eventgrafik-2016

 

In this BLOG, the Writing Workshop of the Darmstadt Summer Course, directed by Anne Hilde

Neset, Peter Meanwell and Stefan Fricke, is publishing texts and audio reviews during the festival.
The articles represent the opinion of the respective author.

 


05.08.2016

I Sing The Body Acoustic

BLOG

Open Space flute performance confronts corporeality

 

The University of California at San Diego is a city on a hill – a citadel for some of the most exciting and radical experimentation occurring in the United States, being done by a hugely diverse student body from every continent. Three of its students – one current, two former –were on display at an Open Space performance this Wednesday. One was flautist Ine Vanoeveren, who has recently completed her PhD on performing Ferneyhough, and the pieces in this performance represent three of her closest and most fruitful collaborations with composers over the past four years.


Open Space flute performance confronts corporeality

 

The University of California at San Diego is a city on a hill – a citadel for some of the most exciting and radical experimentation occurring in the United States, being done by a hugely diverse student body from every continent. Three of its students – one current, two former –were on display at an Open Space performance this Wednesday. One was flautist Ine Vanoeveren, who has recently completed her PhD on performing Ferneyhough, and the pieces in this performance represent three of her closest and most fruitful collaborations with composers over the past four years.

 

Fernanda Navarro's work confronts gender issues in a visceral and corporeal fashion – to call it "engagement" would be like calling a punch in the gut "praxis" – and the two-part piece performed here demonstrated the same unassuming directness. For her, gender is not discussed, it is present, as object and performance. The second part for bass flute is especially potent to this end, as it becomes increasingly difficult for the listener to define whether the pops, clicks, hisses, and vaguely semantic monosyllables are coming from the performer, the instrument, or some uncanny concatenation of the two.


James Bean's compositions are some of the most exciting and intimately immediate sounds being produced in New Music today. His music provokes not so much descriptions or analyses but completely nonverbal, untranslatable experiences. My embarrassingly rhapsodic (and thus, honest) notes from this performance of his Ligament and Distance might provide some vague insight into such an experience: "QUIET, NOT FRAGILE; undifferentiated, yet saturated with information; resonant but not ambient". Listen to his stuff. You owe it to yourself.


Ferneyhough's Unity Capsule is perhaps the ur-text of the instrument-performer hybrid. Ferneyhough himself described the titanic, monolithic beam uniting all the noteheads of the piece as a sort of supermodern freight train. To take the metaphor a step further, the performance goes off the rails as the flautist and their instrument unite their movements and gestures like two stars colliding in a supernova. It's a cool piece.


Ine Vanoeveren's performance was thoroughly gripping – she achieves more dynamic emotional contrasts in a 10-minute piece than most professional actors pull off in two hours. It was also fundamentally masterful, and the time and effort she spent working closely with the composers of each of these pieces – radically different though their aesthetics may be – was clearly audible, visible, and tactile.


Those who missed this concert and are even remotely interested in intensive virtuosity in New Music – a sort of hypertrophic performance practice – are warmly recommended to come to Ine's upcoming performance of all of Ferneyhough's flute pieces (I know, right?) with the man himself in OS 4, Tuesday August 9th at 10:00 (starting with a presentation of Ine's performance research; the performance itself begins at noon).

 

More information on Ine Vanoeveren may be found here: http://www.inevanoeveren.com/

Fernanda Navarro's music may be found here: http://www.fernandanavarro.net/

James Bean's music may be found here: http://www.jamesbean.info/

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By Max Erwin