Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra at Berghain / Wednesday 04.09.2019
“Neue Orchesterformen II/III”: Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra announces first-ever Berghain performance – coming up September 4, 2019 ++ All-new audiovisual, immersive live show conceptualized with mixed media artist Timur Novikov.
Following the recent kickoff event “Neue Orchesterformen I/III”, Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra (AMEO) announces another brand-new live show for the series’ upcoming second installment – the ensemble’s first-ever live show at Berghain: On September 4, 2019, the 18-piece orchestra will turn the legendary Berlin club into a “multidimensional, organic, psychedelic sea of light and sound”. The group’s debut audiovisual performance, the result of an ongoing, close collaboration with Russian-born mixed media artist Timur Novikov, focuses on synesthesia and pure, unfiltered sensation – a true marriage of sonic and visual elements.
Over the course of the last 12 months, orchestra leader Glatzel has been working closely with the AMEO ensemble to write and create the new program, which now will see its premiere at Heimathafen Neukölln. It’s a program that boasts a plethora of new elements and sees AMEO continuously veer into new stylistic directions. Whereas the orchestra’s previous material was often characterized by its awe-inspiring complexity (meticulously noted), its rapid changes and intricate, extremely dense writing, the upcoming pieces zoom in on different aspects – for example by adding more transparent arrangements and unusual instrumentation (e.g. four flutes in different pitches) to AMEO’s signature sound. Eager to recreate sound effects that normally come from electronic devices, the musicians also incorporate various brand-new playing techniques to stunning effect.
“More than ever, we’re going to play with different timbres and textures, their combinations, their connotations and potentials; we want to use them as an improvisational means of expression,” Glatzel explains. “Regarding the overall flow of these new pieces, we strive for organic forms and lots of room for flexibility.”
The core idea that underlies this new production, which will later see its release as an album, was the following question: How is it possible for a larger, heterogeneous group to harmonize and to spontaneously create music that retains a clear outline (form) and yet leaves sufficient freedom for improvised creativity? In search of an answer, the collective writing process, leading to flexibility in design, became an essential aspect of the new repertoire. The ultimate goal was to create a balance between composition and both collective and individual freedom for creativity. Of course, AMEO’s 18 members have always made substantial contributions to the ensemble’s unmistakable sound – but this time around, they have even more creative control, even more responsibility. The new scores leave more room for spontaneity and imagination, albeit within certain predefined limits, such as pictorial playing instructions for each given sound material. Accordingly, each player has the ability to provide new impulses to the piece. “Think of it like a map with certain stages marked; those are the places we want to reach,” says Glatzel. “And yet, there’s no planned route between these places.”
Paying attention to the structure, and using improvisation as an essential part of each new piece obviously makes for much more exciting and surprising live-shows. Each performance of the new program won’t just sound slightly altered, but entirely different. Musicians with a background in jazz and improvisation are obviously no strangers to this approach; yet, said groups often tend to perform with less vigor, less playfulness if their individual parts are reduced to smaller roles. That said, pretty much the opposite is generally the case for musicians working in the fields of classical and new music. “In my opinion, a lot of the cross-genre pollination that people love to talk about is still, in fact, uncharted territory,” states Glatzel. “For the past 12 years, we’ve been working non-stop to break down the old ways of thinking, to open up new perspectives – both for us and for our audience.”
Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra
Wednesday, 4th September 2019 | 20:30 CET
Berghain | Am Wriezener Bahnhof | 10243 Berlin/Friedrichshain