by Eva Van Daele
10pm in Darmstadt equals electronics. Tonight is no exception – although the performance does have a slightly different premises than previous nights. With its combination of acoustic performance and tape music, Synthetic Skin might just be the highlight of the late night concert series in this second week of the festival.
A similar programme was presented at the end of April at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik in Witten, Germany. It was a combination of tape pieces by Jérôme Noetinger and Yves de Mey with improvisation and composition. In Darmstadt we will still hear Noetinger’s music, but the quartet of musicians – Uli Fussenegger, Yaron Deutsch, Gerald Preinfalk and Andreas Lindenbaum – have chosen to replace de Mey’s work with a new tape composition by Electric Indigo aka Susanne Kirchmayr. Even in these final days of the festival, new work is still being presented. Kirchmayr curated the Electronics Atelier and the resulting series of electronics concerts; the fourth and last happens tomorrow night. Kirchmayr has strong feelings about the context in which her music is played, so these performances promise to be engaging and well-conceived holistic experiences.
As well as the tape pieces, we will hear a quartet of instrumentalists (double bass, electric guitar, saxophone and cello) improvising and playing music by Uli Fussenegger. The performers are all instrument tutors here at the Darmstadt Summer Course. Earlier this week, students of Fussenegger and Deutsch presented world premieres in their joint showcase Encounterpoints.
Synthetic Skin does not merely aim to present a selection of three works by three composers. It strives for blurrier lines, to acknowledge the collaborative processes that generated this music. The subtitle of the concert – An Elastic Collision of Composition, Improvisation and Tape Music – drives home the message.
Synthetic Skin is performed on Friday at Centralstation (Halle) at 10 pm