1 - Anthony Pateras: Lines (WP)

2 - Michael Maierhof: Zonen 5 (SFP)

3 - Burkhard Friedrich: Flug P (WP) 


The piece by Australian composer Anthony Pateras was written in 2009 for “Ensemble  Intégrales”. Lines was composed for a “mixed and amplified sextet”, in which the electronics play the role of a sixth instrument. The European scene has been aware of Pateras as a pianist, performer, and “style-mixer” for some time; he was a guest in Basel in 2009 on one of his numerous european tours. The German composer, Michael Maierhof, composed Zonen 5 for a concert with Ensemble Phoenix Basel in the festival “20 Jahre Verein allerArt Bludenz 2008” based on the festival's theme: horror vacui. In this piece, the flute, clarinet, cello, and bass are played using a small mechanical “splitter”, which breaks up the instrumental sounds. The percussionist circles upon surfaces of glass and plexiglass, both violins split their tones using an “undertone” technique. A massive, high-frequency sound-world is established, which periodically integrates long pauses. The instruments are distributed throughout the audience so that the sound-splitting results in “sound-particles” that can fly back and forth across the room. In the middle of Flug P, by Burkhard Friedrich (born in Berlin), the modern method of interpreting a score comes into question (specifically: the ensemble's interpretation of one page of the score) as does the classical means of presentation within a concert. In his search for other forms of performance, Friedrich orients himself on the “soft-music” group “Musak” who have managed to perpetually fill public spaces with sound. The sound samples are always the same and are never disturbing, in fact, they seem to be conducive and subversive to shopping and relaxation. Normally, the same thing occurs in the concert hall, except that the “wellness-factor” is paid for and music-making occurs live. Even within the genre of new music it seems that consumer trends are becoming more predictable; one is accustomed to hearing previously unheard sounds, which are then catalogued among other personal experiences, in order that they can then call themselves informed music afficionados. The question remains, what is it that moves us: Is it the live experience, or are there in fact “canned” sounds that can penetrate the soul?