(Deutsch) Welle um Welle

Friedemann Dupelius
„Ein Orchester ist kein Kammerensemble. Es hat so eine gewisse Trägheit, die man erstmal überwinden muss, um all seine Instrumente, all seine Klänge zu aktivieren“, sagt Kevin Juillerat. Zwar ist der franko-schweizer Komponist kein Physiker, doch mit den Eigenschaften und Behandlungsmöglichkeiten von Schallwellen kennt er sich ganz gut aus. Davon zeugen die grauen Akustik-Dämmer an den Wänden seiner aktuellen Residenz im Pariser Elektronik-Paradies IRCAM, von wo aus er über sein Stück Waves spricht. Es ist seine erste Komposition für die große Orchester-Besetzung und wird am 16.1.2022 beim 3. Abo-Konzert der Jubiläums-Saison der Basel Sinfonietta uraufgeführt.

Mit Trägheit hat deren Geschichte jedoch wenig zu tun. 1980 gründeten enthusiastische Musiker:innen ein Orchester, das mit seinem ausschließlichen Fokus auf zeitgenössische Musik bis heute einzigartig geblieben ist. Ebenfalls bis heute ist die Basel Sinfonietta selbstverwaltet und basisdemokratisch organisiert. Den Vorstand bilden aus dem Ensemble heraus gewählte Orchestermitglieder, und auch die Programmkommission setzt sich aus solchen zusammen. Mit dazu gehört Daniela Martin, seit September 2020 Geschäftsführerin der Basel Sinfonietta, die konstatiert: „Von seinem freien Spirit ausgehend, ist das Orchester in der professionellen Musikszene inzwischen fest verankert.“

Basel Sinfonietta ©Archiv Basel Sinfonietta: Die Basel Sinfonietta präsentiert Musik gern in thematischen Konzerten. Legendär war das Programm „Sport und Musik“ unter der Leitung von Mark Fitz-Gerald im September 1989.

Zweifelsohne war das 40. Jahr zugleich das Schwierigste im Bestehen der Basel Sinfonietta. Anstatt einer großen Jubiläumsfeier herrschten Unsicherheit, Distanz zum Publikum und zwischen den Musiker:innen. Plötzlich mussten Abstände zwischen den Pulten eingehalten werden, was auch akustische Folgen hatte – das viel zitierte Distancing bekommt eine hörbare Qualität, wenn die Musiker:innen im Raum auseinander gerissen werden. Mit der nicht minder schwierigen Rückkehr zur normalen Aufstellung ist auch das Publikum in die Konzerte der Basel Sinfonietta zurückgekehrt, und das mit einer erfreulichen Nachricht: Die Zahl der Abonnent:innen hat sich über die Zeiten von Lockdown und Streaming-Konzerten vergrößert. So kann das leicht verspätete Jubiläum „40+1“ in dieser Saison vor einer angewachsenen Gemeinde an Fans und Neugierigen zelebriert werden. Daniela Martin ist begeistert vom Basler Publikum: „Die Leute lassen sich auf die Musik ein. In den Konzerten herrscht eine dichte Atmosphäre, eine spürbare Begeisterung. Man ist nicht zum Kritisieren da, sondern um mit offenen Ohren der neuen und neuesten Musik zu begegnen.“


Isabel Klaus, Dried – Für Orchester, UA Basel Sinfonietta 2007, Eigenproduktion SRG/SSR: Zum Kernverständnis der Basel Sinfonietta gehört es, junge Schweizer Komponist*innen eine Plattform zu bieten. Vor Kevin Juillerat haben schon viele andere davon profitiert, etwa Isabel Klaus mit ihrem Stück Dried.
Schaut ein Orchester für zeitgenössische Musik bei einem Jubiläum eher zurück oder nach vorne? Daniela Martin sagt: „Beides. Vor allem aber blicken wir ins Heute und in die Zukunft. Welche gesellschaftlichen Perspektiven und Utopien können wir in unseren Programmen beleuchten?“ In dieser besonderen Spielzeit setzt sich die Basel Sinfonietta unter anderem mit Fragen der Migration und dem Verhältnis westlicher zu non-europäischer Musik auseinander. Im Oktober war bspw. das bolivianische Orquestra Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos zu Gast, um mit der Basel Sinfonietta ein interkontinentales Programm mit Musik südamerikanischer und Schweizer Komponist:innen zu spielen.

Roberto Gerhard, Sinfonie Nr. 4 „New York“ (UA 1967), Basel Sinfonietta 2003, Eigenproduktion SRG/SSR: Migration prägte das Leben des aus Olten stammenden Komponisten Roberto Gerhard. Bereits 2003 spielte die Basel Sinfonietta mit Johannes Kalitzke seine 4. Sinfonie ein, die Erste erklingt im Konzert am 16. Januar.

Das Konzert am 16.1.2022 im Stadtcasino Basel läuft unter dem Motto „Schwerkraft Migration“. Sowohl äußerliche als auch innere Migrationsbewegungen sind dabei impliziert – erstere etwa bei Roberto Gerhard. Der 1970 verstorbene Komponist wurde in Katalonien geboren, hat familiäre Wurzeln in Olten und schrieb seine Musik vom britischen Exil aus. Er ist mit seiner 1. Sinfonie von 1952/53 vertreten. Bei Hèctor Parra geht die Reise nach innen und ins all-umfassende Außen zugleich – sein Stück InFALL von 2011 handelt von Schwerkraft und kosmologischen Meditationen über die menschliche Existenz.

Mit dem Stück Waves, einem Kompositionsauftrag an Kevin Juillerat, setzt die Basel Sinfonietta ihre Mission fort, jungen Schweizer Komponist:innen eine Plattform zu bieten – gerade auch solche, die wie Juillerat, noch nie für Orchester geschrieben haben. Ob dieser sich mit der Aufgabe unter Druck gesetzt fühlt? „Ich würde es eher als Herausforderung beschreiben. Auch wenn ich viel mit Einflüssen der elektronischen oder Rockmusik arbeite, so habe ich mich auch immer der sinfonischen Tradition verbunden gefühlt. Mich erschreckt das nicht. Das Orchester ist ein großartiges Instrument.“

Portrait Kevin Juillerat © Didier Jordan / Archiv Basel Sinfonietta

Damit verrät der Komponist und Saxofonist mit Jahrgang 1987 zugleich seinen Zugriff auf den sinfonischen Klangkörper. Er betrachtet ihn als ein großes Meta-Instrument, mit dem sich durch Kombination und langsame Prozesse neue Klangfarben erzeugen lassen. Dabei bezieht er auch Techniken aus der elektronischen Musik mit ein, etwa die Ringmodulation – eine simple Form der Klangsynthese, bei der sich zwei Klangsignale manipulieren und ein drittes, neues erzeugen lassen.

Kevin Juillerat, Le vent d’orages lointains – for piano and strings, Camerata Ataremac / Gilles Grimaitre 2018, Eigenproduktion SRG/SSR: Klangfarben-Schichtungen und sich langsam verändernde Texturen finden sich auch in Kevin Juillerats Stück „Le vent d’orages lointains“ für Klavier und Streicher von 2018.

„In meinen letzten elektroakustischen Stücken habe ich viel mit Texturen gearbeitet, die sich langsam verändern. Das wollte ich auch mit dem Orchester umsetzen. So gibt es gegen Ende des Stücks einen Drone, also einen sehr lang gehaltenen Ton, der mit den Mitteln der Ringmodulation in seinem Spektrum verändert wird.“ Konkret setzt Juillerat zu dieser Modulation Töne auf den Drone, die sich aus der Kernzelle seines Stücks ergeben: Sechs Tönen, die sich aus den Buchstaben B-A-S-E-L und SI für Sinfonietta ergeben. „Ich habe viel an Klangfarben gearbeitet, die immer in Veränderung begriffen sind. Dabei habe ich versucht, die einzelnen Instrumente in ihrer Wiedererkennbarkeit zu verschleiern. Es geht ganz um die Farben“, betont Juillerat.

Diese Eigenschaft seiner Musik war es auch, die Baldur Brönnimann beeindruckte, als er ein Stück Juillerats mit dem Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne aufführte. So schlug ihn der Principal Conductor der Basel Sinfonietta für das Auftragswerk vor, das am 16. Januar seine ersten Wellen vor dem Basler Publikum schlagen wird. So träge, wie es ein Orchester braucht, um so richtig in Wallung zu geraten – und, wenn es dann so weit ist, so behende, wie die Basel Sinfonietta auch die nächsten 40+1 Jahre angehen möchte.
Friedemann Dupelius

Die Basel Sinfonietta stellt auf ihrem neo.mx3-Profil eine grosse Auswahl aus ihrem Audio- und Videoarchiv zur Verfügung.

Basel Sinfonietta: Saison 40+1:
die kommenden Konzerte

IRCAM, Roberto Gerhard, Daniela Martin, Hèctor Parra, Baldur Brönnimann, Orquestra Experimental de Instrumentos NativosOrchestre de Chambre de Lausanne

neo-profiles:
Kevin Juillerat, Basel Sinfonietta, Isabel Klaus, Gilles Grimaitre

un projet est avant tout une rencontre…

Composer, performer and curator Alexandre Babel has been awarded one of the Swiss Music Prizes of the Federal Office of Culture 2021. The award ceremony took place in Lugano on September, 17 2021. In this interview, Babel explains his point of view on composition and curation and how he combines these two activities.

 

Portrait Alexandre Babel © Felix Brueggemann 2021

Gabrielle Weber
Alexandre Babel, percussionist, composer and curator, can be seen on avant-garde concert stages, at jazz festivals, in galleries and at art biennials. Based between Berlin and Geneva (his hometown), he combines classical avant-garde music, sound art, experimental improvisation and performance.  

There are as many ways of composing as there are composers, says Babel and he therefore prefers to define composition as “the organisation of sounds in time and space”. Curating is also close to this understanding of composition. “Same here, it’s all about setting existing sound objects in motion in a certain place at a certain time and then connecting these objects with other objects.  

Composing and curating are different aspects of the same activity. Babel creates, conceives, stages, networks and interprets.  

Alexandre Babel, born in Geneva in 1980, first found his way to jazz through drum lessons in Geneva. He then specialised in New York with jazz legends such as Joey Baron or Jeff Hirshfield and played in various formations. “What fascinated me about jazz was not just the aesthetics, but rather how musicians interacted to create music. Mixing repertoire and improvisation: that was the basis of making music for me.”  

Also being attracted by the classical avant-garde, Babel soon switched to classical percussion and, back in Europe, found his way to composition. John Cage, Morton Feldman, Alvin Lucier, Heiner Goebbels or Helmut Lachenmann were the ground-breaking figures and inspirators in Babel’s compositional path.

From his very first pieces already, such as music for small audiences for snare drum solo, the importance of the performer plays an important role.
Music for small audiences was the beginning a real love affair between me and the snare drum..”

 


In one of his first pieces, ‘music for small audiences‘ Babel explores new sounds for solo snare drum and brings the role of percussion in the music business into focus.

 

Performer – Improviser – Composer

As a drummer, Babel is a touring musician wearing many hats: a fine, quiet improviser, loud, experimental drummer, for example with the band “Sudden infant” in a duo with Joke Lanz, or an interpreter of contemporary drum repertoire in various formations.   

Additionally, he composes, curates and develops projects for his own formations, such as the Berlin collective Radial, together with video artist Mio Chareteau.  

“To make music includes several processes in my opinion. First of all ‘thinking’ the music, which means composing, then transmitting the music and finally perform it for an audience: I’m fascinated by all of them.”   

All of his activities are linked by a convergence of creation and interpretation, as well as an interest in the visual, spatial and performative aspects.

“What do I want to see and what do I want to hear…. ”

For Babel, composing always begins with or even boils down to an encounter. Thus, his compositions are mostly created for specific musicians.  

He always has the performers in mind when writing and is also inspired by their movements and gestures. In the piece The way down for Duo Orion, for example, Babel took the duo’s interplay as starting point and staged it acoustically and also performatively.

 

Alexandre Babel, The way down pour violoncelle et piano, Duo Orion (Gilles Grimaître, piano, Elas Dorbath, Cello) 2020

 

“At the beginning of a project I ask myself: ‘What do I want to see and what do I want to hear’: To me, the visual side is just as important as the sound. Duo Orion, for example, has a special physicality when performing. I developed a piece for them in which the gestures are almost athletic. It almost became dance or a choreography,”.

Curating as a permanent dialogue

Babel says that his three activities – composition, interpretation and curation – have ideally come together in the artistic direction of les amplitudes Festival (La-Chaux-de-Fonds, autumn 2020). “I had the chance to combine all aspects within one object -the festival and at the same time the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds: I thought of the festival as a giant composition in separate parts – an art exhibition, live performances, drum sets and spatial compositions blending together in one new unity”.  

Since 2013, Babel has led the percussion ensemble Eklekto Geneva Percussion Center, consisting of some 20 musicians in a loose line-up. “Eklekto offers me the opportunity to develop unusual percussive situations. All projects are created in close exchange and collaboration with the composers and the musicians. “Curating is a permanent dialogue with the musicians involved”.  

 

Attentive listening

Pauline Olivero’s piece Earth ears, a so-called ‘Sonic Ritual‘ from 1989 for free instrumentation, is characteristic of Babel’s understanding of curation: “The musicians play by ear and there is no written score. One has to listen to himself as well as to the whole ensemble and react to it. The piece is about sound, space and attentive listening: to me, those are the basics of making music”.

 


Pauline Oliveros’ piece ‘Earth ears’, a ‘sonic ritual’ and openly interpretable piece from 1989, is characteristic of Babel’s approach to curation.

 

Another important project is his large percussion ensemble with 15 percussionists from the Eklekto pool. “We have clear rules: we play by heart and there is no conducting: playing without a leader creates an enormous energy and presence and at the same time opens up new ways of communication, in an almost radical way”.

 

Choeur mixte reflects the classical setting of chamber music and at the same time puts the often underestimated classical instrument ‘snare drum’ in a new spot-light. Another declaration of love to the snare drum.

 

In the piece ‘choeur mixte’ for 15 snare drums, the percussionists play their instruments standing in the shape of a wedge, on a lit, empty stage. They act strongly in relation to one another and the piece radiates power as a group and at the same time individual responsibility of the performers.

 

Music without sound

 

Among other things, Babel is currently working on a composition commissioned by the Venice Art Biennale 2022, designing the Swiss pavilion together with Swiss-based Franco-Moroccan visual artist Latifa Echakhch. Babel faces a special challenge in this case, as Echakhch wants him to create a composition without real sound. “This is an important and special task for me: through the joint creation process, we are approaching solutions on how music can sound without sound,” says Babel. At the moment, short pieces of music are being created for this purpose, which will form the basis for the final Music of Silence. Gabrielle Weber

 

Portrait Alexandre Babel ©Felix Brueggemann (2021)

 

On Friday, September 17, 2021, the Swiss Music Price ceremony will take place at Lugano Arte e Cultura (LAC) in Lugano. During that weekend, some of the prize winners will perform as part of Lugano’s Longlake Festival.  

This year’s Grand Prix musique went to Stephan Eicher.
The other prize winners are:
Alexandre Babel, Chiara Banchini, Yilian Canizares, Viviane Chassot, Tom Gabriel Fischer, Jürg Frey, Lionel Friedli, Louis Jucker, Christine Lauterburg, Roland Moser, Roli Mosimann, Conrad Steinmann, Manuel Troller and Nils Wogram.

Concerts Alexandre Babel:
Sunday, 19.9.21, 10:30h at Studio Foce, Lugano:
Alexandre Babel e Niton +ROM visuals 

23.4.-27.11.2022 Biennale Arte Venezia: Alexandre Babel & Latifa Echakhch @Swiss Pavilion Venezia Biennale

 

Joke Lanz, Joey BaronJeff Hirshfield, Pauline Oliveros, Biennale Arte 2022, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Alvin Lucier, Heiner Goebbels, Helmut Lachenmann, Latifa EchakhchKollektiv Radial, Mio Chareteau, Elsa Dorbath

 

Sendungen SRF 2 Kultur:
in: Musikmagazin, 18./19.9.21: Alexandre Babel – Träger BAK-Musikpreis 2021 im Gespräch mit Gabrielle Weber, Redaktion Annelis Berger

Musik unserer Zeit, 16.6.21: Alexandre Babel – Perkussionist, Komponist, Kurator, Redaktion Gabrielle Weber

neoblog, 14.10.2020: La ville – une composition géante, Text Anya Leveillé

 

Neo-Profiles:
Alexandre Babel, Les amplitudes, Eklekto Geneva Percussion Center, Duo Orion, Gilles Grimaître

Hyper Hyper!

Gabrielle Weber
Hyper Hyper!? Hyper Duo masters the art of escalation to excess. Pianist Gilles Grimaitre and percussionist Julien Mégroz consistently focus on energy, rhythm and satire. There seem to be no musical styles nor performance boundaries for the duo. Moving between classical avant-garde and pop-rock, Hyper Duo transcends common perceptions in a playful and humorous way. Their new programme Hyper Grid will be premiered at the Gare du Nord – Bahnhof für Neue Musik Basel.  

 

Hyper Duo © 2020 Pablo Fernandez. Bienne, le 07 octobre 2020. HyperDuo, séance vinyl 01

The two artists define Hyper Duo as ‘experimental band’. Julien Mégroz comes from Lausanne and after studying there, he specialised in contemporary music at Basel’s FHNW. Gilles Grimaitre, from Geneva, studied at Bern’s HKB and went on winning a scholarship at Frankfurt’s international Ensemble Moderne Akademie. Both describe themselves as performers, improvisers, composers as well as project inventors.  

Overcoming stylistic and genre boundaries and expanding horizons is the central focus of their duo, always in close collaboration with other artists and musicians. Energetic and humorous, Hyper Duo moves between traditional composition from the classical avant-garde, rocking electro-energy and absurd poetry. They draw inspiration both from popular and cultivated music.  

New pieces for their chosen instrumentation as well as modern classics, supplemented with experimental electronics, video or even objects, form the musical core, with compositions provided by likeminded musicians or themselves.  

Several Hyper programmes already stand for the unconventional approach to traditional concert formats, bearing titles like Hyper Cut, Hyper Stuck, Hyper Fuzz oder Hyper Rift.

 


Hyper Rift, Trailer ©Musikfestival Bern 2020

 

Hyper Rift, for example, consisted in a light and sound installation controlled by seismographic data at the Bern 2020 Music Festival. During a live performance inside Bern’s Monbijou Bridge, the duo, together with video artist Pascal Meury, made tectonic shifts audible and tangible. With percussion and synthesizer, they also pushed the volume to a limit just tolerable.  

In Hyper Temper, a trio programme with percussionist Miguel Angel Garcia Martin, the two questioned the grand piano as instrument for its role in the music business, music history, but also as an everyday life object. In Cathy van Eck’s ‘pièce d’ameublement‘, it became an ornamental plant-bearing piece of furniture and thus symbol of bourgeois lifestyle in the 19th century.   

 

In Hyper Grid, the two now perform again on their core instruments – amplified piano, drumset and electronics – as a follow up to their previous projects Hyper Fuzz and Hyper Cut.  

Hyper Cut humorously complemented drumset, piano and electronics with video, voice and objects in new works by Simon Steen-Andersen, Sarah Nemtsov or Wolfgang Heiniger, among others.

 


Hyper Duo: Hyper Cut, Simon Steen-Andersen, difficulties putting it into practice, Video ©Hyper Duo

 

The Hyper Fuzz project, on the other hand, combined new, explicitly groovy pieces and modern classics with references to pop, rock and jazz, supplemented with electronic interludes by young Swiss sound inventor Cyrill Lim. Works by Frank Zappa, who himself combined electronic and electronic music in aesthetic projects, were heard alongside music by Stockhausen or young Lausanne composer Nicolas von Ritter. The programme was performed in classical concert halls and festivals as well as in rock and jazz clubs.

 


Hyper Duo / Hyper Fuzz @Taktlos Festival Zürich 2018, Video ©Hyper Duo

In the new project, Hyper Duo deepens its collaboration with two artists:
Serbian composer Marko Nikodijevic, who joins them himself on electronics for the world premiere of his grid/index [ I ] for the Hyper Duo. In his works, Nikodijevic likes to combine traditional instruments with digital sounds, using techno and pop techniques. Grid / index [ I ] is based on a work of the same name by artist Carsten Nicolai, a huge collection of drawings of two-dimensional grids and patterns. Nikodijevic translates the reference into simple rhythmic and melodic patterns reminiscent of the so-called ‘minimal techno’ of the 90s.  

 

Portrait Kevin Juillerat © zVg Kevin Juillerat

 

Kevin Juillerat, composer from Lausanne, refers to Nikodijevic in his work L’Être-On. His piece is based on a text by the surreal poet Antonin Artaud from a radio programme the artist produced himself in the 1940s. Juillerat explores the analogy between poetry and sound, creating a rhythmic, electronics-infused half-hour ‘mini-oratorio’.

 


Kevin Juillerat, le vent d’orages lointains, for piano and strings, UA 2018

 

 

The two experimental musicians from the French-speaking part of Switzerland never fail to offer subversively funny but also musically poetic programmes, which is plain to see in their numerous videos. Whether hyper hyper can still be intensified is best determined live in the new programme Hyper Grid, on June 2, at the Gare du Nord and from November onwards at several other venues. Especially since live concerts are now possible again, after such a long time.  
Gabrielle Weber

 

Hyper Duo © 2020 Pablo Fernandez. Bienne, le 21 novembre 2020. HyperDuo, séance vinyl 02

The Gare du Nord – Bahnhof für Neue Musik Basel invites ensembles from the French-speaking part of Switzerland during three seasons for the Focus Romandie series. Hyper Grid is the third and last programme of this first season.  

The new works “L’Être-On” for amplified piano, percussion, voice and effect pedals by Kevin Juillerat and “grid/index [ I ]” for drumset, piano and electronics by Marko Nikodijevic will be premiered.  

 

Concerts
2.6. 21 Gare du Nord Basel
4.11.21 IGNM Zürich
17.12.21 Salle Farel, Bienne

Indigne de nous, Hyper Duo’s first studio album will be released on June 5, 2021 by Everest Records

 

Marko Nikodijevic, Frank Zappa, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Carsten Nicolai, Antonin Artaud, Sarah Nemtsov, Wolfgang HeinigerMiguel Angel Garcia Martin

neo-Profiles:
HYPER DUOKevin Juillerat, Gilles Grimaitre, Julien Mégroz, Cathy van Eck, Simon Steen-Andersen, Cyrill Lim, Nicolas von Ritter, Gare du Nord

 

“…play until we drop…”

 

Portrait Urs Peter Schneider ©Aart-Verlag

As part of the Focus Contemporary festival, Musikpodium Zurich is celebrating Urs Peter Schneider’s 80th birthday.
Tribute to a ‘one-of-a-kind’ by Thomas Meyer:

The 60s were a very exciting time for music, as forms dissolved and concepts, happenings, performances, aleatoric concepts and improvisation took the place of written works. While many soon returned to more traditional procedures, one group in Switzerland stubbornly devoted itself to this new openness: “Ensemble Neue Horizonte Bern”, founded in 1968 and still active to this day. “We will” – as one member of the ensemble once stated – “play until we drop”. Without this Ensemble there would probably be no Cage tradition as well as less conceptual music in Switzerland.

Ensemble Neue Horizonte Bern

Swiss Cage Tradition

Urs Peter Schneider has occupied the special position of “Spiritus rector” in this composers and interpreters collective since the beginning. Born in Bern, currently living and happily crafting his compositions, texts, structures and concepts in Biel, he celebrates his eightieth birthday this year.

For this special occasion, Musikpodium Zürich is organising a concert as part of the Focus Contemporary festival: Dominik Blum will perform piano pieces by Schneider, his Neue Horizonte colleague Peter Streiff and Hermann Meier, whose almost forgotten work Schneider has consistently stood up for. In addition to his 1977 “Chorbuch”, the choir “vokativ zürich” will perform the new work “Engelszungenreden” (angel tongues speeches), whose title indicates that Schneider’s music also likes to point up, towards more spiritual directions.


Hermann Meier, Klavierstück für Urs Peter Schneider, HMV 99, 1987

Composer/pianist/interpreter/performer/educator in one, Schneider is one of those ‘one-of-a-kind figures’, that are not uncommon in Switzerland. It is not easy to describe his music as it can be extremely varied and he often changes his procedures. Schneider likes to work with strategies, essentially following the serial techniques in which his music has its roots, often tinkering for a long time and thoroughly with permutation of tones, instruments, volumes etc. until they finally come together. For this purpose, he develops his own radical gestures of persistence.


Urs Peter Schneider, ‘Getrost, ein leiser Abschied’ für zwei Traversflöten und Bassblockflöte, 2015

Radical persistence gestures

But it goes even further, as Schneider applies such strategies not only to tones, but also to words, graphics and theatrical actions, actually to almost everything that surrounds his work, including dates, or credits. The concert programmes are also composed – another important quality of Neue Horizonte. “The components of a performance relate, complement and comment each other in a sophisticated way”. Likewise, when books or CDs are published, his pieces are never loosely assembled, Schneider rather creates a new constellation for the entire oeuvre, being a strategist obsessed with order.

Urs Peter Schneider: meridian-1-atemwende ©aart-verlag

Every element is twisted and turned, in an ongoing discovery and invention of new processes. He can actually be defined as a process composer and thus very close to conceptual music, a genre he dedicated 2016 his book “Konzeptuelle Musik – Eine kommentierte Anthologie” to, which can be considered an exemplary and indispensable compendium.

The spontaneity of these open forms probably also acts as a corrective to strictness. Sometimes the liveliness and flexibility could get lost in these procedures and order might turn out to bury these aspects. But that is precisely when surprising things often occur. For Schneider’s work contains wit, even cheerfulness, in sometimes unusual places, other times with soothing self-irony.
Thomas Meyer

Hermann Meier, Stück für grosses Orchester und drei Klaviere, 1964, HMV 60 ©Privatbesitz

The “Focus Contemporary Zürich” festival will take place from November 27, to December 1: Tonhalle Zürich, Collegium Novum Zürich, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste and Musikpodium Zürich will jointly present a selection between of experimental creations and works by renowned masters in five concerts at venues such as “Tonhalle Maag”, “ZKO-Haus” or “Musikclub Mehrspur” of the “Zürcher Hochschule der Künste”.

Focus Contemporary Zürich, 27. 11.- 1. 12, concerts:
27.11., 20h ZHdK, Musikklub Mehrspur: Y-Band: Werke von Matthieu Shlomowitz, Alexander Schubert
28.11., 19:30h Musikpodium Zürich, ZKO-Haus: Urs Peter Schneider zum Achtzigsten: Werke von Urs Peter Schneider, Hermann Meier, Peter Streiff
29.11., 19:30h Tonhalle Orchester, Tonhalle Maag: Heinz Holliger zum Achtzigsten: Werke von Heinz Holliger und Bernd Alois Zimmermann
30.11., 20h Collegium Novum Zürich, Tonhalle Maag: Werke von Sergej Newski (UA), Heinz Holliger, Isabel Mundry und Mark Andre
1. 12., 11h ZHdK, Studierende der ZHdK: Werke von Heinz Holliger, Mauro Hertig, Karin Wetzel, Micha Seidenberg, Stephanie Haensler

Musikpodium ZürichAart-Verlag

Neo-profilesZürcher Hochschule der Künste, Collegium Novum Zürich, Urs Peter Schneider, Hermann Meier, Heinz HolligerPeter Streiff, Stephanie Haensler, Karin Wetzel, Gilles GrimaitreDominik Blum