Martin Schlumpf


Martin Schlumpf was born in Aarau where he attended school until completion of his 'Matura' education in 1966.
During this time he performed as double-bassist and occasionally as a saxophonist in various jazz formations. In the classical field, he was taught piano at irregular intervals during his eight-year study of the cello.
Following a central acoustic experience provided by Anton Webern the young musician began attempts at composition in 1964.
1986 saw the beginning of his musical studies in Zurich with the following as his main subjects:
- Clarinet (Hansjürg Lethold)
- Piano (Warren Thew and Evelyne Dubourg)
- Conducting (Ferdinand Leitner)
- Theory and composition (Rudolf Kelterborn)
1971 - Received his piano diploma under Warren Thew,
1972 - Graduated with a diploma in theory under Rudolf Kelterborn, Further studies led him in 1974 to Boris Blacher in Berlin.
In 1975 Martin Schlumpf became a piano teacher at the Seminar Küssnacht and music teacher at Freudenberg college in Zurich. He has been professor for music theory at the ‘Hochschule Musik und Theater Zürich’ (Zurich School of Music and Theatre) since 1977 and teaches group improvisation there since 1991.
Unitl 1980 Martin Schlumpf was primarily a composer in the field of classical music and won various prizes at competitions for composition including the first prize in the competitions of the City of Zurich from 1972 until 1979 and first prize in the ‘Tonhalle’ competition in 1975. After 1980 he returned to improvised music and performed in various groups of his own, initially as double-bassist together with Urs Blöchlinger in the ‘Trio 80’ and then, after 1982, as saxophonist and bass clarinettist in the twelve-headed orchestra ‘Swiss Fusion 84’, the sextet ‘Die Vögel’ and above all in ‘Bermuda Viereck’.
Martin Schlumpf also cooperated on other projects, examples of his involvement include:
- A film music project together with Christoph Baumann
- In ‘Duck Dich’, a cabaret with Martin Hamburger
- In the John Tchicai-Orchestra
- In the big band ‘Notspielplatz Zürich’
- In the international orchestra ‘Cadavre exquis’ by Urs Blöchlinger
- In the theatre projects ‘Krötenaquarium’ and ‘Attinghausen’.
He has been a member of and the soprano saxophonist with the ‘Aargauer Saxophon Quartett’ since 1987. Since the end of the eighties Martin Schlumpf has been involved in various activities in that area of intersection between improvisation and composition, gradually paying more and more attention to his work as a composer in a modified, quasi ‘post modern’ style under which works such as the cycle ‘Vier Jahreszeiten’, the piano concert ‘Mouvements’, ‘Klarinettentrio’, ‘Rattaplasma 2’ or the cello concert ‘Waves’ have already been produced.
Since 1999 Martin Schlumpf has expanded the involvement of the computer in his compositional work, the aim of which is to achieve an aggrandisement of the sound palette and create complex, polymetric structures.
In 1999 he received a research commission from Zurich School of Music and Theatre for the computer-sound processing of several ‘Studies for Player Piano’ by Conlon Nancarrow.
Martin Schlumpf lives with his wife in Würenlingen

Martin Schlumpf
Alte Endingerstr. 4
CH-5303 Würenlingen
Fon: +41 (0)56 281 10 75



Les extrèmes se touchent (1975)
for violoncello and piano
Order No: 4503, sFr. 49.00
Technically difficult; a series of character pieces.

Ostinato I (1980)
for three improvising musicians (any instruments), string orchestra and harpsichord
Order No: 4505, sFr. 34.00
The improvised part is composed for wind instruments, double bass and drums but can just as easily be realised using other instruments.

Ostinato II (1982)
for three improvising musicians (any instruments) and orchestra (2(pic).2(ca).2(bcl).2/
Order No: 4506, sFr. 68.00
The improvised part is composed for wind instruments, cello and drums but can just as easily be realised using other instruments.

Winterkreis (1991)
for saxophone quartet (satbar)
Order No: 4508, sFr. 39.00
A sound poem with a tonal motif in irregular time (which enters in various states) this is interrupted by the insertion of 'wild bird' sounds and an imaginary radio, which appears collage-like. The ensemble faces some unusual tasks but this piece makes no virtuosic demands.

Weil der Wald an den Menschen stirbt (1991)
for mixed choir and stones
Order No: 4509, sFr. 26.00
Written for an amateur choir and based on a poem by Günter Grass; technically quite easy.

Sommerbogen (1992)
for guitar quartet
Order No: 4510, sFr. 34.00
A time/content scheme based on a woodcarving by A. Athanassoglou: A basic tonal motif forms a doubled arch-form development, with the influence of minimal music in the first part, and a more harmonic and dramatic treatment of sound in the second.

... wie die Zeit vergeht ... (1993)
8 rational time jumps at point 662/264
for piano and percussion quartet
Order No: 4512, sFr. 47.00
2 marimbas, vibraphone, crotales, 6 cowbells, 5 toms, 3 log drums, 4 calabassas, 2 bass strings, 5 tubular bells, large drum-set (with 5 toms), 8 gongs, div. cymbals, 4 whips, 2 metal-sets, tambourine, tam-tam percussionists who feel comfortable in a groovy environment. Frequently pulsating rhythm with hanging ostinato figures of varying length; difficult part for the first marimba. The solo pianist is chiefly improvising.

Cumuli III (3-4-1-5-2 - Kapitel II im Buch der Proportionen) (1999)
for flute, clarinet, soprano saxophone, trombone, electric piano (or piano), electric bass (or double bass) and percussion
Order No: 4534, sFr. 34.00

Rattaplasma 2 (Kapitel III im Buch der Proportionen) (2001)
for clarinet/bass clarinet and computer generated multi-channel ambisonic tape
Order No: 4535, sFr. 26.00
Listen: Youtube

Blau (2003)
for saxophone quartet
Order No: 4537, sFr. 21.00


Martin Schlumpf: Vier Jahreszeiten
Martin Schlumpf: Vier Jahreszeiten
(Schweizer Schlagzeugensemble; EOS Guitar Quartet; Vokalquartett; Aargauer Saxophonquartett)

Musiques Suisses MGB 6129
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 51
Price CHF: 30.-

Further Discs:
CD Sax-O-Ton SOT 47-12: Winterkreis
CD Unit records utr 4089: ...wie die Zeit vergeht...

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automatically generated. last update: 28.08.2015 / 2004 Theo Lustenberger