Birkenkötter, Jörg (*1963) von Breitkopf & Härtel

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Seite 6 von Birkenkötter, Jörg (*1963)

fleshed-out groups of meaning with undeniably serial connotations this use of gestures however increasingly betrays its true nature as a superficial foil the joints of the writing begin to fill out niches and what one always subliminally sensed is now heard in reality echoes of harmonics subtly flashing like lightning or tension-laden stillness as a phase of intent listening or in expectation of the next event a look into birkenkötter s calligraphically masterful writing suggestively illustrates how a fragmentation of the musical time takes place here but only in the reconstruction of the module-like presentation of the resonances and sounds does it become evident that birkenkötter observes the musical material under a magnifying glass and ultimately under a microscope high resolutions blur contours and vibrations at the edge of stillness become perceptible finally the impulses thicken again to form delicately hovering chords birkenkötter also always views composing as a means of directly confronting the idea or the imagination with something against which it must rub itself he does so in the hope that an idea can develop itself with more complexity when it is a kind of impediment to itself in the case of the ensemble piece spiel/abbruch 1993/94 the composer had the original idea of setting the live instrumental performance against instrumental sounds that had been subtly electro-acoustically elaborated creeping transitions and soft shadows of sound create a disorienting effect what are we hearing is it still the piano the accordion the tamtam ­ or the virtual reality of the electronic medium the formal course of the work proves to be here too something like the process of a compositional research project that has taken on a concrete shape and in which the original postulate of the piece keeps shooting off into unexpected directions during its genesis the result is not an open form but a form with an open end there are many interruptions and long rests in the middle section of the multilayered work the sounds are given space and above all time by listening intently to the tones that have been swept away by darkly anticipating diversely elaborated symbols the recipient s focus inadvertently directs itself along the intensity of his perception here above all it becomes clear that birkenkötter s fathoming of the profound universe of the sound and its stillness have nothing to do with superficial mysticism he is not making an appeal for meditation or withdrawal into one s self here but championing the act of alert and precise listening an awareness of possibilities close at hand at the beginning of the work gekoppelt ­ getrennt 1997 two solo pianos function as a kind of impulse giver for orchestral sounds however this coupling of two different spheres is soon abandoned it is followed by various degrees of approach and withdrawal of these different paths as well as by moments of vexation birkenkötter runs through the possibilities of the ever new act of beginning and varying the quantification there may be onedimensional processes occurring in the test tube but it is the increasingly complex life of today that is mirrored in this art in every moment of the music the aim is to correct the auditory perspective hallucinatory moments of recollection are evoked phases from the opening section recorded on tape are played in the further course of the work here too there is a play with truth and fiction with reality and simulation the borders have become porous and our senses can easily be deceived but people who are not ready to make themselves comfortable in the padded cells of virtual realities will welcome a sensitizing music of this kind of course birkenkötter does not engage in a crude critique of civilization he is suspicious of verbal unequivocalness in connection with his art at a time when there are no longer any more self-contained global concepts he focuses on attempts at musical communication and even in the final notes of a specific work he gives rise to the feeling of being able to continue composing and listening whereby every conclusion is a potential beginning the possibility of being able to fully differentiate a play with sounds underscores openness and freedom but this freedom is not simply there one must work to obtain it helmut rohm translation roger clément 6 on jörg birkenkötter 6