Das Subjekt als Klangort – Helmut Lachenmanns transkulturelle Musikästhetik

Kai Hammermeister


This essay explores notions of transcultural aesthetics as manifested in musical compositions. In Helmut Lachenmann’s works we can fi nd two different practices of transcultural aesthetics, both of which are related to Japan. In his opera Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern the inclusion of a traditional Japanese instrument serves as a signifi cation of alterity and death, while in his double concerto NUN the writings of Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida inspire an aesthetic in which the subject becomes the empty center of new listening habits. Lachenmann’s transcultural aesthetic position also combines an understanding of aesthetics as relating mostly to works of art with one that emphasises aesthetic elements in quotidian existence. (KH; in German)

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