36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 292: My fingers are on TV


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 292 — My fingers are on TV
20-May-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)


Today was a normal day, except “weirder.” Horn ensemble in morning. Less excited about horn lately because of my problems—not getting anywhere, so discouraged.

Helped—really just sat around—while Camilla made an aufnahme for a free jazz (progressive) session. The only problem was that it was so free—that it stayed in one mode (phrygian) or chord, with the same beat and rhythm, and with only one or two spots of crescendo–decrescendo in about 20 minutes. It seems to be progressing backwards that is. Some of it though, the horn parts, were pretty interesting.

TV World Premier – Appearance

After asking engineer Gottwald when it [the electronic studio documentary] would be on TV, he said, maybe today. So, I bought a paper and our show said “Kultur—Neue Musik im Glashaus.” So, it sounded like it had possibilities. I asked everyone what “im Glashaus” meant and no one knew. Anyway, I made arrangements to see it on Frau Pollack’s TV. And then, the idea struck me: they must have named it after my composition—get it, “Zebrochenes Glass”—Glashaus. Boy, was I feeling egotistical. So, since I was expecting a 6+ min. section only on our electronic studio, and with quite a bit of film (in those two hours of shooting), and with a couple of minutes of my composition taped, I was beginning to hope that they might have salvaged the mess they made into something worthwhile. It also started to rain today (right before)—a soft rain with soft thunder (exactly like in the composition). And I thought, how ironic. Nature’s music (which is better) will be playing alongside my music. Maybe somebody will get the point!

Well, everything turned out to be junk. The program turned out to be about 26 minutes, and had something to do with New Music, but what, I don’t know. It was like a mass marathon quiz show with hundreds of different items all squeezed together. The results? Only about one minute of video on the electronic studio. Nothing to do with my music though. The pictures were just for “show”—my legs, my fingers, the tape machine, pan of studio, and a two-second close up of an artist (me) in intense concentration. HA! That’s probably the length of my acting ability. Say, they could have used a janitor. Especially, since the time was short. Perhaps my fingers will get recognition.

As for the music played (what very little was played), it was so soft, under the talking, that even I almost didn’t recognize it.

So, I’m really angry. But now, I realize that the intention was never to show how a work was produced in the studio, and instead it was meant to be used as a background just for talking.

Magic Flute afterwards cheered me up a little.


A weird day. Why? I’m disappointed with horn today. What else is new? Weird? Yes, it has to do with TV.

Camilla. I seemed to help Camilla with a recording session with a group doing progressive jazz. I don’t know if she was performing, or if she was just recording them. I suspect the latter. At any rate, I seem to be complaining that the entire piece was mostly one single tonality. Today, I don’t see what’s so bad with that. Perhaps, when writing the journal, I was just in a bad mood because of what follows. Stay tuned!

A note on Camilla. I did find some mention of her on the Internet and sent off an email to a performing group with which she was associated. So far, I haven’t heard anything. But Camilla has been performing and composing contemporary music and has several CDs out. I just bought one of them on iTunes. Can’t wait to hear it.

I’m on TV. Well, not really. Today, they air the documentary on Austrian TV that was shot in the studio a while ago. I was angry at the time and I still seem to be angry. It’s all pretty self-explanatory. I believe I now understand why I have been “so” upset with this process. I think it was because I was told it was going to be specifically about the Hochschule’s Electronic Music Studio, Prof. Kaufmann, and also give a good look at how music was composed in the studio. It was not. Only a minute of the video (from two hours) was used on the final program. So, I should not have been so upset. It was just my misunderstanding. My German probably contributed to my misunderstanding.

Oh well, I got my two seconds of fame. And the title of the piece did have something to do with glass.

Mozart soothes. A Mozart opera at night soothes me down.


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