It is a truism that the world has become too complex for any individual to see through.

Not even interdisciplinary research groups made up of sociologists, political scientists, economists, climate or genetic researchers can make conclusive predictions as to where evolution is headed.

That scares a lot of people.

This probably explains why populist preachers of hate are so popular, even though their simplistic world views are mostly fed by ideological intentions.

For a long time now, New Music has been countering such cheap black-and-white interpretations with structures that are becoming increasingly dense.

In line with scientific knowledge, she explores new, unknown sound possibilities, which are often even based on mathematical calculations.

This does not mean that listeners to the music of Georg Friedrich Haas, for example, whose overtone beats are based on precise calculations of the cent ratios of microtonal intervals, can only follow the compositions with a pocket calculator.

Because music is capable of conveying multi-layered structures in a sensual way.

Even if specialists dig deeper, any listener who keeps their ears open and is ready for new experiences can grasp its content.

If everything were that easy

This time, Wien Modern competed with ninety-six events in twenty-seven venues distributed throughout the city.

"If everything were that easy.

Hundred attempts at dealing well with complexity” is the motto of the festival, which will run until the end of November, with which director Bernhard Günther is probably also announcing his own work: Because of the two festival years that were canceled as a result of the pandemic, the degree of complexity in programming increased enormously.

Chapeau, with what coherent dramaturgy this year succeeds despite all the projects that have to be caught up and how well it was accepted by the numerous and noticeably interested audience.

Of course, motives for the unrealized projects in 2020 and 2021 can also be seen behind the complexity motto.

Such as the premiere of "Ceremony II" by Georg Friedrich Haas, which should have taken place under the motto "mood".

In many of his pieces, Haas uses changes in the tuning of instruments in order to achieve the desired overtone combinations, or instruments that already have a non-tempered tuning system, such as the Renaissance organ (re)constructed with thirty-one notes per octave, which is used in "Ceremony II" for the used.

New music meets old paintings

For this approximately four-hour concert marathon in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Haas conceived specific instrumental combinations that went with the paintings: two cornettos played in front of paintings by Pieter Breughel the Elder.

Ä., in front of paintings by Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach the Elder.


the above-mentioned arciorgano was used, while three differently tuned grand pianos were used in the classical octagon under the dome of the museum, in which the microtonal sounds often rose deafeningly.

Three other concert evenings revolved around the painter Georg Baselitz.