The 10 best neoclassical tracks, according to Hauschka

The German pianist and composer gives us a lesson in neoclassical music.

German experimental composer Hauschka went to great lengths to stretch and explore the classical sound of the piano on his 2011 album ‘Salon Des Amateurs’, using ping pong balls, gaffa tape, tin foil and vibrators to distort his instrument. Now, the sounds of the record are being re-imagined even further, as a collection of its remixes – including contributions from Kompakt’s Michael Mayer and Matthew Herbert – is set for release on FatCat Records. No stranger to pushing musical boundaries, then, Hauschka took the time to talk us through 10 tracks that he feels are challenging our preconceptions of classical music, re-moulding it and updating it for the 21st century.

  1. Jóhann Jóhannsson – Fordlândia
    Hauschka: “Very nice, hopeful track which I think is a typical Johann Johannson song, and a beautiful string arrangement. I like the very slight movements and the colour of Johann’s music. I played many shows with him and he is a great composer.”
  2. A Winged Victory For The Sullen – A Symphony Pathetique
    Hauschka: “I like these slow chord changes and the slowness of the song. In comparison to their solo records, the mixture of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie is a wonderful collaboration which adds colour and diversity to their solo music.”
  3. Max Richter – The Trees
    Hauschka: “I like Max Richter’s way of writing for solo piano. This piece is a Max Richter classic for me, and I am very pleased that we released records on the same label.”
  4. Insa Donja Kai – Red Reflections
    Hauschka: “I played with all three of these musicians and I think this is a wonderful piece from their first album. I am always happy to follow the releases of friends and companions.”
  5. Rachel’s – Esperanza
    Hauschka: “What a wonderful piece…I like Rachel Grimes’s solo albums so much as well. I think Rachel’s was one of the first bands, besides Stars of the Lid, that influenced me in a way to go more melodic without being cheesy.”
  6. Eluvium – The Sleeper
    Hauschka: “I like the pieces that are somehow like a non-defined layer but they create a very strong emotional reaction in me. Matthew Cooper AKA Eluvium does that for me in an excellent way.”
  7. Sylvain Chaveau – Nuage
    Hauschka: “Sylvain’s compositions are always very fragile. His first piano record on the label Fat Cat made me think about my own piano record. So somehow he motivated me to get to where I am now.”
  8. Keith Keniff – Grace
    Hauschka: “Keith Keniff , AKA Goldmund was one of the first musicians that I invited to the Approximation Festival in Duesseldorf. The Festival was for me an option to invite musicians that have similarities with my music.”
  9. Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise
    Hauschka: “I think this album is somehow connecting so many levels of music genres and stretching into other fields, which I totally like. It seems to me that his approach has a lot of similarities with an improvisation set with Samuli Kosminen and me, as we are swapping from one genre into the other.”
  10. Dillon – Thirteen Thirtyfive
    Hauschka: “This is not a track that you would expect, but I like to cross into other fields just as the music we heard before is crossing over into other fields….but Dillon’s music has something in common with the piano music above and I like her minimalism.”

Hauschka will play live with Hilary Hahn at London’s Bishopsgate Institute on Friday 15th March; more information on there here.

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