The prepared piano refers to the technique of resting pieces of paper, marbles, drumsticks and other objects on the strings to produce odd, sometimes randomly generated sounds, that move the instrument in unexpected directions.
Hauschka grew up in a small village in Germany. Being a musician was not an acceptable career path in his family, so Hauschka studied medicine at University in Cologne. Just before graduation he dropped out to do music full time. He was experimenting with a hip-hop band and some avant-garde aspects of techno music, but he eventually decided to go solo and began to compose contemporary music for piano. Substantial, Hauschka’s first solo album, blended classical, avant-garde and pop impulses, with an aura of measured melancholy. Then he discovered prepared piano: his albums include The Prepared Piano, Ferndorf, Salon des Amateurs and Silfra. In 2014 Hauschka released Abandoned City which was followed by A NDO C Y, a collection of solo improvisations. Hauschka’s latest release, What if (2017) finds him adding player pianos to his armoury.
Furthermore, Hauschka also has for the last few years built a prolific career in writing scores for films. Among Hauschka’s earlier film scores are Praia du Futuro, a Brazilian love story centered on two gay men which became controversial in its home country, Farewell, Herr Schwarz which touches on German/Jewish history and Holocaust themes in a mystical way and The Boy, about a child who grows up to become a mass murderer. Hauschka’s big breakthrough in the field came through with his collaboration with Dustin O’Halloran in scoring Lion (2016) and The Current War (2017).