Gerhard Rühm (b. 1930)

Wien Wie Es Klingt (1994)

  1. Wien Wie Es Klingt (46:15)

The radioplay "Wien wie es klingt" places 24 significant listening spots of the Austrian capital Vienna into the framework of a daily routine - something like an acoustic equivalent to two sets of postcards. It begins in the early morning with the arrival at the railway station. The thematic middle of the piece is marked by the ringing of the bells of St. Stephen's Cathedral in the center of the city at noon, and the piece ends in the late evening with the departure from the airport at Schwechat. Strewn in between is a tourist programme which could hardly be accomplished in one day. A compressed 47 minute sequence was distilled from the 12 hours of recording and arranged roughly chronologically with regard to normal visiting times in the morning, afternoon, and evening but precluding any kind of realistic plot by making geographical leaps all over the city.

A co-production of the WDR Cologne and the ORF Vienna.

Moritat von der Eisenbahn / Vermutlich (rec. 1985)

  1. Moritat von der Eisenbahn (Gerhard Rühm/Konrad Bayer)
  2. Vermutlich (Gerhard Rühm/Konrad Bayer)
Ingrid Wiener & Chor - Moritat von der Eisenbahn / Vermutlich 7" (Exil-Schallplatte, 1985)

Wald. Ein deutsches Requiem / Ophelia and the Words / Kleine Geschichte der Zivilisation (1987-1993)

  1. Ophelia and the Words (22:47)
  2. Wald. Ein deutsches Requiem (32:34)
  3. Kleine Geschichte der Zivilisation (16:15)

composer: Gerhard Rühm
editor: Klaus Schoening
interpreter: Sigrid Wurschmidt - Henry Kaiser - Elisabeth Hartmann - Matthias Ponnier - Othello Liesmann - Gerhard Rühm
choir: Collegium Vocale Koeln
conductor: Wolfgang Fromme
Klaus Schöning: editor / Sigrid Wurschmidt: speaker (Ophelia) / Henry Kaiser: special effects / Elisabeth Hartmann, Matthias Ponnier, Gerhard Rühm, speakers / Collegium Vocale Köln, Wolfgang Fromme: conductor / Othello Liesmann: cello
Recorded 1980 (3rd work), 1983 (2nd work) and 1987 (1st work), WDR Koln, Studio Akustische Kunst.

Pencil Music (2002)

  1. Track 1
  2. Track 2
  3. Track 3
  4. Track 4
  5. Track 5
  6. Track 6
  7. Track 7
  8. Track 8
  9. Track 9
  10. Track 10
  11. Track 11
  12. Track 12
  13. Track 13
  14. Track 14
  15. Track 15
  16. Track 16
  17. Track 17
  18. Track 18
  19. Track 19
  20. Track 20

Originally released under the title "Bleistiftmusik" as a C30 cassette in a signed and numbered edition of 80 copies by Edition Hundertmark as 74. Karton. "I was surprised that it was possible to read the acoustic event from the object drawn, and some insecurity about the association of visual signs and sound phenomena (caused by the directional openness of the reading process) appears to increase even more the attraction of seeing them combined. The pencil-sound piece did not always remain the by-product of the dominating drawing-process. The dynamics of the sound sequence in its turn often influenced the development of the drawing and determined it significantly. You will probably notice that even carefully listening to the CD by itself, without producing the images at the same time, has its attraction and betrays its independent musical quality, in other words can be regarded as 'absolute music'. Inversely, it is advisable to look at the drawing independently at times, either as 'pure' visual events or as spatial traces of a hidden music, perhaps caused by energetic processes. This makes one alert and sensitive for the reception of the synaesthetic dimension of the perception of the phenomenal world." Gerhard Rühm

Various Tracks

1. Gebet (1954) (0:40)
2. Hymne an lesbierinnen (1956) (2:08)
3. Blätter (1965-73) (0:20)
4. Berührung (1965-73) (0:10)
5. Verkütze zeitspanne mit melodischen extrakt (1973) (1:20)
6. The Bird of Paradise (1975) (5:39)
7. Gerhard Rühm - Phonetische Meditation (1985)
8. Gerhard Rühm: Komplex 10
9. Gerhard Rühm: Zensurierte Rede

Tracks 1-6, From the LP Futura Poesia Sonora (Cramps Records, Milan)
Track 7 from Lautpoesie Anthology
Tracks 8,9 from Lautpoesie Anthology

Konrad Bayer / Gerhard Rühm
gemeinschaftsarbeiten 1957-1962
Köln: Supposé 2002

  1. bissen brot
  2. aller anfang ist schwer
  3. versuch einer mustersternwarte
  4. ein kriminalstück
  5. scheissen und brunzen
  6. der fliegende holländer
  7. kyselak
  8. 10 lebensregeln für vierzigjährige
  9. mein apfelbaum (chanson)
  10. der schweissfuss (musikalischer querschnitt durch die operette)

Track 1-9: Köln 2001/02 Sprecher: Gerhard Rühm
Track 10: Berlin 1971, Stimme, Klavier, Cembalo: Gerhard Rühm, Stimme: Inga Artmann

Gerhard Rühm was born in Vienna in 1930. He now lives at Cologne and teaches at the Hamburg Superior School of Art.

In these pieces, Rühm imitates a lecturer who, while speaking, is continually interrupted by the censor; the public applauds with enthusiasm as if it was not aware of the manipulation. The six texts we present are lightning-fast phonic gags, with the exception of the last, "The Bird Paradise", and covers a wide range of the author's activities.

"Gebet" (Prayer), 1954, is an example of vocal constellation. The succession of vowels "a, e, i, o, u" repeated in this order is wrapped up in consonants to the point of producing syllabic coordinations. The title refers to the meditative nature of the composition. "Hymne an Lesbierinnen" (Hymn to Lesbians), 1956-75, consists of a sound text in three parts, at first in 1956, only declaimed, later revised in a recording studio. The three parts of the basic text are arranged in different tonalities and also in reverse and then mixed together in a new simultaneous version. "Blätter" (Leaves), 1965-73, is an example of visual poetry translated phonically. The word "leaf" - like a leaf that, falling from a tree, flies about and changes shape - gradually changes in tone and timbre as a result of electronic manipulation. "Berührung" (Contact), 1965-73, is meant to be the sonic ideogram of a contact. The words "to touch", "touched", "to have touched" (in German, naturally) are resolved into their phonemes, to which is assigned, from time to time, a determinate duration of sound or of interval. The whole is arranged in the form of a canon in diminuendo, dynamically differentiated so as to create a close counterpoint. "Verkürzte zeitspanne mit melodischen extrakt (Abbreviated pause with melodic summary), 1973, is based on the word "now" (in German "jetzt") pronounced in moderate tone, a tone modified on repetition. A short final part describes the melodic curve of the text: the "e"s of the "jeutz"s are aligned to provide a different tonal scale. This text is the sonic translation of an earlier concrete poem. "The Bird of Paradise" (1975), was suggested by Robert Ashley's "She Was a Visitor" and by Charlie Parker's jazz piece of the same name. It is dedicated to Valie Export. From a mechanically repeated phrase depart single sounds which gradually forms inversions in a higher tone and interweave to form a succession of new sound combinations. Unexpectedly there emerges the phrase " the bird of Paradise is dying", which suggests the situation it indicates.


Gerhard Rühm in UbuWeb Film
Berliner Dichter Workshop in UbuWeb Sound
Dieter Roth in UbuWeb Sound
Gerhard Rüm in UbuWeb Historical
Gerhard Rühm "the phenomenon of the "wiener gruppe" in the vienna of the 50s and 60s" in UbuWeb Papers