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Lithuanian composer Vykintas Baltakas at the international city music project [Classical / Contemporary]

into… - compositional approaches to Istanbul, Dubai, Johannesburg, and the Pearl River Delta


This new music project by Ensemble Modern and Siemens Arts Program, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, will attempt to grasp the essence of a city by music. Sixteen outstanding composers have agreed to join in this project. Beginning in February 2008, four composers at a time will spend a month in variously one of four megacities - Istanbul, Dubai, Johannesburg, and Pearl River Delta - to compose a work reflecting on it for Ensemble Modern. These sixteen attempts to cast the essence of a city in music will be performed from October 2008 onwards as musical "cityworks".


Since 2006, over fifty per cent of the world population lives in cities - a fact that thrusts the city into the center of social and scientific interest. And since time immemorial its enticements have prompted people to move - whether in the hope of fulfilling their longings, or in search of economic and social success, or with the wish for personal happiness. Simultaneously the city has undergone constant change. On no one day is it the same as the day before, and yet it retains its substance. But what distinguishes the nature of a city? What determines its specific "essence" over and beyond the familiar associations and connotations, beyond its outward appearance, its geographical location or climatic conditions? "into…" is an artistic attempt to home in on the city and to provide musical answers to such questions.


The selected composers who will be stepping "into" Istanbul, Dubai, Johannesburg, and Pearl River Delta, are: Mark Andre, Beat Furrer, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, and Vladimir Tarnopolski (Istanbul); Vykintas Baltakas, Markus Hechtle, Márton Illés, and Jörg Widmann (Dubai); Luke Bedford, Jörg Birkenkötter, Lars Petter Hagen, and Lucia Ronchetti (Johannesburg); Unsuk Chin, Heiner Goebbels, Benedict Mason, and Johannes Schöllhorn (Pearl River Delta).


Between February 2008 and May 2009, the composers will each spend a month in their designated city. There in cooperation with the local branch of the Goethe Institut, a program will be individually tailored to the composer's interests during his or her stay and researches. The composers will be put in contact with the scenes of their choice. Possible points of departure for this are the visual arts, new and traditional music, sociology, architecture, urban planning, migration, the natural sciences, the performing arts, among many more. During their stays they will also liaise with city's universities and colleges and give lectures to the students.


The concerts by Ensemble Modern will be performed in the period from Autumn 2008 and Summer 2010 in locations such as Frankfurt, Berlin, Essen, and the original cities Istanbul, Dubai, Johannesburg, and Pearl River Delta.


Siemens Arts Program inf.

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