What constitutes a Generation? How is an artistic heritage passed on? And does it in this case even make sense to talk about an heritage? These are the questions that forms the basis for the concert “Nach Kagel” (”After Kagel”). Kontraklang presents two generation of composers that somehow walk in the footsteps, ore relate to Mauricio Kagels musical experiments: the generation of Kagel-students in Köln, represented by Chris Newman and Manos Tsangaris, as well as the young generation composers who studied with among others Tsangaris in Dresden – Barblina Meierhans, Neele Hülcker und Nicolas Kuhn.
Mauricio Kagel is considered one of the most important musical innovators of the post-war era. To the avantgardes search for continuous “expansion of the musical material” Kagel added the gestural, the visual as a compositional ingredient, which was soon to be called “instrumental theatre”, something which developed almost to a genre of its own, although strongly connected to Kagel, as well as also to Dieter Schnebel, an important composer in the same kind of expanded field as Kagel as well as proponent of Kagels music and ideas.
Kagel also explored the areas of sound installation, radio art/hörspiel, highly conceptual music as well as using other media like film in his works, making him also a pioneer in intermedia art.
The heritage of Kagel upon younger generations can maybe best be seen among those students he had as a professor at the conservatory in Köln around 1980. To his classes, students with a certain interest in the intermedial aspect of new music were drawn, as Manos Tsangaris, Chris Newman, Carola Bauckholt. All these composers have in different way explored aspects of “visual” or “theatrical” music, in works which are integrating film, performance, as well as purely acoustical pieces using “only” classical instruments. Another aspect is the performative aspect, something which today often goes under the term “composer-performer”, where the composers also to different degrees are performing pieces by themselves.
At Kontraklang’s concert. Chris Newman will himself perform a couple of his songs, while two of his piano sonatas are performed by the pianist Mikhail Mordvinov. Tsangaris are presented by two works: So Low for kontrabassklarinette and “darsteller”, a piece which was composed during his student years by Kagel, and the relatively recent Viscum Album for accordeon. Manos Tsangaris is himself composition professor in Dresden, where several composers in the generation born in the 80s with an interest towards the Kagel/Tsangaris generations interest in expanded music have been drawn.
Of the 80s generation we are presenting works by Barblina Meierhans, Nicolas Kuhn and Neele Hülcker. Given their interest and common teachers there might come as no surprise that they are all performing themselves at the concert. They all perform in Meierhans work Ähm Me, Hm [I], And M, a “Versuchsanordnung für vier Sprechende”, Kuhn is also participating as the “Darsteller” in Tsangaris So Low, and Hülcker is the performer in her work Copy Me #2, for voice, electronics and real time video. Hülckers, who often uses aspect of autobiography in her work, is in her piece using recording she did of her own voice as a child, which she is now investigating as an adult and composer-performer.
By presenting two groups of composers who can be related directly or indirectly to Mauricio Kagel, Kontraklang is on the one hand trying to investigate the heritage of the pioneering intermedia composer Mauricio Kagel; what is new, what has changed, and how are these later generations of composers handling aspects of “expanded music” in an era when medialisation of music is ubiquitous. While at the same time, by presenting these student of Kagel and “students-of-students”, we are posing the question what it means to be “a generation”, what similar and differences there might be.
This event is presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.
NACH KAGEL w/ Mikhail Mordvinov, Chris Newman, Nicolas Kuhn, Dorrit Bauerecker, Theo Nabicht, Neele Hülcker
Thursday, 15th December 2016 | 20:00 CET
Heimathafen Neukölln | Karl-Marx-Straße 141 | 12043 Berlin/Neukölln