Transonic 2004: Experimental Music between the Cultures

Berlin, Germany – The House of World Cultures in
Berlin will be the venue for new intercultural sound experiences January 20-28.
This year, following the successful prelude in 2003, the music series
transonic – New Sound Experience
will again serve as a forum for the
international experimental music scene and introduce audiences to the latest
developments. It will also show how the highly sensitive debate between
historically evolved forms of composition and improvisation on the one hand, and
highly individual contemporary approaches on the other, can contribute to a
redefinition of musical modernity: Centuries-old compositions by the Japanese
Zen monks sound surprisingly modern, and there are fascinating similarities
between Arab musical traditions and the improvised music of the young
experimental scene in Beirut. Moreover, the unexpected affinity between a Korean
komungo virtuoso and the Kairos Quartet, or between Indonesian composers and the
avant-garde ensemble zeitkratzer, is giving birth to new tonal fields. Within the framework of transonic, Western and extra-European musicians and
composers will be presenting joint projects and commissioned works. Proceeding
from their respective backgrounds of traditional or experimental music, these
artists will be presenting new musical languages that transcend categories such
as New Music, jazz or world music. In 2004, curator Gene Coleman from Chicago,
who also curated the 2003 festival, is focusing on two dichotomies that are
deeply rooted in many cultures: composition and improvisation versus solo and
ensemble music.

In contrast to last year, when transonic concentrated exclusively on Asian and
Western music, this year’s series will be featuring musicians and composers from
the Arab countries and an Argentinean composer. The following performances are
planned: a solo concert by shakuhachi virtuoso Akikazu Nakamura; a project by
Viennese trumpeter Franz Hautzinger with the Lebanese experimental musicians
Mazen Kerbaj and Sharif Sehnaoui; a performance of works by Guillermo Gregorios
and Mauricio Kagel with Paulo Alvares (among others); an evening with the
experimental musicians Toshimaru Nakamura, Taku Sugimonto and Kazuhisa Uchihashi
from Tokyo; an encounter between Korean komungo player Jin Hi Kim and the Kairos
Quartet; a concert presenting the Indonesian musicians Ayo Sutarma and Dedy
Hernawan with the zeitkratzer ensemble; solo and ensemble pieces for the Sho and
Sheng by and with Wu Wei, Kô Ishikawa, Gene Coleman and the N_ER ensemble.


Tuesday Jan. 20th I 15:00–22:00
“How Many Forms of Modernity does New Music Know?”

Wednesday Jan. 21 I 20:00
“The Old Ways are Still New” (Part I)
Shakuhachi virtuoso Akikazu Nakamura plays compositions from Japanese Zen monks,
dating from circa 1730.

Thursday Jan. 22 I 20:00
“From Lebanon and Vienna”
Improvisation with Franz Hautzinger, Mazen Karbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui, Helge

Friday Jan. 23 I 20:00
“From Argentina”
Ensemble compositions by Guillermo Gregorio and works for piano from Mauricio
Kagel – with Guillermo Gregorio, Paulo Alvares, and the Ensemble N_ER: Krassimir
Sterev, Michael Moser, Werner Dafeldecker, Gene Coleman, Matthias Kaul, Marc
Unternaehrer, Special Guest: Akikazu Nakamura.

Saturday Jan. 24 I 20:00
“From Tokyo, in Silence… ”
Part I: Solo pieces presented by Taku Sugimoto, Toshimaru Nakamura, Kazuhisa
Part II: The Japanese musicians play a composition from Toshimaru Nakamura, as
well as improvisations, with Werner Dafeldecker, Christof Kurzmann, Michael

Sunday Jan. 25 I 20:00
“Compositions by Jin Hi Kim and Giacinto Scelsi”
The Korean komungo virtuoso Jin Hi Kim meets the Kairos Quartet – Works by Jin
Hi Kim and Giacinto Scelsi for strings.

Tuesday Jan. 27 I 20:00
“The Old Ways are Still New” (part II)
Works from Balinese composers and musicians Ayo Sutarma and Dedy Hernanwa with
Dedy Hernanwa, Ayo Sutarma, Ensemble Zeitkratzer and school children from Berlin.

Wednesday Jan. 28 I 20:00
“Path of the Phoenix: Compositions for Shô
und Sheng”
Solo and ensemble compositions, as well as improvisational music by and with Wu
Wei, Kô Ishikawa (Japan | composition and shô) and the Ensemble N_ER.

Dec. 4, 2003 – Jan. 29, 2004
New Music and Globalization
In cooperation with the Society for New Music, the House of World Cultures is
launching a moderated Internet forum. It will explore the relationship between
New Music and traditional non-European music.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.