Hans Peter Kuhn

At the age of fourteen, composer and artist Hans Peter Kuhn began his career by founding a rock’n roll band. Since then, he has become one of the best-known composers for the theatre. He created the greater part of his work (30 productions since 1978) in collaboration with the American director/artist Robert Wilson. Kuhn has also worked with German directors such as Peter Stein, Klaus Michael Grüber, Luc Bondy, Claus Peymann and others. He also composed the music for many dance pieces by Laurie Booth, Dana Reitz, Steve Paxton and Suzushi Hanayaghi. Apart from his work as a composer and sound artist for theatre and dance, Hand Peter Kuhn also worked as a free artist creating installations with sound and light. His work has been shown at the Centre Pompidou, the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the P.S.1. Museum New York, the Arts Electronica, to name a few.

Kuhn’s installations show a strong visual approach. The integration of additive and visual characteristics are present in their most elementary and pure forms in his work. The pieces are mostly site-specific and could also be named sound environments relating to the term in the visual arts for special objects. The sound elements Kuhn uses are all from natural sources and mostly pure and not manipulated.

Kuhn creates his installations with a degree of technical perfection and a great sense of setting; an approach which comes from his broad experience in the theatre. The true craft lies in the freedom with which the artist transforms the material elements of his installations using sound fragments, tone elements and pure noise into a tense and synthetic unity of suggestive power.

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