Christoph Delz drew his inspiration from the natural world, environmental sounds, literary texts and from early musical styles and compositions. These sources of inspiration were not hidden: he used them in titles of compositions and in the music itself, depicting them clearly, occasionally to the extent of an exact reproduction. His use of these “ready-made” sounds was conscious and serious within clear self-imposed parameters. Nevertheless, or perhaps for this reason, their use adds a light, almost playful dimension to the works. There is an autobiographical element in the late works from Opus 12 and in his completion of Schubert’s Reliquie.
Natural references in his compositions include the frozen Engadin Lake Sils in Sils, Opus 1, the clicking of insect stridulation in Siegel (Seal), Opus 3, the breathing rhythms of a woman in labour in Die Atmer der Lydia (Lydia’s Groans) Opus 5, the sounds of a large city in Im Dschungel (In the Jungle) Opus 6, and waves, landing aircraft and white noise in Klavierkonzert (Piano Concerto), Opus 9. Declamation of text is a prominent feature in several works, including Arbeitslieder (Work Songs) Opus 8, Solde (For Sale) , Opus 10, Joyce-Fantasie, Opus 13 and Istanbul, Opus 14. Delz used early music as a model for Nocturnes, Opus 11, and specifically J. S. Bach’s E major Preludio, BWV 1006/1 in Streichquartett (String Quartet), Opus 7, and Bach chorales in Jahreszeiten (Seasons), Opus 12 and in Istanbul, Opus 14.