"y las dos eran ninguna"

2018/19 – für Viola – 8' – UA: 08.02.2019
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Based on a poem by Frederico García Lorca this piece is characterized by an ambiguity of shapes. In contrasting parallelism different elements are forming an unstable simultaneity and everything drifts through a fragile, enigmatic universe.

Taqsīm ٤

2017/18 – for accordion – 8' – P: 31.01.2018
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Sound-study that deals with the phenomenon noise. In the background an imaginary machine is at work, the fictive processes of which are solely perceptive through their acoustic by-products. Not onomatopoeia but the aesthetic appreciation of unintended accompanying sounds is the focus of this piece.

Penumbra

2014/2018 – for violin or viola, alto saxophone & piano – 8-12' – P: 23.02.2018
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Penumbra is acoustical "semi-shade", a diffuse sonic event, where shapes of sound become blurred. Sounds meld with the result that their sources get undistinguishable. This happens in a way that they are brought together up to indistinguishability or overlapped complementary so that they cannot be told apart anymore.

Taqsīm ٤

2017 – for accordion – 8' – P: 31.01.2018
→ page from score
Sound-study that deals with the phenomenon noise. In the background an imaginary machine is at work, the fictive processes of which are solely perceptive through their acoustic by-products. Not onomatopoeia but the aesthetic appreciation of unintended accompanying sounds is the focus of this piece.

Radio

2017 – electronic objekt
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Object created from an old radio, of which buttons and knobs were picked up and connected to a microprocessor. On this processor there is a bytebeat-algorithm programmed, which controls shifts in voltage and converts them into audio signals using pulse width modulation. By means of the buttons and knobs the algorithm can be manipulated; the knobs define numerical values within the algorithm, the buttons control the operator, which connects its two halves.

Taqsīm ٣

2016 – for cello – 7' – P: 27.07.2018
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Virtuoso solo piece which plays with the contrast between strong increase and decrease of density of events. After consisting of a crowded abundance of va­rious sounds, of which the isolated perception is difficult, the changes in sound are limited to a minimum so that one has to refocus to evaluate the relevance of each change. In the centre of the piece there is a point from which all events are reflected exactly in reverse.

fraktal

2016 – for soprano, flute, cello & piano – 8'
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The heterogeneous components of this piece, like in a kaleidoscope, join re­peatedly without ever really forming a consistent entity. The basic structure is built upon the transcription of a porn movie with Sasha Grey, into which frag­ments from a love letter by Frida Kahlo are inserted in a formulaic manner. The piece ends with a paraphrase upon a song by John Dowland with a text from Virginia Woolf's suicide note.

Intracerto

2016 – for no soloist & small ensemble – 8' – P: 08.05.2016
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This piece is about how a solo part effects and affects its accompaniment. The ensemble supports, imitates, contrasts or grows out of the hypothetical solo part, which – without ever actually having existed – works within the entire piece. First the accompaniment merges completely with it, then emancipates itself and subordinates itself again, but at strife in itself.

Eskapade

2016 – electronic composition – 4'30''-9' – P: 26.07.2018
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Irregular, continuous impulses form the constant element in this piece, upon which four instances of sound join together and separate again within a struc­ture determined by chance. Each one of the instances of sound itself too is subjected to processes of chance for some aspects, which makes their current shape of sound unpredictable.

Thema und VVaarriiaattiioonneenn

2016 – for contrabassoon & live-electronics – 13'
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Dialogue between contrabassoon and live-electronics, in which both act as emancipated, autonomous partners. Their sounds are brought closer to the sounds of the other respectively and they influence each other constantly du­ring the course of the piece. Simultaneously each one varies the theme in his own way, with the result that the variations interlace.

Taqsīm ١

2015 – for electric guitar – 15' – P: 24.10.2018
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Virtuoso instrument-study, that sounds out the possibilities of the instrument in an expressive way. The basis for this is provided by a modulation on traditional Arabic scales, during which the piece plays freely with hints at the oud, the Ara­bic lute, and at rock music, in particular by Jimi Hendrix.

97 | 79

2014 – for string quartet – 6'
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Rhythm is the only fixed information in this score, indications of pitch are only relative and after all subsidiary, because the piece is orientated to noise rather than defined tone. All numeric values base on prime numbers: rhythmical values, the number of bars, of phrases, of sections, of pages, even the tempo indication. Only exception is the instrumentation.

"And now for something completely different"

2014 – for piano – 10'
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This is a piece of deconstructivist character, which prevents any feeling of con­sistence and connection. It sounds out different playing techniques for the piano and queries them immediately. By means of its flexible and incoherent structure it juxtaposes various styles and techniques in opposition and evokes an im­pression of instability.

Does it communicate anything? Must it?

2014 – for flexible setting – flexible duration – P: 23.05.2014
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These questions by John Cage are to be asked for every music anew. Music is communication and therefor organically alive. It lives within the moment and this always-being-different is made absolute in this piece. It provides enormous freedom for the player(s), by which he/they should encounter the composer in communication at eye level.

TrioB

2014 – for clarinet, piano & drums – 7' – P: 22.02.2014
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Study on the roles of different instrumental functions within an ensemble. Melo­dy-, harmony- and rhythm-instrument play the melody-, harmony- and rhythm-part consecutively, all of which feed on elements from the blues. Only in the last movement every instrument fulfills the role, which it is assigned to traditionally.

2013/2014 – chamber opera – 50' – P: 07.07.2014
→ trailer → website
Multidisciplinary opera-project, where each one of the protagonists is confron­ted with his own dire fate. The language is unintelligible, because it is formed by the singers and speakers every time anew. In this way access is lifted from the level of "understanding" onto the level of "experiencing", which is also suppor­ted by the music.

Mrph II

2013 – for 2 flutes – 6-9' – P: 25.04.2013
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The title derives from the word (to) morph and is an onomatopoeia for the ex­pression of grunting or sighing. The idea behind this piece is the transition bet­ween noise and sound on the one hand and different sound sources on the other. The boundaries of sounds should blur as much as possible and the current sound source at each time should be disguised.

Mrph I

2013 – for soprano & flute – 6-9' – P: 25.04.2013
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The title derives from the word (to) morph and is an onomatopoeia for the ex­pression of grunting or sighing. The idea behind this piece is the transition bet­ween noise and sound. It is a portrait, built from quotations from interviews. The dramaturgy within this piece is embodied by the players by shifting between in­teraction and merger into one character.

"... gleichsam, um die entflohene Zeit wieder zurückzu­spulen"

2013 – for orchestra – ca. 9' – P: 30.05.2013
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Montage-piece, which uses as source of material three orchestral pieces, which were never performed. Its charm lies in particular in the very heterogeneous connection of fragments of very diverse stylistics. The variety is a result of the distance of time between the three original pieces and the connection within this piece gives its sound a whole new quality.

Somnambul

2012 – for ensemble – 4' – P: 06.07.2012
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Like a sleepwalker, who performs remembered actions, which lose their pur­pose by taking them out of their usual context and thereby become independent in a new way, this piece uses small cells as material. It wanders through these cells lead by a number symbolism, which derives from the name Somnambul, and in this way new connections emerge.

Suite

2012 – for toy piano – 5' – P: 24.04.2012
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This is an homage to John Cage, on occasion of his 20th day of death and his 100th day of birth. But only in the choice of the instrument; the piece is com­pletely independent in its construction and language. The five short movements follow a selection of rhythmical patterns and melodic material, both derived from traditional Arabic music.

HABE

2012 – for ensemble – 4'
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B A Bb E (German: H A B E) are the four notes, which – also in this order – form the exclusive material of this piece therefor its possession (German: Habe = possession). First the material is taken as collective and used in larger groups, which are then broken up to smaller parts. This creates an interaction of individual and collective within the ensemble.

3 songs on poems by Helena Kaschel

2011 – for soprano & piano – 7' – P: 28.05.2013
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The three songs are joined like a triptych. Their separate topics on being, loss and void form a consistent story in this context. A spirit experiences itself, loses itself and finally dissolves into endless void. Merciless eternity swallows every­thing up – makes everything equal. "Who would want immortality?"

Totentanz

2011 – for ensemble – 4'
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This Dance of Death is an individual involvement with the idea of nearness of Death. Elements of threat or chaos in the music, however, are not perceived as intimidating, but comprehended as relieving and propulsive. Dance of Death is also a kind of experiment: only dancing with Death one feels how near of far it actually is.

Scrabble

2011 – for marimba – 2'
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Putting elements together like tiles is characteristic for this piece. It has a cer­tain tonal source material however its development is almost playful. The spare indication of expression and the instruction con molto espressione should en­courage every interpret to "play" the piece his own way.

RAVAGE ÉLÉGANT

2011 – for 2 pianos – 7' – P: 21.11.2013
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Ravage élégant (elegant devastation) is both an homage hidden in a play of words and basic principle: a formal and expressive model is alienated from its original meaning, by small neat alterations in the sound material. The result is a completely independent work. Devastation, in this case, is of fertile nature.

Political music

2011 – for ensemble – 2'
→ video → page from score → publisher → review
Art is an end in itself. This piece declares this credo with sarcasm, the only way to avoid a paradox in this case. Therefore this piece adopts in its first part a fan­fare-type tone that is influenced by the bitonality of Darius Milhaud and it strikes in its second part a sweet note that is inspired by Jazz and early Hollywood-sounds.

Arabeske

2010 – for 2 percussionists – 4' – P: 23.03.2011
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This piece is solely based on a relation between impulse and sound, without instruments of definite pitch. Many rhythmical elements, used in this piece, de­rive from patterns of traditional Arabic music. Complementary and shifting struc­tures evolve on the basis of the continuous but aperiodic run of the bass drums.

Großer Mittag

2010 – for piano – 2' – P: 12.04.2011
→ audio → page from score → publisher
The great noontide is the moment of overcoming man and the appearance of the Übermensch in Nietzsche's Zarathustra. This event needs calm, subtle and unemotional music. Inspired by Scriabin's preludes this piece wants to say: "This is my morning, my day beginneth: arise now, arise, thou great noontide!"

Simon Al-Odeh (*1988 in Peine) grew up in Recklinghausen. After self-studies in music theory and first pieces for Youth Orchestra, which were performed Germany, Italy and France, he received composition training by Rüdi­ger Blömer. Simon Al-Odeh studied with Dolf de Kinkelder in Arnhem and with Alex Manassen in Zwolle, in the Netherlands. His music has been performed amongst others by the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Westphalia, Het Gelders Orkest and orkest 'de ereprijs' and is being published by Verlag Dohr Köln since 2011. In 2014 his multidisciplinary opera-project premiered. Simon Al-Odeh was participant in the Darmstadt Summer Course and the Impuls Academy in Graz with the tutors Brian Ferneyhough, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Isabel Mundry and Mark Andre. He lives and works in Cologne.


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