Georg Friedrich Haas’s music is not constrained by gravity. Where conventional works – be they classical or modern – deal in whole and half tones, Haas shatters the intervals into tiny, almost inaudible units that imperceptibly slide into each other. These micro-intervals pull the rug out from under the listener’s feet. His sounds are slanting levels, endless acoustic M. C. Escher-stairways, above which the listener positively floats. A marvellous and unique sound experience.
Hamburg audiences have already had an opportunity to experience Haas’s genius when a commissioned work of his was performed in the opening concert of the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall, and in »limited approximations«, his concerto for six pianos micro-tonally tuned away from each another. The effect is heightened further in »in vain« as a result of the piece being performed in almost total darkness. Any attempt on the listener’s part to seek orientation, be that of the acoustic or optical kind, will be »in vain«, in the strict sense of the word. Sir Simon Rattle was enthralled: »It’s as though you are wandering into some kind of extraordinary forest…where you discover where music came from.«