Karlheinz Essl

Portrait KHE


Modular Algorithmic Zound Environment
1998 - 2016

Software | Videos | Release | Literature


m@ze°2 is a computer-based electronic instrument which serves as a realtime environment for composition and improvisation as well. This project is another attempt to realize an old idea that has been haunting me for many years: the vision of a music

This software is written entirely in Max, taking advantage of Karlheinz Essl's Real Time Composition Library (RTC-lib). It is based on an ever-growing database of carefully selected samples. They are processed in realtime by so-called structure generators which are triggered and controlled by the computer keyboard, the mouse, foot pedals, MIDI controllers and a webcam. An elaborated section of DSP routines (including reverb, harmonizer, spectral processor, transposer, pitch shifter, equalizer, LFO, ring modulator, and panning) enables the player to process the generated sound structures on the fly.

NB: This software is not public domain. It is used solely by its author, the composer Karlheinz Essl, as an electronic instruments for his solo performances and improvisations with other musicians. However, several modules of m@ze°2 are available as freeware or shareware: REplay PLAYer (a generative sound shredder), fLOW (an ambient sound generator), and Amazing Maze (an interactive realtime composition for sampled sound particles).

Karlheinz Essl performing with his m@ze°2 environment

Karlheinz Essl playing his m@ze°2 environment
Ivano-Frankivsk (UA), 11 Jun 2016


User interface of m@ze°2

User interface of the m@ze°2 realtime composition environment (1998-2016)


Karlheinz Essl demonstrating m@ze°2
Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane (AUS) - 3 Aug 2016
Short Term Visiting Research Fellowship

Karlheinz Essl performing his piece DonauEschen on his m@ze°2 realtime composition environment
Precarpathian Art Museum, Ivano-Frankisvsk (UA) - 11 Jun 2016
Composer Portrait Karlheinz Essl

Karlheinz Essl improvising on his m@ze°2 realtime composition environment
Project Arts Centre, Dublin (IE) - 21 Oct 2011
Portrait Concert Karlheinz Essl

Karlheinz Essl performing Demo Crazy on his realtime composition environment m@ze°2
Pernegg, Parish church (A) - 20 Aug 2009
12th GlobArt Academy

Karlheinz Essl improvising with m@ze°2 together with Gerald Preinfalk and Jörg Engels
Klosterneuburg, Essl Museum (A) - 21 Nov 2009

Karlheinz Essl: free improv with m@ze°2
Klagenfurt, Alpe-Adria-Universität (A) - 15 Jan 2009
A-m@ze-ing - Portrait Karlheinz Essl

Karlheinz Essl performing Sonnez la cloche! on his realtime composition environment m@ze°2
Berlin, 401contemporary fine arts gallery (D) - 13 Jun 2009
SOUND MARKS - Solo performance Karlheinz Essl

CD release

In 1999, Karlheinz Essl has recorded a solo CD with live performances played on his m@ze°2 realtime composition environment. As the original limited CD edition is sold out, you can still listen to it on SoundCloud where you can download all tracks for free.


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Updated: 8 Aug 2016