (10.3 MB)

colorado (2005-2008)   NEW
for saxophone quartet & live-electronics
duration: 14:57
mp3mp3 (13.7 MB)

Demo Crazy (2009)
Karlheinz Essl: computer & live-electronics
duration: 11:02
mp3mp3 (10.2 MB)

Detune (2009)
fragment for oboe and large orchester
Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Dir. Karlheinz Essl
duration: 1:06
mp3mp3 (1.5 MB)

While my guitars gently whip (2008/2009)
for electric guitar quartet
ZWERM electric guitar quartet (Antwerpen)
duration: 10:05
mp3mp3 (9.2 MB)

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Updated: 1 Feb 2018