Márcio Steuernagel

(two times two) unique imperfections

composer, conductor | compositional/music theory, aesthetics

The concert consists of two recent solo pieces of mine, each to be played twice, and a conversation between composer, performers and the public in between the two sets. Due to the very instability of the pieces, each will be presented twice, as a manner of assessing performance not as a precise rendition of a fixed score, but as a field of possibilities generated from the score. Between both performances, there will be a conversation session amongst composer, performers and public. The aim is to create a performance situation of close contact between performers, composer and public – a true chamber-music (as in "playing in the living-room") situation. The two pieces presented are part of the artistic component of my ongoing research on imperfection as a fundamental performative and compositional dimension in music. In particular, they are part of a cycle of solo pieces, in which the compositions focus on specific, idiomatic elements of each instrument, which, while integral do the identity of the instrument, happen to be unstable, slightly unpredictable, or richer in sonic result than a production-oriented notation can represent. These are not open or improvised compositions. Nonetheless, as the creation focuses on elements that are risky, that "do not really work as written", each performance brings into being the potential difference between notated score and immanent performed sound. The pursuit of an aesthetic goal that invokes the uniqueness of imperfection brings changes and challenges to the ethics with which the performer approaches the score, and the parameters by which the public perceives and evaluates beauty. These are challenges that must be addressed in the preparation of the pieces, in direct conversation between composer and performer, which also, to be completed, must be extended to the audience.

Angela Rios – Oboe
Rahel Schweizer – Harp

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