Jakob Ullmann

Jakob Ullmann, archival materials, installation view, Athens Conservatoire (Odeion), documenta 14, photo: Mathias Völzke

“Not less impressive for me as a young composer was the existential severity with which [Luigi] Nono cared for his work. Such an ethical commitment of the artist’s doings has remained instrumental to me until today … The two sheets, of which the second holds an encrypted dedication in the form of one of Walter Benjamin’s and Nono’s much beloved angels, are my reaction to Nono’s death.”
—Jakob Ullmann, unpublished notes on Due Frammenti

“In the late 1980s, I made my first attempts to depart from the strict conventions of (western) musical notation and to introduce some more or less graphical structures in my scores. The experiences of writing ‘disappearing musics’—a piece in which different groups of instruments rehearse independently and coordinate the performance only with the help of a clock—helped me to plan a series of solo pieces, which give the musicians much more freedom in performing the piece than in my earlier works. The performer must develop a version for each performance … The music is very soft, and lasts at least for around forty-five minutes.”
—Jakob Ullmann, from Solo IV program notes, self-published

“The ‘testimony’ doesn’t have a purpose, since, like all true art, it stands before eyes and ears in order to show that there is a difference between loyalty and betrayal, between lie and truth, between life and death, that cannot be undone.”
—Jakob Ullmann, from Der unfassbare Klang: Notationskonzepte heute, 2014

Posted in Public Exhibition


with Athina Katsanevaki and Dafne Vicente Sandoval

Athina Katsanevaki sings
Agio Gianni ton Theologo (female dance from Cappadocia)
Mia volioume dyo (funeral lament from Grevena region)
Se ena psilotato vouni (archagelitikos from the island of Rhodos)…


Horos Meteoros, Dramatic Passage with Euripides and Aeschylus

by Jakob Ullmann

A mini-opera created on the occasion of the centennial of the Gare du Nord railway station on the Swiss-German border in Basel. The project, which was developed around the station’s history, brings to…