Ultraschall Berlin – Festival für neue Musik
In margine (2022) for twenty strings
Sarah Saviet / Joseph Houston
Unfoldings (2022) for violin, piano and e-bows
Dikthas (1979) for violin and piano
Maknongan (1976) for contrabass solo
Rebecca Saunders / Enno Poppe
Taste (2022) for violin and piano
Memory Jolts. Flashes of Pink in the Brain (2021) for 16 strings
Sarah Saviet, violin
Joseph Houston, piano
'Marginalia' are trivialities that can, however, acquire meaning in a certain context. The Italian composer Francesca Verunelli describes them as "a kind of trace of a perspective that resembles a negative imprint. We have the trace, but we have lost the whole." In her tremendously finely microtonal branching work, in which the strings are treated like vocalists, Verunelli addresses the "border between strangeness and closeness" - a "questioning of our hearing of sound".
The composer Clara Iannotta addresses 'leaps of thought' and 'surges of memory' in her work. Like Beethoven, she suffers from otosclerosis, which leads to hearing loss and deafness. Hearing real sounds and remembering them diverge. "There is a break between what is heard and what is remembered." This 'break', this difference becomes the source of inspiration for her work, the continuation of one of her string quartets.
Composing for four hands is a highly unusual practice. Rebecca Saunders and Enno Poppe have developed a duo for violin and piano on the basis of two existing solo works, which preserves the idiosyncrasies of both composers and yet comes up with a common 'tone'.
Sarah Saviet and Joseph Houston have also composed a joint work out of the practice of their instrumental duo. Unfoldings deliberately blurs the boundaries between string and keyboard instrument, creating a fragile string texture from violin chords and e-bow sounds from the piano. Dikhtas by Iannis Xenakis is also 'dual', "like a figure with two natures" that contradict each other - and yet also merge. Together with Maknongan by Giacinto Scelsi, it forms a 'classic duo'.
Sunday, January 22
Start: 4 pm
Tickets at the box office and online