Country: DE

Orson Hentschel is a German composer and producer based in Düsseldorf. Having trained in classical piano as of an early age, he now mainly composes electronic, experimental and film music. His debut, Feed The Tape, is strongly influenced by classical minimalism, especially composition methods used by Steve Reich such as phase variations, looping and imitation. These methods serve as characteristic composition elements, however, rather than being the focus of Hentschel’s pieces. The loop, which often is the starting point of one of his works, usually plays the role of a constant sound substrate on which harmonic and melodic elements can thrive.

Despite a classical musical education, Hentschel’s compositional techniques are by far not traditional. He does not start with a musical idea, and instead searches for suitable sound material. His interest lies in sounds and samples which have been previously used in a music or film music context – film audio tracks, soundtracks, music albums, internet, sound libraries etc. Hentschel estranges this source material in order to create his own sound, a process that is reflected in his debut album’s title. His interest in polyphonic vocal music from the late middle ages, especially ars nova and trecento, stems from his earlier study of music science in Vienna and Dresden. This interest is reflected in two of his pieces (“Florence”, “Slow-Moving”), which contain music from the late middle ages in a processed form.

Orson Hentschel does not consider himself as a composer of contemporary music, but as a multimedia artist. He developed his own audiovisual performance, based on the interplay of light, visuals and fog. Moreover he is supported by live drummer Lukas Baumgart, with whom he creates an energy that can be both heard and felt. The duo’s aim is to take listeners on an hour-long journey which brings them to the limits of what they can bear, through techniques such as extended repetitions and long arcs of suspense rather than sheer volume.

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This artist participated in the SHAPE platform which concluded in 2022. The current version of the project is SHAPE+. Like its predecessor, it is co-funded by the European Union.