28 Nov 2009

Composing in a bi-cultural environment - a European composer and the gamelan experience

Abstract After years of dominance of post-Adornoist historicism - "…The rules are not created arbitrarily. They are configurations of the historic pressure of the musical material…"(Adorno on Schönberg's dodecaphony, in: "Philosophie der neuen Musik", Frankfurt 1958, page 61) - the time has come to acknowledge other "pressures" with a more spacial character. In this realm, Indonesian gamelan music has increasingly played a significant role for Western composers since the late 19th century in various ways. 
Yet, my personal occupation with another culture or its respective forms of musical expression has never sprung from being fed up with the European world, and therefore has also never been a form of escape. My occupation has also nothing to do with the search for new kicks or as it was polemically formulated by Helmut Lachenmann, the search for "non-European fresh meat". My interest was based exclusively on a genuine curiousness, to learn about the life, mentality and thought of other people in order to learn for the sake of learning.
However, to learn something has nothing to do with a false compensation for various artistic shortcomings. Since my creative beginnings, it was self-evident for me that historical responsibility could not be the sole measure for my artistic and cultural orientation. Moreover I am convinced that the occupation with the present is of utmost importance, especially in a time of potential globally disseminated simplifications and superficialities. 

1 Nov 2009

Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival 09

The 1st KL Contemporary Music Festival 09 is organised by Goethe-Institut Malaysia and the Malaysian Composers Collective, together with event co-organiser SEGi College Subang Jaya, to be held in Kuala Lumpur from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 November 2009.

The festival, with this year's theme of Urban Soundscapes, will bring together the best of Malaysian and South East Asian contemporary music at nightly concerts by Ensemble Mosaik and Hong Kong New Music Ensemble.

The weekend programme of evening concerts will be held at Segi College University Kota Damansara Auditorium A, with a special Alternative Avant Garde electroacoustic concert at the Central Market Annexe by HKNME and guest musicians. These concerts will explore how composers respond to the festival theme of city life with its many facets and issues.

The Festival also includes the Asian Composers' Conference with talks by invited regional composers such as Dr Anothai Nitibhon (Thailand), Dr Hoh Chung Shih (Spore), Dr Jonas Baes (Philippines), Prof Slamet Sjukur (Indonesia), Prof Dieter Mack (Germany) and more.

KLCMF 09 represents the first regional contemporary music festival of its kind in Malaysia and the premiere contemporary music event of the year. It serves as a platform where Malaysian and South East Asian composers can meet, exchange ideas and celebrate our region's rich musical talent.

Malaysian premieres since 1995

Here is a roundup of premieres of Malaysian works at home and abroad. Since the mid-90s Malaysian works have been performed largely abroad...

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