unheimlich schön
Luc Ferrari - 1971

unheimlich schön was created in the studios of South-West German Radio in 1971 and is, like Presque rien (heard in last night's concert), a work whose expressive attaction owes much to the microphone's capacity to take us close to sounds and invest these isolated aural images with an intensity which is never far from the erotic. 'Unheimlich schön' means something like 'uncannily beautiful' - Ferrari's note on the music says only that it is like 'the breathing of a young girl who is thinking about something else'.

Some people will find unheimlich schön reminiscent of the early tape works of Steve Reich, especially Come Out. But unheimlich schön is a very different kind of piece, far less strident, much more ambivalent; it gives us more space in which to think and whenever there is space to think there is also time to be disturbed ...