greetings from Neubrandenburg. Together with 9 young musicians from Romania, Lithuania, Egypt, Austria, Luxembourg and Germany, all of them on the threshold between winning competitions and professional careers, I am working on a concert very close to the audience, which we will present on the
Saturday 31.7.2021, 11:30
at the Detect Classic Festival in Neubrandenburg
on the grounds of the airport Trollenhagen. The idea of the music festival is as sympathetic as it is grandiose:
“On a weekend in summer, we land in the middle of the sound of a symphony orchestra, enjoy live music and take off at night in the light and fog of electronic music. We explore classical and ambient, electronic and contemporary, avant-garde, beats, rhythm, room acoustics and blur boundaries between club and concert hall.”
The initiative for our concert project, with which we will be guests at the festival, comes from the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth EMCY. For more than 50 years, EMCY has not only been organizing competitions throughout Europe, but has also been linking their young graduates with each other and providing them with new perspectives on making and performing music in special projects.
For me, this project marks my debut as a concert designer, taking a collaborative approach from the start. In several online calls since April, we have used various techniques from design thinking to jointly develop not only a concert program but also a staging method in which each individual can find their own contribution – and thus themselves.
We will use the lounge on the festival grounds, an open tepee equipped with hammocks and couches, to facilitate an atmosphere of relaxed discovery and listening. There is no central stage, but the musicians in variable lineups will appear in ever-changing places inside and outside the audience.
The title for the concert is our main work “Pulau Dewata” by Claude Vivier, in English “The Island of the Gods”. Inspired by Balinese gamelan music, the piece is composed without predetermined orchestration. I resist my impulse to create an arrangement and trust the collective here as well: in the next few days we will develop the orchestration together.
In addition to Vivier, we play “Reflected” by Manuela Kerer, a piece that reacts directly to the audience in terms of sound and thus actively involves the listeners in the musical events. Every morning before the rehearsal, I use the opportunity to do “Ear Cleaning” with the group, with listening exercises by R. Murray Schafer.
The concert ranges from violin duets by Luciano Berio to Bulgarian Racheniza to musical; always surprising, touching, inspiring.
Touching the soul has future!
One of my most striking memories from my younger years is this sentence from a conversation with a Russian physicist in the evening over one too many beers. As silly as this sentence actually is, it comes to my mind again and again. Especially on days like today, when I hear enthusiastic young musicians playing live(!) and I get goose bumps.
It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced that.
We are all already looking with concern to the coming autumn and thus to a further future in which no souls will be touched. I would therefore like to join the call of the Munich Chamber Orchestra:
“We can all contribute together to ensure that concert operations can take place without restrictions as far as possible. Appeals to politicians alone will not be enough. If as many of us as possible get vaccinated, we increase the likelihood that the pandemic will be manageable – and at the same time the chance of the fulfilling and enriching concerts we all want.”
And my next newsletter will be shorter again, I promise.
P.S.: See and hear Maxim Tzekov and Arthur Possig here at the first audition for the Racheniza: https://vimeo.com/579183629/c927b831cf