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Three Commissions

Berliner Festspiele / Festival MaerzMusik (DE)

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE RADICAL OTHER is a two-year interdisciplinary project that tells the story of the Polish-American composer, inventor, poet, teacher and philosopher Lucia Dlugoszewski (1931-2000). It is about contemplation and speculation, but also about radical upheavals. In the course of her career and life, Dlugoszewski invented over 100 instruments, wrote poems and prose texts, and her work includes not only musical scores, but also graphic notations and paintings. She composed works for ensembles, orchestras and dance music and was one of the most important members of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company (New York). She studied composition with Edgard Varèse, briefly with John Cage, and piano with Grete Sultan. Dlugoszewski was also one of the pioneers of working with prepared piano and invented the so-called "timbre piano", not an independent instrument, but a piano with fixed and movable preparations, inside piano techniques, resonances and pedal techniques. This project is a paradigm shift in terms of how history is told and shaped and how we can reorient ourselves within it. It is an attempt to engage in a different kind of storytelling to share and experience a forgotten memory. It is necessary to take the time to revive the works of those who have fallen out of sight, whose work has been condemned as not serious enough, who live in the shadows, in the footnotes and anecdotes of history, and are not programmed by contemporary music festivals in this day and age.

To this end, the MaerzMusik festival invites ensembles, musicians, composers, instrument makers and musicologists to take part in an extended research project that will shed new light on Dlugoszeweki's work through a series of concerts, workshops and sound installations. A particularly important part of the project are three commissioned compositions by young composers Elena Rykova, Mazyar Kashian and Bethan Morgan-Williams, which will be developed in collaboration with Ensemble Musikfabrik to explore the sound qualities of Dlugoszewski's replica percussion instruments, but also to draw inspiration from their compositional techniques and sound world. The composers were invited to relate, respond and create works that serve as a cross-generational sonic and musical conversation between the static archive of Dlugoszewski's unexplored music and its relationship to their musical language. Composers Elena Rykova and Bethan Morgan Williams draw on the sound world of Lucia Dlugoszewski, focusing on the use of instruments that Dlugoszewski invented – the timbre piano and numerous percussion instruments. The composer Mazyar Kashian is inspired by Dlugoszewski's compositional style and works with four brass instruments on contrasts, between heterogeneity and unity. The three commissions to Elena Rykova, Mazyar Kashian and Bethan Morgan-Williams for MaerzMusik are made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Further information:


March 20, 2024
Radialsystem Berlin
(UA Mazyar Kashian and Bethan Morgan-Williams)

March 24, 2024
Haus der Berliner Festspiele
(UA Elena Rykova)