Floating Sound Gallery

Thomas Gorbach

photo (c) Markus Gradwohl

Thomas Gorbach (*1966, Vorarlberg/Austria) is the founder of Austrians first concert series that is dedicated to acousmatic music. With this project, The Acousmatic Project, he did intensive research within the last 10 years about building a multichannel loudspeakers orchestra, that finally is called The Vienna Acousmonium.   

Every year two festivals are organised that present international artists working on computer-generated sounds and multichannel live diffusion. In the workshop Thomas Gorbach is training the development of his diffusion technique called Ephemeral Dynamic-Motion Sound Sculptures.

Traditional classic music studies in Switzerland specialized on Oboe, Composition and Conducting.

1996 move to Vienna – Studies in Analysis, Interpretation and Composition of Electroacoustic Music at the Electronic Music Department of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
Since 2006 lectures in Electroacoustic Music at the Vienna University of Technology

2007 – start to develop Austrian’s first Acousmonium, The Vienna Acousmonium
Since 2007 – over 40 concerts on his Acousmonium.


“Inside-Out in Lines and Curves”,
stereo, 14:39, 2017.

Within the composition Inside-Out two contrasting sound categories come together. These are granular corpuscles typical forming the gesture of scrolling and noisy metallic grinding balancing and rotating. 

Listening to the sounds and there development may bring the interested one to the separating layer between Inner and Outer, a situation of the unknown, a balancing act between spaces in there deformation, extension, friction and fragmentation.


“Four Variations with ribbed sounds”,
9:32, 2014.

The Variations are showing different transformations with ribbed sounds which originally come from a piano turned upside-down.Various ways of working with the piano strings were categorised before the composing process started. During the work with sound transformations a classification system appeared that gives the work its musical form:
1st Variation: soft-sonorous amplification of the ribs in orbiting form,
2nd Variation: sliding-down of ribbed sounds in combination with plane attacks,
3rd Variation: Mixture of soft-sonorous and harsh rib-sounds with time variations and plane attacks, forwards and backwards,
4th Variation: rubbing on strings, scaled, backwards, fast-rubbed attack of strings.


“Mutanys”,
24:44
Patrick K.-H. version 2016.
Patrick K.-H. / Burkhard Stangl / Thomas Gorbach version 2018.

As the title suggests, the given piece is largely about mutations – to confirm this intention, mutation starts with the very orthography of the title.

A pivotal period of music history and theory was the beginning and middle of the XX century with its burst of music evolution theories, followed by biology-like mutation theories. Alike Darwin, people before used to think that every music entity – be it genre or instrument – could be defined by a set of necessary traits that characterised its essence—that there was a precise definition for orchestra, opera, guitar, vocal, score, etc. (and of course there are “creationists” in music in now days). According to this “music creationism” paradigm, a guitar has a guitar essence – as well as music forms it would constitute – and can no more evolve into a squeak or murmur than a dinosaur can evolve into a bird.

One of conceptual breakthroughs that comes out of sound synthesis married to sound recording was the appearance of intermediate forms that are literally neither guitar nor murmur. Moreover, the mutants of that kind can vary in their qualities, and the variety of that qualities can suggest search of new music forms, stranger than ever existed.

The evolution of the current version of “Mutanys” contains a crossover of sources: Patrick K.-H. of prepared electric guitar with the following filtering and processing by graphic sound software, Burkhard Stangl to join on stage with his guitar-based set, and Thomas Gorbach – a skilful live-projectionist to interpret into Acousmonium.