Eva-Maria Houben is one of the leading figures in the increasingly influential Wandelweiser Group, an international organization of avant-garde composers and performers founded in 1992. This organ performance, part of the Chicago Wandelweiser Festival, marks her North American debut.
Houben is both a formidable pianist and organist and a dynamic, prolific composer. As Steve Smith wrote earlier this year in the New York Times, she “seems to view notes less as musical building blocks than as discrete entities with complex life cycles, and absence as a substantive presence.” Houben is a devoted post-Cage minimalist, privileging silence over repetition, particularly in the way she highlights the decay of single notes or the shift from sonic density to its total absence.
still werden (becoming silent) (2002). 6-12’
Three pieces from orgelbuch (2006), consisting of “bicinium” (14 pieces), “trio” (14 pieces) and “quatuor” (14 pieces). Each piece 5’
Intalniri fugitive (rom.) (fleeting encounters) (2010). 12 small sketches. 12-15’
drones (2014). var. duration. First performance.
Eva-Maria Houben (born 1955) studied Music Education at Folkwang-Musikhochschule Essen and the organ with Gisbert Schneider. She received her doctorate and postdoctoral lecturing qualification in musicology and has previously lectured at Gerhard-Mercator-Universität Duisburg and Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf. Since 1993 she has been lecturing at Dortmund University`s “Institut für Musik und Musikwissenschaft”, with both music theory and contemporary music as her focus. Since 2000 her music is published by Edition Wandelweiser (Haan), and 2012 she founded her own label, diafani.
The Chicago Wandelweiser Festival is organized by the Frequency Series at Constellation and a.pe.ri.od.ic, and this concert is co-presented with the Goethe Institut.