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15 minutes, commissioned by the SWR (South-West German Broadcast Station) Stuttgart

first performance: Feb. 10th 2012, Eclat Festival Stuttgart, RSO Stuttgart, Matthias Pintscher


full recording in form of a movie accompanying the music with a visual analysis of the formal structure using the Crowley Thoth Tarot deck by Lady Frieda Harris


A complex harmonic background provides this work’s advanced aesthetic stance with a structural framework of harmonic relationships that are treated by means of logically pursued harmonic relationships. The role of fifths and thirds, with their superiority in traditional “tonal” music, has shifted to harmonic intervals based on the prime numbers 7, 11, and 13.  The “Second Subject”, thus, enters after modulation into the harmonic 13th. Comparably to the first movement of Schubert’s late Sonata in B-flat, its recapitulation does not recur into the fundamental key but only a fifth below: into the raised second degree. With the eccentric F-sharp as its principal key, the work delineates a large-scale process of release and liberation.

The progression of formal sections is furthermore accentuated by seven subtitles, drawing on a combination of cards from the Crowley-Thoth Tarot deck. The title “taroq” itself refers to the possible etymological origin of the tarot in the Arabic language from where it might signify “trails”. These cards, ordered upon a reading that is called the “step ladder”, help to interpret the different structural specimens of the score. Due to their archetypical and symbolic nature, they appear to me as a suitable translation of the contents addressed in the score. This set, in its beautiful symmetrical structure, completes the work’s formal outline. In the original reading, the cards incorporated different planetary aspects in chronological order. It should be observed that the presented set of cards keeps the four elements related to the tarot in perfect equilibrium. The last step, placed at the final cadence, thus, constitutes the ultimate release of tension. The 2nd Subject – first stated as turmoil and chaotic change – recapitulates in a more subtle and inclusive version of itself. Further parallels should be observed carefully. The transformation is further emphasized by specific percussion instruments – such as the whip and the hammer – in order to grant the audience utmost clarity.