Notes, Plans and Music

During his life, Hermann Meier wrote a lot and jotted down his thoughts – his written archives include letters, diaries, workbooks and notes about what he was reading, etc.
His extensive notes about his compositions were written in Stolze-Schrey shorthand.

From 1955 onwards, Meier created graphic composition plans that he then “set to music” in a second step in his working process. These process diagrams became more colourful and multi-layered in the 1960s, and are often reminiscent of Concrete art. In the 1970s, they then formed the basis for Meier’s electronic compositions.
With one exception, Meier wrote his instrumental works in conventional music notation.

Shorthand

For decades, Hermann Meier wrote down his thoughts, quotations from books and his musical ideas using shorthand.

Plans

Hermann Meier didn’t want to draft his new music in conventional notation any more, but wanted instead to draw it, to set it down and to layer it.
Thus he created large-scale, often highly colourful, graphic composition plans that he subsequently “set to music”. These graphic ideas radicalised his art of composing, and they intimate a proximity to the paintings of Concrete artists.

Scores

With one exception, Meier wrote his instrumental works in conventional music notation.

Music example: Hermann Meier, Piece for large orchestra and three pianos (1964), graphic plan for its formal design. © aart-verlag Bern and Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel.

Music example: Hermann Meier, Piece for orchestra, dedicated to Werner Heisenberg (1968) © aart-verlag Bern and Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel.

Music example: Hermann Meier, String quartet (date of completion: 9 January 1946), measures 94-100 © aart-verlag Bern and Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel.

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