hellhörig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXc5hpcuJQ8

Interview Portraitkonzert Ives Ensemble:   http://vimeo.com/40853754

Portrait Stadtrevue Köln:


Portrait Die Welt:


Uraufführung Mensch und Tier br-alpha:





About the premiere of „hellhörig“:

... Bauckholt, however, shows a real love for the noises as if they were small, living beings which have developed their own inherent and broad range of expression within her compositions: often simply and tenderly abandoning herself to their whims.  Because noises are headstrong little creatures, they are not as easily controllable as musical tones.  A hard blow is not able to be stretched out as long as one likes, a ball which is dropped generates its own individual rhythm.  At the same time however the noises evoke involuntary semantic associations.  One could compare the metal tub drawn across the floor with wailing, and by rubbing balloons one can imitate cajolement and rebuff and so on.  In this way the composition, which makes due with only a musical score (no text, or non-musical stage directions, no visual images), resembles theater on two levels: first as a from of instrumental theater … , that is to say through the action which are necessary to produce the noises, and on another level the through the onslaught of individual and often contradictory semantic meanings and connotations of the noises.  As such the stimulus reaction paradigm is necessarily inherent to such material, and Bauckhot clearly works with these elements taking into consideration their content.  Here we are very close to the primeval musical utterances, when song wrest itself from crying and laughing, when the beating on a log could still explore the nature of the material.  And as much as the composition of the piece satisfies purely musical criteria, to an equal degree Bauckholt plays with the elements of expression and contradiction … And so we can experience in an exciting 75 minutes an emancipation of noises and at the same time the emancipation of the performer.  Comparisons with early man, that is to say from the prelinguistic period, fit the piece most exactly.  Curiosity, surprise, fighting, cries of rage, groping enticement, the desire to find out, the panting of breathing, the beating of the heart are all in friendly competition with one another and while in the process of spining a network of dreams … with the excellent preparation by Erik Oña (the noises now need no conductor).

Reinhard Schulz, nmz 6/08 June 2008

… and even here something which is genuinely theatrically effective is able to emerge.  Because Bauckholt treats the non-traditional playing techniques and the resulting sounds and noises not simply as effective isolated moments, which (as was often done in the 60’s) are arranged one after the other in an amusing manner but without any proper cohesion, but rather she develops a musical continuity, creates a grammar, an overarching rhythm, a total sound, a Gestalt – and so she is able to create developments and climaxes which are as thoroughly musical as they are theatrically effective.

Thomas Meyer, TagesAnzeiger der Stadt Zürich, 26 April 2008

… From the entryway with its organ pipe installation the audience is led into a kind of arena, which resembles an anatomical theater.  But in this clinical white theater in the round by the stage designer Roland Aeschlimann , which at the same time is a fantastic resonance body, no cadavers will be dissected rather sounds and noises. … But the performers are not the main protagonists of this music theater, which does without words, narrative and plot in the classical sense. … (They) are all only staggeringly precise henchmen in a drama of noises, which through its unique manner and  perfection of realisation opens up new horizons in the world of musical theater. … However in Bauckholt’s fantastic acoustic world everything is lively – … A enthralling drama for the ears comes to life, whose content and poetry consists of things, which we do not really believe to be capable of embodying any sort of story or drama: pure noise, which suddenly becomes loaded with our own stories. 

Michael Struck-Schloen, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger 26 April 2008

What a magical evening. … ‘hellhörig’ by Carola Bauckholt is not only an impressively beautiful installation in the Munich Reithalle, it is also principally a treatise on hearing.  Hellhörig is most of the time unbelievably wide and open, a challenge to listen, as well as to discover what sounds are able to trigger in the mind of the listener.  And this challenge is simply wonderful.  Bauckholt is convincing, because she does not feel constrained within the traditional opera genres.

Egbert Tholl, Bayerische Staatszeitung, 25 April 2008

… Bauckholts ground-breaking work shows, how much potential still lies in an “abstract” music theater which has been conceived with great subtlety and realized with a sensitivity to sound.  It was a brilliant move to collaborate with the scenic designers Georges Delnon and Roland Aeschlimann, so that forward drive of the music was able to be supported by addition first-class work in another medium.

Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau

… the cast dressed in all white and covered in ghostlike white stage makeup … hits, knocks, bows, sizzles rubs, whistles, shakes, drums and sniffs its way through Carola Bauckholt’s piece with bravura like a circus of noises. … Carola Bauckholt’s jocular score places its diegesis within a space of rhythmical diversity … Bauckholt however surpasses this rhythmic layering with an inner drama which oscillates between convergence and divergence, climax and swan song.  When the climax with its unmistakable back and forth squeaking of windshield wipers is reached, one is not only thoroughly amused, but also in awe of the inexhaustible abundance of musical simuli contained in the world of noise which surrounds us all.

Harald Eggebrecht, Süddeutsche Zeitung 25 April 2008

Understanding - to learn to understand by taking apart, remodeling, practising, playing, challenging and straining the means of communication, and of language, whose content they try to test and translate into different states and forms of existence. To achieve the effect the composer Carola Bauckholt uses reduced compositional material, which is orientated towards the discovery and re-discovery of original forms of perception. The structure is the rule by which such transformation and filtering takes place.

Carolin Naujocks, DS Kultur, 28.12.93

The distinguishing feature of Carola Bauckholt's music is the manner of distilling our auditory perceptions of everyday noises into a language intended for musical instruments. We are not dealing here with extra-musical stimuli, for the noises relate to actual sounds. Nor is this a species of programme music, for each of her pieces has its own intrinsic logic.

The sound material largely derives from expanded instrumental techniques and from the human voice (language has always been a rich treasure-trove of noises), to which she has added objects of various origins. Bauckholt uses these ingredients to develop a wealth of sound seemingly unrelated to pure instrumental music, but capable of imparting a distinctive character to each of her works.

Especially striking is the way she interweaves intensity and transparency, the trenchancy of her sound giving rise tu subtle spatial gradations. The level of sophistication of her music, and its spatial presence, reach out to the listener and create a perceptual basis of immediate accessibility, even intimacy. It is these virtues that turn Carola Bauckholt's chamber music into music in the strong sense of the term.

Frank Hilberg, from CD-Booklet, Wergo (English translation by J. Bradford Robinson

In the generation that followed Nono and Lachenmann few musicians take aesthetic activity simply as an artistic phenomenon, but rather as an expression of a universal relation to reality. They put reflection before notation. Reflection on »perception and understanding« is central to their work. Nevertheless they do communicate.

Their music is as rare as it is valuable. It gives you the feeling of being an initiate. To hear it is to understand it.

With Carola Bauckholt's music we are »In familiar surroundings«. »Distilling our auditory perceptions of everyday noises into a language intended for musical instruments« (Frank Hilberg). The world of everyday noises seems to be playfully moulded, remoulded and transformed into patterns of a peculiarly suggestive power. [Š]

A very special pleasure, at once witty, original, enigmatic and intimate, and

brilliantly performed by the Thürmchen-Ensemble, of which Bauckholt was a


Manfred Karallus, »Kapiert« - in: MusikTexte 73/74 (1998).


Carola Bauckholt