Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Landmarks (27)

Carola Bauckholt: Kurbel und Wolke (1997) for orchestra.

An astonishingly orchestrated study in the continuity between noises bearing concrete associations and imagery, and the conventions of musical sounds, while traveling through all of the territory in-between, from the sounds of torn paper to marginal and extended instrumental techniques. The point of departure in Kurbel und Wolke (what a lovely, odd name: Crank and Cloud) was the sound of a creaking door and the piece extends through the entire field of associations and portents carried by that sound only to wrestle and nestle them all into a texture that is musically absolute.

It is inevitably noted that Bauckholt (*1959) was a student of Kagel's, and her work, to a degree, extends Kagel's practices in acoustical experiment and music theatre. But here, the theatre is a private affair, internal to the composer as well as the individual listener and any concrete narrative is soon lost to the continuity provided by the orchestral apparatus. It's as if you had thought you had been listening to the soundtrack to a suspense film and suddenly realized, with the shock of awakening, that you have been transported into a concert hall with all of those strange pieces of hardware which tradition has assembled for the making of music.

Thus, in Kurbel und Wolke, Bauckholt is able to begin in the world of familiar, even banal, sounds, compose a fantasy around those sounds, their perception, and their associations, and then, through their integration and translation into the instrumental texture, reveal an orchestra that is at once familar and new.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing about this! Will check it out.