Valentin Schaff (b. Halle/ S., Germany, 1991) composes music influenced by a variety of sources, ranging from techno to the sound of wind in the trees. Strong rhythmic layers and the direct experience of beauty in sound, noise and harmony are both equally necessary for the expression of time in music, while counterpoint is the way of interweaving them. Sonic Meditations are just as important in Valentin’s musical background and understanding as the unforgiving and relentless qualities of electronic dance music. His works have been performed all over Europe, by acclaimed ensembles and performers such as Neue Vokalsolisten, Klangforum Wien, Mivos Quartet, Jan Gerdes Anette Behr-Konig, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Junge Oper Mannheim and Sinfonieorchester TonArt Heidelberg and on various festivals like Archipel Festival (Genf, Switzerland), OutHear New Music Week (Greece), Valencia International Performance Academy Festival (Spain), Spieltriebe Festival (Osnabrück, Germany), Neuköllner Originaltöne (Berlin), Kirchheimer Liedersommer (Germany), Heidelberger Frühling (Germany) and others. In 2019, he was a finalist of the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb.
Since 2015, Valentin is receiving the scholarship of Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Mannheim under Sidney Corbett.
„WACH“ FOR STRING QUARTET (2018) PROGRAM NOTES
wach (multiple resonance damping or how do trees survive dangerously large oscillations)
Because their branches swing in different frequencies with different amplitudes, trees can survive dangerous storms. By distributing the energy of the wind over the whole structure of branches, the load on the stem is reduced. This piece is using similar strategies of converting intensities of one compositional aspect into another. On a personal level, this describes the acceptance of hardship and the conversion into devotion. The German word „wach“ can be translated to being awake, but also contains a strong relation to being alert, standing guard.