in competence – Michael Edwards – Trio Abstrakt

Artists: Michael Edwards, Trio Abstrakt
Label: Elektramusic
Release Date: 2024-04-08
Genre: Contemporary
1. in competence (extract)
About New Album

You can listen to the preview of this album on this page. Full audio version is available on streaming platforms. The purchase on Bandcamp of the album includes the audio file and the link to the full concert video of the work (1h10mn).

in competence – Michael Edwards – Trio Abstrakt
Written by Michael Edwards
Performed by Trio Abstrakt
Download booklet here

“in competence” is a through-composed work of 69 minutes duration. Scored for sopranino, alto, and baritone saxophones, piano, mostly metal percussion, and immersive electronics, it thematises competence and Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, algorithms and samples, voices and blood-curdling digital synthesis. Available in stereo, immersive audio up to 60 channels, and as a video produced at the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany.

Michael Edwards is a composer, improvisor, software developer, and since 2017 Professor of Electronic Composition at ICEM, Folkwang University of he Arts, Essen, Germany. He studied at Bristol (UK) and Stanford (US) universities, was a computer programmer in Silicon Valley after his studies, and held academic positions at Stanford, the Mozarteum (Salzburg), and at the University of Edinburgh. Michael is the programmer of the “slippery chicken” algorithmic composition package. His compositional interests lie ,mainly in the development of structures for hybrid electro-instrumental pieces through the integration of algorithmically produced scored materials with similarly generated computer-processed sound.


Trio Abstrakt is a declaration of love to new chamber music – with the highest precision and dedication, Trio Abstrakt has been working on sophisticated contemporary chamber music of the last three decades for over 8 years. Trio Abstrakt is the musical home of musicians Salim(a) Javaid (saxophone), Marlies Debacker (piano) and Shiau-Shiuan Hung (percussion). Firmly anchored in the chamber music tradition and yet always in dialogue with the ‘now’, the ensemble pursues the goal of making ‘music of today’ resound. In view of their exciting interpretations, their sensitive playing and their preference for complex, intricate and multi layered music, it is not surprising that the musicians are the dedicatees of new works by renowned composers such as Pierluigi Billone, Franck Bedrossian, Isabel Mundry, Giorgio Netti, Michael Edwards, Alberto Posadas and many others.

The “modern” instrumentation of saxophone, piano and percussion allows the ensemble to reach out into diverse musical styles and the compositions of the ensemble’s repertoire often incorporate influences rom improvised, electronic, classical, rock and jazz music. In addition, the musicians are constantly researching and expanding their repertoire of sounds. Trio Abstrakt brings together the entire saxophone family (from sopranino to bass saxophone), an extensive range of percussion instruments (from orchestral and traditional to self-built instruments and objects) and the grand piano (as well as electronic keyboard instruments)  thus creating a rich pool of sound possibilities available to the composers. An important part of Trio Abstrakt’s work is commissioning composers and developing new concert formats. In recent years, Trio Abstrakt has launched three new concert series: In spotlight, a single composer dedicates a full-length work to the trio in the form of an immersive chamber music experience between music theater, electronics and chamber concert. In blurringEdges, up to three composers create a new, hour long work in a collaborative process. The panel discussion and concert format chambers presents chamber music and a thematically related panel with the evening’s composers and guests from the music scene.

The ensemble has been chosen for the InSzene program of Podium Gegenwart / Deutscher Musikrat and is currently being supported by the Ensembleförderung NRW. (photo credit Rebecca ter Braak)

Credits : 

Michael Edwards – composition, mix, master
Marlies Debacker – piano and sound file triggering
Shiau-Shiuan Hung – percussion
Salim(a) Javaid – saxophones
Recorded at Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe, December 21 & 22, 2022
Sound director: Benjamin Miller
Light & stage technician: Hans Gass
Camera operators: Max Clausen, Andy Koch, Peter Mueller
Editing: Andy Koch, Peter Mueller
Special thanks to Ludger Brümmer and Dominik Kautz at ZKM
Distibution music label : Elektramusic Berlin & Paul Clouvel