1 - Fernando Garnero: Ojo de Buey (WP)
2 - Fernando Garnero: 5 portails pour le Vent du Sud
3 - Dragos Tara: Persona (WP)
4 - Antoine Chessex: DAMAGE IS DONE (WP)

In May 2013 the Ensemble Phoenix Basel developed a “joint venture” and conceptual concert with Ensemble “Vortex”, a collective in Geneva consisting of five musicians and five composers whose programs draw from electro-acoustic music and, in particular, the varied artistic directions of their international members.

The title, Ojo de Buey (“Bull's-eye” in spanish), chosen by the Geneva-based Argentinian composer Fernando Garnero is intended as more than a metaphor; it also describes the intention of the composer. As with the narrowed viewpoint, like that of a porthole in a ship's cabin (“Bullauge” in German), alongside the sea-creatures and other objects that attach to the ship, the project Ojo de Buey is brought together from three meta-objects, the totality of which one cannot fathom.

Cinq portails pour le vent du Sud is inspired by the work of Icelandic photographer Hreinn Friðfinnsson (*1943) that he completed in 1972 on the South Coast Islands. The piece focuses on fifteen images (fourteen of which are black-and-white) and a text, organized in six modules of one to four images each, framed by rectangles in successive horizontal and vertical positions.

The fourteen images depict gates built upon a hill, which open against the cliffs, steadily varying the focal point – with the sea or the coast in the background –, the magnitude, the distance – near and far – and the perspective.

Persona, by Dragos Tara (a Swiss composer of Romanian descent), is a small score with which the musicians “re-interpret” an electro-acoustic composition that is played over loudspeakers. Persona is inspired by a film of the same title by the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, in which two women gradually transform into the one person. The eletro-acoustic composition has a second title, “Vardøger”, referring to the spirit in Scandinavian mythology, through which individuals who are not yet born take on their form. In Persona the individuals coalesce into the one spirit that they are pursuing.

Swiss composer Antoine Chessex belongs to the small, inner circle of composers with whom the Ensemble Phoenix Basel have developed a regular working relationship. Damage is Done, for percussion and two instrumental trios, was written for percussionist Daniel Buess in 2014.

« Despite long time warning by some scientists, greed and ecological destruction are still the key words of the industrial societies living in the time of globalized markets. But as of today, one can be assured that this total disregard for nature and the ecosystems will drive us all against the wall in a very near future. The damage is done. »