Forum für zeitgenössische Musik – chiffren: American Mavericks

Forum für zeitgenössische Musik – chiffren, Kiel, Germany

At its fifth Biennale the Schleswig-Holstein music project chiffren brings a wide spectrum of New Music and a variety of top notch musicians and ensembles together in Kiel. In 2014 the motto for this internationally oriented festival with a focus on Scandinavia is “paints and brushes”. Deriving from a quote by Harry Partch, the composer compares composition to painting. In the same way that in painting each picture is different depending on the medium and the brush so too in music the choice of instrument and composition method affects the musical work. The Biennale’s extraordinary festival program reflects this musical diversity. The concert K2 by Ensemble musikFabrik / Nancarrow on February 21, 2104 is the main event at this, the 5th edition of Biennale chiffren. kieler tage für neue musik. Entitled "American Mavericks" it is divided into three parts each of which is dedicated to one of the key outsiders in American music: Harry Partch, Conlon Nancarrow and Frank Zappa. Furthermore, it will now also be possible to hear the body of instruments invented by Harry Partch and rebuilt by Ensemble musikFabrik in Germany for the first time at the performance of the work And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma. Edu Haubensak describes this work as the composer’s greatest instrumental masterpiece. Ensemble musikFabrik will also present treatments of Frank Zappa numbers for large orchestra and band. “Studies” by Conlon Nancarrow for mechanical piano forms another part of the concert. It has in fact been possible to obtain the mechanical piano from the widow of the deceased Dr. Jürgen Hocker for this performance. Six pieces from the original rolls of music will be played. These pieces of music allow us to trace Nancarrow’s development from his initial boogie (study 3a) through to purely structurally designed works. These latter works display extraordinary tempus and great complexity (study 21) – indeed of a level they could never be achieved by a pianist. The mechanical performance will be viewable live. 

February 21, 2014 
Halle 400, Kiel, Germany 

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