22.8.2019, 20:00, BrickHouse, Hlubina Coal Mine
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Ostravská banda and soloists
Lilianna Krych, Petr Kotík, Conductors
Peter Ablinger: Black Series (2010-12)
Michal Wróblewski*: Malawi (2018)
Viacheslav Kyrylov*: softly say goodbye (2018)
Sean Kiley*: Ancient Cascades (2019)
M.O. Abbott*: Ascension Tube (2017)
Noemi Savková*: To Home (2019)
Steffi Weismann: Generation S (2018)
*residents of the Ostrava Days 2019 Institute
The opening event of the festival (The Past) will take place in a fitting setting: the newly renovated premises of the Hlubina Mine in the Dolní Vítkovice area. The 6pm concert presents important works from the year 1964. Composers Terry Riley and Robert Ashley had a fundamental influence on two generations of composers and musicians and inspired an entirely new way of making and listening to music. This music from 1964 (!), which, for Ostrava Days is a look into the past, would be a daring step into the future for most other Czech festivals. A glimpse of the future is offered in the second concert of the evening at 8pm, which presents compositions of student-residents – emerging composers who are part of the Ostrava Days Institute – as well as works by two well-known composers from Berlin: Steffi Weismann and Peter Ablinger.
Subject to change.
“Sounds are not sounds! They are here to distract the intellect and to soothe the senses. Not once is hearing ‘hearing’: hearing is that which creates me”. The composer Peter Ablinger (born in Schwanenstadt, Austria in 1959) is, as Christian Scheib once put it, a “mystic of enlightenment” whose “calls and litanies are aimed at cognition”. At the same time, the composer, who – after studying graphic arts – studied with Gösta Neuwirth and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, and since 1982 lives in Berlin, is also a sceptic who understands the cultural rules and (destructive) habits enforced by tradition: “So let us play further and say: sounds are here to hear (but not to be heard – that’s something else). And that hearing is here to be ceased (Das Hören ist da um aufzuhören). More I can’t say.”
Christian Baier (translated by Bill Dietz)
The Black Series goes back to a sketch from 2010, which was labeled as Suprematism for Rock Band. Suprematismis the term given by Kazimir Malevich to his abstract language of form. The 10 pieces of the Black Series, each lasting 1–4 minutes, were written for the clarinetist Gareth Davis and the Dutch noise rock band Julie Mittens. The titles of the 10 pieces include ALBERS,MALEWITCH (3 pieces), MONDRIAN (5 pieces) and REINHARDT. There are both graphic and audio scores for the pieces. The audio scores are built from sound samples of the Julie Mittens band, while the graphic scores depict screenshots of the multi-track view of each audio score. In this way, I hoped to share my concepts with the non-score-reading rock musicians. Interestingly – and quite unintentionally – one of the multitrack views itself reminds me of a late Mondrian.
Michal Wróblewski (1988) is a Czech composer and saxophone player based in Prague. He studied improvised music and jazz performance at Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU) and Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD degree in composition and composition theory at JAMU under the guidance of Jaroslav Šťastný. Wróblewski heads projects both in the Czech Republic and Norway, and has been collaborating with various musicians from all over the world as an improviser. In his compositions, he usually works with elements of improvisation and freedom of interpretation.
Malawi is inspired by the visits to several countries in Southern Africa as part of a concert tour which took place three years ago. This composition is a study of rhythmic structures and of different perceptions of rhythm within the scope of African musical traditions. It consists mainly of long cycles, which allow for internal rhythmic complexity without disrupting the feeling of fluidity.
Viacheslav Kyrylov was born in 1997 in Donetsk. In 2016 he graduated in flute from the B. Lyatoshynsky Secondary Music School in Kharkiv. At that time he was studying composition under Alexander Gugel. Currently, he graduated as a bachelor of composition at the Academy of Music in Kraków, under the guidance of Magdalena Długosz, and continues master studies in the same field. He participated in workshops with such composers as Gabriela Ortiz and Stefan Prins. He is interested in searching for new material contexts, coming from various genres of music, such as jazz, music of the Renaissance, romanticism or modernism. He is also interested in the philosophy of the 20th century.
softly say goodbye – This piece was composed in 2018 for amazing polish pianist Aleksandra Płaczek. There are two points of inspiration: the first one is Adorno’s Dialectic of Loneliness – part of Philosophy of new music, where Adorno has deep reflection on Arnold Schönberg’s Erwartung; and the second inspiration was a Chet Baker’s recording of the song The Thrill is Gone, written by Lew Brown and Ray Henderson. In my vision, narration of Schönberg’s expressionism language linked in some points with some Baker’s vocal interpretations, especially songs like My funny Valentine, I fall in love too easily, etc. softly say goodbye has 3 parts. In the first part of the piece I used music language of John Cage as a material which would create a feeling of expectation. In the middle part of the work performer is singing fragment of the song The Thrill is Gone at the same time playing sequence of jazz chords which aren’t linked harmonically with vocal material, making grotesque dissonance between those two lines of material. Finally, in the last part strong “hits” of diatonic clusters create an illusion of release for a while, but after two chromaticised “hits”, performer starts singing fragment of The Thrill is Gone again, what can be interpreted as irreversibility of loneliness.
DePaul University, Chicago – BM Composition, BS Sound Engineering
University of Victoria – MM Composition
“I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.”
ancient cascades – The score is open for any instruments that can glissando + piano. Players have a set of instructions and all have the same single page of music; they choose where to start and are also given optional pathways to move through the piece. What elusive harmonies will arise this time?
M.O. Abbott’s creative foci are computer-assisted algorithmic composition and just intonation. His music explores stochastic systems and novel generative forms, with an emphasis on aesthetic speculation. Abbott holds degrees from Eastman School of Music and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is now a DMA candidate conducting dissertation research on the Extended Helmholtz-Ellis JI Pitch Notation and the music of Marc Sabat. His principal composition instructors include Sever Tipei, Scott A. Wyatt, Brian Belet, and David Liptak.
The title Ascension Tubeoriginates from the TV show Galactica 1980. This spin-off of the original Battlestar Galactica first aired in early 1980 and lasted only 10 episodes before its poor reception led to its cancellation. It begins 5 years after the conclusion of the original series, with the Galactica arriving at present-day (c. 1980) Earth. Unlike the original series, most of the action in Galactica 1980occurs on Earth rather than in space. Crew members of the Galactica find Earth culture baffling, and they often use their own terminology to describe Earth phenomena. In Episode 8, The Night the Cylons Landed, Part II, Lieutenant Dillon uses the term “ascension tube” to refer to an ordinary elevator in a New York City skyscraper.
Noemi Savková is a young composer from Czech Republic. She is currently studing at Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU) with Ivo Medek. Savková has participated in courses for young composers in Hradec nad Moravicí, and in Trstěnice, where she focused on percussion instruments. Her compositions have been performed at JAMU, and a piece of her‘s for choir has been chosen for the competition Gymnasia Cantant. Her experimental music work focuses on acoustic instruments and the voice.
To Home– „Quo vadis?“ And what can you hear? This piece is based on the understanding of your surroundings, the velocity of movements and sounds that you hear when you go for a walk.
Steffi Weismann is a composer, performer and sound artist based in Berlin. After completing her studies at the Berlin University of the Arts she became a member of the vocal performance group Maulwerker, and has been performing experimental music internationally for many years. In addition to her solo performances, she has realized numerous interactive installations and audiovisual compositions for voices, objects and video. Weismann has received several scholarships and prizes and currently has a working stipend (Contemporary Music) from the Berlin Senate. Her works have been presented at HAU/Heroines of Sound Festival (Berlin), Performance Arcade (Wellington, NZ), Museum Serralves (Porto), Museumsquartier (Vienna), and ZKM/Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe). She is a member of the Errant Sound group – a sound art project space in Berlin.
Generation S (audiovisual composition for voice, objects, interviews, field recordings, live-microscope-cam and video projection) – How does a 10-year-old girl today imagine life on Earth in the future, and what image of nature do researchers who photographed the growth cycle of peas almost 100 years ago convey to us? The composition reflects the relationship between nature and technology over several generations. Acoustic spaces and specifically amplified sounds immerse us in an abstract microcosm, and yet remain close to our physical existence and perception. Weismann combines musical, visual and linguistic elements into an intermedial montage. The timing and development of the composition are characterized by unpredictable twists and sudden breaks. Sounds of amplified brain waves and electrostatically charged hair particles are part of performative musical actions with microphoned and microscopized objects. With her live voice, the performer creates laryngeal vibrations, breaths and hissing noises that create synergies between machine, creature and plant, and mix with field recordings and live sound materials.