Documentary #3: Archive Fever


Being overwhelmed by the presence of history, that’s the feeling that Lars Petter Hagen recalls from his first visit of the IMD archive with its original correspondence by famous composers and theoreticians, recordings of legendary lectures and performances, scores, a very rare photo collection and even some video. Commissioned by the Darmstadt Summer Course, the norwegian composer, festival director and curator developed a concert-installation for a historic context: In the 60s and 70s, the Justus-Liebig-Haus was the place of legendary Summer Course events. Working with archive material has been an important part of Hagen’s compositional practice since his piece Norwegian Archives in 2005. The question of how compositional and curatorial strategies from his personal fields of work can interact is of special interest to him.

Lars Petter Hagen’s piece, played by Ensemble Interface and staged by norwegian scenographer Signe Becker, is a subjective meeting with the archive, a personal investigation of its identity, past and present. A short parcours at Justus-Liebig-Haus tries to evoke a tactile feeling of historic presence, or living history. The title Archive Fever is from Derrida’s book „Mal d’Archive“, where he is writing about memory, specifically in psychoanalysis, but also in the relationship between truth and authority.


Lars Petter Hagen: Archive Fever (2016)
Live-installation for small ensemble, electronics, visuals
(Commissioned by the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt 2016)


Ensemble Interface
Signe Becker (Scenography)
Koka Nikoladze (Electronics)

World Premiere: 6 August 2016, Justus-Liebig-Haus Darmstadt