Boris Hauf Zeit-Ton Portrait Ö1


05. Juli 2012


Zeit-Ton Porträt. Wiener Weltenbummler: Boris Sinclair Hauf. Gestaltung: Andreas Felber

Boris Hauf

Boris Hauf

“Ensemble für zeitgenössische Gebrauchsmusik”, kurz: EFZEG, so hieß die Formation, mit der Saxofonist Boris Sinclair Hauf in den 1990er-Jahren in der Wiener Szene bekannt wurde. Heute lebt Hauf in Berlin und pflegt enge Beziehungen zur Improvisationsszene in Chicago, wo er u. a. das Festival “Chicago Sound Map” kuratiert. Aktuell meldet sich der 38-Jährige mit CD-Veröffentlichungen seines Sextetts und des Quartetts “Proxemics” zurück.

importance of concentration and close listening

In one of the most pitifully attended concerts I’ve ever witnessed in Vienna, last weekend saw a deserted Porgy & Bess play host to the first gig in seven years by electroacoustic improvisation quintet Efzeg. The meagre turnout was probably inevitable, given that it was a hot Sunday night and that this music is not exactly a crowd-puller at the best of times; but it was also unfortunate, since what we had here was a reunion gig (oh, how I do love reunions) by a group containing some of Europe’s leading exponents of the electroacoustic genre.

I missed Efzeg the first time around, of course, which makes their 2012 reformation all the more pertinent. I’ve long admired guitarist Martin Siewert’s work, though, having seen him play both with avant rock unit Heaven And and in a trio with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and turntablist and Efzeg member dieb13 (Dieter Kovacic). Kovacic, meanwhile, turns up in Swedish Azz with Gustafsson, who was a guest at Heaven And’s last Vienna gig. You get the picture.

In marked contrast to those previous, bracing encounters, Efzeg are all about duration, the lengthy accumulation of sonic detail. During the concert, I found myself in an unfamiliar, somewhat disquieting mode of listening. I’m not used to the kind of patient unfolding of sounds that Efzeg present us with; years of close attention to free jazz and improv have conditioned me to enjoy, perhaps even to expect, a succession of thrilling events. Such expectations are clearly not part of the EAI aesthetic. The closest I’ve come would be the few AMM concerts I was lucky enough to see in London in the 1990s, before the deplorable schism that led to founder member Keith Rowe leaving the group. Come to think of it, Rowe’s tabletop style of guitar playing is clearly a direct antecedent of Siewert’s, although Siewert often plays in a more conventional style as well. Anyway, what AMM taught me, and Efzeg reminded me of, was the importance of concentration and close listening as a means of situating oneself within a musical environment.

That makes the whole thing sound like some kind of bloodless sonic experiment; nothing could be further from the truth. Over the course of two longish sets, the group’s four instrumentalists proposed a layered approach in which the saxophone, guitars and turntable each traced their own paths before coalescing into a pulsating and vertiginous wall of sound. The amiable Boris Hauf’s spare, astringent sax was bolstered by the quietly flickering guitar of the studious figure next to him, Burkhard Stangl. On the other side of the stage, Siewert was in abstract tabletop mode for the most part, occasionally exploding into fractured power chords. Next to him, dieb13 was to be seen thoughtfully looking through his records before deciding which one to play next, their soft drones adding layers of snowy interference. Meanwhile, visual artist and fifth member Billy Roisz was using the group’s audio as input for her analogue visual feedback projections. Constantly evolving in response to the shifting textures of the music, Roisz’s bold grids and insectoid patterns provided a hypnotic visual correlative. Taking the music and the visuals together, the overall effect was of a mysterious and unresolved entity stubbornly resisting capture. I sincerely hope the group continues to play live, despite the depressing lack of interest shown in this outing.

Richard Rees Jones

In Rotation

In Rotation: Multi-instrumentalist Boris Hauf says saved his ass

Boris Hauf, Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist and part-time Chicagoan, what he’s obsessed with. His answers are. . . I put on a record when I know what I want to listen to. If I want to discover something new but still fancy control over the range of that “new,” I turn on the radio. As anyone who’s traveled Europe knows, radio here sucks. If you’re looking to find anything alternative or even simply tolerably mainstream, you’re lost. My buddy Steve, also a Berlin resident, was spot-on when he said, “ saved my ass in many ways.”

Fred Anderson The very first time I visited Chicago, Fred Anderson invited me to “come down to the Lounge.” We sat at the bar, drank Coke, and chatted. Thrilled that such a sax giant would hang out with little me, I asked something about “free vs. nonfree” in music. He seemed annoyed and changed the subject. Many hours later, while I was bidding my farewell, Fred mused, “You know . . . that question you asked earlier . . . I think I want to answer that one now.” He took out his tenor and started blowing like only Fred Anderson could. I’ll never forget that man.

Levon Helm Recently I was invited to contribute to the “interactive library” of a performance festival. It was guaranteed that “no book would ever be allowed to leave the space of the library and that they’d be stored and locked every night.” I chose to loan my copy of This Wheel’s on Fire, Levon Helm’s retelling of the story of the Band. After the festival was over, all books were returned but mine. It was the only book that was stolen. Good for Levon. And the thief.

EFZEG melden sich zurück

Ein Abend ganz im Zeichen der wunderbar schrägen elektroakustischen Klangspielereien, der hohen Improvisationskunst und der kunstvollen Verschränkung von Sound und Bild steht am 17. Juni im Wiener Porgy & Bess auf dem Programm. Zu Gast ist mit EFZEG eine Formation, die sich nun nach mehreren Jahren Pause erneut wieder daran macht, mit den Hörgewohnheiten des Publikums zu brechen. Ein kurzer Blick auf die Namen der Beteiligten gibt eigentlich schon die notwendige Auskunft darüber, in welche Richtung es gehen wird: Boris Hauf, dieb13, Martin Siewert, Burkhard Stangl und Billy Roisz. Eigentlich ein Muss für jeden, der sich für musikalische Erlebnisse abseits aller Normen und Konventionen begeistern kann.

Wenn sich fünf Künstler dieses Kalibers und mit einem solch offenen Musikverständnis einmal gemeinsam auf der Bühne einfinden, dann kann man mit Sicherheit alles erwarten, nur nicht das Gewöhnliche. Allesamt führende und innovative Köpfe der österreichischen Improvisations- und Elektroakustikszene stehen Boris Hauf (Saxophon, Elektronik), dieb13 (Turntables) Martin Siewert (Gitarre, Elektronik), Burkhard Stangl (Gitarre) und Billy Roisz (Visuals) als Gruppe für die vollkommene Überwindung aller möglichen musikalischen und stilistischen Begrifflichkeiten. Sie sind ausgewiesene Experten im Beschreiten der experimentellen, avantgardistischen und von den herkömmlichen Mustern und Definitionen wegführenden Pfade, virtuose Klangarbeiter, die das Spiel mit diesem zur allerhöchsten Kunst erhoben haben.

Eine exakte Voraussage darüber zu treffen, was nun wirklich passieren wird, legt das famose Quintett einmal richtig los, ist eigentlich nicht möglich. Dafür agieren die fünf musikalischen Freigeister einfach viel zu sehr im freien Raum, in welchem alleine das gegenseitige Zuwerfen und Weiterverarbeiten von Ideen, sowie aus Aufzeigen neuer akustischer Wege regieren. Was aber auf alle Fälle erwartet werden darf, ist eine intensive und abwechslungsreiche Klangreise, welche von schrägen  Free-/Impro-Jazz Interpretationen über die experimentelle Elektronik und Elektroakustik bis hin zu den heftigsten Noiseausbrüchen führen wird. Eine hochenergetische Mischung, die einer musikalischen Kettenreaktion gleichkommt, welcher man, ist sie einmal in Gang gesetzt, wohl kaum mehr Einhalt gebieten wird können. (mt)

Owl & Mack lyrics

Owl & Mack
(lyrics Litó Walkey)

White Dog

As I watched moths dancing by, I fell off my window
and from the forest, the dark forest, a white dog stared at me
He sat in the branches growling with his eyes, he saw me standing and I heard him say: “keep on walking, keep on walking, to be new in ending is not the only thing to do” White Dog, White Dog, where is the door?
Through the branches, Through the trees, white, the sun, the wig
the armor, the bird, the cloud and the ladder, the apron, the dress, coat and a hat.
White Dog, White Dog, where is the door?
Pass these objects, weigh the distance of your walk.
Enter a tale short of shape made with steps of mass
floating forward, floating forward, forever like the autumn mist.


There’s a dark room to show, where places hide and traces lie
shadows live and shadows die, on a different plane it can rain.
There’s a room, room of light, where words remember
the wind comes from east to west, they call it kamikaze.
Speak to me of stepping in and out, to give attention a rest. Speak to me of places for yourself. Say a body, say a story.
There’s a woman playing a game, laughing and raining
in the corners of her eyes, this amusement never ends.
Sound rests bring fringes closer, gimme lifts, slips and slides
it can rain, it can rain octopus with knives.
Speak to me of stepping in and out, to give attention a rest. Speak to me of places for yourself. Say a body, say a story.


Soak up the rain, from your feet up to your hand. That’s where the rested, that’s where they rest now.
The moon falls on your face when you listen. Step a side, fix your shirt.
The sun falls on your face when you speak. Catch your hand and turn away.
Shake, shake of your clothes, shake off your feathers. You leave them in a pile at your feet. That’s where the rested, that’s where they rest now.


There’s wind between the wall and the back of my head.
Hold me while I skate.
Touch me lightly with your hand to tell me when it’s time.

Profit & Loss

Hang a line of mountain tops, hang them in a distance.
See the highs, see the lows, see the Profit, see the loss
Translate the line, into a frame and swing, a door.
Until a boat apears, until it floats, until it sinks.
Into the floor where time rest, Into the floor where time sleeps, Into the floor where time tells, Into the floor where time’s is guest.
See the highs, see the lows, see the Profit, see the loss.