We are closing in on the Welcome party for Alwynne Pritchard (ØSTRE. 12.11 kl 20.00) For the occasion she has taken the time to write down here vision for the evening, maybe also the future for BIT20 Ensemble. You can read her text here;
For me, one of the most fascinating and important things about music is how it defines and expresses the way we live together. Music isn't only about sound, its also about space, time, movement, interaction, exchange, and ultimately about people. The BIT20 Ensemble is made up of a group of people whose intimate and shared experience of making music has been an integral part of Bergen's cultural life for more than 25 years. More than that, I've heard them play in Oslo, at IRCAM in Paris and at renowned festivals in Warsaw and Huddersfield. They've travelled to Tanzania, Egypt, Vietnam, Russia, Canada and Germany. BIT20 is Bergen's only ensemble of its size dedicated to playing contemporary music, and for this reason it has a unique and vital role to play in the cultural life of Norway's cultural capital. But as I said, it's also simply a group of people whose imagination and commitment, whose combined personal passions, skills and idiosyncrasies have made it what it is. And I'm not only talking about the musicians: the ensemble's education team, administration, volunteers, interns and audience all contribute to the dynamic that gives BIT20 its identity. For this reason, the party I've curated to kick-off my artistic directorship will include performances by all of these people, as we celebrate the act of making music together, exploring musical space and time, the physicality of performance, the shared act of listening and the adventures of musical interaction and exchange.
All the pieces we'll be performing make use of either verbal/text or graphic notation. In other words, stuff that doesn't at first glance look like music at all. As well as graphic scores by the German composer Gerhard Stäbler, the event will feature classic Fluxus pieces by Milan Knizak, Ken Friedman, George Brecht, George Maciunas, Lee Heflin, Emmett Williams, Takehisa Kosugi, Albert M. Fine and Alison Knowles. These will be performed alongside Benedict Mason's Tape 1 from his beautiful book of text pieces Outside Sight Unseen and Opened. We'll also be performing my own Vitality Forms 2, combining text and graphic notation, as well as making use of six facial performers who also function as scores for the musicians. Here, the human face becomes musical notation too.
All of these pieces are as much about the act of performance as they are about sound. Gerhard Stäbler's Hart Auf Hart, consisting of only overlapping barcodes, leaves the musicians no alternative but to find their own common solutions to the problems of realising the score. Performance, musical or otherwise, is much an act of agreement as interpretation. The advantage with verbal/text notation (i.e. written words) is that as well as being broad in scope, it can also express ideas with great precision. Whereas a musical score prepares only a musical situation, a text or event-score prepares one for events in all dimensions. George Brecht, in describing the Fluxus movement wrote "individuals with something unnamable in common have simply naturally coalesced to publish and perform their work. Perhaps this common thing is a feeling that the bounds of art are much wider than they have conventionally seemed, or that art and certain long established bounds are no longer very useful." This fascination with what defines the bounds of art endures to this day and is something I'm looking forward to addressing vigorously with BIT20 in the years to come. As for this event, it's not only the bounds of art but the mysterious boundaries and abstruse interconnections between music, performance, artists, administration and audience that I'm hoping we'll be able to explore and expand together.
Take a look at the program here, and we wish you all welcome to the party 12.11 kl 20.00 at ØSTRE.
George Brecht, Three Telephone Events, Two Durations & Three Window Events
Albert M. Fine, Ice Cream Piece
Ken Friedman, Magic Trick #2 & Bird Call
Lee Heflin, Fall
Milan Knizak, Fashion
Alison Knowles, Piece for A
Takehisa Kosugi, Chrinomy 1
Emmett Williams, The Gift of Tongues
Performed by (in alphabetical order): Trude Bruket, Marta Jacob, Peter Kates, Trond Madsen, Odd Kristian Ophus, Alwynne Pritchard, Jarle Rotevatn, Agnese Rugevica, Thea Meidell Sjule, Mia Julie Wiland & Ingela Øien.
Dawn Scarfe, Air Traffic
Air Traffic uses audio recordings to document the influence of the wind on the strings of an Aeolian harp, and the sounds of planes flying overhead in the greater distance. It explores how sound interacts with its environment, enabling us to hear aspects of our surroundings that would otherwise be silent.
Performed by: Thorolf Thuestad
Alwynne Pritchard, Vitality Forms 2
Performed by: Trude Bruket, Marta Jacob, Peter Kates, Trond Madsen, Randi Netland, Karina Opdal, Eva Pfitzenmaier, Jarle Rotevatn, Agnese Rugevica, Mia Julie Wiland & Ingela Øien.
- Interval -
Gerhard Stäbler, Hart Auf Hart & Earplugs (with Cassandra)
Performed by: Peter Kates, Trond Madsen, Jarle Rotevatn, Agnese Rudevica, Ingela Øien + additional performers.
Benedict Mason, Tape 1
Performed by: Peter Kates, Trond Madsen, Jarle Rotevatn, Agnese Rugevica & Ingela Øien.