Into the new World
Composition Cycle on the topic of Climate Change
Art can open doors that remain closed to other disciplines; Contemporary electroacoustic music should contribute to sharpening awareness of climate change. The four part composition cycle Into the new world illuminates the problems of global warming musically and in terms of content. The pieces examine how non-musical events such as climate change manifest themselves in a sonic language.
The second part of the climate cycle is finished. The composition includes a string quartet and again: fixed media electronics. With its 8 voices, the music is telling a story of crackling, creaking, croaning, bursting, and melting ice with its noisy struggle for survival...
The many hours I spend on this Composition were only possible through a generous funding by the city of Vienna (STADT WIEN KULTUR). Due to the pandemic the premiere of the piece is unsure although I really hope that it's gonna be happening this year (w/ Part I: Visby).
Due to the Covid-19 Outbreak the premiere of VISBY had to be postponed. Yet some words and a short snippet from the first part of the climate cycle.
Each piece of the four-part composition cycle takes place in another part of the world and includes it thematically. The first composition of this series is my work "Visby", named after the Swedish city of the same name on the west coast of Gotland. In February 2020, I was invited to a residency at the Center for Composers (VICC) and, in close examination of the social and historical context of the city, I composed a 20-minute work for electronics and viola (in 3 parts) on the subject of water. The first part, “water music”, describes different possibilities and facets of water movements, described through delicate spatialization on the 4-channel system. The viola fills several buffers with sonic material in order to emulate the raging sound of the high seas. The electronics give the impression that you find yourself on a swaying boat on a stormy sea. With the help of musical means, natural phenomena can be imitated and experienced in a new way.
The starting point of the second part of Visby is an auditory walk through the Hanseatic city of Visby. Due to its location by the sea, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is increasingly threatened by the rise in water levels caused by global warming. On site I was able to make numerous audio recordings of the wind and the sea. The special architecture, the missing windows of the numerous ruins paired with the strong sea wind create different filters of the existing soundscape. In this way, they blend into a soundscape that points to the historical dimension of climate change and, in the memory of the city's early days, builds a bridge to current events and challenges.
The third and last part of the composition is written for viola solo and is inspired by a mythical creature from Old Northern folklore and poetry: "the Näcken". A water spirit that appears in many forms and represents the dangers of water. In the stories, the Näcken tries to lure his victims into the water to drown them. His beautiful voice and his supernatural talent to play the fidel serve as an attractant. Nordic folkloric music was rarely recorded and was not pressed into (well-tempered) sound systems, which results in a balanced microtonality. In the third part, I made use of this extraordinary musical language and at the same time thematically examined how folklore passed environmental knowledge and what significance it has for local practices.