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date: 06 June 2020

Zobl, Wilhelmlocked

  • Sigrid Wiesmann


(b Vienna, Jan 9, 1950; d Hanover, March 21, 1991). Austrian composer and percussionist. He studied at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik, where his teachers included Urbanner and Cerha, with Kotonski in Warsaw (1972–3), at Vienna University and at Humboldt University, Berlin (PhD musicology 1978). During this period, he worked at the Institut für Elektroakustik at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik (1969–72) and at the experimental studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw (1972–3). Active as a percussionist, he founded the improvisatory group Spiegelkabinett. In 1985 he served as visiting professor at the University of São Paolo, and from 1987 to 1991 he taught electro-acoustic music at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. He was appointed president of the Austrian section of the ISCM in 1988.

Following an exploration of aleatory and postserial techniques, Zobl devoted himself to electro-acoustic composition. From his attempts to develop a new approach to tonality grew his work with animation and his collaboration with songwriters and amateur ensembles. Later, he became interested in ethnic music as a stimulus for integral rhythmic composition. He saw in this genre the possibility of overcoming an outmoded European conception of music on the one hand, and a chance to open music up to a variety of historical and cultural phenomena on the other. ‘Rhythmic composition,’ he explained, ‘means the conscious transformation and transposition of the cultural experiences that are deposited in rhythms, and is in no way a superficial borrowing from a foreign culture …’....

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Lexikon zeitgenössischer Musik aus Österreich (Vienna, 1997)