This is a project in an early stage of development, taking on ideas around failure, futility, faking, and the artist as self-doubting imposter. The project was inspired by both Durer's enigmatic, sombre cautionary imagery in Melencolia I, and the extraordinary Joyce Hatto controversy from 2007. Joseph Haach was an almost completely unknown late C19th to mid C20th Austrian-American pianist-composer. He was often psychologically unstable and failed to make a name for himself. It is thought destroyed all of his own output as none survives. Even an ill-advised plan to capitalise from unveiling supposedly undiscovered piano pieces by past famous composers faked by Haach failed to make any impact - though paradoxically this also saved him from damaging exposure as a fraud.
With no music by Haach remaining, Jim Aitchison has created speculative examples of work that could be from the composer's vanished output, including the fakes apparently by Haach, of supposedly 'lost' works by past 'great' composers, in addition to Haach's own pieces. Similarly fabricated 'old' recordings supposedly by Haach have been placed on Youtube anonymously, receiving almost no attention, either due to a cultural constituency increasingly distant from the Art Music of the recent and more distant past, or because the music is insufficient in some way, or because the promotion of the work has been more or less non-existent and its anonymity has prevailed. All of these factors contribute to embodying aspects of the project.
Joseph Haach, Trauermarsch after Chopin
Joseph Haach, Fritillaries Etude
Joseph Haach, Beethoven - Bagatelle in G Major
Joseph Haach, Mazurka after Chopin
Joseph Haach, Brahms - Rhapsodie in A Flat Major
Joseph Haach, Bach arr Haach - Aria in C minor, BWV 1145
Joseph Haach, Improvisation after a Visit to the Mountains at Lake Lucerne