I call MAYA an opera because it was born from the spirit of opera. Escaping into a parallel art world, the overpowering strategies in the music, the longing for redemption: in this I see parallels to the techno movement of the early 1990’s. In the ruins of the combined heat and power plant Munich-Aubing some of the first raves took place, long before commercialisation destroyed the original spirit of Tekkno.
As such, MAYA is a reflection on techno and opera. This idea is condensed to its essence in the work of London pianist Leon Michener aka Klavikon. He plays techno on the prepared piano – without sequencers, without synthesizers, without samplers – and transforms himself into the machine that drives the beat forward. In this video, he gives an insight into how he does it:
I am very happy to have won him over for the MAYA project. His music and approach form the core of the evening.
In addition to Klavikon, sounds and loops are played by the Los Angeles-based synth programmer and film composer Jörg Hüttner and sound and music designer Björn Eichelbaum.
Anton Kaun aka Rumpeln, a musician living in Munich, is one of the most prominent representatives of the international noise scene. His specialty are children’s toys, from which he distills the most wonderful crackling, roaring, rumbling and, above all, loud noises. A musical ruin, listen here:
The collaboration with all four of them is done in such a way that they either create sounds suitable for a track I have composed, or I sample and remix their talents and form the music from them.
The figure of the Maya is represented by the singer Martina Koppelstetter. She is not only a wonderful alto, but also a great actress. In MAYA she will not only sing, but also speak, dance, sleep, move, scream, get excited, silenced, snore … in short: use all the possibilities of playful expression. See Martina Koppelstetter here in the character of VIOLA (more about VIOLA here: https://mathis-nitschke.com/en/viola/)
During the piece, she is repeatedly called by a choir of creatures from the digital world, recorded by the 16- and 17-year-old singers Michelle Friedrich and Miriam Hampe. Voices from the intermediate realm between childhood and adulthood.
On top of the ovens (as seen in the photo above) the musicians of the string trio TrioCoriolis sit. They not only accompany the singer like an orchestra, but also play three solos as interludes. In addition to Domenico Gabrielli’s “Ricercare No. 7” for cello solo (Hanno Simons), you will hear the original composition of the violist KP Werani “Room 3”.
Minimal music is often cited as an important inspiration for the techno movement. As a reference to this, Thomas Hofer will play Steve Reich’s iconic piece “Violin Phase” for violin solo and tape at a central moment of the evening. In a choreography by Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker you can hear/see the piece here: