Klangforum Wien performs Lim, Poppe and Lang

Klangforum Wien performs Lim, Poppe and Lang

In May, the renowned soloist ensemble Klangforum Wien is performing three premieres from the Ricordi repertoire. It starts with Liza Lim’s existentially moving Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus for 12 musicians, of which Klangforum Wien presented the world premiere on 29 April 2018 in Witten and, a week later, the Austrian premiere at the Vienna Konzerthaus. On 21 May, Klangforum travels to Prague with Enno Poppe’s Speicher I, acclaimed by press and public alike, as well as Monadologie XII by Bernhard Lang, a work for three solo instruments and ensemble, unmistakably influenced by jazz.

Picture of Klangforum Wien
Klangforum Wien

Lim, Liza: Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus (2018)

for twelve musicians - - pf - perc -
Duration: 38’
WP: 29.04.2018, Witten

Work commissioned for Klangforum Wien by Wittener Tage für
Neue Kammermusik & with the support of the APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund (Australia).
Dedicated to Ensemble Klangforum Wien.

Listen to the live recording online

About the work

»Every aesthetic trace, every footprint of an object, sparkles with absence. Sensual things are elegies to the disappearance of objects.«
Timothy Morton, Realist Magic

»The fairest order in the world is a heap of random sweepings.«

Vast conglomerations of plastic trash circulate in five gyres in the world’s ocean currents and are ground into toxic fragments that sediment on remote islands and within the fish we eat. Our every-day rubbish shelters hermit crabs even as acid waters dissolve their former shell habitations. Albatrosses scoop up meals of plastic packaging to feed their chicks that then choke and starve as they ingest this colourful non-food.
Like this plastic waste, all time and its traces are with us still, albeit in residual and pulverised states. I have made a music out of heterogeneous relics of the past – a coarse sampling of ‘extinction events’ ranging from the spectral echoes of a creaking 19th century in piano music ‘on an overgrown path’ (Janáček), to a faulty transcription of a recording of the last mating call ever heard of the now extinct Kauai O’o bird, to tracings of a star map that captured the Chinese southern night sky in the 9th century. These time-traces rub against each other in ever-degraded cycles. Fleeting repetitions are pulsations of disappearance and point to the uncertainties of human memory and its collapse in abject forgetting.
There is broken grandeur and there are attempts to sing. There is the uncanny dawn chorus of the fish-life that populates an endangered Australian coral reef. Time breathes out an improbable hope.

»How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea?«

Shakespeare, Sonnet No. 65

—Liza Lim, 2018

Enno Poppe: Speicher I (2009/10)

for large ensemble
2 (picc, 2bfl, afl).1 (eh).2 (2bcl). asax (ssax).1 (cbsn) - - 2perc - pf.acc -
Duration: 16'
WP:  25.4.2010, Witten

»In this major work he strives for nothing less than a delicate balance between the moment and the entirety. And he succeeded: both the entirety and every moment of it are full of richness.«
nmz (Gerhard R. Koch, November 2013)

Read more reviews here

About the work

Music, as an art form, is alive. Rules and laws of musical composition are there to be reflected, updated, substituted or disposed. It starts with the definition of ist smallest element: a note. Up to how much pitch variation is a note with vibrato still a single note? There is a continuum of events between vibrato, portamento, glissando and microtonal deviations. Nothing of this is covered by our music theory. Moreover, there is a barely researched relationship between tone and intonation about which performing musicians intuitively know much more than composers do, with their tendency towards taxonomy.
The Speicher project is a complex structure of variations and repetitions. Across all dimensions the elements are always in the same coherent relation. The very first viola notes (“evolving variation”) correlate exactly with the form on a small, middle and large scale. In order to move on and remain interesting, a musical piece, besides variety, needs something one can actually recognize. In that sense everything can be recognizable – an individual sound as much as a whole movement (as in a recapitulation). There is, therefore, no need to throw in idea after idea, but rather to create a network of derivations within music.

—Enno Poppe, 2013 (translated by Ricordi Berlin)

Bernhard Lang: Monadologie XII (2010)

for ensemble
cl.sax - tpt - 2perc - pf.acc - db
Duration: 40‘
WP: 10.08.2011, Bregenz

About the work

The Monadologies can perhaps most succinctly be characterized in the following points:

- They work with the tiniest initial cells as generators of the entire musical material.
- These initial cells are mainly samples from existing materials/pieces.
- The scores are produced through the use of cellular automata, thus are developed mechanically and themselves represent abstract machines in the Deleuzian sense.
- The cells pass through discrete states as complex differentials, thus exhibiting continuous muta-tions.

The twelfth piece in the Monadologie series again refers back to an initial text of my own composition: for the three solo instruments trumpet, saxophone and clarinet, I first wrote a free concert piece which I then atomized monadically by means of cellular automata and granulators. This process attempts to produce an analogy with the films of Raffael Montañez Ortíz, which demonstrate the destruction of found material by means of granular analysis.

The three movements of quite differing lengths tell a hidden story:
I.    Introduktion: The Ritual of Tearing out the Heart [~23’]
II.   Teil 2 : The Awakening [~8’]
III.  Teil 3: Sweet Revenge [~06:40’]

The piece was created in collaboration with Klangforum Wien.

—Bernhard Lang, 2011 (translated by Ricordi Berlin)

Picture of Monadologie XII WP by Bernhard Lang
World premiere of Monadologie XII, Bregenz 2011

Photos: Ricordi Berlin (Lim), Harald Hoffmann (Poppe, Lang), Lukas Beck (Klangforum Wien), Bregenzer Festspiele/andereart (Monadologie XII)