We are happy to welcome Romanian composers Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram along with their own Hyperion Ensemble and guitarist Stephen O’Malley for the performance of works for computer sounds and live instruments.
CTM’s presentation of Dumitrescu and Avram continues the festival’s tradition of celebrating international pioneers in experimental and electronic music. The two have long acted as central figures in the spectralist movement in contemporary composition. As opposed to the French structuralist spectralism marked by the work of Gerard Grisey or Tristan Murail, ‘transformational’, ‘acousmatic’, or ‘hyper-’spectralism emphasizes the shift to a cooperative, non-hierarchical process shared between composer, performer and living sound. While both spectral traditions honour timbre as a central element of structure or language, the branch of spectralism promulgated by Dumitrescu and Avram believes in the phenomenological, dynamic presence of sound, and in composition as an experience of constant change rather than as a contained, pre-formatted object. According to these thinkers, sound has its own rules, and, when given attention, dictates both direction and movement. In the sense that a departure from the idea of ego-driven human ‘moulding’ of music is a trajectory into a new territory, Hyperion and its leaders contribute fundamentally to the festival’s theme.
Ana-Maria Avram, Ambiguations/Collisions for two bass clarinets (Y. Silver/T Hodgkinson)
Ana-Maria Avram, Heteromorphies for ensemble
Ana-Maria Avram, Murmur for ensemble
Ana-Maria Avram, Cosmic signals for ensemble, e-guitar and computer sources
Iancu Dumitrescu, Quasars' Birth
Iancu Dumitrescu, Galaxy Collisions
Iancu Dumitrescu, Red Shift
Iancu Dumitrescu, Distant Supernova
The Hyperion Ensemble was founded in 1976 in Bucharest with the intention of exploring connections between archaic Romanian folk music—Byzantine music, folk traditions collected by Bartok, etc.—and contemporary avant-garde composition. In effect, the ensemble has become known for its performances of the music of Dumitrescu and Avram, who compose both individually and collaboratively and explore precisely those relationships (i.e., between the antediluvian and the new). Although the ensemble has undergone transformations in personnel since its early days, it has remained consistent in philosophy and intention. Its many members come from seven different countries, including Romania, Israel, the U.K, the U.S., France, and Germany. They are:
Stephen O’Malley (guitar)
Tim Hodgkinson (clarinet, bass clarinet)
Yoni Silver (bass clarinet, violin)
Diana Miron and Tijana Stankovic (violin)
Zsolt Sores (viola)
Albert Markos (cello)
Andrei Kivu (cello, flute, tuba, trumpet)
Larrentiu Cotac and Shmil Frankel (double bass)
Colin Hacklander and Eduard Gabia (percussion)
Catalin Matei and Gili Mocanu (electronics).
Sunn O))) co-founder and all-around musical trailblazer Stephen O’Malley appears as a special guest soloist with the ensemble, and also gives a special solo guitar performance as part of the evening. O’Malley’s work is defined by its remarkable breadth and variety and has been marked by joint efforts with a wide range of experimental musicians, including Scott Walker, Merzbow, Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino, Mats Gustaffson, Peter Rehberg, and Oren Ambarchi;In his brainchild Sunn O))), O’Malley and bandmate Greg Anderson share Dumitrescu and Avram’s understanding and experience of sound as sculptural, amoebic, and share their love of it as massive.
The appearance of the spectralist crew will be followed by a DJ set by Antye Greie-Ripatti aka AGF:poemproducer. Greie-Ripatti is a vocalist, digital songwriter, producer, performer, e-poet, calligrapher, digital media artist and curator that explores digital technology through the deconstruction of language and communication.
Throughout the evening, video work “The Great Puddle” by duo Graw Böckler is on display in the ground floor entrance hall. Generally shallow enough to walk through and with a tendency to gather on roadsides on rainy days or from backed-up sewers, the non-transparent water in puddles hide all sorts of objects - from dangerous items like broken glass, to rubbish or small lost knickknacks. Graw Böckler invited friends and acquaintances in different cities such as Novosibirsk, Valencia, Gotland, London, Berlin or Buenos Aires to take a swim in these transient pools, creating an urban recreational activity that also brings back childhood memories of rainy play. The project was supported by Goethe-Institut Novosibirsk, the SoCCoS network and the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
The evening is supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute Berlin.
Antye Greie-Ripatti, i.e. AGF:poemproducer, is a digital songwriter, sound composer, poet, curator, and educator. Born in East Germany, she has been living and working in Hailuoto, Finland since 2008.
Graw Böckler is the joint project of Berlin-based artists Ursula Böckler and Georg Graw, who together and independently work across the popular formats of video and still photography. In collaboration since 1997 and longtime affiliates of CTM Festival, the pair specialise in making music videos and loops, experimental films, and unauthorised commercials.
Romanian composer, interpreter, and pioneer Iancu Dumitrescu has long been a leading personality in contemporary and experimental music. His work is based on the experience of sound as enigmatic, amorphous, and massive.
Romanian composer and interpreter Ana-Maria Avram was born in Bucharest in 1961. She is one of the flag-bearers of hyperspectralism, a movement that explores the phenomenological, dynamic presence of sound and understands composition as a performative experience of constant change rather than as a contained, pre-formatted process.
Hyperion Ensemble was founded in 1976 in Bucharest by Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram with the intention of exploring connections between archaic Romanian folk music — Byzantine music, folk traditions collected by Bartok, etc. — and contemporary avant-garde composition. It was described by The Wire as “a living workshop, a constant source of ideas and sounds.”
American composer and musician Stephen O’Malley, though originally known for his role as guitarist and founder of Sunn O))), has earned admiration over the last decades as a wizard of fiercely innovative collaborations and promulgator of the musical and artistic avant-garde at large.