I’m Rudiger Meyer, a composer interested in the play between traditional concert music, sound-art, and new media.
I’ve composed a number of pieces for classical instrumentalists and ensembles, focussing mainly on chamber music and situations in which it has been possible to develop long term relationships with the performers. Electronics are often present as a means of extending or providing a counterpart to the classical instruments — an aspect which goes hand in hand with my interest in rethinking classical concert formats.
I’ve also been inspired by the means that smartphones and tablets provide for bringing sounds, texts & graphics together in an intimate & focused way. This site contains some of my experiments in this field.
I was born in South Africa, grew up there and studied at the University of the Witwatersrand before moving to Europe in my mid-twenties to study music first in Germany and later The Netherlands. I’ve been living and working in Copenhagen since 2004. You can also read a more extensive biography and outline of my interests or find a more traditional Bio/C.V. if you need something for a programme booklet.
About this Site
After many years of the joys and frustrations of coding static HTML by hand I recently made the switch to Kirby — a simple file-based CMS which has provided a well thought out toolkit while at the same time allowing me to keep in close contact with the nuts and bolts of it all. Texts have been prepared in iA Writer, and coding is done in Panic’s CODA, another fine piece of software. The main fonts are Erik Spiekermann’s Meta and Meta Serif served by Typekit. Footnotes with Bigfoot.
The sounds and videos embedded on this site can also be found directly on SoundCloud and Vimeo. Scores are on Issuu and I have various links collected on Pinboard. I also collect stuff in my podcast feed on huffduffer. You might also like to check out Frankenstein’s Lab, a quarterly show & tell/tryout session presented together with the Danish Composers’ Society.
Composer and performer friends
My years in Holland, which began with my studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, were particularly rich in friendships with people from all over the world. Check out the music of Richard Ayres – it was his enthusiasm for Janacek opened my ears to the Czech’s wonderful (speech influenced) music. Mendel Hardeman started out as a composer but soon branched out into his own special approach to film making. He was my neighbour for a number of years and the instigator of many crazy escapades. Kate Neal was one of Mendel’s partners in crime, an actor in his films and composer too. Slovenian composer Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec also took part in many of those escapades and continues his to work with music and sound, most often in the form of installations. Riccardo Massari Spiritini brought his wide ranging Italian creativity to the north, making instrumental music, drawings, radio-plays, installations and combining all of these aspects in some early interactive experiments with the help of Alex Schaub. The career Yannis Kyriakides, originally from Cyprus, took off to an flying start and he has been incredibly active with building music around his own special combination of traditional instruments and electronics and running a successful record label. Samuel Vriezen also continues to embrace a broad range of interests (from Brian Ferneyhough to Tom Johnson), was and is active as a composer, performer, concert arranger, débatteur and writer. Check out his blog.
Felix Profos is a Swiss composer that I met on one of my first trips to Holland. He has been a close friend ever since he came over to speak to me after a challenging performance of a piece of mine in a hot and stuffy Icebreaker, as part of the Gaudeamus Week in 1997. Later dubbed enfant terrible of the Swiss Music scene he has gone on to compose a wide range of music for various groups and ensembles as well as his own ‘band’: Force Majeur. All this in addition to installations, film music and challenging articles.
1997 was also the year in which Lillian von Haußen took on the impossible and tackled my false hypotheses. Ever since then I’ve been very much aware of the value of good dedicated performers. Although some composers are quite good at it I’ve never been successful at composing something an ensemble can put together in two hours of rehearsal and so I’ve gravitated towards individuals or small groups with which there is the possibility of developing in-depth, long term relationships. Claire Edwardes and Niels Meliefste were the next to take on the impossible with their performance of my marimba duo à mMbira and later the specific timbres and tonal intricacies of Anne La Berge’s flute playing made Carapace 23.7 possible.
I had the good fortune of having Helge Slaatto as the first person I composed for on moving to Denmark. The piece I wrote for him was based on a poem by Vagn Steen, the Danish poet with whom I also embarked on a sound-poetry project. Nicolai Worsaae and I later took on the task arranging some concerts and bringing both Helge and the wonderful Frank Reinecke to Denmark after both composing pieces for their duo. It was also Helge’s partner Anette Slaatto that later provided the basis for Wer jetzt… with her reading of Rilke’s Herbsttag. In a similar way Annie Tangberg provided the reading of the excerpt from Lars Saabye Christensen’s Halvbroren on which Festivalen, another ‘performer specific piece’, is built. On another tack Klaus Ib Jørgensen got me involved in his extensive Moonpain project, to which I mainly contributed field recordings following Pessoa’s footsteps through the streets of Lisbon together with the Danish poet Peter Poulsen.
Jill Richards is a fantastic, Johannesburg based, pianist without whom I wouldn’t have dared the level of intricacy I allowed myself in Antjie in Berlin. Petra Ronner is in turn the Swiss pianist responsible for bringing some of my piano music back to South Africa. She has also instigated a number of projects in Switzerland, amongst them the GNOM series for which I composed Each person contains a world and Blindwriting. Tamriko Kordzaia is another wonderful pianist, also resident in Switzerland, without whom a great deal of new music would never have been set in motion. TPK Darlings was composed for her Trio Trafique and I have a big project for the Mondrian Ensemble, in which she also plays, lined up.