His concert series Bach.heute, in which the cellist Matthias Lorenz combined one of Bach's suites with contemporary compositions every year between 2007 and 2013, has been based on two ideas:
“1. Each Bach suite has its own 'compositional theme', an approach that unites all movements. This becomes clear, among other things, from the fact that - despite the openness of the form of a suite - one could not imagine transposing one movement and accommodating it in another suite. They clearly have a cohesion.
2. Formulating this compositional theme in more general terms allows contemporary pieces to be found that address a similar theme. The look back and forth through the centuries refreshes the perception of the old as well as the new pieces.“
My composition Flawed Hide-Out was premiered in this concert series and assigned to Bach's Suite No. 2, D Minor, BWV 1008, for which Matthias Lorenz's compositional theme was the question “When does something start - when does it stop?“
This question arises in the suite of questions of phrasing and the combination of motifs, where often the end of the one motive is also the beginning of a new one.
Extending this idea in many ways and applying it to a wide range of questions was the starting point for me. And since in our presence the existence of music, its production, genesis and perception, as well as its assessment has been highly questioned - or perhaps better - questionable, I wanted to include exactly these areas in the question and set out the relationship to time (“When ...“), but also to exceed the limitation to purely internal musical questions.
At present, the keyword “progress“ is again in vogue, as if there had never been a critique of the term. Something felt to the tooth, this dilutes quickly to “growth“. A similar reduction to the quantitative can be found in the processes of “evaluation“ or “quality management“, which are now spreading in ever wider areas of society and production. Again, the qualitative term almost exclusively covers quantitative criteria. With this reduction any historical consciousness evaporates, if such a thing were linked to qualitative aspects.
This trend is also evident in art.
The statement that the serial method is the only remaining option for giving music a rational basis may be met with complete misunderstanding in two respects. If the serial method is now something almost unknown, the search for a rational basis of music seems to many as a completely crude question. Quite similar can be said of the method of chance. And even if a large number of musical productions sounds decidedly “random“, their compositional method is generally far removed from aleatorism as a method.
In Flawed Hide-Out I combine the two compositional methods of row technique and aleatorics, which have driven the composers of my parents' generation in such an exaggerated conflict, and produce from this my basic material, which determines the whole piece. Of course, both methods are called into question, but at the same time they are by no means as contradictory as they may seem at first sight.
Based on the date, a series of numbers is determined for each performance and the formula is designed so that over 100 years a new series is created for each day. This series of numbers determines through the five sketches each other aspects of music and music making, after which the cellist has to set up the whole piece. This prolongs the process of composition down to the individual performance.
The series of numbers determines the arrangement of sounds in the first and second sketches, the sequence of actions in the third sketch, the number of a sequence of events in the fourth, and the pauses and intervals in the fifth.
In the first sketch two poems (experientia and literary appreciation s.b.) are interlinked, one of which is spoken, the other is played analogously to the imaginary text with bowing along the string.
The second sketch brings on the cello with fingers sound and softly tapped tones.
The third sketch contains 12 playing notes of the conventional cello game, which are taken here only as game postures and “frozen“ for some time.
The fourth sketch brings 12 individual pizzicati arranged in a field that allows different paths through the field. Each row determines the number of individual pizzicati to hang together.
In the fifth sketch, the number series is initially determined only to givee the pause durations between thirteen rhythmic structures. Then the series is also interpreted as an interval series. Each interval can be understood up or down. So many rows are possible. However, a series with as many as possible and one with as few pitches as possible should be selected, both with the smallest possible size. These series are applied to the rhythmic structures and connected with very different ways of playing.
ablegen wie die schlange
oder sich schälen lassen
ohne stachel im fleisch
F. Eckhard Ulrich (ich habe aufgegeben dieses land zu lieben. fliegenkopf verlag, Halle, 1994, S. 37)
nach dem Selbstmord
ihre verzweifelten Verse
nicht mehr nur
als besonders geglückte Gedichte
als Verzweiflung erkannt
Erich Fried (Gesammelte Werke. Bd. 3, Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, Berlin 1993, S. 211)
Die Zukunft ist ein sichres Versteck für unsre Vergangenheiten.
Peter Horst Neumann („Vorsehung“, aus: Pfingsten in Babylon, Residenz Verlag, Salzburg u. Wien 1996, S. 86)
2008 May 25th: Oldenburg, theaterfabrik rosenstraße; Matthias Lorenz, cello
2008 May 29th: Dresden, blaue Fabrik, repeat of May 25th
2008 May 30th: Frankfurt am Main, Werkstatt Simon Enke
2009 April 17th: Oldenburg, Carl von Ossietzky-Universität
2020 March 5th: Projekttheater Dresden, Matthias Lorenz cello
2020 March 7th: Ausstellungshalle Frankfurt am Main, repeat of March 5th
2020 March 9th: Kunstverein Oldenburg, repeat of March 5th