Harry Partch

Profile

around the Western states during the years of the Great Depression, he kept a diary which was published posthumously under the title Bitter Music. Partch was a self-taught composer, who worked with natural tunings, from before equal temperament systems, and the physical aspects of music – he wanted to make 'corporeal' music, music which is best equipped to release its emotion. Partch discarded Western octaves and techniques, designing his own complex tonal system and instruments. From the 1930's onwards, he developed various string and percussion instruments as well as a harmonium, which did not only look unique, but were also given exotic names such as Zymo-Xyl, Boo, Gubagubi en Chrychord. His compositions combine American folklore, African and Oriental literature, and mystical and pre-Christian magical thoughts, laced with parody, satire, studied naivety, and irony. His works received wide attention only late in his life, largely as a result of a performance of Delusion of the Fury in 1969. Other works include the cycle The Wayward and And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma. Most of Partch's works are made for the theatre and constructed so that the musicians and the instruments are integral to the staging: the instruments look fantastic and the musicians play from memory; the theatrical effect partly derives directly from the production of the music. Heiner Goebbels (1952) is a German composer and director. From 1971 to 1978 he studied sociology and music in Frankfurt. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Sogenanntes Linksradikales Blasorchester (So-called Left Radical Brass Band). He made experimental (pop) music as a member of the duo Goebbels/Harth (1975-1988) and the art rock trio Cassiber (1982-1992), and he has composed for film and the theatre. From the 1980's onwards he produced a number of award-winning radio plays, most of them written by Heiner Müller. He also developed the genre of the 'staged concert' with works including The man in the elevator (1987) and The liberation of Prometheus (1993). In the 1990's he started creating works for music theatre, including Ou bien le débarquement désastreux (1993), Die Wiederholung (1995), Eislermaterial (1998), Landscape with distant relatives (2002), Stifters Dinge (2007) and Songs of Wars I have seen (2007). Goebbels' work has been performed by the Ensemble Modern, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, London Sinfonietta and the Berliner Philharmoniker. He created various sound installations, for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and other museums. He was awarded many honorary doctorates and scholarships and received many international prizes, including the Prix Italia, the European Theatre Prize and the International Ibsen Award (2012). Goebbels was resident composer at the Luzern Festival in 2003 and at the Bochumer Symphonikern in 2003-2004. He is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and heads up the theatre institute of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. Since 2006 he has been the director of the Hessische Theateracademie and in 2010 he was made general director of the Ruhrtriennale 2012-2014. In March 2014 Goebbels was 'artiste invité' at the festival Biennale Musiques en Scène in Lyon. Based in Cologne, Ensemble musikFabrik is regarded as one of the leading ensembles for contemporary music. musikFabrik was founded in 1990, debuting in 1991 under the name Ensemble Neue Musik Nordrhein-Westfalen at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. A special feature of the ensemble is that since 1997 it has had no leader, operating on the basis of the principles of grassroots democracy. musikFabrik's mission is to play relatively unknown and new compositions, often commissioned by the ensemble itself. Rather than given a straight interpretation, these works are further developed and adapted by the ensemble's musicians, in close collaboration with the director and especially the composer. In its relatively short history, musikFabrik has built solid collaborations with leading figures in contemporary music, including Louis Andriessen, Stefan Asbury, Richard Ayres, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Peter Eötvös, Vinko Globokar, Heiner Goebbels, Toshio Hosokawa, Nicolaus A. Huber, Mauricio Kagel, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, Diego Masson, Martin Matalon, Zsolt Nagy, Emmanuel Nunes, Henri Pousseur, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sasha Waltz, James Wood and Hans Zender. The ensemble play their repertoire in eighty to ninety concerts each year, both in Germany and abroad; they have had their own series of world premieres on public German TV channel WDR. By means of interdisciplinary projects incorporating live electronics, dance, theatre, film, literature and visual arts, the ensemble widens the usual scope of the conducted ensemble concert, as well as through chamber music, discussion concerts and improvisations. All of which confirms that the ensemble musikFabrik is as open as its mission suggests, i.e. to play music which does not yet exist.