«Only the fulfilled moment is essential for the successful synthesis of the temporal and the transcendent. »
Harry Pepl, 1945 - 2005

Pepl's compositional method: : «real-time composing» or «instant composing»

In his compositional method, real-time or instant composing, the demand for the artist's absolute sovereignty appears fulfilled and radicalized. The principle of real-time composing is that the composer, without being guided by reflexive methods, (instrumentally) records what is in his musical consciousness at the moment of the creative process - what "takes place".

Pepl's concern is to achieve a synthesis between the particular, the subjective freedom - temporality and the general, the objective regularity of the successful work of art - supertemporalism. The definition of the work of art as a logical unit of details, such as the determination that one is not dealing with a decorative work of art, but with the unfolding of truth, is binding for him.

Essential for the success of the synthesis of the temporal and the supertemporal is the fulfilled moment: a moment becomes all the more fulfilled - and thus all the more irretrievable - the more he creates something that can last.

Pepl on his method and the work commissioned for the Kronos Quartet (1990)

«Composition and improvisation? Two separate areas of musical creation, in themselves as different approaches to creative music production.

In my method, which is caught in the pair of terms 'instant composing' and 'real-time composing', both areas experience a rare, paradoxical fusion. My starting point is the guitar, or more precisely: the MIDI guitar, which is capable of adopting a multitude of timbres (e.g. violin, cello...). As an instrumentalist, I can camouflage myself with its help, so to speak. Although I play the guitar, I am able to slip into the timbre of every conceivable instrument. When composing the string quartet I improvised freely, in accordance with my method. After inventing a voice, I improvised the remaining three by spontaneously reacting to this finished voice. The result is printed out as a score and then presented to the players for interpretation as a finished work. So what is performed as a fixed work is a product of momentary inspiration, is the result of spontaneous improvisation and also of reacting to this improvisation. It becomes a composition through the fact that it is notated and is also conceived for a special sound group, in this case the Kronos Quartet. Of course it also takes on the character of a work in that, although spontaneously conceived, it contains enough substance to be understood as a work to be interpreted. The relationship to improvisation is preserved in that spontaneously conceived ideas are not corrected, which is decisive. What happens in the moment of creation remains untouched.

In this method, my musical aesthetics, which attach decisive importance to the unrepeatable moment of sound production, is expressed very clearly. From the spirit of spontaneity and in the confrontation with the available, defined playing time, the improviser has to achieve a maximum: A maximum of novelty, of surprise, ultimately of inspired quality. In such an aesthetic, the ideal goal of an improvisation is probably also captured. Namely: to play a sequence of notes at the moment that is so successful that it does not need any reworking and is substantial enough to be interpreted as a composition by other instruments.

Thus it would be a lasting portrait of the current state of a musical subject.»