- An Interview with Hans Tutschku
Born in 1966, Hans Tutschku began to study music at an early age. In 1982, he joined the Ensemble für Intuitive Musik Weimar, playing synthesizer and live electronics. He studied electroacoustic composition in Dresden, The Hague and Paris, and between 1989 and 1991 he accompanied Karlheinz Stockhausen on several concert tours to study sound diffusion.
As a member of the Ensemble für Intuitive Musik Weimar, Mr. Tutschku has realized multimedia productions, including those involving projection of images and choreography for dance. The ensemble has given numerous concerts in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He has composed instrumental works, works for tape, works for musicians and electronics, and music for theater, film, and ballet.
During 1995–1996, Mr. Tutschku was the professor of electroacoustic composition at the Liszt Conservatory in Weimar, and in 1996 he attended the Royaumont composition workshop with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough. During 1997–2001, he taught computer music at IRCAM. He has given master classes at the Universities of São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Singapore, the Music Academy in Budapest, as well as in Darmstadt, Stuttgart, Florence, Milan, and Porto. He has served as a jury member of the CIMESP (São Paulo) and Métamorphoses (Brussels) international competitions for electroacoustic composition.
He completed a D.E.A. degree at the Parisian Sorbonne and a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He has taught electroacoustic composition at the conservatory of Montbéliard since 2001. Last summer, he held a DAAD professorship at the Technical University of Berlin. He is the recipient of several international composition prizes, including Bourges, Hanns Eisler-Preis, CIMESP São Paulo, Prix ARS Electronica, Prix Noroit, and Prix Musica Nova.
This interview was conducted on 2 April 2003, at the Ecole Nationale de Musique in Montbé liard, France.
[Editor's note: Hans Tutschku's composition for 5.1-channel playback Migration pétrée can be found on the sound examples portion of the DVD accompanying this issue.]
Nez: How did you get started composing and working with electronic music, and how did growing up in East Germany affect your musical development?
Tutschku: I started by playing the piano. As my parents are musicians, it was obligatory. When I was 15 years old, I met a musician, Michael von Hintzenstern, who introduced me to an analog synthesizer, which was a very rare thing in East Germany at that time. I actually attended a concert where he used the EMS synthesizer. So I asked him after the concert if he could show me how it worked, and he loaned it to me for two days. I brought it back and said, "Thank you very much." He said, "No, now you show me what you did!" This was the starting point of our collaboration, which by now has lasted more than twenty years.
After a very classical education, this was really a door-opener to a whole new sound-world. He introduced me to a lot of music, for example Henri Pousseur, Schaeffer, Stockhausen. He had been in touch with Stockhausen since the early 1970s. This was, I would say, a turning point in my musical education. Very soon, we started to improvise and perform concerts together.
Nez: Did you then form the Ensemble für Intuitive Musik?
Tutschku: The ensemble had already started a year before I joined them and had given two or three concerts. But this was really the starting point of the Ensemble für Intuitive Musik.
You ask how being in East Germany influenced me. The technical possibilities were very limited. Michael received the EMS because he had won a composition prize in the late 1970s, and as a result [End Page 14] could go to Switzerland for three months to study. He had friends who helped him to obtain this synthesizer. This was a really a very uncommon situation for us composers in East Germany, having this little box and being able to listen to West German Radio (WDR). Because Weimar was not far from the West German border, we received WDR programs. We listened to what was going on. In the...