The uninterrupted and disorderly flow of data made us panic for just a moment.
We thought we had to emphatically put up a fight, to mimic high culture or what was believed to be such, to render the citadel impregnable.
On other days, humiliated by a columnist, we would invite people to a contemporary music concert with promises that sounded like a dentist’s promises:
”It won’t hurt, it won’t take long, there’ll be a DJ at 11 p.m.”.
But the new generation of composers does not take the same view,
and what they have to tell us considerably changes the general mood.
“Not without History”, is what we said in the 1980s.
“But not without the history of the avant-garde”, is what they say today.
So let a musical gathering be organised in a friendly atmosphere and without pomp,
let us ensure that a radical work or performance gives the listener food for thought,
let a musician’s body be struck by a spark of the New and let us ensure that the machine of desire is fired up again.
Neo-classical concertos will soon rot on their branch, you will see, just like all the things that everyone likes but nobody wants.
The sudden widening of the scope of concerts — to include sound art, new experimental instruments, pop lights — has given rise to controversies.
So let’s give the quarrels free rein and fight one another to test our nerves, then smoke a cigarette and fraternise:
in the meantime Stockhausen and Simon Steen-Andersen will have found a shared time-space continuum, which will seem perfectly habitable to them.
Enough of this futurology though!
Let’s get started.
LIQUID ROOM VIII : PHRASES
Kokoras, Perini, Steen-Andersen, Heidsieck, Hoffmann, Bernhard Lang, Filidei, Stangl, ...
Our Liquid Room series, conceived for the empty space of the Kaaitheater, has acquired something of a cult status. Each Liquid Room is a mini festival on various stage where music seeks points of convergence with other disciplines.
Liquid Room VIII explores a simple hypothesis: music is not only sound! Since the late seventies, the discourse and reflection on music has been dominated by the keyword sound, implying a focus on terms like texture, space, vibration, and deep listening. At the intersection of melody and rhythm, the keyword phrase opens up ways of thinking about things differently: music as a vital development of thought, constructed of impulses and accents, energetic circuits, movements, and agility. In Phrases, we bring together sound poetry, spoken word, modal music and a touch of animal virtuosity : grrrroaAAAaar!
Jorge León, Eva Reiter, Claron McFadden, George van Dam
Mitra is a hybrid project situated somewhere between opera, documentary cinema and installation.
In 60 minutes and on two screens, it presents the struggle of real individuals living in Iran and France, who are caught up in the psychiatric machinery. A woman and a few friends, fight together and from afar, through the unique power of words exchanged via email, to escape obliteration. Their truth, however, only finds its true expression when it’s turned into fiction and put to music.
The filmmaker Jorge León and composer Eva Reiter in search for new forms of presentation.
ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY : DER ZWERG (THE DWARF)
Franck Ollu, Daniel Jeanneteau, Mathias Vidal
Opulent and dark post- romantic music; a very young cast for a deeply cruel opera, after a short story by Oscar Wilde.
Daniel Jeanneteau, the scenographer:
Resembling a frivolous and charming divertissement at first, the register and theatricality of this opera suddenly changes along the way, to suddenly rush towards an exceptionally abrupt ending. Its opening resembles one of Velasquez’s court paintings and its end one of Goya’s dark paintings.
AMIR ELSAFFAR : INTERSTICES
Programme des Musiques Transculturelles, Royaumont
« The piece utilizes maqâm in polyphonic contexts, including harmonic structures, heterophony, and overlaying of melodies akin to counterpoint. The harmonic and melodic elements are microtonal, reaching beyond the limits of typical maqâm modulation practices toward new harmonies and microtonal resonances, often creating difference tones and pulsations. Emphasis is given to silences. » (Amir ElSaffar)
The precision of his phrasing, whether on trumpet or with his voice is enough to move the hardest of hearts.
SYMPOSIUM : SOUND AND PARTICIPATION
With QO2. Ghent & Brussels.
As an inherently relational phenomenon, sound has a privileged set of possibilities within so-called social practice. In or outside of musical structures, sound vibrates against the distinction between producer and consumer, between spaces of reception and spaces of action, between abstract and applied art. It exists in the necessarily public space between us. By acting in such a way, sound and music open themselves up to a wide range of ethical and political questions
Speakers : Bill Dietz, Manuela Naveau, Brandon LaBelle, Carolyn Chen, David Helbich, Tarek Atoui,
Frederic Leroy, Anna Raimondo, Felicity Ford, Care of editions, James Saunders
DONAUESCHINGEN : 4 WORLD PREMIERES
Francesca Verunelli, Hanna Eimermacher, James Saunders, Martin Schüttler
New works by four leading composers at the Donaueschinger Musiktage.
Martin Schüttler channels the autobiographical material of the performers into his composition;
Eimermacher makes full use of the defined length and breadth of the stage;
Verunelli’s composition is the equivalent of a battle between a flautist and a MIDI piano;
a study of reflexes, signals and responsiveness by James Saunders.
STOCKHAUSEN : 4 CONCERTS
Kontakte, Mikrophonie, Für Kommende Zeiten, etc
The man who preached a tabula rasa response – and his unfettered joy at leaving ‘an era of tasteless music’ behind him.
Four concerts (at Images Sonores in Liège and in the Bijloke in Ghent) offer a perfect opportunity to rediscover the extra-ordinary fusion in Kontakte,
relive the discovery of the microphone as a new instrument (Mikrophonie) and experience how Ictus interprets the text compositions of For Times to Come.
MORE INFO & MORE INFO
NOé SOULIER : SECOND QUARTET
Noé Soulier + Tom De Cock
A first collaboration with Noé Soulier: together with Tom De Cock, the choreographer constructed a percussion soundtrack that accentuates the tangents
between movements and phrasing in dance and in music.
Soulier (quoting Proust: « the most simple act or gesture remains enclosed as though in a thousand jars ») is more particularly interested in the « diffuse memory »:
movement as suggestion, evocation, unfulfilled, captured in a balanced way between memory and actual action.
Website of Noé Soulier
Hanna Eimermacher (Opéra de Lille)
It has become a contemporary obsession to making music with everything. Not any object is unworthy.
Human beings are the only ones who run the risk of not being alert or attentive enough.
A shell? Music. Crumpled paper? Music. And these three bottles? Music, music and yet more music:
we can caress them, or gently tap their translucent shell, or modulate our breath in their neck like one would with a flute.
By accompanying her trio of bottles with soft electronic music that evokes water, glass and light,
the composer Hanna Eimermacher delicately blurs the boundaries between "music" and "sound art".
Konzerthaus Wien: Klaus Lang, Pierluigi Billone, Eva Reiter, Marko Ciciliani
A chamber concert in Vienna: the mechanical top speed chases of Eva Reiter, who is always ahead of herself,
contrast beautifully with the horizontal time of Klaus Lang and Marko Ciciliani.
With ClubMed (Thomas Baeté) and Michaël Liberg
Ictus will accompany Thomas Baeté and his ClubMedieval in his interpretation of Paolo da Firenze’s music.
The main event, however, is the performance of Michaël Liberg’s new work, which is inspired by medieval modality and the electronic music of Brian Eno.
Liberg is a composer, singer and lute player for Jordi Savall and a Minimoogmusician on Sundays.
He also invented a stunning pipe dream of stringed-instrument fiction, called the ‘bowed cittern’.
Strauss, Zemlinsky, Mahler, Schnittke, Rihm (Opéra de Lille)
Amongst some post-romantic masterworks, we will discover Gustav Mahler’s rare Piano Quartet, composed by a sixteen-year-old genius, who was already inimitably himself. Until the Modernists are getting involved, and the situation becomes tense: Alfred Schnittke prided himself on having written the second movement of Mahler’s work from sketches, and the listener finds himself caught up in an infernal Hitchcockian game... Wolfgang Rihm's trio at it's turn is inspired by the music of Robert Schumann and, at this point, the concert turns into a nightmare.
Sanchez-Verdù, Lang, Gubaidulina (Opéra de Lille)
In this concert for a trio, the magic of the contemporary accordion is revealed.
Both a miniature organ and a wind instrument, the accordion is the instrument in which you hear the inhale and exhale better than in any medium; the rhythm of the breath that sculpts the musical phrase. José Maria Sanchez-Verdù, Klaus Lang and Sofia Gubaidulina excel in making you experience that great universal and timeless breathing, below their modern sounds.
For Kids Only. Alessandro Perini, Igor Stravinsky, Sofia Gubaidulina
At the Opéra de Lille.
PIERLUIGI BILLONE : OMON
Tom Pauwels, Yaron Deutsch (Brigittines)
A colossal wave of sound, the changing states of melting matter, an introspective journey into the realm of electric sound:
Omon for two electric guitars by Pierluigi Billone is a veritable, 80-minute tour de force.
SALVATORE SCIARRINO : flute and viola
Chryssi Dimitriou, Jeroen Robbrecht (Brigittines)
A collection of instrumental gems, composed of puffs of air, tongue clicks and sounds that are ‘erased’ by decency and distance,
that is bursting with vivid violence, making familiar instruments sound strange and otherworldly by using them in a different way than intended.
In the Nineties, Sciarrino’s music was performed everywhere. In hindsight, you also come to realise how well Sciarrino’s chamber music
has stood the test of time and influenced its era:
it’s like opening the sound archive of some imaginary tribe that was described by Henri Michaux.
SHOWS ON TOUR
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Gérard Grisey
Modesty aside: a timeless classic.
WORK TRAVAIL ARBEID
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Gérard Grisey
The choreography Vortex Temporum reimagined as an exhibition in Luxembourg and Berlin .
Eleanor Bauer, Chris Peck
‘You are swallowed up whole by this political black mass, by this ritual dance for the overwrought’,
Thomas Hahn wrote on the website Danser Canal Historique.
Maud Le Pladec, Michael Gordon
Maud Le Pladec’s UFO is still rotating in its electric night-blue vapour.
AN INDEX OF METALS
Fausto Romitelli, Paolo Pachini, Kenka Lekovitch
Romitelli’s star just keeps on rising: and we’ve only just started!
UN SACRE DU PRINTEMPS
Daniel Linehan, Igor Stravinsky
A breath of fresh air, according to Le Monde.
23 RUE COUPERIN
Karim Bel Kacem, Alain Franco
What do the composers Mozart, Debussy, Couperin, Gounod all have in common? They have all lent their name to one of the blocks of flats in the “Pigeonnier” suburb of Amiens, home to numerous riots in the 1990s. “The more shameful the building, the more famous the composer was it was named after...”
CONCERTS ON TOUR
Michael Levinas in Paris, Compiègne, Lyon
Somewhere in the middle between a Baroque suite and Ligeti’s polyphonic works, Levinas in his purest form: a marvellous ear (or an ear for the marvellous), historic anxiety and the most perfect extravagance.
DARKER THAN BLACK
Reiter, Pauwels, Dlouhy
Viola da gamba, guitars and voices: a patchwork of tormented and delightful miniatures, composed of Elizabethan and contemporary music.
SONGS OF DESPAIR AND HOPE
Georges Crumb, Henry Cowell | Brueggergosmann, Octors, Fafchamps
George Crumb’s vast American Songbooks reflect his ambition to create an archive of American culture through its music.
In Songs of Despair and Hope, the composer has arranged and harmonised a series of African-American spirituals.
Welcome also to the subl@°!°@ime soprano Measha Brueggergosman
A RAINBOW IN CURVED AIR
A lush, swirling texture of keyboard and guitar loops, inspired by the idea of the magical number seven,
in a new version with trumpet that is even more psychedelic than before.
Our post-master’s programme in contemporary music, organised jointly with the School of Arts Ghent and Spectra Ensemble, continues. It is geared both towards individual projects and the building of an ensemble, the Ghent Advanced Master Ensemble (GAME).
We extend a warm welcome to the class of 17/18: Elliott Harrison (percussion), Teresa Doblinger (clarinet), Maria Dominguez Perez and Catherina Roberti (piano), Ward Ginneberge, (accordion), Clara Levy (violin), Anne Zeuwts (harp)...
... and wish their second-year comrades a successful year: Kaja Farszky (percussion), Quentin Meurisse (piano), Erika Vega and Nina Fukuoka (composition), Ana Filipa Botelho (clarinet), Carlo Siega (guitar) and Amaury Geens (saxophone).
We hope they are all ready for a year of study and prospection that includes collaborations with P.A.R.T.S., a symposium titled Sound & Participation, an extended improv session, the production of an opera by Tim Parkinson, projects around composers such as Hugues Dufourt, François Sarhan and choreographers as Heine Avdal and Yukiko Shinozaki, and much more.
Hope to see you around !
Jean-Luc Plouvier | Tom De Cock | Tom Pauwels