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(Places and times/times and places)

Commissioned by the organisation of the „Cantiere Internazionale d‘Arte“ and the „Ensemble L‘art pour l‘art“ to compose a music for the theme of the 10th Cantiere entitled „Viaggio a Italia“ („Journey to Italy“) I asked myself less a musical but a journalistic question: How is the actual situation of both countries viewed in recent travel reports.

On the lookout for literature I also came across a book about contemporary Italian poetry including a poem from 1918 which gave me the decisive impulse to compose the cycle: „Girovago“ („Vagabond“) by Guiseppe Ungaretti. It gave me the idea of collecting voices which were engaged with travelling or better with the wandering through places and times, arriving, staying and leaving voices in a continuous flowing move. In my mind I had the construction of a church-window with many mosaics of glass with their own motifs. Being composed they should build a main theme.

„Girovago“gave me an insight in a kind of literature which was marked by overcoming antiquated forms and exhausted ways of expression. The same time they are in immediatly related to the political situation of the prececesors, height and after effects of fascism. The contemporary Italian literature was born out in struggle.

My own „Viaggio“was a journey into a culture of resistance making me longing because I could not find it here in this breadth and variety. I discovered only rare voices in my country and common to them all was a strange flight, less a tendency to dwell than to leave. It was a poetry missing the remembrance, as if would not admit a past, nothing to overcome and nevertheless the memory came up as a black shadow, as a pursuer.

The Italian poems on the other hand stay in patience. They can wait until all is totally quiet then lay bare the truths with great caution.

Arriving, staying, leaving: the idea of an Odyssey through places and times in search of the benefit of an „only moment of the initial life“, the fear to loose this moment of freedom because they are places and times of darkness and deception, places making not happy and times misleading us to see happiness in devilish ways, the idea that nothing else remains than to report about these sufferings in the hope to shock, this painful idea to arrive at the end of the journey (which is only an intermediate station), limping, „the lightly saved“ on shoulders, this bit of resistance we need in order to enjoy the „only moment of the initial life“ - this basic idea composed out of mosaics took a musical shape in the time that followed.

Temporally seen at first in a double conception of tempo: It is a tempo in a form of an arc starting from standstill to move and back. The second tempo is independent from the tempo of the single poems with interruptions arranged again in a way to follow the form of an arc. As the poetry in its collection follows an epic idea so the conception of tempo is epic-spacious as well. The order of tempo gives me the freedom to express musically so diversely as possible. It gives me the freedom of a new expression, of a new musical parlando because I want to give a report. The journalistic idea goes through the music. The music complies but music can’t be explained completely, it must tell its own story.

(Program broschure for the concert of Ensemble L‘art pour l‘art, Hamburg 1986)

More Infos: VOCAL-INSTRUMENTAL "Orte und Zeiten / Tempi e Luoghi "

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