ensemble for contemporary music


Trio Abstrakt: spotlight is a concert series for concert-length compositions of contemporary music. In close collaboration with a composer, an approximately one-hour work is created in the form of an immersive chamber music experience. The series presents new works oscillating between chamber music, electronics, and music theater.


Roman Pfeifer’s non-static sculptures premiered on 20.05.2023 at the Urania Theatre in Cologne, marking the second edition of spotlight. The work is characterized by an intricate microtonal instrumentation and uses the potential of cross-genre instrumentation – saxophone, drums & piano/keyboards – to synthesize influences from doom jazz and ambient.

Roman Pfeifer
non-static sculptures (2023)
for saxophones, piano/keyboard, percussion, electronics & lights
world premiere

Trio Abstrakt
Salim(a) Javaid – saxophones
Marlies Debacker – piano, Hohner Clavinet D6
Shiau-Shiuan Hung – percussion

sound direction
Andre Weisse

Roman Pfeifer

Roman Pfeifer
non-static sculptures
for saxophone, piano, percussion and electronics

“I just set all of these loops running and let them configure in whichever way they wanted to.” (Brian Eno)

“I believe that a rational, almost positivist approach can actually be taken to a point where it blossoms into something very poetic, weightless and irrational.” (Hans Haacke)

From wind chimes and mobilés to tape loops and self-oscillating oscillating circuits to software – generative processes can take many different forms. Systems that are in a constant state of change, characterized by noise, chaotic, feedback, cycles, dynamic equilibrium and emergence, that exist in time and allow the viewer to experience time. Such systems are able to interact with their environment, are sensitive to light and temperature temperature fluctuations or react to the air currents to which they are subjected.

What they all have in common is that design is part of a feedback loop and becomes a cyclical process in which design ideas are formalized in the form of rules or algorithms, the outputs of which return via a feedback loop and enable designers to reformulate the set of rules, the algorithm and its implementation. It is therefore an interactive process with feedback between the designers and the conceived system. The result is comparable to a living organism that reacts flexibly to its environment. Form is no longer made here, but found. Composers and performers become cyberneticists who are surpassed by their own tools. Instruments no longer serve to produce the desired, mentally conceived and written-down sound forms, but to discover and manipulate unexpected forms. Just as Hans Haacke’s Condenser Cube – a 76cm Plexiglas cube with a base covered in water, in which the temperature difference between the inside and outside causes water vapor to condense into droplets that run down the walls of the cube and take on random shapes – presents us with a kind of miniature weather system, generative art can remind us that we are part of different systems, that we are not simply observers, but, as in the case of the above-mentioned artwork, contribute to changing its dynamics with our presence and our body heat.


spotlight 2023 SUPPORTED BY