Beauty through inability

Research on the vertical intelligence of wind music by Uli Aumüller, Ulrich Bassenge and Thomas Meinicke

Sampler technology makes it possible: to put the tones of blown music under the magnifying glass without the pitch slipping into the cellar - and to puzzle over whether the amateurishly blown tone (with a high glissando and noise component) turns out to be more beautiful (more intelligent?) than the professional (Japanese?) tone. Then, by chance, there was a discovery: after magnifying it thirty times, a second of a Lower Bavarian brass band sounded very similar to a passage of about thirty seconds from Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony. Really a coincidence - or did Gustav Mahler already sample?
The ingenious joke, which insists that beauty does not necessarily have to be coupled with intelligence, is of course moderated live, with all the clearing of throats and linguistic blunders together with THOMAS MEINECKE and ULI BASSENGE.

First broadcast: August 10. 1990

Translated with (free version)My first radio programme, which was not my programme, but which was created together with Ulrich Bassenge and Thomas Meinecke, who accepted me as a colleague. The "investigation" was about the phenomenon that all three of us generally appreciated music or music recordings more if they had a certain degree of imperfection, that is, if they were not flawless, not perfectly intonated, but more colourful and a little off. We tried to find out whether this common preference was just a matter of personal taste or whether there could be objectifiable reasons underpinning it. For this reason, we put individual sounds under the microscope - at that time, however, the computer-assisted process of time-stretching was still in its infancy, and we were not sure whether our musical enlargements were not essentially artefacts of the sound-processing programmes.

I had recorded this programme at home with the cassette recorder at the time. After about 30 minutes I had to turn the tape over. That's why a small piece is missing ... but that's how it was in analogue times!...

Cast & Crew

Uli Aumüller, Ulrich Bassenge, Thomas Meinecke
Editorial Jounalist
Wolf Loeckle