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Waves upon Waves

Suite for Orchestra, Choir and Percussion in 6 movements

„Waves upon Waves“ invites the audience to a shared experience of rhythmic excitement and inner stillness. With all its intensity it points to the empty space between the pulses, and the tangible but inaudible waves lying underneath the music, criss-crossing in complex polyrhythmic ways.

„Waves upon Waves” is based on tempo ranges in which the human nervous system has a maximum response. This fact is backed up by newest science and it is no surprise that some of the tempos chosen for Waves are identical with the Credo in Bach´s Mass in B minor, Augurs of Spring in Strawinsky´s Le Sacre du printemps or the Molto allegro in Mozart´s Symphony Nr. 40. The intention of “Waves” is to immerse the listener into the rhythmic nature of all life, and establish rhythm as a mirror for a deeper insight.

„Waves“ takes the audience on a journey through six movements:


starts with the still surface of the ocean, represented by one tone, sung a capella by the whole choir. From this stillpoint on, movement gradually starts to unfold in every growing wave and leads into a polyrhythmic matrix of seven and nine beat cycles.


begins as a journey through clusters and multiple meters. As they appear and dissolve again, it increasingly becomes apparent that they are connected through a hidden yet clearly tangible basic pulse.


is the beginning of „Waves upon Waves“ changing from transpersonal experience into tangible human emotion: the image of someone looking at the ocean, contemplating the separation of a beloved person on the other side of the waves, sets the mood for this movement.


The scene changes into the image of an indigenous person sitting with a shamans drum on the shore. This person also looks out at the ocean, but is completely empty of thoughts and emotions and taken away by the rhythm of his drum - which in this case is played by the orchestra. As it gradually gains momentum it gets multi-layered and finally accumulates in a rhythm of unbelievable intensity: Indonesian Anklungs merge with the full orchestra, percussion and choir - everything is vibrating at its peak level while at the same time a deep space opens up for the listener - a space some call „the Zone“, others „Elysium“.

Power of Rhythm

is the virtuosic drum part in every Waves Production. Here, the big „Taiko“ Drum played by Reinhard Flatischler takes center stage. Flatischler´s drum style connects Korean Buk drumming with various Japanese Taiko styles. It is accompanied by the dynamic sound of a Balinese Cheng Cheng that gives the syncopating drum a solid background.


the last movement featuring the polyrhythm of three and four, represented by the rhythm syllables „TaKeTiNa“ and „GaMaLa“, escalates into a grand interplay that involves every section of the orchestra, choir and percussion. In this grand finale the polyrhythm creates a joyfully confusing, yet musically coherent intensity merging into the final beat with an intricate break.