Ulrich Krieger


is an internationally recognized German composer and saxophonist living in Southern California. He is known for his originality and innovation in composed and free improvised contemporary music. As a celebrated composer of chamber and electronic music, Krieger’s compositions are widely performed by ensembles in Europe and the USA. He has been active in pushing the boundaries of saxophone playing in general and the function of the saxophone in rock and noise in particular, collaborating with Lou Reed (Metal Machine Trio, Lou Reed Band), Lee Ranaldo (Text of Light), Faust, and Merzbow, in addition to leading his own death-doom-noise-metal band Blood Oath. In his distinct style of amplified saxophone playing, Krieger processes refined acoustic and quasi-electronic sounds by amplifying his instrument in various ways. Krieger is professor for composition, Experimental Sound Practices, and rock music at CalArts, where his special field of interest is the cross-pollination of new art music and avant-garde rock.‍


December 10, 2021 - Remix

Ulrich Krieger | Oberfläche (Open Ocean, Marine Desert) (Pyrolator Remix)
Stream & Download

L’ST records is about to release the second of two remixes based on Ulrich Krieger’s album 236 Strings, which is coming out on December 3, 2021.

This remix is by Pyrolator.The German electronic musician and composer worked on "Oberfläche (OpenOcean, Marine Desert)", the track with captivating percussion sounds and astriking piano melody, which he adopted as a leitmotif. He mostly defined theoriginal sounds in a new way by transforming them via re-synthesis and granularsynthesis, combined with electronic drum programming.

 It will be released after the album on December 10, 2021. A video, created byPfadfinderei Studio Berlin, will mark the release.

The first remix byJohn Tejada was released on November 19, 2021.

December 03, 2021  - cd release

ulrich krieger | 236 strings

ulrich krieger, composer and saxophonist, cannot be pigeonholed into any one particular musical genre, having a passion for living in the realms in-between and ignoring boundaries. 
He works in a state of limbo between new and experimental music while also incorporating elements of free improvisation, electronic music, reductionism, noise, ambient, rock and metal. He writes extremely quiet and reduced music as well as creating extremely loud, harsh and threatening soundscapes.

krieger has been actively involved in pushing the boundaries of saxophone playing, and in particular the role of the saxophone in rock and noise, and has worked with luminaries such as Lou Reed (Metal Machine Trio, Lou Reed Band), Lee Ranaldo (Text of Light), Faust and Merzbow. He fronts his own death-doom-noise metal band, Blood Oath, and collaborated on projects with John Zorn and Laurie Anderson.

His new album, 236 Strings, is a compilation of instrumental ambient pieces and electro-acoustic soundscapes that invite the audience into an aural realm of self-exploration and discovery; two of the pieces are commissioned works by the pianists Vicki Ray and Danny Holt. All compositions originate from Krieger’s ‘Nordic’, ‘Desert’ and ‘Pelagic’ series and share one overriding theme: humankind in a state of confrontation with more powerful natural forces – be it the desert, the depths of the ocean or an apocalyptic event.

As a saxophonist, Ulrich Krieger long regarded the piano as historically too burdened and therefore inextricably linked with definitions of art that are way too confined. In Krieger’s own words, “the days of bourgeois art music have come to an end, just like bourgeois society itself. I want to venture into unknown territory and design new societal models”. However, at one point, he was obliged to reimagine his relationship with the piano, exploring its reverberant body in its entirety and discovering a diversity and sound potential far removed from prevailing conventions. After all, the piano is primarily a resonating body whose plus/minus 236 strings induce it to vibrate. The vastly diverse richness of sound, and the innumerable possibilities of this resonating body, lie at the heart of the five pieces for piano featured on this album.

These 236 piano strings are awoken from their state of dormancy and actively prompted to vibrate by various means and methods: these include striking the piano strings with its hammers as on a dulcimer, or plucking them like a harp, exciting them by friction with hand, wood, glass or other bow-like implements, and bowing with bow hair, a fishing line or an e-bow. Not only that, but also by preparing the strings with stationary or moveable objects.

5 pieces – 3 series
This CD comprises five compositions belonging to the composer’s Nordic, Desert Pieces and Pelagic series, but having one overriding theme: humankind in a state of confrontation with a stronger and seemingly hostile natural force—be it the desert, the depths of the ocean or an apocalyptic event. As a saxophonist, Ulrich Krieger originally had no interest in the piano, it seemed historically too burdened and at the same time too limited and inflexible in sound production and tuning. When he was commissioned with some of these works, which are now presented on this CD, he was obliged to explore this reverberant sounding body in greater depth and from a fresh perspective. He dove deep into the possibilities and diversity of the piano, exploring compositional approaches and sounds far removed from prevailing conventions.
Beyond these technical aspects, all the compositions on 236 Strings focus on the sensual experience of sound in itself, rather than being subservient to the maxims of melody or harmony. This gives rise to tangible, dense atmospheres and ambient soundworlds into which listeners can fully immerse themselves and find their own personal experiences.

236 Strings is the only CD of exclusively piano music by Ulrich Krieger. Personally, he played saxophone on this album and performed with the pianists Vicki Ray and Danny Holt on the multiplayer inside-piano piece Euphotic. The pianists Vicki Ray and Danny Holt are performing all compositions on this album.

November 19, 2021 - Remix

Ulrich Krieger | Euphotic (John Tejada Remix)
Stream & Download

L’ST records is about to release two remixes based on Ulrich Krieger’s album 236 Strings, which is coming out on December 3, 2021.

The first remix is by John Tejada. The American techno and electronic musician worked on the track "Euphotic", the longest and most immersive song from Krieger’s forthcoming album. Tejada mostly used the original piano sounds and then edited them into looping textures combined with electronic drum programming.

It will be released in advance of the album on November 19, 2021.

A video, created by Pfadfinderei Studio Berlin, will follow shortly after.

The second remix by Pyrolator is in the pipeline.


22nd june, MidSummerSpecialS – “msss”, Schiphorst

performs with faUST & chris cutler, drums
Festival Website

21st june, MidSummerSpecialS – “msss”, Schiphorst

performs RAW
Website Festival

14th june 2024, 8pm, Cologne, Studio of Ensemble Musikfabrik

heavy noise, open scores
Ensemble Musikfabrik Website


236 Strings by Ulrich Krieger - br 24 - review by Bernhard jugel

br24 -zwischen stille und laerm - ambient jazz von Ulrich krieger

zwischen stille und laerm - ambient jazz von Ulrich krieger

Review at Jazz Fun

Ulrich Krieger interessiert sich vor allem für die Zwischenräume und verschwimmenden Genregrenzen in der Musik. Er arbeitet im Limbo von neuer und experimenteller Musik über freie Improvisation, elektronische Musik, Reductionism, Noise, Ambient, bis Rock und Metal. Er schreibt extrem stille, reduzierte und dann wieder extrem laute, bedrohliche Musik.


Jazzthetik review from issue 01/02-2022

236 Strings ist ein Album, bei dem das Erfahren von Klang und Raum im Mittelpunkt zu stehen scheint. Zusammen mit Danny Holt und Vicky Ray erschafft Krieger eine sich langsam entwickelnde Klangwelt, die Zeit für ein sinnliches Erleben lässt.

Eclipsed review from issue 2/22

In fünf langen Tracks (jeder über 10 Minuten) bringen Krieger und seine Mitstreiter die mehr oder weniger 236 Saiten und den Resonanzkörper auf unterschiedliche Arten zum Erklingen. Auch auf herkömmliche Art, über die Tasten, werden perlende Töne erzeigt, die sich zyklisch wiederholen und so die Minimal Music streifen.

INMUSIC 12/21 – 01/22

Mit der vorliegenden Arbeit wagt sich der Künstler erstmals an ein Instrument, das ihm bisher „zu bürgerlich“ erschien. Die Rede ist von dem Klavier und seinen 236 Saiten, die er hier in fünf weitgespannten Kompositionen mit den unterschiedlichsten Motiven und spartanisch-reduzierten Momenten zum Klingen bringt.

Stereo from issue 1/2022

Der unerschrockene Klangkundschafter manipuliert die 236 Flügelsaiten mit Objekten aus Holz und Glas, mit Streicherbögen und Angelschnüren, mit seinen Fingern und der bloßen Hand. Dabei entstehen dissonante Soundszenarien voller flirrender Obertonreihen, perkussiver Momente und klavieruntypischer Töne. Aufregend!

Review at Music Connection

First you learn the rules and then you break them. It is a credo that woodwind master Krieger has taken to heart. Although classically trained, he’s immersed himself in noise rock, electronic, jazz and, with this release, ambient and experimental music. The five originals here are all about breaking the rules.


Review at skug MUSIKKULTUR

Für »236 Strings« (so viele Saiten hat das Piano im Durchschnitt), erschienen auf dem weltoffenen Berliner Label L’ST records, holt der Saxophonist mit zwei Musiker*innen ungewöhnliche Klänge aus dem Inneren eines Klaviers.


Review at Igloo Magazine

236 Strings is a release that scales the immediate environment turning it on its edges with an expansive exploration of the piano in its most eclectic form. Here, Ulrich Krieger has created some of the most daring and dramatic soundscapes; a mass sonic vibrance in its bold and unyielding entirety. With just five tracks, it’s an expanded journey into many themes, off of which scale dramatic tendencies and present knife edge moments. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary recent contributions to cinematic soundscapes.


Review at WESTZEIT

Mit "236 Strings" (L’ST) arbeitet er sich nun durch 5 anspruchsvolle eigene Stücke (keines unter 10 Minuten lang!), die den Versuch starten, Neue Musik und Noise in einem (nicht zu kuscheligen) Ambient-setting zu vereinen.



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