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Kammermusik III (2003/04)

for flute/piccolo, oboe/english horn, bass clarinet/clarinet, alto/soprano saxophone, violin, viola, violoncello, double bass, percussion and piano

Together with the previously composed “Selisih” for alto and baritone saxophone, “Kammermusik III” reveals a quite new concept in my music. While during the 1990s I was mainly interested in certain problems of musical communication, interaction and colotomic structures, now an individual way of expression within a group has become more prominent. In other words, the analogy to language in single instrumental parts is more important than structural or formal aspects. The focus here is the individual gesture of expression, which I would call ‚idioms.’ This leads automatically to a more “soloistic” presence in the various instruments. Although these ‚idioms’ sometimes appear together in dialogue-like musical situations, the individual voices always remain in the foreground. Only at particular points or sectional changes these ‚individuals’ change to become part of a more collective musical texture.

Such ideas require a different kind of instrumental writing. Microtonal inflections and extreme ranges play an important role. Micro tonality here is less a feature of an extended tonal system, but refers more to a differentiated and individual articulation and to a direct physicality of musical expression. Such forms of articulation are widely known in wind and string playing in Asia. However this should not be understood as a cultural ‚adaptation’. It resembles more a further differentiation of autonomous principles of playing an instrument as it may be detected in other cultures as well. I am convinced that the idea of idioms related to language, or better, a language-related way of composing in general, inevitably leads to such principles. Only in a few cases – in mixture-like chord progressions, for example - is a precise realisation of the quarter tones as part of a fixed microtonal system intended.

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