Franz Schubert and the electroacoustic music of today. How do they fit together?
In the fall of 2020, Oliver Wille, the artistic director of the chamber music festival Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, suggested that this question be explored in a composition.
The result is a commissioned electroacoustic work for the festival program "Schubert.Jetzt" in 2021 with the title KRENE. This means as much as spring or well.
And the source of my observation, my approach to Schubert's work is his last piano sonata in B-flat major, Deutsch-Verzeichnis 960. But what am I dealing with? The great temporal distance to Schubert's sonata of almost 200 years is very present to me and this seems distant, blurred like flickering light on a hot day.
And what is actually the work? Is it the musical text as a procedural regulation for the realization of the sound and thus an offer that can be interpreted? Is it the countless recordings that prove the diversity of these interpretations and in which this sonata lasts sometimes just under 40 minutes, at other times an hour? Is it finally the sound of the piano itself, the sound of a taut, struck string?
It was once said of Franz Schubert's work that it is "less a processing of thematic entities than a story of sonic processes, of sound processes where one emerges from the other."
There is a strong connection here to contemporary compositional thinking in electroacoustic music. I can start at the "sound processes", the composed change of sound beyond the limits of the color of the instrument or the playing technique of the performer interests me. I do not want to and cannot level the historical distance to the original, rather I approach Schubert's sonata from two perspectives inscribed in it: On the one hand, I direct my attention to Schubert's very own way of dealing with the sonata form, to the ever surprising breaks and deviations within the formal proportions. On the other hand, I approach the sound spectra in the metallic color of the piano sound with the means of the electronic studio.
Sounds thereby move on individual trajectories through open and wide but also narrow acoustic spaces. They thus enter into a relationship with one another, and sonic gestures and textures become audible as composed spatial counterpoints. This design of spatial sound movements in KRENE is realized in a special spatial sound process for eight loudspeakers.
All this happens in a process of approach as well as in an opposite process of distance and abstraction. For this process does not consist in the mere reproduction of the known, the mere reproduction of a motif in its temporal course. It consists in the greatest abstraction also in the stopping of the course of time at a certain point and in the extension of this shortest point into the audible range as with a sound magnifying glass. It consists in the progression of this path in other directions and the return to what has already been heard - Schubert's sonata sharp and clear in focus and yet uncatchably distant.
Spatialization: Ambisonic, 8-channel, 21:47