Born in 1959 in Schwanenstadt, Austria. He first studied graphic arts and performed free jazz. He completed his studies in composition with Gösta Neuwirth and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Graz and Vienna. Since 1982 he has lived in Berlin, where he has initiated and conducted numerous festivals and concerts. In 1988 he founded the Ensemble Zwischentöne. In 1993 he was a visiting professor at the University of Music in Graz. He has been guest conductor of Klangforum Wien, United Berlin and Insel Musik Ensemble. In 2013–17 he was a professor at the University of Huddersfield. His compositions have been performed at the festivals in Berlin, Vienna, Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Oslo, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, New York, while his installations have been presented in the Linz’s Open Culture House, Cologne’s Diocese Museum, Vienna’s Kunsthalle, Graz’s New City Gallery and Kunsthaus, Berlin’s Akademie der Künste and Haus am Waldsee, and Santa Monica Museum of the Arts.
Peter Ablinger is one of the few contamporary artists to use noise without any connotation to symbolism: not as a signifier for chaos, energy, entropy, disorder, or eternity, nor for opposing something or being disobedient or destructive—just for the sake of the noises themselves. He has come a long way in questioning the nature of sound, time, and space, the components usually regarded as central to music. His findings have jeopardised conventions usually considered inherent to music, related to such notions as repetition, monotony, reduction, redundancy, density, and entropy. “Sounds are not sounds! They are here to distract the intellect and to soothe the senses. Hearing is never just ‘hearing’: hearing is what creates me.” Peter Ablinger is, as Christian Scheib once put it, a mystic of enlightenment whose calls and litanies are aimed at cognition. At the same time, he is also a skeptic who understands the rules relevant in culture and (destructive) habits enforced by tradition. “So let us play further and say: sounds are here to be listened to (not to be heard – that’s something else). And that hearing is here to be ceased (Das Hören ist da um aufzuhören)—more I can’t say.”
Cycles: Weiss/Weisslich for various media: instruments, installations, objects, electroacoustic media, prose, music without sounds (1980–99), Pieces 1989–94, 12 pieces for seven voices and 1–25 instrumentalists (1989–94), Seeing and Hearing, photographies, projections (1995–), IEAQV for instruments and electroacoustic media, site-specific works (1994–), Instrumente und Rauschen for instruments and CD noises (1994–), Quadraturen for electroacoustic media, ensembles and orchestras (1994–), The Book of Songs, acoustic photographies (1997–), Voices and Piano for piano and CD (1998–), Noises on Paper, various items placed on paper (1999–), Opera/Works, operas, installations, concerts and other art forms (2000–), Places, installations (2001–), Instruments & for instruments and other sound sources (2006–), Augmented Studies (1983–).Other works: Translations 1–8, rubber bands stretched on cardboard, notes and hints (1997), Primers 1–6 for organ (1997), Hotel Deutsches Haus for bass flute, English horn, clarinet and CD (2000–1), 10 kleine Stücke für 6 Stimmen for six voices (1995–2002), 1–127 for electric guitar and CD (2002), Altar for loudspeakers, microphones, headphones, electronics, cello and orchestra (2002–3), Akt/Rückenansicht for actors and CD (2003), 3 Easy Pieces, installation (2003–4), 6 Lines for piano (2004), From Inside Out for shopping window, microphone and loudspeaker (2004–6), Without Title 1–10 for unspecified instruments (2005), 11 Intermezzi from Opera/Works “The Orchestra” for orchestra and CD (2005), Small “Audience” Suite for ensemble, computer-controlled keyboards and CD (2005),“Dance” from the Audience / Graz City Opera for two pianos, nine instruments and CD (2005), Gehörgang, walk in the labyrinth (2007), Case Study, cinema for one person (2004–8), Whitewashing, underwear and towels (2003–8), Amtsee bei Regen for 3–8 voices / instruments (2008), A + O for harp and CD (2005–9), Selbstportrait mit Mitersill – eine Skizze in 3 Sätzen for children, youth, performer, CD and objects (2009), Black Series for clarinet and rock band (2010–2012), 1111 Birds, radio sound sculpture (2017–18).