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Bach, Michael

cello contemporary visual bow

Bach, Michael, German cellist, composer, and visual artist, also known as Bach Michael Bachtischa; b. Worms, April 17, 1958. He studied cello with Pierre Fournier and Janos Starker, then embarked on a career of international concert activity as well as performances on radio, recordings, and television. He made numerous significant contributions to the art of contemporary cello performance; his publication Fingerboards & Overtones proposes new ideas concerning overtones and harmonics and is considered a pioneering work in the literature on contemporary technique. In 1990 he developed the Curved Bow (BACH.Bogen) for the cello, violin, and viola, which, in polyphonic playing, permits the simultaneous sounding of multiple strings, with the high arch of the bow allowing for full, sustained chords. Rostropovich has been intimately involved in its development, and several contemporary composers, among them Cage, Schnebel, and Walter Zimmermann, have composed works especially for it. Bach is also a composer, often in collaboration with the visual artist Renate Hoffleit, with whom he has created strikingly original string and sound installations. His purely musical compositions are idiosyncratic and highly personal, described by him as “free from compositional conventions” His visual works include Fingerboards I, II (both 1990), and III-VII (1994–98), which capture the hand’s choreography on the cello fingerboard as color impressions, Fieldwork (1994), Mit diesen beiden Hunden (1994), Lagauche (1995), and Oliévano (1995).

Bach. Wilhelm Friedemann (the “Halle” Bach) [next] [back] Bach, Johann Sebastian

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