poSTepeno is inspired by a multi-part collage created circa
1890 by an anonymous schizophrenic patient (known only
as Frau ST) at the Viennese Oberdöbling asylum.
The compositions (for piano and sine tones) morph musical
themes through continual microtonal modifications. Sine
tones are unstable, but nevertheless they consistently keep
their individual frequency direction (up or down). In the
chordal sense, the distance between the tones is subject to
alteration. In this way the harmonic indications are eluded,
and thereby an unstable harmonic structure accrues which
cannot be secured in any moment.
Robert Lepenik is a Graz-based artist. He studied classical
guitar and writes music for film and theatre alongside solo
work and various collaborations.
Edition of 200 copies
Out of print
Frau ST, details from an untitled collage, circa 1890
Lepenik […] concentrates on an area adjacent to that explored
by the likes of Alvin Lucier — the juxtaposition of acoustic instru-
ments (here, piano) with sine waves. But whereas Lucier will
typically write long, drone-like passages wherein the instrument-
alist attempts to approximate the exact pitch of the sine waves
(an impossible task, resulting in those wonderful perturbations),
Lepenik writes slow, often processional-sounding lines for the
piano with a fluctuating sine wave alongside, so that the inter-
action varies quite a bit, the sounds sometimes treading
independent pathways, sometimes interweaving.
[T]he meshing of held notes and sine waves is quite delicious
and, as before, there's quite an assortment encountered along
the way. There’s a strangely mesmerising quality to all of this
music, an odd sense of drawing the acoustic phenomena ‘out
of the air’, which of course, is what's happening. Fascinating
work with a substantially different effect on ones ears and
brain than, say, Lucier.
Brian Olewnick at Just Outside