Delf Maria Hohmann sings and plays folk music mainly from North America, and relies on an impressive repertoire of traditional and contemporary songs, accompanying himself on guitar, banjo, dulcimer, concertina and autoharp. The songs in English, French, Yiddish, German, Inuktitut, and Cree tell the stories and concerns of immigrants, fishermen, lumberjacks, and natives.

In the mid-1970s, he met the American banjo player Hedy West, who acquainted him with the vibrant folk music community in the Eastern United States. In 1979 she introduced him to the most influential representative of the North American Folk Song Revival: Pete Seeger. With him, founder of the environmental project Clearwater, he sailed up and down the Hudson River promoting environmental causes. He performed with Seeger at Carnegie Hall in New York, at Boston University, and at Massey Hall in Toronto.

Aside from his interest in Folk Music he has developed a keen interest in composing new, exploratory, and microtonal music on acoustic instruments. This has led to the creation of various soundscapes, and the composition of Harbour Symphonies (Music for Ships’ Horns). His Harbour Symphonies have been given favourable reviews in the Neue Musik Zeitung, a well-recognized German periodical specializing in New and Exploratory Music.

After spending three winters as a guest at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), he is exploring ambisonics, and multichannel sound diffusion for live performances and sound installations. He developed an immersive soundscape performance with German pianist Frank Tischer which premiered in Germany in June 2017 to be staged and toured in Germany in the fall of 2018.

Hohmann has composed Cape Spear Klang-Opus à la fin du crépuscule for Sound Symposium XIX. The composition is rooted in the acoustic experience that comes from turning a whole space into a resonant body. Departing from a traditional performance space defined by a physical separation of audience and performers (audience seating and stage), here the space is understood as the instrument itself.

The Cape Spear audience will be placed on the platform in front of the first bunker in a rough circle facing inwardly while the music performance (on the “stage”) becomes a scored fluid sequence of sound elements moving around the audience. The aim is to completely immerse the audience in sound to experience the composition. There will be no stage lighting in the traditional sense, but only a dimmed lighting scape as an overall safety measure, in order to guarantee the least visual distraction of the audience. The piece will be performed at the end of dusk.

Delf Maria Hohmann At Sound Symposium XIX*

  • Cape Spear Project — Saturday, July 14 at 8:30pm (Cape Spear National Historic Site)

See the complete list of SSXIX artists, as well as the full schedule and ticket information.

*Times and locations subject to change.