Home Column

Column

Three-Lane Bass

The voice is human beings’ most beautiful instrument, it is said, and its beauty is unevenly distributed. When someone speaks quietly, how often is it that you only half-listen to them? How strongly does a voice influence the message that it brings across—even elevating it, rendering it somehow more valuable—just because it’s particularly pleasant? How fond are we of listening …


What Bass Has to Do with University Life…

In music, it can sometimes happen that we concentrate all too much on virtuosic melodies and brilliant high notes—thereby paying far too little attention to the bass. When it comes to ensuring a great choral or orchestral sound, however, the bass part has a crucial role to play. Oftentimes, the bass assumes the role of a facilitator, allowing the other …


Special Birthdays

A bicentennial is something like one of those decadal birthdays that mark milestones in our lives. We know about them, we see how those around us hectically plan for them with a mixture of joy and panic, and we’re pushed by the outside world to view these dates as something significant. But we don’t really feel them. Nothing’s different than …


Your Voice for Education!

At a university of music and performing arts, vocal training is first and most essentially domain of singers, of course, although future teachers as well as actors also train their voices as part of their studies. But one can also conceive of voice training more broadly: as the practice of involving oneself in democracy and civil society. Raising our voices …


The Fear of our own Judgment

Some composers and performers are better than others. It’s not that I like them better, or that they’re more my thing; they’re just plain better at what they do. Alright, so maybe it’s not all that nice to use the word “better” in reference to human beings, but I wanted to start out a bit polemically, here. To put it …


Women’s Films

It must have been ten years ago, at a cinema screening of Film Academy students’ works, that I sat next to a young man who spent the presentation wolfing down his popcorn in a way that was as self-confident as it was loud. It was during a period in which above all women directors were driving forward the international success …


Bananas

Thoughts on this fruit as a metaphor for various things in our society and at the mdw from the viewpoint of the hmdw Press Office What, bananas again? Haven’t we had enough of them, already!? The notion of Felix Austria—“happy Austria”—seems to have taken quite a beating amidst the numerous “banana republic”-allusions surrounding the postponement of the repeat of our …


The Car Park Singer

Travelling to the same country repeatedly over a long period of time causes you to slowly but surely acquire new ways of behaving. The foreign mentality and the initially unfamiliar customs and conventions drape themselves over you like a fine, thin coat that simultaneously warms and protects—and also feels quite secure. Over the past six months, I’ve spent a total …


Popular Myths

Some people harbour strange reservations towards anything and everything pop. In such circles, a deep-seated belief exists that things popular among the people (Latin: populus) and loved by the masses simply can’t be good. Supposed proof of this thesis is said to be embodied by the biographies of artists who are universally esteemed and counted among the greats of their …


Read more