Hauschka is the alias of Düsseldorf-based Volker Bertelmann, who signed to FatCat’s 130701 post-classical imprint in 2007. Having studied classical piano for ten years, his work as Hauschka is based upon an exploration of the possibilities of the ‘prepared’ piano. Creatively undermining the preconceived idea of the piano as a pure-toned, perfected instrument waiting for a gifted virtuoso to play on it, Bertelmann instead modifies it by placing an assortment of material (gaffa tape, kitchen foil, felt wedges, bottle tops, ping pong balls, guitar string, etc) within its innards. What results are vivid, unconventional pieces made in a spirit of playful research-enthusiasm.
Here’s an interview with Hauschka talking about some of his technique:
Below is Hauschka performing live in Japan. NPR also has some cool videos of him playing with stuff. All of his performances are different, which is pretty cool.
He’s a very interesting guy..I think experimentation and playing around can be an important aspect of creating great music.