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Ulrich Krieger

Los Angeles, CA   

Ulrich Krieger

is a German composer and performer living in Southern California.

Krieger works in new and experimental music, reductionism, drone, minimalism, just intonation, free improvisation, electronic music, noise, rock and metal.

He performs on saxophones, clarinets and electronics and his compositions are widely played by ensembles in Europe and the USA.

Beside his solo work he performs extensively in groups with Lou Reed (Metal Machine Trio, Lou Reed BAnd) and Lee Ranaldo (Text of LIght).

Krieger’s recent focus lies on the experimental fringes of contemporary rock culture, in the limbo where noise, metal, ambient, silence, experimental and chamber music meet and influence each other – not accepting stylistic boundaries.

His compositional approaches include micro-sounds, microtones, just intonation, silent music, ‘instrumental electronics’, drone, and noise, often asking for elaborate amplification.

His main compositional interest and research over the last decade was in ‘instrumental electronics’, creating music using sounds produced by extended techniques on traditional instruments, which are reminiscent of and influenced by electronic music.

By amplifying instruments in elaborate ways, he gets down to the ‘grains of the sounds’, changing their identity and structure from within. This also lead him to transcribe and arrange Lou Reeds ‘Metal Machine Music’ for classical chamber orchestra.

He uses this approach of ‘acoustic electronics’ also for playing saxophone, using sounds that appear to be electronic, but are produced on an acoustic instrument. Sometimes these quasi-electronic sounds then get electronically processed, blurring the borders between the fields.

Krieger studied classical/contemporary saxophone, composition, electronic music, and musicology in Berlin and New York. For more than 10 years he researched and studied didjeridu and Australian Aboriginal music and culture. As composer and performer he has played concerts in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.

As rock, noise and electronic musicians he collaborates and performs with Lou Reed, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Merzbow, Zbigniew Karkowski, John Wiese, John Duncan, Kasper T Toeplitz, Rob Wasserman, Alan Licht, Thomas Köner, Carl Stone, John Zorn, Christian Marclay, DJ Olive, Art Zoyd, Faust, and many more.

His compositions have been performed by: oh-ton ensemble, Ensemble UnitedBerlin, Ensemble Klangwerkstatt, zeitkratzer, KontraTrio, Seth Josel, Matias de Oliveira Pinto, California EARUnit, Soldier String Quartet, Wandelweiser Ensemble, and many others

As classical and contemporary saxophonist he recorded works by Cage, Berio, Scelsi, Partch, Reich, Riley, Glass, Bryars, Tenney, Webern, Cowell, Grainger and many more. He further worked as performer and improviser with Michiko Hirayama, LaMonte Young, Phill Niblock, Mario Bertoncini, Radu Malfatti, Michael Pisaro, Witold Szalonek, Miriam Marbe, Hans-Joachim Hespos, David First, Elliott Sharp, Berlin Philharmonics, Ensemble Modern, PARTCH Ensemble, Dietmar Diesner, Wolfgang Fuchs and others.

Ongoing group projects include Metal Machine Trio (with Lou Reed, RIP), Text of Light (with Lee Ranaldo), and zerfall–gebiete (with Thomas Köner) – somewhere in the nirvana between experimental rock, ambient, noise and contemporary composition.

Krieger received grants from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the German Government, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the City of Berlin, the Darmstädter Summer Courses for New Music, Meet-the-Composer, and many others. He was Composer-In-Residence at Villa Aurora (Los Angeles), Villa Serpentara (Rome), German Research Centre Venice (Italy), University of East Anglia (England), the City of Bologna (Italy) and the Music Centre North Queensland (Australia).

He has released over 70 CDs as composer, improviser, interpreter, with his groups and as collaborator with many musicians.

Ulrich Krieger is professor for composition, Experimental Sound Practices and rock music at CalArts, where his special field is the cross-influence and cross-pollination of experimental new music and avant-garde rock.

"[Krieger] ranges wide as he seeks the spots where noise and beauty meet"  Anne Power, Los Angeles Times

RAW (noise saxophone solo with electroncis)

Fathom (ambient drone band)

Ulrich Krieger Instrumental Music

A selection of Ulrich Krieger’s through-composed Instrumental Music.

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Ulrich Krieger Saxophone Music

A selection of Ulrich Krieger’s through-composed Saxophone Music.

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