The Difference Engines. Bernhard Lang in conversation with Maarten Quanten

Bernhard Lang, Maarten Quanten

conference: DARE 2015: the dark precursor
date: November 10, 2015
venue: De Bijloke Music Center, Auditorium
format: keynote
practice: music and sound
keywords: abstract machine, monad, movement-image, perception-image, Samuel Beckett

abstract about the author(s)


I started reading Deleuze in 1995, starting with Difference and Repetition. As my previous philosophical background was mainly determined by Viennese logical positivism, Deleuze led to a kind of shock for me; when I stated rereading the text in the English translation, it became the starting point for a completely new way of composing and thinking. This reoccurred in 2007 while reading Le Pli and Mille Plateaux and made me delve into the notion of abstract machines and monadologies. In 2014 I finally did write a piece based on “The Exhausted,” wherein the Deleuze text (beside the reference to Beckett) is explicitly sung. During the conversation, I would like to elaborate on the influence of experimental visuals on my composition, and the possible association with Deleuze’s notions of “movement-image” and “perception-image.”

about the author(s)

Bernhard Lang

Bernhard Lang first studied piano at the Bruckner Konservatorium in Linz. He continued in Graz, learning classical and jazz piano, arrangement, while studying philosophy and German philology. Between 1977 and 1981, he worked with leading jazz bands, including Erich Zann Septett. He studied composition with Polish composer Andrzej Dobrowolski, who introduced him to the techniques of new music, and counterpoint with Hermann Markus Pressl, who sensitised him to the twelve-tone techniques of Joseph-Matthias Hauer. He continued his studies with Gösta Neuwirth and Georg Friedrich Haas, who introduced him to microtonal music. Zeitmasken for string quartet was performed at the Musikprotokoll Festival in 1986, marking the beginning of his career as a composer. In that same period, he began teaching music education, harmony, and counterpoint at the University of Graz and, from 2003, composition. At the Institute for Electronic Music Graz, he developed the LoopGenerator and the Visual Loop Generator with Winfried Ritsch and Thomas Musil. Since 1999, his main focus has been on music, where he applies his work on interpretation and especially on contrast, as in the cycle Differenz/Wiederholung (difference/repetition) and the music theatre works Das Theater der Wiederholungen (2003), I HATE MOZART (2006), and Der Alte vom Berge (2007). Since 2003, he has worked with numerous choreographers, including Xavier Le Roy, Willi Dorner, and Christine Gaigg, with whom in 2010 he created NetTrike, performed in a duplex concert between IRCAM and Graz. Author of various projects in collaboration with Austrian musicians, artists, and writers, Bernhard Lang is also a member of LALELOO VLO and various improvisation groups.

info & contact


Independent musician and composer


bernhard.lang [AT]


Maarten Quanten

Maarten Quanten (b. 1982) studied musicology in Leuven and Berlin. In 2009 he received his PhD with a dissertation on temporal structures in the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gottfried Michael Koenig. He worked as a researcher at the Brussels Museum of Musical Instruments and taught at the School of Arts in Ghent. Currently he is Contemporary Music Programmer at Music Centre De Bijloke in Ghent and Lecturer in Music History at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

info & contact


De Bijloke Music Center, Ghent, BE


maarten.quanten [AT]